Have You Created Balance Between Life and Business? - Business Times Column #134
A tremendous amount of time, effort, attention and energy goes into running a business. With everything there is to do, it’s easy for those who own a company to sacrifice many aspects of their life, if not everything, in the pursuit of success. There’s a tremendous benefit, though, to everyone involved — business owners, team members, customers and families — when a balance between life and business is created and maintained over time.
As owner, you’re the foundation of your business. The more inspired and invigorated you are, the stronger your company will be. Still, there’s no benefit to working yourself into the ground. When you become fatigued, your business suffers because you don’t have the energy, mental clarity and composure necessary to be the caliber of leader required to create the level of success you desire. What’s more, you’re likely not happy.
Your business is only one aspect of your life. You also have other interests, passions, hobbies, your health and the important relationships you share with family and friends. When you choose to become increasingly consumed by business and neglect these other aspects of your life, your well-being and happiness fades away. When the quality of your life begins to fade, pay attention.
The more out of balance and unhappy you are, the less your financial success will ultimately mean to you because of the price you paid – what you sacrificed along the way – to achieve it. You can’t go back and recapture those magical times in life after your kids are grown. Once you’re divorced, you can’t return to the past and make up for neglecting your 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 become a more productive, creative and effective business owner.
When you make the 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 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 — your fuse isn’t so short. 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 go out on the town with your significant other, skiing with your daughter or to a ball game with your son, be fully present with them. When you attend a family function, hang out with friends, go for a bike ride, read a book in the hammock on a sunny afternoon 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 realize. When you choose to do this, all the moments of your life will take on a greater meaning for you and everyone else involved.
In the end, we’re all left with the sum of the moments of our lives gone by. We’ll either be pleased with the lives we lived or 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.