During the last 90 days or so, I have been spending lots of quality time with my son playing baseball and tennis, to name a few activities. I have also faithfully taken my wife out on a date once a week. However, my 15-year old daughter has been quite busy with her select volleyball team and also going out a lot with her friends. In my heart, I knew I needed to spend more time with her, just her. I needed to be a more engaged father with her. So a few weeks ago, to start, I took her on a date. She and I went to her volleyball game together (a long drive in which we could talk) and then out to dinner. It was just the two of us and a good opportunity for me to get caught up with her life and rapidly changing world. It was terrific and vitally important to both of us … especially me. Since then, we have also played tennis together and I started giving her driving lessons. That got me thinking about all the different roles we juggle at work and at home.
As business owners, we tend to wear many hats at work … often too many hats and some of them not really that important. Similarly, we also wear many hats in our personal lives yet most of them are vitally important. Sadly, at times we get so busy and consumed by the business or other distractions and issues that we forget about the many important roles we are responsible for in our personal lives. Every now and then (like I did with my role as father to my daughter), it’s wise to face the truth, examine our many roles and see if we are neglecting some.
For example, most of us are responsible for the following roles in life: Business Owner/Professional, Spouse, Parent, Friend, Son/Daughter, Brother/Sister, Aunt/Uncle, Neighbor/Citizen, Faith Member, Club/Association Member, Mentor, etc. Which of these roles, if any, have you been neglecting because of your business or other excuses?
What does this have to do with business coaching you ask? Business coaching, done right, also helps you to have balance and real fulfillment in your life. After all, what good is it if you are a huge success in business but a failure at home? We at The Growth Coach know with certainty that you can have success AND a balanced life … we successfully coach several thousand entrepreneurs, executives and professionals each year to do just that with our strategic-focusing process. Awareness, objectivity and accountability go a long way to ensure doing the right things in our business and personal life.
In order to have business success, you DO NOT have to sacrifice your family, friends, health or sanity. If you are, your approach is broken and you need business coaching immediately. You should be able to run a successful business with the right leadership approach and business systems in place that will allow you to have a fulfilling family/personal life as well. Besides, a healthy balance in your life will be good for you, your health, your family and yes, even your business.
Let’s get back to the point at hand. What roles, if any, might you be neglecting? Please don’t play games or get defensive. Here comes some tough-love business coaching. I know you are busy at work and have all kinds of demands on your time, energy and focus. All owners do … you are no different. However, please forget about yourself and your business for a moment and think about your loved ones. Seeing the big picture is critical to real success and happiness. Again, which role or roles have you been neglecting?
Still not sure? Then let’s dig deeper into the truth and face reality. Imagine if I visited with and asked your spouse, kids, friends, parents, siblings, neighbors, faith members or others about your level of engagement and involvement. What would they say? Would they say you are present and active in their lives? Would they say you spend enough time with them? That you are a terrific spouse? Great parent? Good friend? Or, would they say your heart and head are always focused on work, even when at home? Or that you are so busy at work you don’t have time for them? What would they say?
If you really want to know the truth, ask them yourself how you are doing with your various roles. No matter what, you need to ask, accept the truth, and put a plan in place to make amends. You and your loved ones will be glad you did.
Again, who needs more of your time, attention and love? What role have you been neglecting and now wish to correct? Do yourself and loved ones a huge favor. Over the next 90 days, focus on 3 roles you are going to pay more attention to … providing more time, energy, focus, emotions, and involvement.
How do you get started? It’s easy. Tell your loved one that you are sorry you have been so busy at work (or other distraction) and that you are committed to being a better husband, wife, father, mother, or whatever role you want to focus on. Ask them to forgive you. Then ask your loved one to pick an activity they would like to do just with you in the next few weeks and get it on your calendar. Follow through with your activity no matter what. Don’t you dare conduct business while you are with them. That would send yet another message that your business is more important than they are. Put your cell phone or Blackberry away or on silent and truly be present with that person. Spend the time focused on them, getting to know them better and truly listening to what they have to say. Again, over the next 90 days, focus on 3 roles you are going to provide with more attention, time, energy and engagement.
Having a business is no excuse for neglecting your important roles in life. After all, what will you want on your tombstone? That you were a successful business owner that paid a huge price or that you were a loving, engaged, and committed parent and spouse? I thought so. Here’s to your success AND balance!