Check out this guest blog post by solo entrepreneur and founder of gr8nola, Erica Liu Williams.
Erica went from “cute” hobby at home to launching 30 bags of her cleanse-friendly granola at her local farmer’s market to winning the Google supplier granola category where she now produces, literally, tons of granola monthly using the same handmade process as when she started. Her story is super inspiring. Read more on her website And don’t forget to CREATE YOUR 2017 MANTRA HERE! 
Hey there, I’m Erica, founder of gr8nola! As a solo entrepreneur, I often get asked, “How do you balance work/life?” Well, first: gr8nola is life. But no really, when you love and feel passionately about what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work and blends seamlessly into your life. However, there are a few things I try (keyword: “try”) not to compromise—even for my business—for the sake of keeping myself healthy, balanced and sane.
  • I take sleep seriously. Without 7-8 hours of sleep, I won’t function properly. At Stanford, I took a “Sleep & Dreams” class and one thing we learned is that sleep debt doesn’t dissipate, it accumulates. Did you know that being awake for 18 hours is equal to a BAC of 0.08%? I take this seriously and try to keep to a regular sleep cycle.
  • I work out regularly and intensely. I’m one of those people whose “hammy” is always spinning (hammy = hamster on its wheel = my brain :). It’s hard to shut my thoughts off and I’m always, always thinking. When I work out hard, however, I notice that this is one of the few times I’m 100% focused inthe moment. I leverage my workouts not only for staying physically fit and healthy, but for mental breaks as well.
  • When I’m unproductive, I stop. Since I juggle a business AND a full-time job, I work weekends and nights. So I try to be as productive as possible: Instagramming during my walks into the office, taking phone calls during my commute, etc. However, it’s just not humanly possible to be productive 24/7/365. Sometimes, I have days where it’s just not there. When I do, I try to recognize this, and if possible, I let myself stop (without feeling guilty). I go to the gym. I just chill. I do something completely unrelated to the current task at hand. Then the next hour (or day), I pick up where I left off, and I find myself so much more effective after stepping away.
  • I appreciate the incrementalism. If starting a food business has taught me anything, it’s the virtue of patience. Breakthroughs, especially in this industry, don’t happen overnight. It takes years of grit: small things done consistently every day that, when connected and in the right sequence, can achieve significant results. I have huge aspirations to build gr8nola into an amazing, recognizable brand, but I have to constantly remind myself to appreciate the process, stay patient & celebrate the baby steps along the way.
I’ll admit, I’ve been slipping on some of these. As 2016 nears an end, my 2017 mantra is to #StayBalancedand re-commit to all the above. What’s your mantra for 2017?

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