In my years of networking, traditional business, and management I have observed many people seeking balance. They chase a notion that one can truly achieve entrepreneurial “nirvana” where they are able to have it all and produce without effort. They seek some sort of utopia where they are able to simultaneously have time for their children while their home remains spotless, laundry is all done and put away, their bank account grows, they live in perfect health without stress or guilt, and life is seamless. Is it anything more than a fantasy?
I can tell you first hand that it is possible however it may not manifest exactly how you would like or on a certain timeline. Balance is a moving target and the truth is that it is not a destination but a state of mind. For years I made the choice to produce results and take responsibility for my income. Instead of going out, watching TV, or dedicating time to mindless pursuit I focused on earning. When the income is there, balance is possible. Money allows you to choose what you want to do and hire people to do what you do not. Until you achieve that level of income you can find balance only by deciding to create it.
Until I reached a certain level of income I did my own laundry, I did the grocery shopping, I made the meals, cleaned the house, worked in the day, worked my business at night, and did it all. I can’t say that I did it with grace every day but I did it. Instead of saying my life lacked balance, I chose to define what balance meant for me. You will never have balance unless you define it. I created a definition that worked for me and my family and in doing so immediately began to live a balanced life.
My definition of balance was taking time every day to exercise, finding time to read daily, taking a day of family time once per week and going on a “hot” date with my husband once per month. Balance also meant taking two weeks off per year and running in at least one race to focus my mind elsewhere. When I did these things I felt calm, rested, and effective. In essence my life, according to me, had balance.
If you can create a definition of balance for your own life you can let go of what others are doing. Donald Trump, for example, has a life that is in balance for him even though he works seventeen hours every day. He enjoys producing so much that it is effortless. Additionally, many of his deals are done on golf courses which bring him joy and relaxation. For many, this wouldn’t be considered balance but for Donald Trump it is.
One iconoclast of this decade is Angelina Jolie. Would you describe an Oscar-winning actress who is also a mother, travels endlessly for her work with the UN, and makes box office mega hits someone with balance? In her line of work she must also look perfect and be careful to say the right things and be informed on trips to New York, Washington, and Geneva. Does she have balance?
Look at Oprah. She has a hit syndicated talk show, books, a top magazine, and a charitable foundation. She is one of the wealthiest celebrities and she also makes time to give back. Does she have balance?
As you find things that bring you joy you will find balance. When you take time to really look at a successful person’s life you will also see a team of people that assist them. Before you can hire your team you will have to create some peace in your present situation. When you build balance into what you have and you appreciate the process, you will get more. I know this to be true from my own experiences.
To create a definition of balance make a list of at least ten things that bring you joy. Beside the items mark “d” for “daily,” “m” for “monthly,” and “y” for “yearly.” For example, exercise is something you can do daily while taking an all-inclusive vacation may be something done yearly. Once you have your activities, take out your day planner and schedule them in. Check them off once you complete them. This will give you satisfaction and create a sense of greater well being.
We cannot produce all of the time. We require time to gather our thoughts, get perspective and energize. Exercise, rest, vacations, taking time to daydream, these are all things that will assist you in growing your income. You see, entrepreneurs are professional dreamers. Every idea, thought, and notion is seeded in a dream. Every invention, company, and organization was once a thought. All of your greatness is rooted in your ability to carve out daily niches to recharge. That my friend is where the balance lies.
When I stopped chasing other people’s definitions and created my own, my income grew. I stayed focused by working efficiently within the time frame that I had. As I claimed my balance daily I also dreamed of a life where my laundry got done, my house got cleaned, my children went to the best schools, my donations to charity really made an impact, my time was my own, my relationships were meaningful, and every week my bank account was flooded with money. Let me tell you, life is grand.