As we enter 2024, let’s consider the importance of life and work harmony. I wrote life before work because without life there is no business. I wrote harmony because this is actually what’s meant by balance in this case. Life and work constitute a balancing act in which the objective is harmony between the two.
Tremendous amounts of time, energy and effort go into running a business. With everything there is to do, it’s easy for those who own businesses to sacrifice many aspects of their personal lives, if not the entirety, in pursuit of success and happiness.
Your business is only one aspect of your life. You also have important relationships with family and friends, health, passions, hobbies and other interests. When you choose or unthinkingly allow yourself to become consumed by business and neglect these other aspects of your life, your well-being and happiness fades away.
There’s no real benefit to working yourself into the ground. When you become fatigued, your business suffers because you don’t possess the clarity, composure and energy to be the caliber of leader required or achieve the happiness and success you desire.
Conversely, there are tremendous benefits to everyone involved — business owners, team members, customers and families — in creating and maintaining harmony between life and business.
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 get it.
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 and make up for neglecting a marriage. When your health fails, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to get it back.
The wonderful thing about creating harmony between life and business is that in addition to improving the quality of your life, you become 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 emotionally, mentally and physically. You have more to give. In other words, you increase your potential and, therefore, the potential of your business.
When there’s harmony between life and business, you also tend to treat the people in your personal and professional lives better. Your perspective is clearer. Your attitude is more pleasant. You’re more patient and happier. When you treat people better, they have the tendency to do the same. All your relationships improve as a result.
When you go on vacation with your significant other or skiing with your kids, be fully present with them. When you attend a family function, spend time with friends, read a book or anything else you decide to do, enjoy the moment for all it’s worth.
Taking your spouse out for your regular date nights, spending quality time with your kids, pursuing your passions and going on vacation aren’t synonymous with working and doing business. While it’s true you can take your work on vacation, 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 merely working in a different location.
The secret to all of this is truly stepping away from your business when you leave the office and engage in the rest of your life. Turn off your phone, step away from the computer and leave your business worries behind as much as you can. And you can much more than you realize. When you do so, all the moments of your life will take on a greater meaning for you and everyone involved.
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. Live your life with the intention of creating harmony among its different aspects. You’ll not only be successful, but also — and perhaps more importantly — you’ll be happy.