A survey from NerdWallet, one of the UK’s leading financial comparison sites, has revealed a growing resilience among business owners despite the personal sacrifices that come with running your own business. The most challenging realities new business owners face were juggling work commitments and personal lives, with 83% finding setting boundaries to achieve a harmonious work/life balance challenging.
For nearly half of the business owners surveyed, work demands often took precedence outside of a nine-to-five schedule (47%), leaving 92% feeling guilty for putting their work first. The holy grail of a perfect work-life balance was predictably elusive as just 2% of those surveyed seemed to ‘have it all’, claiming to have never had to prioritise work over family. 25% of participants admitted prioritising their work over their personal lives every day, while 50% stated that work is a priority 3–4 times a week.
For 52%, running their business was not as easy as it had been made to look. The media portrayal of running your own business may suggest one of flexibility, but NerdWallet’s survey proves that being your boss is not as easy as it is made to seem.
91% of those surveyed felt that running their own business is glamorised in the media. But not everyone sees this as a negative, with 49% saying that media idealisation of entrepreneurship plays a role in encouraging those considering it to leap. Just 11% of participants felt that media glamorisation is ‘unhealthy’.
Unsurprisingly, the Covid pandemic also ranked highly on our business owners’ list of challenges to starting up a business, with 38% of respondents citing the pandemic as a major obstacle, as was the resulting rapid switch to a digital-first way of working (34%).
Meanwhile, 40% of respondents said exercise helped them pick themselves up; 37% opted for wellness and self-care, and just over a third (34%) regularly take time away from the business to reset.
Despite a turbulent few years, 94% of business owners say that they’d still do it all over again. The mood is so positive among entrepreneurs that those surveyed are encouraging those considering it to give it a go despite the challenges; 44% noted the importance of learning from mistakes and coming back stronger, suggesting a positive future for Brits willing to try to make their business dreams a reality.
‘Although the notable challenges business owners face in balancing their ventures with their personal lives, the overriding mood among business owners is one of positivity. Brits are up for the challenge, and more than that, they’d do it all again – even with full knowledge of the sacrifices that they’d have to make to see their business become a success,’ says Denise Ko Genovese, a senior personal finance expert at NerdWallet.
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