A great deal of time, attention, effort and energy goes into running a business. With all there is to do, it is easy for those who own a company to sacrifice many aspects of their life, if not all of it, in the pursuit of success. However, there is tremendous benefit to everyone involved – the business owner, company, team members, customers and families – when “Life / Work Balance” is created.
As an owner, you are the foundation of your business. The stronger you are, the stronger your company will be. There is no benefit to working yourself into the ground. The more fatigued and worn down you are, the less successful your business will be simply because you do not have the mental energy and clarity necessary to be your best. In addition, the relationships you have in your personal life will suffer, because they need your quality time and undivided attention to grow and prosper too.
Remember, your business is only one aspect of your entire life. You also have passions, interests, hobbies, your health and the important relationships you share with others outside of work. When you choose to neglect these things, your happiness fades away. The more unhappy you are, the less your financial success will ultimately mean to you because of the tremendous price you paid – and what you sacrificed along the way – in order to get it.
Once your kids have grown, you cannot go back and recapture that wonderful time in life. When a divorce occurs, it is impossible to return to the past and make up for neglecting the marriage. When your health fails, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to get it back. The number two regret of all people on their death bed is: “Why did I work so hard?” I encourage you to not make this your regret as well.
The interesting thing about creating “Life / Work Balance” is that, in addition to improving the quality of your life, it also allows you to be a more productive, creative and effective business owner. When you make (and take!) time to care for yourself, you recharge yourself mentally, emotionally and physically, and therefore, you have more to give. In essence, you increase your own potential and the potential of your company.
When you are refreshed and balanced you will treat your team members, suppliers and customers better because your perspective is clearer, and your fuse and patience aren’t so short. When you treat people better they respect and appreciate you more, and are more likely to return back to you the consideration you gave to them.
The secret to all of this is truly stepping away from your business when you get outside the office to engage the rest of your life. Going on vacation, taking your spouse out for your regular date night, spending quality time with your kids and pursuing your passions are not synonymous with working and business. While it is true that you can take your work with you on vacation, the reality is that neither will be the best they can be as long as your attention is divided between them.
When you go to a ball game with your son, skiing with your daughter, or out on the town with your spouse, be fully present with them. When you attend a family function, hang out with friends, read a book in the hammock on a sunny, warm afternoon or anything else you decide to do, enjoy the moment for all it’s worth. Turn off your phone, step away from the computer, leave your business thoughts and concerns behind as much as you can – and you can much more than you currently realize. When you choose to do so, all the moments of your life will take on a greater meaning – for you and for everyone involved.
In the end, we are all left with the sum of the moments of our life gone by. We will either be pleased with the life we lived or we won’t. Live your life with the intention of creating balance among its differing aspects and you will not only be successful, but perhaps more importantly, you will be happy.