Strike a balance to achieve success and happiness

Marcus Straub
Marcus Straub

A lot of time and energy go into running a business. With everything there is to do, it’s easy for those who own businesses to sacrifice many aspects — if not the entirety — of their personal lives in the pursuit of success.

Your business is only one aspect of your life, though. You also have important relationships with family and friends, your health, hobbies and other interests. When you choose or unconsciously allow yourself to become consumed by business and neglect these other aspects of your life, your well-being and happiness fade away. 

There’s no real benefit to working yourself into the ground. When you become fatigued, your business suffers because you don’t possess the energy, composure and mental clarity necessary to lead or achieve success at the levels you desire. What’s more, you’re unhappy.

Conversely, there’s tremendous benefit to everyone involved — business owners, team members, customers and families — in creating and maintaining balance between business and personal lives.

The more out of balance and 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. You can’t go back and recapture those magical times in life after your children are grown. After a divorce, it’s impossible to make up for neglecting a marriage. When your health fails, it can be difficult — if not impossible — to get it back. 

The interesting thing about creating balance between life and business is that in addition to improving the quality of your life, you also become a more productive, creative and effective business owner. When you make time to care for yourself and engage the other aspects of your life, you recharge mentally, emotionally and physically. You have more to give. In other words, you increase your own potential and, therefore, the potential of your business.

When you’re in balance with your life and business, you tend to treat the people in your personal and professional lives better because your perspective is clearer. Your attitude is more pleasant. You’re more patient. And you’re happier. When you treat people better, they have the tendency to do the same, and all your relationships improve as a result.

When you vacation with your significant other or ski with your kids, be fully present with them. When you attend a family function, spend time with friends, go for a bike ride, read a book in a hammock, take a swim or anything else you decide to do, enjoy the moment for all it’s worth.

Taking your spouse out for your regular date night, spending quality time with your kids, pursuing your passions and going on vacation aren’t synonymous with working and doing business. While it’s true 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. One must give way to the other. A working vacation isn’t a vacation, it’s just working in a different location.

The secret to all of this is truly stepping away from your business when you leave the office and engage in the rest of your life. Turn off your phone and computer and leave your business thoughts and concerns behind as much as you can — and you can much more than you 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. 

As a business owner, you’re the foundation of your enterprise. The more energized, inspired — and balanced — you are, the stronger your company will perform. When the quality of your life begins to diminish, take notice and take action.

In the end, each of us is left with the sum of the moments of our life. We’ll either be pleased with the lives we lived or we won’t. Live your life with the intention of creating balance among its different aspects and you’ll not only be successful, but also — and perhaps more important —  happy.