How's Your Balance Between Life And Business? - Column #159
As a business owner, you’re the foundation of your enterprise. The more energized, inspired and invigorated you are, the stronger your operations.
A tremendous amount of time, effort, attention and energy goes into running a business. With all there is to do, it’s easy for those who own a company to sacrifice many aspects, if not all, of their lives in the pursuit of success. There’s no benefit to working yourself into the ground, however. When you become fatigued and worn down, your business suffers because you don’t possess the mental clarity, energy and composure necessary to be the caliber of leader required and to create the level of success you desire. In addition, you aren’t happy.
Conversely, there’s a tremendous benefit to everyone involved — business owners, team members, customers and families — when balance between life and business is created and maintained over time.
Your business is only one aspect of your life. You also have your health, other passions, hobbies, interests and the important relationships you share with family and friends. When you choose or unconsciously allow yourself to become increasingly consumed by business and neglect other aspects of your life, your well-being and happiness fade away.
The more out of balance and unhappy you become, 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 that success. You can’t go back and recapture those magical times in life after your kids 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. When the quality of your life begins to diminish, take notice and take action.
The interesting thing about striking a balance between life and business is that in addition to improving the quality of your life, it enables you to be a more productive, creative and effective business owner. When you make time to care for yourself and engage in other aspects of your life, you recharge mentally, emotionally and physically. Consequently, you have more to give. In other words, you increase your own potential and the potential of your company.
When you maintain balance between 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 also 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, camping with your son or water 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 is not 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 so, all the moments of your life will take on a greater meaning — for you and everyone 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 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 be happy.