Is it any wonder then, that we are not overcome with grief, sorrow and depression? As a business owner I run into a lot of people. More often than not they are more than courteous, even nice. However, unhappiness is maligning good intentions. I have noticed something incredibly sad, though not unique. Far fewer are forming alliances that will build substantial, enduring relationships. Success has brought on an intensity to forgo good morals and common sense, fostering instead, a false-positive insistence that hearth and home must be sidelined if real money is to be made. What has been the result?
Fellow entrepreneurs who previously had laser targeted focus are now facing a conundrum. They are losing confidence, falling short in all efforts to maintain baseline goals. Family stresses and separations are listed among the top reasons of stalemates. The bottom dollar has become the bottom line without a safely grounded denominator=a solid, family foundation and a happy home. What is the work-life balance? Do we know where to draw the line?
Do Not Multi-Task Your Personal Life
You, your family and friends deserve better. Yet, what do we do? At a restaurant we cannot help but read and respond to one more email. Or, we purposely choose the back of the movie theater so we can be less distracting as we correspond with clients or colleagues from our smart devices. All humor aside, why not try keeping a promise to yourself to be present in the moment. Make the scheduled time count. Enjoy the activities and have some fun.
Create a pin board that you and your family will commit to. Everyone signs off on it by writing their names next to the activities they will share in during that week, month, etc. Make a simple menu for stay-at-home game nights. Each person can be responsible for bringing or making a treat or dinner item, depending on internal or external responsibilities.
No stringent rules. Be wary of putting too much emphasis on how the board will be created and displayed. As long as it is visible and in a common area, all should be good. Becoming too demanding or intricate can result in a resistance and breakdown in communication. Ultimately, taking away from the act of this being fun.
Keep Your Mind On Your Manners
Upon realizing we are late for our next appointment, we, without hesitation make the call to client to stave off ill feelings that could interrupt present and future relationships. If we can give that much forethought in a seconds notice, why are we not showing this same respect to those special to us? Being exposed to volumes of technology means there are no valid excuses for lapses of good judgment and conduct. This should be naturally extended to loved ones.
Preferably face time is best, but if this is not feasible, send a text, fun Instagram or other means to show you care about the feelings of others within your circle. It's called common courtesy, people. We have not forgotten, we just let other things sidetrack it. Preparing a meal or caring for the children may not be as glamorous as acquiring a million dollar account. It is, however, an asset to someone who has missed a few home cooked meals and longs to be home. Can you put a price tag on that?
Let me tell you something right now, you can't. I remember during my brief stint of selling timeshares, I worked extremely long hours. One day after an excruciating week of classes, tours and hotel bobbing, I was ready for my own bed and real food. My roommates at the time were a family that I had known for years and kindly allowed me to stay with them prior to my move to Connecticut.
The matriarch of the clan had similar cooking styles to my mother, who had long since passed away. When I ever so turned the key and smelled homemade cabbage and kielbasa wafting from the second floor, it took me so far back to my childhood, that when they found me, I was sucking my thumb like a three-year old! Rocking myself back and forth in a corner of my room remembering- remembering what it was like to have a family, my family around me.
Listening to the ups and downs, new happenings and joys of everyone's day. Laughing and joking despite the hard times. I can still hear my mom's laugh!
Don't take this segment of your daily routine for granted. Work hard, not allowing anything to derail what you have built. A firm, loving secure environment does not happen by osmosis. You must work at it.
Learn To Stay Home Once In Awhile
Home is where the heart is. Does anyone really need to tell you this? According to one U.S. study conducted in 2012, there were an estimated 46,523 divorces a week. What predicated some of the outcome, per the report, was the caustic view that staying away on long trips was thought to be acceptable. The collateral damage and subsequent fallout had not been factored in, had it?
In this economy the notion is make money now, make babies later. We are not factories pushing out the next hot item. What if spouses and children are already in the picture? Have we blurred them out as if expendable? Families take time to build and the rebuild is all uphill if there is a breakdown.
Instead of giving yourself a projected time for making a success of your business, include the family aspect in harmonic, aggregate terms. Once you begin treating your family as if they are an after dinner mint, that is where they will remain. You can pardon and rationalize all you want but it only takes one distraction to have an accident, sustaining irrevocable consequences. Enough said.
As what often happens when things go too far south, a new voice of reason emerges, in the form of an unwelcome guest, yielding one ultimatum: regular or extra crispy, because someone is going to get fried. Become smarter, work harder at balancing your home and family life.
You were smart enough to start a business and keep it going. Now be smart enough to remember that home is where your support and trust keep it all together.