️Episode 047 – How To Achieve Work Life Balance as a Consultant (Part 2)

So you left corporate thinking that one of the outcomes will be more work-life balance. After all, you’re the boss, you will definitely have more work-life balance because we’re the one in charge now, right? Wrong! 

Most of the time, we don’t achieve the work-life balance we wanted to as independent consultants. Instead, we end up just recreating what we had been doing in corporate. The only difference is that now we’re the boss instead of someone else. 

One of the primary reasons is that we thought work-life would come automatically as part of the process versus something that we intentionally create for ourselves. 

So how do you intentionally create your desired work-life balance?

In this episode, I share with you the approach that has made all the difference for me in achieving that work-life balance once and for all.

Also, this conversation is a continuation of episode 46. If you didn’t catch that one yet, go back and check it out after this one but first, download the Life Balance Playbook that goes with this episode: https://www.melisaliberman.com/balance-playbook so that you can get really clear on what work-life balance looks like for you and then implement the tools that I’ve shared to achieve it.
Listen in to learn more about:  

  • [06:24] The prerequisite that you need to achieve work-life balance
  • [07:22] How we’re tiring to fix the wrong thing thinking that we’re creating balance 
  • [11:44] How to actually get what we want
  • [13:22] The two-part formula to create the balance that you’re looking for
    • [14:00 ] Part #1
    • [18:04 ] Part #2


Ready for help figuring out how to apply these strategies in your IC business?

  • I invite you to book an IC Success Blueprint call with me.
  • On this call, we’ll dive into your business, get clear on your goals and challenges and determine an action plan for you so that you can create the business impact, income, and flexibility that you desire. 
  • To book yours, please visit https://www.melisaliberman.com/ic-blueprint.


  • Click here to download the WORK-LIFE BALANCE PLAYBOOK
  • Click here to listen to EP. 046 – 3 TOOLS TO PROTECT YOUR WORK-LIFE BALANCE


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**note: this is an automated transcript, so please ignore spelling errors and grammar mistakes*


Welcome to the Grow Your Independent Consulting Business podcast. I’m Melisa Liberman, a fellow IC and business coach. On this podcast, I teach you to become a consistently booked independent consultant without becoming a pushy salesperson or working 24/7. If I can do it, you can too.


listen on to find out how. Welcome to the podcast, I’m so happy you’re here, I have to share with you that this past week, I was really honored to be invited to speak at the mom projects comeback Summit. And it was a wide range of speakers and topics helping moms return to the workforce, whether they’ve taken a long gap or no gap at all, but they’re looking for their next role. And one of those roles could be independent consulting, right. And they asked me to come and speak about how to achieve work life balance, it was so much fun. And after that I had so many people that were at that listening that reached out over email and LinkedIn to tell me how much they’re struggling with their own balance in their life. And that the tools that I shared with them are a completely different perspective from what they typically hear about how to achieve work-life balance. So that is a continuation of why we’re talking about work-life balance in this episode today, as well as in Episode 46. If you didn’t catch that one yet, go back and check that out after this one. But that’s why we’re here today to really dive in further into work-life balance. And I’m going to share with you the approach that has made all the difference for me in achieving that balance once and for all. So as I mentioned, last week, we talked in Episode 46, about the strategies to really get clear on what life balance is for you. So many times, we say to ourselves, I need more work-life balance, but we don’t actually know what that actually means, or why even we want it, or what it would mean to get it. So if you haven’t listened to that episode, yet, it gives you three tools to get really clear on what is work-life balance to you, versus what you think it should mean, or what how it should look. And to get that kind of clarity down to the detail. So that then we’re operating off of something that is tangible, versus something that’s not tangible, right. So go check that out if you haven’t already. But in the meantime, let’s talk about the tool that I’ve used to achieve work-life balance, the tool that I shared with that mom project, come back Summit, and help you to understand how you can apply this to your life too. Because what I find so many times is a lot of times, we leave corporate, for whatever reason thinking, you know, one of the outcomes will be more work-life balance, if we’re just our own boss will have more work-life balance, because we’re the one in charge now, right? Or if I become an independent consultant, one of the reasons I want to become an independent consultant is so that I control my own schedule so that I get to decide how I spend my time. And you know what happens? Most of the time, we don’t achieve the work-life balance, we think we will as an independent consultant. Instead, we end up just recreating what we had been doing incorporate just so happens that now we’re the boss instead of someone else. But at the end of the day, we don’t have this sense of balance that we thought we would, that it somehow would come automatically as part of the process versus something that we create for ourselves intentionally. So, most of us think the fix to get work-life balance is something like that something drastic, in fact, I’ll share with you when I was working in corporate, which now was about 10 years ago, I was working, you know, crazy hours had a son who was I think around a year and a half at that time. And we made the decision as a family to move to Hawaii for my husband’s job. I’ve probably told you this already on some episode. But one of the outcomes that I was expecting is that I would feel so much more balanced. I wasn’t having this, you know, 60-to-70-hour work week anymore. And all of these responsibilities. I literally was moving to a tropical island and with a one-and-a-half-year-old who was an amazing Napper three hours every day and a part time consulting role that I had creative, you know, with my former company, like That sounds really balanced. Doesn’t it? Sounds fabulous, but it really wasn’t when I got there and got entrenched into all of it, I still didn’t feel balanced, I still felt that poll of Oh, I better do more for my consulting work or guilt when I was working on that, and ignoring you know, my son and letting them watch TV or play on his own, it still didn’t feel balanced no matter what I did. So if quitting your job and moving to a tropical island doesn’t create balance, then I can assure you pretty much nothing else will. So the source of the balance is not you becoming an independent consultant, for example, the source of the balance isn’t you cutting your client load in half thinking, well, if I don’t work so many hours, then I’ll feel balanced. The source of feeling balanced isn’t getting some easy client job that you know client project that you could do in your sleep. Those are not the fixes to create the balance. So what I want to work on with you today is really three main topics, how we’re trying to fix the wrong thing, thinking we’re creating balance or finding balance. So that’s Topic number one we’re going to dive into, then we’re going to talk about how to actually get what we want. So, if we’re not fixing that wrong thing, how do we get what we want. And then finally, I’ll share with you the two-part formula, so that you can create the balance that you’re looking for. So, before we dive into how we’re really looking at this and trying to fix the wrong thing, I do want to point out the prerequisite here, the prerequisite is you having a little bit of more clarity on what is work life balance to you. Again, I touched on this a moment ago, but it’s so important, you need to know what it means. What does work life balance look like. We oftentimes have this kind of high-level image in our mind, but we really don’t have any tangible way to describe it. So how on earth are you going to accomplish something when you don’t even actually know what it means? So that’s where it comes in those tools that I shared with you last week to get really clear on? What is work life balance to you? What does it look like make it tangible for yourself? So, you’re not chasing after some concept that you don’t even know what it really actually means to you. So that’s the first thing that I’ll share with you from a prerequisite perspective. But what I also want to ask you is to look at this from a different perspective entirely. And ask yourself, why do I want balance? Balance is not a thing, like we just talked about, it’s not like this thing, you could go to Target and buy it. Oftentimes, you can’t even describe what it is. So if we strip it back and look at really what we’re looking for, beyond having kind of a calendar that feels balanced, and a better way to manage our boundaries, what we’re really looking for, if we strip it all the way down, is that we want to stop feeling guilty. We want to stop feeling overwhelmed. We want to stop feeling behind, we want to stop feeling out of control. That’s what I think we mean when we say, at least for me, when we say I want more balance. Ask yourself for you. What is it that you mean, when you say I want more balance in my life? Is it really that you want to look at the calendar, like the whole week’s calendar and say, You know what, I spent 50%. Let’s give a better example. I spent 30%, on my family 30% on myself and 30% at work, or I spent 70% at work and 30% with my family. But that to me feels balanced, even though the numbers aren’t equal. Like that is what most people think balance is when you just think of it without really diving into it in more detail. But when you dive into it in more detail, the question is, well, how are you feeling when you look at that calendar? Whether it’s 7030, or 3030 30? Or 9010? How are you feel when you look at that calendar? Do you feel guilty and overwhelmed and behind and failing? What you really want is not having a calendar that’s perfectly proportioned. What I believe you want. I know what I wanted was to feel calm, to feel in control, to feel capable to feel some form of peace of mind and that I could be present and engaged. So that’s really at the heart of this what we’re looking for when we’re talking about how to achieve work life balance. We’re wanting to create a feeling for ourselves. So, in other words, when we think there’s this like imaginary balance in place, right, whatever the number is 5050 or 7030. We think there’s this imaginary balance in place, if we were to look at our calendar, in retrospect, that we would feel in control, that if we were to look at this and see this imaginary balance that we would feel present and under control and in control, and not overwhelmed, right. And then the opposite is of it is true. If we think that this imaginary balance, or this balance, we can’t even grasp hold of what it really means. We think if that’s not in place, or we feel somehow it we’re out of balance, that’s the cause of us feeling guilty or overwhelmed or behind. But what I want to share with you today is it isn’t the calendar that’s creating, it’s not the calendar, or the allocation, or the percentage that’s creating the feelings of overwhelm, or guilts. And it’s not the calendar or the allocation of what you’re doing on the calendar that creates the opposite, feeling present or engaged or balanced or equal in some way. It isn’t the calendar that’s creating that it’s the way that you’re looking at it, and the way that you’re thinking about how you’re spending your time. So the question for you is, do you really have an issue with work life balance? Or are you really trying to solve for something else, with this concept of work life balance, like trying to make yourself feel better, trying to make yourself feel less overwhelmed, less out of control, by chasing this thing that we all call work life balance, so the calendar isn’t going to eliminate or alleviate that guilt or overwhelm? So now that we know that hopefully, you’re tracking with me here about the fact that this allocation is just kind of math on the piece of paper, on your calendar, right? Could be 7030, are you spending time in your business versus your family could be 5050? Could it be 9010, none of that is quote, unquote, balance. It’s when you look at that calendar and the way you’re spending your time, that’s where the control is for you. That’s where the opportunity is for you to get to the heart of this, where we’re able to really look at the calendar, no matter what it is, it’s more math, and decide how we want to feel on our own without giving that power over to the calendar without giving that power over to what our list of responsibilities and obligations and want to dues are for the day. So, the answer to achieving a sense of balance, and those feelings that we are pursuing. And to eliminate and manage through the feelings that we don’t want to be feeling is to go upstream into the way that you’re thinking. That’s the simple truth of this. If you look at the way you’re thinking about the way you’re spending your time, that’s the way to get back control over whether or not you feel balanced, which equates to I feel peace of mind, I feel calm, I feel in control, versus feeling the guilts and the overwhelm. So, the two parts that you can leverage, in order to create this, go upstream and start looking at your thinking and take back control of your perception of balance without even needing to change the calendar whatsoever. without even needing to reduce the amount of client work you’re doing. without even needing to, you know, quit and move to Hawaii, none of that needs to happen. We’re just going upstream in this process to look at now that we know that our goal really is to feel better. That’s a code word, the work life balance is really the code word for I want to feel better. So the two parts to start feeling better are number one, notice the thinking that’s creating those feelings of overwhelm those feelings of guilt, those feelings of I’m behind, and therefore this drive to go find more work life balance. The types of thoughts that are going on in your head usually are happening subconsciously. So you have to kind of slow things down to look at this. They’re the thoughts that come across. Like there’s too much on my plate. I can’t keep up with this client and my business. I should be spending more time with my family. Right? If you’re thinking things like I can’t keep up with all the things on my plate, and I should be spending more time with my family. Of course, you’re going to feel overwhelmed and guilty. Most of us think that what I just said are facts that there is too much on my plate. That seems like a fact that I should be spending more time with my family that seems like a fact that I can’t keep up with this client and my business. That seems like a fact. It is not my friend, it is not a fact, the way I know that is that you’re actually keeping up with the client and your business. You’re spending time with your family. Who knows? Should you be spending more or not? What if you’re spending more actually is detrimental? We’ve got to look at both sides of this equation and really ask ourselves how much is what we’re thinking true? Because we just accept that most of the time as this is just a fact that there’s too much on my plate. So, ask yourself, how is that not true? Start noticing that this is thinking that you have versus facts. And the difference is important because thinking is changeable, is modifiable, whereas facts are generally not. So this gives you power back in this process to create more balanced type emotions, like peace of mind, or in control, or fulfilled without needing to change anything, but the way you’re looking at what’s going on in your life. The thinking that you have on autopilot, which we’re all trained to do things like there’s too much on my plate, I can’t keep up with both my client work and running my business. That thinking is what is robbing you of your joy and of your fulfillment. It isn’t that you’re missing some concept of work life balance. So the first part of this formula is to really slow down and look at what you’re thinking, you can do that, by downloading the workbook I created for you for the last episode, it applies to both this one and last episode. It’s called The Life Balance playbook. And that give you journal prompts in there to start asking yourself these questions and start noticing that this is optional thinking you’re thinking things that are not serving you, I can’t keep up with this client and my business paints you into a corner, I should be spending more time with my family washes you with a guilt. So notice where you’re thinking these things, and bringing the guilt and overwhelm upon yourself. And again, this is good news, I’m pointing the finger at you that you’re the source of your own problem. It’s not your client, that’s the source of your problem. It’s not your family, that’s the source of your problem. It’s not what your spouse says to you, that’s the source of your of your problem. It’s not what your kids say to you, that’s the source of your problem, you’re the source of your problem, because you’re the way you’re looking at what you’ve got on your plate and what you’re thinking you should be doing and shouldn’t be doing. And all of this judgment that you’re layering onto yourself, that’s creating the guilt. And the good news is because you’re the one doing it to yourself, you’re fully in control of fixing it for yourself, you have full control over this. That’s the best news ever. So the second step, then, once we know how our thinking is creating these feelings of guilt and overwhelm, which feel imbalanced, which we talk up to I’m not balanced, but really at the heart of it, we just don’t want to feel guilty or overwhelmed. The second step of the formula, then is to turn around your thinking in your favor. And let me be clear, this is not you putting lipstick on a pig, or making some mantra that you don’t really believe this is you creating intentional thinking that serves you, and is able to help you reduce and replace the overwhelm and the guilt. So instead of thinking those other thoughts of I have too much on my plate, or I should be doing this or shouldn’t be doing that you turn it around into your own favor, I’m capable of figuring this out is a great thought to have. I’m capable of figuring this out. I’m not always going to be perfect. I choose what’s balanced and what’s not balanced. I get that my family wants something, whatever that is fill in the blank. But I’m choosing to do something else, fill in that blank. And guilt is not part of it. Guilt is not part of this today. Those are some of the thoughts that you can leverage to start creating and lifting off the pressure on yourself. Start creating a sense of balance in your mind. That’s where it comes from. It doesn’t come from what’s on the calendar. It comes from what’s in your mind, your perceptions, your analysis, your conclusions. You’re thinking about what it is you’re doing and what you think you should be doing. And when those things don’t match the guilt and the overwhelm that comes as a result of it. So the second part of this formula to start creating that Balance, that sense of balance for yourself, that relief for yourself is to turn around your thinking in your favor with thoughts like I’m capable of figuring this out, it’s not always going to be perfect. I get to choose what’s balanced. I’ve decided I’m going to do this thing, even though not everyone wants me to. And guilt is not invited into that party into that thing that I’m doing. These turn around thoughts are what create peace of mind and you feeling capable and you feeling fulfilled, there is absolutely no need to change your schedule, or your responsibilities, or move to Hawaii, because those things aren’t going to make you feel more balanced. Anyway, believe me, I told you, I thought they would. And they didn’t. I’ve tried it. So you can go do those things, go move to Hawaii, I highly recommend it. But don’t do it because you want more work life balance, because you’re going to take your brain with you. And you’re going to repeat what you’re doing now just in a different setting. So that’s what we why we want to clean this up for you in your brain so that you don’t keep recreating this over and over again, like for example, you had a problem probably with work life balance when you were in corporate. And now you still have the problem. Even though you’re running your own business, you see that the circumstance has changed, but you still have the same results. And it’s because of the way you’re thinking about your responsibilities. It’s the way you’re thinking about what you should do or shouldn’t do. It’s the way you’re thinking about what’s on your plates. And therefore, creating these this sense of guilt, the sense of overwhelm this sense of frustration, this sense of imbalance. And so that’s the key here, the heart of the matter, is to address your thinking and clean that up. So that no matter what your calendar looks like, whether you created your ideal week from our, you know, Episode 46 or not, of course, we can set up structures that help us to give some guardrails. But at the end of the day, you could even execute against that entire ideal week that you laid out as a result of the last episode, and still feel imbalanced unless that you do the work that I gave you today. So that’s what I have for you today, my friends, go look at how you do have control over why do you want balance? First and foremost? Why do you want it? What feeling? Are you looking to replace? Is it guilt and overwhelm? Those are the most common? What do you want to feel instead, this is the real reason why you’re looking for balance. So really look at that, what are you trying to accomplish is the first step of this process. And then knowing that you’re going to accomplish whatever it is that you laid out there. Let’s just say it’s a feeling of peace of mind, you’re going to accomplish that by looking at what you’re thinking now, that leads to creating more overwhelmed guilt, and frustration. And being aware of it that it’s your thinking. They’re not facts, their interpretations and perceptions. That’s the first part of the formula, right. And the second part of the formula is to create those turn around thinking, turn around thoughts that you truly believe, again, not putting the lipstick on the pig, but something you truly believe that lifts off that pressure. And when you notice your thinking it, it gives you that relief, it gives you that feeling of presence of engagement of balance of in control. Alright, so that is the process for you to take back control of your work life balance. I laid all of this out in a workbook for you, because this is more than just a podcast episode for most of us. So I created a workbook for you. It’s at Melissaliberman.com, backslash balance dash playbook. The link will be in the show notes balance dash playbook. And it will walk you through this process that I just outlined for you in today’s episode, along with episode number 46. So, I really hope you take this to heart. I’m telling you; it took me years and years to figure this out. And once you get the hang of it and realize it’s a process that you can control fully by the way that you’re thinking and the quality of your thoughts. It’s incredibly liberating. And I want that for you. I want that for you so that you’ve got this sense of peace of mind and feeling in control like I do most of the time. Before we wrap up today. I will say this isn’t the panacea, right? For me, even though I know all of these tools that I’ve described to you today and I’ve been using them for years. There are times where I feel out of control where I feel guilty, where I feel overwhelmed. It’s never going to go fully away. But these are the tools that can help you manage it, where it doesn’t just keep building up and building up and building up to the point where you feel like you do have to sell everything and live in an RV or whatever your dream is. Okay, so that’s what I’ve got for you today. Go download that playbook, the balanced playbook. And I look forward to talking with you again next week.


Take care. Thanks for joining me this week on the Grow Your Independent Consulting Business podcast. If you like today’s episode, I have three quick next steps for you. First, click Subscribe on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to make sure you don’t miss future episodes. Next, leave me a review in your podcast app so other independent consultants can find it benefit to and finally to put the ideas from today’s episode into action. Head over to Melisaliberman.com for the show notes and more resources to help you grow your consulting practice from your first few projects into a full-fledged business. See you next week.

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