Get your life priorities straight first.

Deciding on the balance that you want to have between business success, family success and leisure time is the difference between judging your own success and failure.

In Real You Incorporated, I suggest spending some time alone—a night, a weekend or even a few hours. Then, with pen and paper in hand, establish your goals and write down your top priorities. Your number-one priority should be where you spend most of your conscious time, and so on. Remember, it’s never really been about work-life balance. It’s more about integrating work and family with your personal goals.

Meet Tanya Baker, an independent contractor with HelmsBriscoe. In her continuing effort to meet the needs of busy meeting planners, she keeps this tip top of mind. With a husband, two small children—and a challenging career—she constantly strives for work-life balance. But it’s not easy, and frankly, she admits that many women she knows have been unsuccessful in this area of their lives. “I live near a cemetery and walk through it occasionally as a shortcut going to local businesses. I have yet to see a gravestone that declares that the person six feet down was a vice president of sales or a great manager, but you see plenty engraved with ‘Mother,’ ‘Father,’ or ‘Wife/Husband,’” she says. “In the end, how you lived your life for the benefit of your family will be how you are remembered.”

What about you? What’s important in your life? Have you established your priorities before jumping head-first into an entrepreneurial lifestyle? Hear what other women have to say at