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Managing your work-life balance

By Gary Prenevost
The term ‘work-life balance’ first popped up in U.K. parlance in the late 1970s. Since then, the concept has continued to generate attention and optimism, by suggesting that the goal of finding a balance between one’s work and one’s lifestyle is attainable.

Naturally, people want to have both a rewarding career and a rewarding life outside of their career. In reality, however, the term does not accurately address the real issue. Achieving a balance implies you have to give something up to keep the scales level. Further, the balancing act is subject to many influences and will be different for everyone.

The secret to enjoying life on your own terms, with the flexibility to work and live the way that makes you happiest, is not balance, but control.

When you have work-life control, you get to actively choose your working hours, your income and your lifestyle, which all add to your freedom. And this is why going into business for yourself, as a franchisee, can make a big difference.

Employment trends substantiate Canadians’ desire to take better control of their lives and change how they work. A recent Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) small business poll found 63 per cent of respondents have thought about owning their own business, suggesting a shift in priorities away from traditional corporate careers. And one out of three who had thought about opening their own business currently own one or have done so in the past. So, a significant number of Canadians are acting upon this impulse.

Controlling your career
Many Canadians already working in the corporate world are experiencing shorter employment cycles, which mean a higher degree of uncertainty and more gaps between steady paycheques. Coupled with the fact they are living longer than ever, on average, it is no wonder why business ownership has become an increasingly appealing option as they look to take greater control of their own career and income.

Franchise ownership, with its foundation of proven processes and protocols, is a particularly attractive way to create long-term wealth to carry entrepreneurs through their longer retirement years. It can also provide a legacy of wealth for their families.

All too often, people are so focused on getting their next corporate job, they fail to consider the impact of ‘contract’ employment and short-term career cycles. By considering alternative means of generating long-term income, they may achieve more control and eliminate the employment gaps that come with shorter work cycles.

It is worth noting franchise ownership is just one of the ways to bridge the gap between corporate employment and self-employment.

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