A tremendous amount of attention, effort, energy and time goes into running a business. With everything there is to do, it’s easy for those who own a company to sacrifice many aspects — if not the entirety — of their personal lives in the pursuit of success and happiness.
There’s no real benefit to working yourself into the ground, however. When you become worn down, your business suffers because you don’t possess the composure, energy and mental clarity necessary to be the caliber of leader required to create the level of success you desire. Moreover, you’re not happy.
Conversely, there are tremendous benefits to everyone involved — business owners, team members, customers and families — in maintaining balance between personal life and business.
Your business is only one aspect of your life. There are also the important relationships you share with family and friends as well as your health, hobbies and passions. 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.
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 — what you sacrificed along the way — to obtain it. You can’t go back and recapture those magical times in life after your children are grown. Once a divorce occurs, it’s 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 interesting thing about creating balance between life and business is that in addition to improving the quality of your life, it also makes you a more creative, effective and productive business owner. When you make time to care for yourself and engage the other aspects of your life, you recharge emotionally, mentally and physically. You have more to give. In other words, you increase your own potential and, therefore, the potential of your company.
When you’re in balance with your life and business, you treat the people in your personal and professional lives better because your perspective is clearer and your attitude more pleasant. You’re more patient and happier. When you treat people better, they have the tendency to do the same, and all your relationships improve as a result.
When you go on vacation with your significant other, fishing with your son or skiing with your daughter, be fully present with them. When you attend a family function, spend time with friends, go for a bike ride, read a book in the hammock, take a swim or anything else you decide to do, enjoy the moment for all it’s worth.
Spending quality time with your kids, taking your spouse out for your regular date night, 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 merely working in a different location.
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. 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.
As a business owner, you’re the foundation of your enterprise. The more balanced, energized and inspired you are, the stronger your company will be. When the quality of your life begins to fade, take notice and take action.
In the end, each of us is left with the sum of the moments of our life gone by. We’ll 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’ll not only be successful but perhaps, more importantly, you’ll also be happy.