by Marcus Straub
Your business is only one aspect of your life. You also have important relationships with family and friends as well as your health, hobbies, and other interests. When you choose or unconsciously allow yourself to become consumed by business and neglect other aspects of your life, your well-being and happiness fade away.
Tremendous amounts of time, energy, and effort go into running a business. With everything there is to do, it can be easy for those who own a business to sacrifice many aspects — if not the entirety — of their personal lives in the pursuit of the success they seek.
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 clarity, energy, and composure required to provide high-caliber leadership or achieve the fulfillment or success you desire.
Conversely, there’s a tremendous benefit to everyone involved — business owners, team members, customers, and families — when a balance between one’s personal life and their business is created and maintained over time.
You can’t go back and recapture those magical times in life after your children are grown. Once a divorce occurs, you can’t return to the past to make up for neglecting the marriage. When your health fails, it can be difficult — if not impossible — to get it back. 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.
The interesting thing about creating a balance between business and life is that in addition to improving the quality of your life, it makes you a more productive, creative, and effective business owner. When you make time to care for yourself and engage in the other aspects of your life, you recharge mentally, emotionally, and physically. You have more to give. In other words, you increase your potential and the potential of your business.
When you balance business and life, you tend to treat the people in your professional and personal lives better because your perspective is clearer and your attitude more pleasant. You’re also more patient when you’re happier. When you treat people better, they have the tendency to do the same, and your relationships improve as a result.
When you go on vacation with your significant other or hike 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 the 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 children, 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 working in a different location.
The secret to all of this is truly stepping away from your business when you get outside the office and engage in the rest of your life. Turn off your phone, step away from the computer, and leave your business thoughts and concerns behind as much as you can — and you can do 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, each of us is left with the sum of the moments of our life. We’ll either be pleased with the life we lived or we won’t. Live your life with the intention of achieving balance among its differing aspects. You’ll not only be successful but also — and perhaps more importantly — happy.
As a business owner, you’re the foundation of your enterprise. The more energized, inspired, and balanced you are, the stronger your company will be. When the quality of your life begins to fade, take notice and then take action.