Trending February 2024 # Dell Vostro 460: Business Pc Is All Work And No Play # Suggested March 2024 # Top 2 Popular

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The Dell Vostro 460 is a speedy business desktop equipped with Intel’s recently launched Sandy Bridge processor. It starts at $529 (as of March 10, 2011), but our review configuration–which came with a 21.5-inch widescreen monitor–is priced at $1393 ($1163 sans monitor). The system we reviewed packs a decent feature set, including an Intel Core i7-2600 processor, 4GB of RAM (upgradable to 16GB), and Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.

The rear of the machine offers an additional five USB ports (four USB and one USB 3.0), an eSATA port, an S/PDIF-out, gigabit ethernet, 7.1 surround sound, a VGA connector, and an HDMI connector. That’s right: This desktop has no discrete graphics card, and Dell is relying on the Sandy Bridge processor’s improved integrated graphics to hold the fort.

The keyboard and mouse are simple and match the chassis; both peripherals are, unfortunately, wired (USB). The flat keyboard features matte-black keys that offer good feedback. Since the keys are smooth, typing quickly is a little difficult if you’re unaccustomed to the shape; the keys are widely spaced, however, making typing errors a little less likely. The two-button mouse is smooth, rounded, and comfortable to use, though it did feel somewhat small to me (and I have small hands).

Our test model came with a 21.5-inch widescreen monitor. As displays go it’s fairly matte, with a 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution and good contrast. Its off-axis angles are not very good for a matte screen, but at least it doesn’t throw reflections back at you. The display is a little too wide for my taste (note that this monitor is nearly twice as long as it is high), but that’s a matter of personal preference. The monitor has a black, squared-off bezel with sharp corners, and lacks a Webcam. Five small buttons–a power button plus four context-sensitive soft keys to adjust the monitor’s settings–sit along the lower-right side.

As for performance, the Vostro 460 does well for its category. It earned a WorldBench 6 score of 156, which puts it just above our second-best performer, the Maingear F131 (with a mark of 152). It’s still pretty far behind our top performer in the mainstream-PC category, the MicroFlex 25B, which received a WorldBench 6 score of 188.

Although the Vostro 460’s Intel i7-2600 CPU does its job in terms of general performance, graphics performance is another story. The Vostro 460 doesn’t come with a discrete graphics card, relying instead on the Core i7-2600’s integrated graphics. In our Unreal Tournament 3 graphics performance tests, the Vostro 460 managed to eke out only an unplayable 14.8 frames per second at a resolution of 2560 by 1600 pixels with high quality settings. It wasn’t until we scaled the resolution down to 1024 by 768 that we got a reasonably playable frame rate of 37 fps (on high quality settings).

Gaming isn’t likely to be high on a small business’s list of priorities anyway, so feel free to ignore those results if you’re just looking for a number-cruncher. If you’d like to toss your own discrete graphics card into the Vostro 460, however, you can: Just unscrew the left side of the chassis, and you’re in. The interior of the Vostro 460 is a tad messy, but workable. Though wires are held together with twist ties and haphazardly scattered about, the case has enough room for upgrading. The chassis sports two 5.25-inch bays (one free), two 3.5-inch bays (one free), three PCIe x1 slots (two free), and one PCI slot. So although you won’t be able to transform this PC into a dual-graphics-card gaming rig, you have sufficient space to install an extra card, and perhaps another hard drive if you’re up for it.

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Dell Vostro 1310 Review: For Road Warriors

True to the promises Dell made last summer when it introduced its Vostro line of desktops and notebooks, the company continues to update and expand the family of PCs designed specifically for small business tech buyers. The Dell Vostro 1310 is thinner and lighter than previous Vostro notebooks, and it’s more in tune with what a daily traveler needs out on the road.

Unlike previous models, which used 14.1- or 15.4-inch screens more suited to desk duty, the Vostro 1310 employs a 13.3-inch wide-screen LCD that has become the display of choice for road-going pros. It allows for a more comfortable viewing experience than the 12-inch (or smaller) screens found on many “ultra-portable” laptops, while still keeping the size and weight manageable for daily travel.

Weighing about 4.5 pounds, the Vostro 1310 is easy to slip into a bag or tote around the office. Its angular chassis sports a glossy lid with a black metallic-flake automotive finish that lends visual interest while still being subtle enough not to draw stares at a client meeting.

Flip open the lid, and you’ll find a roomy, comfortable keyboard. A responsive touchpad makes for smooth mouse control, and the mouse buttons are easy to press while also delivering the right amount of tactile and audible feedback. We also appreciate the touch-sensitive multimedia and volume control keys above the keyboard, which makes it easy to adjust the volume or switch tracks or chapters on a CD or DVD. (A mute button would have been nice, though.) Certain models include a 1.3-megapixel Webcam above the screen, ideal for videoconferencing, video chats and even quick snapshots.

The Dell Vostro 1310 delivers sharp looks and plenty of features for a bargain price.

The 13.3-inch screen’s 1,280×800 resolution makes for crisp, readable text. The screen has a matte finish, not the mirror-like glossy surface that has become the norm in recent years. While the matte coating diminishes the vibrancy of images somewhat, it also minimizes the glare and reflections that plague glossy screens.

One weak point we found, however, is the Vostro 1310’s underpowered, low-quality monaural speaker. Sound quality is tinny and thin, and the volume is adequate only for one or two listeners; if you plan to present to a group around a conference table with the Vostro 1310, bring external speakers.

We’re happy to see an integrated fingerprint reader that you can use to prevent unauthorized people from accessing the machine’s hard drive. Simply use the included software to register your fingerprints, and when Windows boots it will ask you to swipe your finger to log on. It’s an extra layer of protection for your data that we feel any business laptop should offer.

Another trick feature is the slot-loading multi-format DVD burner. Like the CD player in your car’s dashboard, there’s no tray that pops out, you just slide in the disc. Dell also included all the ports you’re likely to need—except one. You get four USB ports, a FireWire connector, memory card and ExpressCard slots, a VGA-out port and a wired LAN jack to augment the integrated Wi-Fi. Oddly, however, Dell opted not to include a good old modem jack. So if you sometimes find yourself in motels that just offer dial-up connectivity, you’ll have to purchase and carry an external USB modem.

What Is Windows 365 Cloud Pc And How Does It Work?

Less than a month after rolling out Windows 11 as its latest desktop operating system to Insiders in the Dev channel, Microsoft has now announced Windows 365, its new thin Windows PC client for businesses in the Cloud. It arrives as an expansion to the Microsoft 365 software suite. So, what is Windows 365 Cloud PC, how does it work, and how it differs from Microsoft’s existing remote desktop solution, Azure Virtual Desktop? That’s exactly what we will discuss in this article.

Windows 365 Cloud PC: Explained (2024)

Microsoft has described Windows 365 as a “cloud service that introduces a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 … to businesses of all sizes”. However, many are already arguing that it’s a whole lot of PR to repackage Azure Virtual Desktop in a more swanky avatar at a premium price. We will try to get to the bottom of it as part of our in-depth look at the upcoming Cloud PC service in this article.

What is Windows 365?

Windows 365 is a new SaaS (Software as a Service) offering from Microsoft, combining the power, security, and convenience of the cloud with the versatility and simplicity of a client PC. Much like the Azure Virtual Desktop, the new service delivers a cloud virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) platform that offers virtual desktops and remote apps for a subscription fee. In a press statement, Microsoft expressed hope that the new Windows 365 service will help teams and organizations be more agile and productive.

According to Microsoft, Windows 365 would allow users to “securely stream (their) personalized Windows experience, including the desktop, apps, settings, and content, at any time to any device.” The company claims that the service would modernize the way Windows experiences are delivered for anyone on any device. Plus, it would also offer a premium experience to end-users, who no longer need to worry about the PC slowing down or a spotty internet connection. “It’s easy to use and just as easy for IT to manage using familiar tools and processes,” said Microsoft in its official Windows 365 documentation.

Windows 365 Target Audience

Windows 365 is strictly an enterprise offering and not a consumer product for retail users. Businesses of all sizes are eligible to sign up for this Cloud PC service, meaning small companies with only a handful of employees as well as large corporations with thousands of workers spread across multiple locations around the world can all use Windows 365.

According to Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, Windows 365 would provide “organizations with greater flexibility and a secure way to empower their workforce to be more productive and connected, regardless of location.”

Even though businesses with even a single employee can technically sign-up for Windows 365, they will still have to deploy it by going through the same arduous process of creating, assigning, and managing the remote virtual desktop service through Microsoft Endpoint Manager – a complex and time-consuming task best left to corporate IT departments.

Windows 365 Security

Microsoft is harping on security as one of the cornerstones of Windows 365. According to the company, the product is “secure by design” and built with the principles of Zero Trust. With cybersecurity threats on the rise, you expect nothing less from a service that will have access to all of your confidential corporate data, which could be of immense benefit for cyber-criminals if they can break into the system.

According to Microsoft, your information in Windows 365 is stored in the cloud and not on the device, making it highly secure even when employees access the service from unsecured devices. Of course, you would expect any company to dwell extensively on the security apparatus for any enterprise-oriented offering. That’s especially true for a cloud-based service that may have major consequences if malicious actors get access to private data in any way, shape, or form.

How to Set up Your Windows 365 Cloud PC?

As we have mentioned already, the Windows 365 setup process is complex, arduous, and best left to professional IT managers. Microsoft has designed the product as a fully-managed service that will require IT to assign and configure Cloud PCs using enterprise tools like Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

One of the interesting aspects of Windows 365 is the ability to change the Cloud PC’s specs to match the demand on that device. According to Microsoft, this nifty feature will help organizations dedicate the right amount of resources to various users based on their requirements.

This ability to upgrade specs on the fly is new for Cloud PCs. As part of the plan, every virtual PC assigned to every user will have a “Resource Performance Score”, which will inform IT managers about how well a remote PC is performing. In case of a weak score, you can add more RAM, CPU cores, or storage resources for that particular user.

Windows 365 vs Azure Virtual Desktop: What’s the Difference?

Microsoft is yet to announce all the details for its upcoming remote desktop service, so it’s difficult to pinpoint every similarity and difference between the two services. However, as per Microsoft’s official blog post, the Windows 365 service will be far more streamlined than the existing Azure Virtual Desktop solution.

Cloud PCs are now much easier to set up for IT admins and much easier to use for remote workers. It will also apparently involve none of the complexity of setting up a full remote desktop environment in the Azure cloud, making it easier to deploy.

Windows 365: Device Compatibility

Windows 365: Price and Launch Date

Microsoft is yet to announce anything on the pricing front but has mistakenly revealed one of the subscription tiers. While the price of the lowest-end Windows 365 Cloud PC with a single CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage is still under wraps, the Cloud PC with two CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage is priced at $31/ month per user. That’s not all, though. The Redmond giant will offer more SKUs, giving IT admins the choice to deploy an even powerful Windows 365 PC for remote workers.

Moreover, the Redmond giant has confirmed an official launch date for its new remote desktop service. Windows 365 will be available to businesses of all sizes starting from August 2, 2023. We will update this article with more pricing-related details once the service goes live next month.

Windows 365: Old Wine in a New Bottle?

While Windows 365 is a thin client at its core, the idea could still take off if Microsoft can market it right. Either way, the company says it will share more details about the service when it launches next month. Until then, it is anybody’s guess as to how the service will be received and how it will fare in the long run. It will be interesting to see if many businesses will upgrade to Windows 365 from Azure Virtual Desktop? Meanwhile, on the question of virtualization services, check out how to install Hyper-V on Windows 10 Home and how to run Android on Linux using virtual machine.

Huawei Is Set To Close Its Mobile Phone Business? Hell No

According to the brand, it will continue to increase the funds that it is putting into its mobile phone business. Huawei also insists that it will build flagship products that will stand the test of time. In fact, in addition to the Huawei P60 series that will launch in a few weeks, the company is also working on a new and very strong flagship phone. Based on the latest reports, the “latest and strongest flagship phone” should be the Huawei P60 series and Huawei Mate X3 foldable phone. These mobile phones will be official later this month.

According to previous reports, the Huawei Mate X3 will launch at a price under 10,000 yuan ($1,436). This will be the first time that the Huawei Mate X series phone will have a price tag of fewer than 10,000 yuan ($1,436). This will also make it the cheapest model in the series. Despite this report, another claim from Weibo tech blogger “Fixed Focus Digital”, claims that the price of this device could be higher than 13,000 yuan ($1,867). For comparison, the Huawei Mate X and Mate X2 have launch prices of 16,999 ($2,442) and 17,999 yuan ($2,585), respectively.

Huawei Mate X3 to use a new graphene heat tech

A new graphene heat dissipation tech will also be used in the Huawei Mate X3. Several internet users looked at Huawei’s patents, which showed that Huawei had created a brand-new kind of carbon material that could satisfy the demands of equipment for heat dissipation. According to the patent, it has the best thermal diffusivity (1100 mm2/s), is the thinnest (0.1 mm), and has the best breaking strength (80 MPa). The machine as a whole has a massively higher capability for heat dissipation. The thickness has drastically decreased.

Gizchina News of the week

Simply put, this new material, which is believed to be utilized on the Huawei Mate X3, can both reduce the thickness of the overall device and improve the device’s ability to dissipate heat.  The Mate X3 folding screen will be Huawei’s ideal folding screen mobile phone to date, summarizing the above news. It will provide voice chat and two-way mutual text messaging for the first time thanks to the addition of 2nd Gen satellite communication tech.

Other features of the Mate X3

Moreover, the Huawei Mate X3 might also have the Mate 50 series’ first “emergency mode” that is available for purchase. The “energy-gathering pump” is specially engaged to repolymerize the surplus ions in the battery to fulfil the urgent needs of low-power apps when the power of the mobile phone is less than 1%.

The device uses a blend of 50MP, 13MP, and 12MP rear AI triple cameras for imaging. The primary camera could be a Sony IMX766 sensor that supports the XMAGE imaging tech. Theoretically, other features like NFC, twin speakers, side fingerprint scanners, and configuration features like multi-angle hovering won’t be missing either. This coming flagship mobile phone will be a beauty no doubt and it is worth all the wait.

History of Huawei foldable mobile phones

Huawei, a Chinese multinational technology company, released its first foldable phone, the Huawei Mate X, in February 2023 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The device featured a foldable 8-inch OLED display that folded outward, allowing users to have a larger screen when unfolded. The phone also had 5G connectivity and was powered by Huawei’s Kirin 980 processor.

However, the release of the Mate X was delayed several times. This is reportedly due to issues with the device’s design and software. It was finally released in China in November 2023, and in other regions, including Europe, in February 2023.

In February 2023, Huawei announced the successor to the Mate X, the Huawei Mate Xs. The new device had a similar design to the original Mate X. However, it came with an upgraded processor, the Kirin 990, and a more durable screen.

In 2023, Huawei released its third foldable phone, the Huawei Mate X2. The Mate X2 featured a new design that folded inward, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. It had an 8-inch foldable display and a 6.45-inch cover display. The device was powered by Huawei’s Kirin 9000 processor and ran on Huawei’s HarmonyOS operating system.

However, due to the ongoing US trade restrictions, Huawei has faced challenges. It has issues in producing and selling its mobile phones, including its foldable phones in global markets. As a result, it has struggled to maintain its position as a major player in the smartphone industry.

No Plan B? The Fallacies And Risks Of Microsoft’s All

You don’t expect to hear shocking news coming out of the annual Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. Sure, the biggest names in technology put in regular appearances at the conference—the CEOs of Apple and Yahoo among them, this year—but no one ever says anything close to controversial. You don’t want to rile the investors, after all.

Microsoft CFO Peter Klein didn’t get the memo.

Amid talk about the company’s plans to transition Windows’ desktop success to tablets and smartphones, he was asked what the company’s “Plan B” is if the gambit failed. It’s a perfectly reasonable query when you consider the difficulties Microsoft has encountered with both Windows 8 and the mobile arena thus far. Klein’s response gave me pause.

“It’s less ‘Plan B’ than how you execute on the current plan,” Reuters reports him as saying. “We aim to evolve this generation of Windows to make sure we have the right set of experiences at the right price points for all customers.”

Wait, what? No Plan B? I’m a reporter, not a corporate executive, but “no Plan B” doesn’t exactly seem like a sound business strategy to me. So I decided to check in with a few experts for a reality check. Their replies were illuminating in more ways than one.

Calling shenanigans on “no Plan B”

After Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8 is already a semi-Plan B (or C?) for Microsoft.

“They undoubtedly have a Plan B,” says Patrick Moorhead, the principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. Prior to his current role, Moorhead spent more than two decades in various strategy and product management roles within the industry, including an 11 year stint as the VP of Strategy at AMD. “All large companies do, or their strategy team should be shot. It’s typically around acquisitions and pivots… basically, saying ‘OK, I missed out on this, but what is the next big wave that I can get ahead of and own?’”

Rita McGrath, professor of business strategy at Columbia Business School, agrees that Microsoft has a Plan B pivot or two hidden up its sleeve—though the company may not realize it.

“Even if Microsoft doesn’t consciously know there’s a Plan B, they’re such a resource rich and diverse company—and decision-making is pushed down to such a low level there—that if things really go wrong for them, and they go rooting around in the closet, they’re bound to find a Plan B, something waiting in the wings,” she says. “My guess is that there’s stuff going on in the company that would be a de facto Plan B, even if it’s not part of the strategy plan.”

“If what’s meant by ‘There’s no Plan B’—meaning, are you going to scrap this and adopt a completely new model and adopt something else in this section of your enterprise?—then, no, I don’t think they’re going to. And I don’t think the [current Windows] model is wrong,” she says.

Why a Plan B is needed

The Surface Pro tablet is the paragon of Microsoft’s device-spanning focus.

“I think the model makes sense,” Matwyshyn says. “To create a contiguous user experience across all devices—that’s the future. The user on the go wants to grab email on whatever device is convenient, or log in to various apps regardless of the physical situation.”

“I do think it’s very high risk,” McGrath says. “If you look at the psychology of adoption, a large part of Microsoft’s stickiness with its customers has been, ‘OK, maybe we’re not raving fans, and there’s things we don’t like about this software, and it’s buggy and whatnot, but I just spent 18 months learning to use it and I don’t want to switch to something else with a heavy duty learning curve.’

One UI to rule them all: High risk, potentially high reward.

Along those lines, Microsoft’s cross-platform vision has hit some major bumps early on. Windows Phone 8 still holds less market share than BlackBerry, an operating system that many analysts have on a death watch. Comments from analysts, retailers, and manufacturers alike suggest that Windows 8 PCs aren’t selling very well, either, and the NPD research group said that Windows tablets accounted for less than 1 percent of all Windows 8 device sales after their first month on the market.

Several manufacturers have already put plans for Windows RT tablets on hold. The ‘No Plan B’ declaration was almost certainly targeted at Microsoft’s partners, to allay fears concerning the sea changes inherent in the new all-encompassing Windows vision.

“The primary reason Klein would say that is to provide confidence to everybody involved in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 that they will keep their commitment to the platforms,” says Moorhead. In essence: The road may be bumpy, but Microsoft won’t pull the rug out from underneath the feet of its manufacturing partners.

Playing the long game

It remains to be seen whether the great cross-platform Windows experiment pays off more for Microsoft, or for Apple and Android. We won’t know where the chips will fall for a long time. We do know, however, that Qualcomm is “near-term cautious” yet “long-term bullish” about Windows 8 and Windows RT, echoing the Microsoft line.

Microsoft

“Windows 8 represents really a generational shift of hardware—a generational shift of the operating system and apps, all together, all at once,” Windows honcho Tami Reller said at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference back in November. “It was built for the future, not just any one single selling season.”

That being said, if Microsoft’s new-look Windows stumbles down the stretch and the company truly doesn’t have a Plan B in place, well, let’s just say history hasn’t been kind to similar high-stakes gambles.

“Remember Palm?” Columbia’s McGrath asked me with a laugh. “They went for a ‘No Plan B,’ and maybe it really would have been better to have one.”

How Busy Business Owners Can Achieve Work

When I started my business, I worked around the clock. I thought that meant I was doing a good job. I was on my phone as I walked to meetings, I answered emails at 1 a.m.; I was up anyway so why not! I never let a call go without answering it.

I would look at other small business owners and wonder how they maintained this pace because I was running out of steam. I started to resent my business and anyone who wanted a piece of me, including my family. That was my wake-up call. I needed to find a work-life balance.

This is a challenge so many other business owners face. Where do you draw the line between work and life when you’re working to support your (and your family’s!) life?

How so many of us have been experiencing work and life over the last year. 

In this post, I’m going to share how I started to carve out work-life balance for myself and how you can, too. We’ll talk through:

What work-life balance really is

Why work-life balance is so important

Actionable ways to create work-life balance (it’s not as hard as it seems!)

What is work-life balance?

With people working remotely and us small business owners scrambling to keep things going during the pandemic, you may think it’s not possible for you to have a work-life balance. I hear you. So I want to clarify what work-life balance means. It is not pressure to have fun or a dictate of what you should be doing with your time or even a requirement to have a financially robust business.

Creating a culture in support of a work-life balance is an opportunity to figure out your priorities and then decide what would make you feel good. It’s a path to evolving your business to be more fun, meaningful, and lucrative while keeping you from investing all your time and energy into your business. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?

Get work-life balance quotes (with Instagram post templates!) to get inspired!

Why is work-life balance important?

I mean really, people have been working for thousands of years without work-life balance, right? Why do we need this fancy stuff? The short answer: Because there are benefits to you, your staff, and your business.

We small business owners have a lot to juggle. We may have chosen this path or inherited it, but it’s on us to keep the business going and care for our customers and staff. According to a poll of readers of the New York Enterprise Report, 33% of small-business owners work more than 50 hours a week, 25% work more than 60 hours per week, and 70% work at least one weekend. The 2024 Annual Bank of West Small Business Growth Survey showed that the top three challenges for business owners are uncertainty, lack of time off, and burnout. Does this resonate? It does for me.

Even before the pandemic, there were plenty of times I’d snuggle my kid to sleep and then go back to my computer. But after 15 years of running my own business, I’ve figured out a way to live a balanced life of work and fun, and the only way I made this happen was to define what’s important to me (don’t worry, we’ll get into how to do this!).

Since I know my priorities, I can make decisions quickly and without question, and I stand by them in thought and action. My child trusts that I will follow through on a promise I make because I’m able to be consistent. My clients know the same. Having clear priorities helps us create a positive domino-effect experience for ourselves and everyone around us.

When you define what’s important to you and run the business accordingly, it becomes clear to your staff that they either align with your priorities or don’t.

And here’s the deliciousness of a unified team:

Increased productivity and creativity from the entire team.

A positive perception of you as an employer.

Referrals to value-aligned candidates for open roles from current employees who know exactly what’s needed.

Peer coverage for when someone needs to be out or come in late–you’re not managing this, they are!

Flexible support for seasonal peaks and valleys.

Low absenteeism and sick calls; they’ll want to come to work.

Employee loyalty resulting in reduced staff turnover (a 50-75% savings per salary).

Fun and laughter at work.

Accurate and trustworthy feedback from employees about streamlining process and protocol; they’ll feel ownership about running the business most efficiently.

Reliable coverage for when you need a day or week or month off.

All of these bullet points lead to increased revenue with less stress. This is good stuff. This is the goal for any business. And it all stems from you connecting with what’s important to you and creating work-life balance.

How to achieve work-life balance

Achieving work-life balance is easier said than done. It took me some time to find the right balance, but here’s the formula that worked for me (and I think it will work for you, too!).

Define your priorities

Remember when I told you I could only create work-life balance after I defined my priorities? It took me a while to get clear on my top five must-haves in my life. Everything else is fun, but not necessary.

Here are my priorities in life:

My family (spending time with my loved ones).

Meaningful work (serving people who want to learn about compassionate leadership).

Connecting with good people (networking, meeting friends).

Taking care of my body (sleep, walks in nature, healthy eating, going for checkups).

Earning a robust income (Spend, save, and donate).

These priorities are absolutely necessary for me to enjoy my life. Yes, I said life. Because for me, work is a crucial and meaningful part of my whole. It is not my whole.

Do your priorities align with mine? Maybe, maybe not. There is no right answer. It’s not possible to do this wrong; you just need to do it. This can take five minutes or five weeks. You know what’s important to you, but sometimes it takes a few steps. I’ve found that writing your priorities down, then experiencing the world with these priorities in the back of your mind to be quite helpful.

Here’s a step by step of what I recommend you do to define your priorities:

Make a list of all the things that are important to you.

Ignore the thoughts of, “I don’t have enough time,” or “There’s no one else who can do what I do.” These may be valid, but they’re not helpful right now. We’re simply defining what’s important to you, not what you’re going to do with this information. Keep adding things until you feel ready to stop.

Think about this list of priorities as you work, see what feels true and what doesn’t.

For example, you may write that you value being a good leader, but in reality, you may yell when something goes awry. Pause, notice, be kind to yourself–you’re doing hard work here. Now think about how badly you want to be a good leader and then think of what you need to be that good leader. Write that down, such as: enough sleep, healthy meals, better sales–just write it down.

Remember there’s no right or wrong. It just is what you value. No one can say you’re good or bad for valuing it.

Sleep on it.

Now go through that list and prioritize it. What pulls at your heart? That’s a keeper. Throw out what doesn’t feel authentic. Go deep here. Is that my insecurity talking about what people will think, or is that what I genuinely want?

Narrow it down to the top 5.

No order of priority among them, just clarity that these are must-haves in your life.

Review your top five.

How do you feel? Physically and emotionally? Do you feel expansive in your chest and heart? I hope so because that means you defined what’s most important to you.

That’s the path to clarity. Feel free to run it by your spouse or best friend or therapist. It never hurts to discuss with someone you trust to support what’s best for you.

Hire the right team and delegate, delegate, delegate

Here’s where it gets tricky. Why, because we small business owners are reluctant to hand off important responsibilities. Let me throw a few more statistics at you. These are what small business owners say according to a survey by The Alternative Board:

32% say there are some tasks only they can handle

30% say they’re “the most capable option”

20% say the employees “do not have the right skills”

20% say they can do it faster so they might as well just do it

Source

Yikes. This sounds exhausting and uncomfortably familiar to me. And now you can see why it’s crucial to define your priorities, shift your company culture, and create an environment of loyalty–so the good people stay and you can trust them. So you can take your kids to Disneyland. Or your spouse out to dinner. Or yourself to get a massage.

It takes a village to raise a family and to run a business. This doesn’t mean you need to hire 40 people tomorrow. It means we need to seriously consider who is doing what and when for our company. But you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?

Imagine you’re a pizza restaurant owner and your priorities are:

Family

Being the neighborhood go-to for fast and easy food

Being the nominated vendor for schools and businesses nearby

Taking care of my body by getting to the gym regularly

Earning a robust income

Now, look at your employees. Do you have only one type of employee such as high schoolers who can only work after school and before homework? Do you have a mix of employees such as college students part-time during the summer and two full-time people who live in the apartment above with their family at low cost because they’re so reliable?

Consider what kind of support you need to be able to sit down to a family dinner every Sunday night without worrying about the restaurant. And who can cover reliably so you can go to the gym for the 2 p.m. bodybuilding class? And what about the time it takes you to schmooze the school liaisons and corporate clients? Not to mention Little League teams?

Invest in yourself

You may not think of going to the gym as an investment in your business, but anything that helps reduce your stress is a smart investment of time, energy, and funds. It’s also an opportunity to empower a staff member to be the go-to in your absence. This creates ownership and builds loyalty and trust.

Maybe you decide to go to your mom’s Sunday night dinner once a month during the summer because it’s peak season or maybe it’s so important to you that you hire an extra part-timer just for Sunday nights. You’re a role model for your employees, your customers, and the young people in your life–whether they’re related to you or not. You’re modeling how to live a balanced life and investing in yourself, which will pay dividends for your business.

Make work-life balance achievable

So let’s recap how to achieve work-life balance for business owners:

Define what matters to you in this life, your priorities

Determine what support you need in order to do what matters most to you

Hire accordingly

Train the heck out of your team

Teach them your priorities

Ask them to share their priorities with you

Support each other

Experience a work-life balance

You’re the boss, the top banana, the one who makes all decisions. Use this power to nurture loyalty and trust from your employees, to model a balanced life for the young people around you, and to live your life wholly and completely.

Rena DeLevie

Rena DeLevie combines over 20 years with Fortune 500 companies, 14 years as a solopreneur, and 16 years as a practitioner of mindfulness/meditation to show us the path to eliminate the fear-based culture so prevalent in corporate America. Her book and TEDxTalk on Compassionate Management have been used in businesses around the country as a model to radically change the culture around management and how we treat one another.

Other posts by Rena DeLevie

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