As many of my long term followers know, I have a workaholics objection to the work-life balance bs. Once I meet someone that has become wildly successful working 8 hour days without compromising ethics or the law I will gladly come here and admit that I was wrong. I can only honestly speak about my life, the 10+ hour workdays and over a decade without vacations.
All of which has brought me here: I’m almost 2 months into my summer vacation and let me correct your notion of that right now: not a day has gone by that I haven’t done something work related or spent a significant amount of time thinking about work. As an entrepreneur, your businesses are just a part of who you are and a responsibility you have for your business is no different than your need to have lunch or take a shower: payroll still has to be made, decisions still have to be approved, staff needs to be guided and counseled, business partners kept in the loop, etc.
So how is it a vacation at all? Because it’s void of all the things that suck about work: there are no deadlines, no grunt work, no meetings, no mile long task list. There is absolutely no stress about being involved in everything other than what a CEO is actually supposed to be doing: strategy, partnerships, mentoring.
Two months absent from day-to-day grind and operations of my businesses, they are all in a better shape today than when I left. I’ve gotten to spend a ton of time with my family, travel do dozens of countries, go to five different continents and have what is perhaps the most relaxing time of my life.
That, my friends, is work-life balance: When you can have your business AND personal lives thrive. Not the endless schedule juggling, plugging and unplugging, hours cheating on work/family and a gazillion time management techniques that optimize the heck out of your day just so you hit the day near dead and wake up even more tired. If you are a workaholic – that is you love your work – and you want to be a multimillionaire with wild success and multiple companies and charities and so on: that stuff costs time and money. So get to it.
I don’t mean to gloat: but don’t ever discount the value of hard work. Don’t ever disparage the long hours, the long term thinking, the work ethic and the obsession you have with what you’re passionate about: particularly if it’s your work. Dismiss and outright kick out the people from your life that tell you otherwise – are they going to give you everything you want in life?
We live in a phenomenal time where there is an opportunity to do wildly better than the norm if you’re willing to work really, really hard. It’s not easy and it’s not glamorous and you won’t write any books about it – but it’s valuable and it will give you the ability to do life on your own terms instead of a tradeoff-obsessed realtime-satisfaction world.
All the amazing things in life you enjoy today, and the peak of our very civilization, didn’t get accomplished by zen monks and guys striving for a half day. Do likewise ladies and gents, do likewise.
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