I recently asked my team what business topics they wanted to learn about and the work/family balance came up. The question was how to create a successful business and have a great home life too. I am not proclaiming to have all the answers, but will be happy to share what has worked for me. Now I must preface that there will be times when you have to work and miss family time, but the goal is to make this the exception rather than the norm.
I have three tips that help me to accomplish balance. The first is to treat time at work like you are going on vacation the next day. There are studies that say that many business people are most productive the day before going on vacation. If you can shift your mind set to have this productivity everyday you will find that you will accomplish more in a shorter time frame. This will allow you to make more money and have time to spend with your family. All too often we get distracted at work by playing on Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites that we do not focus on work and then the day seems to just run away. Instead of being home by 4 we are home at 6!
The second tip is to put everything you do in a day into your calendar. The joke in my family is that my time walking the dog is “an appointment!” I live by my calendar and I don’t differentiate appointments when talking with clients. So if I have in my calendar to do a family activity and a client asks for my time during that slot I simply say that I have “an appointment” and we must set a different time. Now this is where the work/family balance comes in, do you have the courage to say NO to a business opportunity? If you do not your clients will run you into the ground, and you will have no balance. You all know the old saying you give people an inch and they will take a mile. That is all clients because if they are paying you they have certain expectations. But if you stand your ground you will have a client that either respects you or not, and you then decide if they are a client you even want.
The final tip is to live within your means. If you live pay check to pay check you will feel pressure and stress to take every client, but if you live conservatively then you will position yourself to say No and be stress free. I treat my personal life expenses no differently than I do with my business. If I don’t have the ability to pay for it in what I consider to be a timely manner then I don’t buy it. I had $50,000 of credit card about 7 years ago and was once in a position of imbalance so I speak from experience and want to save people this experience. If I love a product, but am not a position to purchase it, I create a plan to save and get it when I have the money set aside. This attitude allows me to feel comfortable that I have money in the bank to pay my bills and to not be at the mercy of my clients.
I hope that you have the ability to implement these changes into your business and life to create the work/life business that you desire.
Gibson Sotheby’s Realty