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Learning Work/Life Balance While Swimming With Sharks

stars of shark tank walking in a row

If you have been following our recent posts you will have most likely read our first two post in this series about the things we learned by from Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank. We were attending the TopOpps DRIVE 2015 conference in NYC at the begwork life balanceinning of May where Mr. O’Leary was one of the keynote speakers.

If not, you can find them here: What I Learned About Metrics While Swimming With a Shark and What I Learned About Sales While Swimming With a Shark. For our final post in the series we are going to do something a bit different. This time we are going to disagree with Mr. Wonderful.

We did an internal survey of co-workers, friends, and family. Everyone we know from The Harris Consulting Group seems to be struggling with finding the right work life balance at some time or another. It does not matter whether or not you are in inside sales, field sales, a teacher, a plumber, or a home maker. It’s a crazy world, work, life, spouse, significant other, kids, family, and of course making time to post it all on social media lest we become “irrelevant”. It’s enough to drive you crazy with guilt over what you are not doing as opposed to enjoying the things you are doing.

One of the things that Mr. Wonderful stated has a certain element of truth to it but frankly we do not agree entirely. What he stated was that there is no such thing as a work/life balance. If you want to be successful you will have to make sacrifices. He implied that the only way to be successful is that you must miss everything. And everything must be sacrificed for the betterment of your career success.

This is where we disagree with Mr. Wonderful. While the word “balance” might imply a 50/50 ratio. We do not see it that way. We believe that you, the individual can determine what is the right level of balance.

For many folks that may mean that work takes 60%, 70%, or 80% of their time. But in the end, as long as you recognize this yourself, make a mental contract with yourself, then you can establish the right work/life balance that works for you.

Are you going to miss some things? Yes, you will. No matter what, you will miss some things along the way. What you do not need to do however is beat yourself up over it. Make the time you spend on personal things quality time instead of hitting yourself over the head about the quantity of time. Have meaningful conversations with your family and friends.

In our family we do two things:

  1. Be sure that at meal times the electronics are gone. This goes for adults as well as kids.
  2. Roses and Thorns. Each person goes around the table and expresses one thing that was great for the day and one thing that did not go so well. As the parents of a 7 year old and 5 year old you can only imagine some of the things we hear. And frankly, the things they tell us, well, they remind you to enjoy the little things in life.

Remember you get to determine what is the right amount of work life balance for you. And you get to control the quality of that balance as well.  These are your decisions, make the most of them.

Would love to hear how others are managing the work/life balance. How do you manage it?

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