You know those guys who are always working? They have to reschedule vacations, cancel social plans, miss kids' school and sports events, and jump on conference calls while out to dinner with friends. They are just plain chained to their job. It's nuts! In some cases, those people do well, but not all. Hard work doesn't always translate into success.
Ever hear the saying "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"? Well, it's true. Working hard is only part of the battle. In order to be truly successful, you need to find a balance between work and the rest of your life.
How do you do it? There are three simple steps you can take to begin the process of actually enjoying your life for a change.
1. Manage your time better - Schedule your day down to the minute. Don't take impromptu meetings. Don't make random calls. Make a list of everything you need to do and get it on your schedule. This includes busy work. If it isn't on your schedule, don't do it. Or, put it on your schedule and do whatever it is whenever it is scheduled.
If someone wants to ask you a quick question, have them look at your calendar and send you an invite to talk for 15 minutes. I’m not joking! Be disciplined! This is YOUR time we’re talking about. Value it!
I'll discuss this in more detail in later blog posts, but the jist of it is that your start to a more successful life begins with a regimented approach to managing your time.
2. Put yourself first - this may sound silly, but most people are so concerned with the people that work for them or with them that they seldom realize that they come last. What's important to you? Is it working out? Is it watching sports? Is it shopping with friends? Is it laying on the couch watching movies with your kids? Whatever it is, make sure you have time to do it.
Make sure to spend time with your significant other. Go on vacation. Go out to dinner with friends (not work related friends, wise guy!).
Spend time with your kids. Go to their games. Watch their recitals. Attend their school functions.
You don't want to look back with regret later in life. Plus, experiencing all of this stuff with the people closest to you will energize you and make you a better entrepreneur.
3. Don't take yourself so seriously - the most successful people I know are good-natured, caring, family oriented people who have great senses of humor and love to have fun. Sure, they are also determined, competitive, intelligent and visionary, but that's not why I like them.
In order to get where you want to go in business and in life, you will definitely experience failure at some point along your journey. You will be depressed. You will think that you will never succeed. BUT (and it is a big but), your mark on this world will be determined by how high you bounce AFTER you hit rock bottom.
Remember that humility and humor will get you through the tough times. Stay loose. Be prepared for failure. Trust me. Failure isn't as bad as it sounds. The worst part about it is the fear of what might happen. The reality of failure is that it is the best teacher.
Not every bad thing that happens is the end of the world. Not every good thing is best thing since sliced bread. Stay level. Keep your head. And, realize that most of the people in the world wouldn't dare try to do what you are doing. They take themselves too seriously and are tied to their desks because of it.
Realize what you have created for yourself and be proud of it. Just don't be too proud of it! There is much more to life than work. You can start experiencing it all by implementing these 3 small steps and enjoying an appropriate work - life balance.