Friday, March 14, 2014
Combining your personal life with work life - is it always a bad idea?
Do you keep business or work life separate from your personal life?
Blogging is my business, along with writing and speaking. When I first started on here I was anonymous, but it was always from a personal angle, so my work and personal lives were never fully separate.
There are areas of my life I won't discuss, and there are boundaries, but for the most part I have been very open. I realised today how much combining my personal and work lives has benefited my business.
Why did I combine my personal life with my business?
For starters, I am my business. I landed a publishing contract for 365 Ways To Make Money within a year of starting this blog. Publishing a book meant I had to come out. I chose to set up a new site for the book and my new career path.
Other reasons I combined included:
To be more relatable. A person behind a screen isn't someone you generally connect with or relate to. My business is aimed at helping people with their finances. That is pretty personal and I really feel being open about my own life has helped others relate to me on a more personal level.
To help others. As a survivor of domestic violence, stalking, rape, robbery, homelessness and mental illness, being open about who I am and challenges I have faced has helped other people, especially people suffering in their own lives now the things I went through. People have told me it has given them hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Others have told me it inspired them to get help and others have said that being open about my mental illness issues helped them see things from a different perspective and helped with their relations and the people in their lives.
What do I combine when it comes to my personal life and work or business?
Personal experiences: not just things I am doing to make and save money, but also obstacles in my life. I was pretty quiet about some dramatic events when they were happening a couple of years ago, but I soon learned it was better to be open and it has lead to other opportunities.
Goals: my goals are out there for everyone to see. My life goals blend with my business goals in many ways because my business is what supports my family and is necessary to achieve many of my life goals.
Life: such as what is happening to me, what is going on in my life and on Instagram you often get peeks into my day, the kind of life I live and things I get up to. I'm kylieofiu on Instagram.
What do I keep separate?
Money! It is extremely important to keep business accounts and personal accounts separate and not mix the money. Pay yourself a wage, work on using business money to improve the business and keep personal money for your personal life.
Partner/romantic relationships: I have shared a bit about my ex husband, although when married he was not mentioned a great deal, his name wasn't revealed and I didn't post family photo's. I have talked about the divorce and abuse, but I haven't really discussed much about men I have dated since. I hint at someone special in my life, but their name and image will never be public. If I end up remarried, which is not in my plans, you will ALL know!
How has it benefited both my personal life and business?
Exposure: being open about my experiences has benefited my work through exposure in magazines and newspapers such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Renagade Collective, That's Life, Cleo, The Sunday Telegraph and more, plus radio, Tv and websites I respect like Women's Agenda. I have been interviewed and have more interviews lined up about my experiences.
Charity work: I have done great work with charities and helped in some of their campaigns. The current one I am involved in is the CEO sleepout, raising funds and awareness for St Vincent de Paul to assist the homeless.
New direction: being open about who I am and what has gone on in my life has seen my life and business take a turn, for the better. Instead of being focused on myself, my millionaire goal and money, I am focused on helping others, especially the homeless and disadvantaged. This has lead to speaking opportunities and a new book on overcoming obstacles, people going from being homeless to successful and I have met, interviewed and learned from amazing people because of it.
How has it negatively impacted my life and business?
Exposure: at times I have felt over exposed. I have had journalists take what I have said and twisted it to suit their agenda's, completely changing facts in some articles. Fortunately, most journalists have been fantastic, especially all the ones I have dealt with lately.
Having so much 'out there' I do wonder what people sometimes think. I have had instances where people recognised me, or where I have agreed to coffee and the person Googled me before I get there leaving me feeling very exposed as they knew a lot about me and I not much about them. These weren't business related coffees. If it is business or related to my work, I expect them to know a lot about me and that is ok.
Other than feeling exposed a bit, I don't feel there have been negative impacts on my business by combining, but then as I said before, I am my business.
How did I work out my boundaries for both my personal life and business?
There is a lot in my personal life which would shock people that I have not shared. A lot of court appearances are happening (I am a victim/witness), dealing with police and the fall out of some events I have not shared. I decided not to share because of the impact it would have on my children.
I have a few questions I ask myself when I am combining these aspects of my life and sharing personal details.
1.) How will this impact my children?
2.) How will if impact my family/loved ones?
3.) How beneficial is it to my readers/other people?
4.) Does this need to be shared? Why and why not?
5.) What negative impacts are there for combining?
If combining that aspect or sharing that part of my life will have negative outcomes, I don't do it. If my family don't want me to share something, I don't. If it is not something that will help others, then I don't see the point in sharing that part of my life. Ultimately, my daughters and family come before everything else in my life. Hence why they are the first 2 things I consider with everything.
I set the boundaries by knowing what I am comfortable with sharing. I worked on my self confidence, worked out what my 'mission' or vision for my life and business is then I knew what was ok to combine and what wasn't. I also go comfortable with saying no to anything that I felt was not in line with my vision.
Should you combine business and personal life?
I can't answer that for you. It's your choice. If you choose to combine them make sure you set your boundaries, have your mission and vision for both personal and business matters and be confident and firm in your decisions.
As a blogger, I think it is very beneficial to combine and share parts of my personal life with my business.
Do you combine or do you keep them all separate?