By Lyle T. Lachmuth, Senior Partner
Innovative Learning Unlimited Inc.
"How can I build a successful business without working 15 hours a day, seven days a week and losing out on the rest of my life?"
Good question. It's one we've been asked by hundreds of the business executives we've coached over the last 11 years.
What is the secret to achieving real success? Balance! Your future success depends on balancing four critical aspects of your life: self, relationships, business and vision. And on doing so today.
How to Start Balancing Your Life
Draw a circle. Create a pie with one slice for each life aspect. Have the size of the slice reflect your ideal investment of time and energy. Create another pie showing your actual investment of time and energy. To bring your reality closer to your ideal, take these steps:
Step 1: Clarify Your Vision
When you started out you knew where you wanted to go. You had energy and passion. And, now? Burnt out? Disillusioned? To clarify your vision and recapture your passion, answer these questions: "What difference do I want to make? What do I want to be known for? What excites and energizes me? Am I really doing what's important to me?" Then choose to put more of what's important back into your life.
Step 2: Nurture Your Relationships
No client has ever said: "My relationships aren't important." Yet on examination, we've found time and energy spent on everything but relationships. Ask: "What's preventing me from investing time and energy in my important relationships?" Turn your answers into a list of barriers. Prioritize the list. Target the most significant barrier. Brainstorm a list of remedies.
Step 3: Care for your Whole Self
Return to those pie charts. Does your business slice gobble up the rest? If so, it's time for a change. Try hiking, cycling, meditating, reading, gardening or spending time by yourself - whatever works. When you invest in yourself, you'll reap huge rewards - in energy, focus and creativity.
Step 4: Focus Your Business Efforts
Set goals. But, don't set just any goals. Set goals that directly related to your vision. Then put 80 per cent of your business time and energy into your top three business goals. Invest the remaining 20 per cent in your own growth. And, delegate or contract out the remaining "trivial many."
Now what? Your success depends on it. Get off your assets. Take the first step.
Lyle T. Lachmuth, MSOD, President of Innovative Learning Unlimited Inc., coaches and trains senior executives, managers and business teams. He can be reached at (403) 251-4010.