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How to run your life like a business in order to find personal fulfillment


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Photo: Elena Mudd

Just like the Fountain of Youth, El Dorado, or the Atlantis, the concept of a real-deal work-life balance tends feels like the oft-talked-about, yet-never-achieved stuff of lore that people spend their lives pursuing. So while attending an empowerment workshop at the Well+Good Retreat in Cedar Lakes this week, I was surprised when co-leader and Cycles+Sex co-founder Lauren Bille introduced me to a novel idea to strike that legendary equilibrium: You should run your personal life the same way you’d run a business. Say whaaa?

After initially being taken aback by the suggestion of introducing more work into my life, I realized that without check-ins, performance reviews, or moments of reflexion regarding where I am and where I want to be, it’s easy to become stagnant and feel stuck. “Before you change something about your life, or advance it, or add to it, you have to have an assessment or an inventory,” says Bille. “Anyone who’s building a company is going to do an inventory of what’s going on, where their weaknesses are, where they’re thriving, and what they need to do. So I think we should apply the same thinking to our lives.”

“Anyone who’s building a company is going to do an inventory of what’s going on, where their weaknesses are, where they’re thriving, and what they need to do. So I think we should apply the same thinking to our lives.” —Lauren Bille, Cycles+Sex co-founder

In business, we’re accustomed things like metrics and standing meetings that help us set actionable goals, but with life, less of that tends to happen. If you apply these tactics to though, you can assess who you really are and what really matters to you. “Sometimes societal measures of success can get in our way of our ability to just evaluate ourselves properly,” Bille says. “The best thing you can have at your side is a core understanding of why you’re doing something and who you are.”

To take inventory of your life, here’s a quick exercise to gauge where you are and figure out how to get where you want to be.

Use the Wellness Wheel below to learn how to run your life like successful a business.

Wellness wheel
Graphic: Well+Good Creative

How to take inventory of your life

To get started, grab a colored pencil to get ready for some adult coloring. Rate your life from 1 to 10 in 8 different areas: personal growth, money, health and wellness, fun and recreation, community and home, friends and family, career, and romance. Shade in the number of boxes in each segment that correspond to your rating. In the same way that many businesses succeed in some ways and face challenges in others, you likely won’t have a totally even circle. Meaning that certain parts of your life will likely have higher marks than others.

Take the results as a journaling prompt. Think through why your bottom two categories might not be things that you’re rating highly; perhaps, you’ve not devoting time to them, or you’re simply avoiding them. Do the same with the top results, and think about why you’re feeling fulfilled in these areas. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better able to assess the areas of your life you’re content with and those that need, well, a little more…work.

While we’re on the topic of business, here are some tips for #bossbabes from the lips of Kate Hudson, and here’s some advice from Sofia Vergara.

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