My inability to effectively balance my work life and my home life is what led me to start my own business in 1998. I was never one of those people who dreamed of being an entrepreneur. In fact, for years people kept telling me I should start my own business, and I always said no.

Until stress and burnout led me to it as a last resort. After years of struggling with balance, and the stress and chronic health issues that came along with it, I realized starting my own business might be a good solution. It would give me more control over my time and allow me to be home with my kids.

The funny thing was, not long after I started my business, I realized I was still burning the candle at both ends. Turns out the real slave driver was me… I was worse than any boss I’d ever had.

Thankfully I realized what I was doing pretty quickly and stopped. At the time I remember framing and hanging a saying on my office wall. It read: “Why are you rushing through life. Are you in a hurry to get to the end?”

That served as a daily reminder that I didn’t have to do everything now. I didn’t have to accomplish all my goals today.

Life, and business, is more like a marathon than a sprint. I know because I’ve run marathons. They require pacing. If you go out too hard at the start, you’ll never finish. Or you’ll hit the infamous wall. I did that in my first marathon, and while I finished, it wasn’t pretty.

I learned I needed to apply this same thinking to my business, and my life.

I’ve also learned that balance really is an impossible goal because nothing is ever in perfect equilibrium. Therefore, I prefer to seek harmony instead. Harmony means that everything is working together.

There are times in my business when I’m really busy. And times when all hell breaks loose in my personal life. Thankfully, the two seem to do a good job of taking turns.

I’ve also learned to enjoy the down times.

Used to be when my business experienced a lull, I’d get nervous. I’d begin worrying when, or if, business would pick up. Fear of failure started creeping in. But, I’ve learned to enjoy these slower times. I believe it’s the universe’s way of giving me a reprieve, a respite, a time to rejuvenate. And, sometimes I know it’s actually the calm before the storm.

While I’m not perfect at embracing all of this, I do my best. When I start getting too busy or stressed out, I make sure I’m taking time for myself. I give my mind a break and my body a boost with regular exercise. And I enjoy my regular form of meditation: running. No, I no longer run marathons, but 27 years after my last 26.2- mile race, running continues to be great therapy for my mind.

And most of all, I strive to enjoy the harmony of the symphony that is my life.

Author's Bio: 

After spending 25 years in the marketing industry, Debbie LaChusa became so frustrated with its "be more, do more, have more" mentality that she began speaking out about it. She wrote a book entitled "Breaking the Spell: The Truth about Money, Success, and the Pursuit of Happiness" and created the Money Success Happiness blog all in an effort to help others learn how to stop chasing money, success, and happiness and instead discover the true path to a happy, healthy, wealthy life. To read the first chapter of "Breaking the Spell" for free, visit