A Guide To Navigating The Intersection of Your Career & Personal Relationships
Ready for a truth bomb? Winning in business is NOT worth compromising your ability to win at home.
. . . Boom.
So forget those #dailygrind tweets. If your vision for “making it big” doesn’t consider your loved ones, it’s time to make some big-picture changes. Because scaling a family (read: making time for an abundance of love and laughter together) requires a whole lot more than #hustle.
Recognize The Red Flags
Take it from someone who’s been on the wrong side of the priority tracks. Yep, I’ve been there.
And even though I didn’t want to admit it, my gut knew things were heading in the wrong direction at home. And it scared me. It scared me so much I wanted to avoid the issue entirely! (It’s easier to believe your spouse isn’t “seeing the big picture” – instead of owning your part in the problem.)
But the best business leaders don’t get to the top by ignoring a festering problem in the company. They dig in and get to the heart of it. Because those in the business world know: focusing on the most critical issues is what will prevent a financial tailspin.
Unfortunately, many of them fail to apply that same logic beyond the boardroom. In some cases, they hustle even harder at work in the vain hope that career success will somehow compensate for their deficiency at home. But it won’t.
The world has plenty of “successful” professionals who also happen to be miserable. You don’t have to be one of them.
Simple Steps You Can Take
- Face the truth. You can’t fix something if you won’t admit it’s broken. Be real with yourself about what’s scaring you in your relationships. No more avoiding. No more deflecting.Be brave. Have those tough conversations with your spouse about your fears. Ask about what scares them, too. Then come up with a plan together. Commit to specific, repeatable behaviors that will put your relationship and your kids back at the center of your lives.Also, analyze where you’re spending time. Did you know that, according to Nielsen data, the average American spends about 4 hours of time watching TV each day, which adds up to about two MONTHS of non-stop TV time per year? (It’s mind-blowing, right?!) You can’t create more hours in a day, but you can be more strategic with your time – to nurture the heart and soul of your family life.
- Focus on the outcomes you want. You know when you’re cruisin’ on the interstate and the lane narrows because of construction? Sometimes there’s one of those annoying concrete half-wall barricades. And it feels like one little bobble of the steering wheel could make you crash into it. But if you stare at the wall (the problem!) you’re statistically more likely to hit it. The lesson here? You have to keep your eyes on where you WANT to go – not on what you don’t want to crash into. Stop spending mental energy trying to AVOID potential problems – arguments, affairs, divorce, kids acting out, family members who stop speaking to each other . . . all that stuff! It’s up to you to drive toward the reality you want, not the one you’re afraid of. Keep this quote by Nelson Mandela nearby and read it often: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
- Remember where to invest your time. Time is money, sure – we’ve all heard that one! But time is also attention. Time tells other people you consider them a priority. Time is LOVE. If you spend the vast majority of your time at work, your family might begin to wonder where they stand with you. And that hurts everyone involved. Believe me, I know how tempting it is to block everything out and focus on business. Hustle culture wants us to believe it’s the only way to succeed. But are you really succeeding if you’re coming up short with the people you love? Sometimes your family or friends will need you at inconvenient times. They’ll mess up your quest for super-charged productivity. You can either be silently resentful about it – or you can remember this piece of wisdom from author and time management expert Laura Vanderkam: “Time invested in life-affirming relationships is seldom wasted. People are a good use of time.”
Know Your True Treasure
Listen, you won’t always get this right. Life is messy. Some days it’s going to feel like you’re failing at home . . . or work . . . or both. It happens. But this is a marathon, not just one training session. So let go of the crappy day, and know you’ll do better tomorrow.
And hey, if you’re struggling with making your family AND your business a priority, be willing to do something about it. Get guidance long before you think you need it. Our company’s consultants are committed to helping clients create a full, rewarding life – one that embraces and integrates the best parts of family and work.
“Get More Done With Less”
If balancing your time and energy cycles is a struggle for you, and you want to take a few simple steps toward prioritizing the things in your life that matter most, I want to give you a free resource that outlines:
- The two states that you must live in to have balance
- Four energy cycles that keep you in peak conditioning
- The 4-point machine (system) that helps streamline my life
- A prescribed set of time “goals” that you can honor if your goal is to stay in balance