So before diving into this post, I should provide all the context that goes into my views on work-life-balance. First and foremost, my whole approach to work-life-balance goes in the toilet without a loving wife and partner to fill-in any gaps that come to light as a result of my approach. My wife has always been there and we’ve kept in constant communication on situations arising at home, with her and the kids, or issues she sees from her point of view where my career and focus may be concerned. Another key piece to this working for us is clear communication, communication between my wife and I, my employers, etc. to ensure everyone is on the same page and in agreement on where my focus is at any point in my work-life journey… Now on to this post…
I believe there is no such thing as work-life-balance on a day-to-day basis.
When I’m needed at work, when clients need me to connect them to a solution that solves their challenges, or when I want to find projects for the creatives and technologists I work with, I work hard at work. When I want be at home, I’m present and want to be there for my wife and family. When I need time for myself to recharge and seek inspiration in the world in order to be at energized and at my best, my wife and I find experiences. I treasure those moments together with her, and have those moments fill my soul… I’ve never been able to balance all three in a single day, so I don’t even try. I’ll measure balance and ultimately my success over a year and hopefully see my life perfectly in balance over a lifetime.
Back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s I spent 10 years of my life focused on my career, with my wife’s support. We talked about the time commitment and it was working for us and eventually I was a partner in a profitable company.
After ten years, I was burning out and I was starting to see signs that my family and my home were feeling neglected. 10 years of being a ghost in my own home (coming home after my wife and kids had gone to bed and leaving for work before they were awake) was starting to take its toll. We needed a change.
Typically when you’re focused on one part of your life the signs that other parts of your life are being neglected come way too little and too late to make repairs. I’m so thankful my wife and I kept communicating and we were somehow lucky enough to make significant changes to put focus in another direction and eventually balance out my life.
It wasn’t easy, but I was able to sell my share of the business to my business partner and start a new chapter in my life where my family comes first. Date nights, paddling and hiking with my wife, my daughter’s acting performances, my son’s soccer games; I wanted to be there for all of it, and I have.
Communication with my wife, my family and the people I work with are key. Now I’m trying to be more strategic with when I need to be at work and when I need to be home or out enjoying the life I’m building for myself, and making sure I’m focused on the right things in my life when it matters most.
I’m certainly not the poster-boy for success, but in my lifetime so far, I’ve experienced entrepreneurial success and built and sold a profitable business, I’ve helped grow other businesses, I’ve been happily married for 20+ years, I’ve helped raise 2 great kids, and I’ve taken reasonably good care of myself. What’s most important in my life, is being successful at balancing all these things over the coarse of my lifetime. When I look back on my life, I want to believe that when it has been important to focus on business and my career, I have, and when it has been important to focus on myself and my family, I have.