You may feel driven to become a successful entrepreneur, but what are the costs? On this episode of My Biz Bestie Maelisa and Amber examine the 4 burner theory to see if successful entrepreneurs really can have it all. Everyone wants to be successful, but is it possible to become successful in all the major areas in life? Listen in as Amber and Maelisa unpack this interesting theory about life balance, what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur, and what success really means.

What is the 4 burner theory?

The 4 burner theory states that everyone has 4 main components that make up their lives. The 4 burners are family, friends, health, and work. The theory goes that in order to be successful in one area you must cut off 1 burner from your life, and to be wildly successful you must cut 2 burners from your life. Think about those you know that have achieved success, and then think about the wildly successful people that you are familiar with, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, etc. Do you think they have a work/life balance? Can you become a successful entrepreneur and still be successful in other aspects of your life?


Can you become a successful entrepreneur and find balance in your life?

Do you find it hard to juggle it all and find balance in your life? This may be because you are trying to pursue all the things. It is impossible to create a perfect family life while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, an active social life, and excelling as an entrepreneur. You may feel like you can succeed in all the areas, but this is often when people become burnt out and frazzled. If instead, you realize that you can consciously turn off one of the burners temporarily, you will realize that you are in control. Don’t try to pursue success in all areas, it’s unrealistic. The thing that makes us most unhappy in life is having unrealistic expectations and then not living up to them.

Are there ways to cheat this system?

The 4 burners theory is one way for you to get to realize that there are trade-offs in life. But wouldn’t it be great if there were ways to get around this theory, or to cheat it? There are 3 ways that James Clear says you can cheat the 4 burner theory.

  1. Outsource. There are various ways that you can outsource in the different burner areas. If you want to outsource part of the work side, then you can hire people to help you out. In the family area, you can utilize child care. If you would like to outsource some of the health tasks you could hire someone to cook for you or clean your house.

  2. Embrace the constraints. Rather than lamenting the fact that you don’t have more time on your hands, accept that your time is limited. Instead, you can learn how to maximize the time that you do have.

  3. Acknowledge the seasons of life. Think about what season of life you are in. Should you really be focusing so much time on your business right now?

Are there burners that you have off in your life?

Now that you know all about the different burners, analyze your life. Do you have burners that are already turned off or are you trying to do it all? Think about what is important to you right now. What can you turn off (or down a bit) so that you can succeed in other areas? Remember that when you turn one of your burners down for a bit, it doesn’t have to be forever. You are in the driver’s seat of your own life. Leave a comment to let Maelisa and Amber know which areas you are turning down in your life so that you can succeed elsewhere.

In this episode…

  • [2:12] What are the 4 burners?

  • [7:45] What is really important to you?

  • [9:37] Why you should never turn off the health burner

  • [13:56] Are there ways to cheat this system?

  • [20:47] Pursuing success in all the areas is unrealistic

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Maelisa and Amber

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