I was leading a Solopreneur Club workshop recently when one of the business owners made a very good point. He said that we need to remember that we are working to create a life and not just living to work! We were working on a long term strategy using a “One Page Strategic Plan” and all of the people in the club have a line on this that focuses on where their life will be in the future as well as their business.
Interestingly also, I was sat with a solo business owner a few months back who seemed very stressed and worn out. I asked him what he loved to do in his private life and he told me he was a keen walker. I asked him when he had last been for a walk and it was around 12 months ago! So I suggested he went that weekend.
With my clients, we work on the concept of a “default diary” where we ensure that important tasks to “work on the business” get done. It is also important to have time in your diary for your passions, interest and hobbies. Quality time with the people you love is essential too.
What do you think? What part does your business play in our life?
For me it is actually a question of balance. When your find your work truly fulfilling and it is in line with your “Purpose” it is then very difficult to draw the line between work and life. They are both one and the same.
Richard Branson has said that he does not see work as work, it is essentially part of his life. But he has also said that “you won’t be able to keep going at 100 miles per hour if you are running on empty”. I very much buy into the fact that business should be fun too. Richard Branson won’t continue with areas of his business if they are not fun. One for us all to keep in mind!
My dad always told me you should work hard and play hard. That is a huge “value” for me! I have not worked harder than the past 6 months, but I have also greatly indulged one of my greatest passions and been to over 20 music gigs – 3 last week! We also need to have quality time with the people we love, so my partner Rebecca, my daughter Thea and I went to London to see Matilda a couple of weekends ago (I have to say the best show I have seen in London!). They need to enjoy the fruits of my successful business too, as sometimes I can’t give them my time as I would wish.
I showed Rebecca my long term strategy for the business at the weekend and said that this will provide us with a great life. But again my business cannot just serve our life, I have to truly believe in what I am doing and love what I do. Sometimes also you have to have a strong faith that what you are doing is the right thing for your family. They may not see this and simply resent the time you spend away from them, but in the long run they will hopefully understand and appreciate this. All of this is pointless however if you do not enjoy it and it does not make you happy.
So set yourself goals for the future that are about your life as well as work. Make sure there is time in the diary for your passions in life and ensure you spend quality time with the people you love.
Do not simply work to live, your work and your life should be an integral part of your greater purpose, your dream and goals.