How to Achieve Work-life Balance & Run a Successful Agency
With the holidays approaching, I want to talk about something important to me, and it’s not about process, talk paths, or unique ideas to grow your business. Instead, I want to talk about being successful in LIFE, which is more important than having a successful agency.
It may come as a surprise to many, but I am not a “Hustle and Grind” kind of guy. I do not believe in “working 24/7 like someone is chasing you”. Many people, especially some influencers on social media, would love for you to think that you have to work yourself to death to be successful. I beg to differ.
If you leave this earth tomorrow, nobody is going to care how many items you wrote, how many trips you won, or how big your bonuses were. I’ve never been to a funeral, and those we’re the highlights of one’s life.
How you’ve impacted those around you is more important than any of these things.
- Were you a good parent?
- Were you a good friend?
- Did you inspire people to be a better version of themselves?
These are the things that truly matter in the long run. Does this mean you sell everything and live under a bridge? Absolutely not. Does this mean that you pull back and let your agency deteriorate? No way!
Instead, I implore you to leverage your agency as a means to help you live your best life and always to put your life ahead of your agency.
How do you put yourself ahead of your agency?
- Put your family first. If your kids have an event, you should be there and be present in their lives. Don’t let them wonder why you’re not there.
- Ensure your staff puts their family first. It would be best if you did everything you could to allow your team to do the same.
- Balance! “Be where your feet are.” This is my secret to having a successful agency and a quality life full of wonderful family and friends.
What is work-life balance? It’s the state of equilibrium where a person equally prioritizes the demands of one’s career and the demands of one’s personal life.
Work-Life Balance = “Be where your feet are.”
“Be where your feet are” is a simple concept. It was 30 years ago when I first heard this saying during two-a-day football practice on a scorching August afternoon. I was supposed to be paying attention to the coach and a drill he was running. Instead, I was goofing off with my two buddies.
Out of nowhere, a giant hand grabbed my helmet and threw me to the ground. My two buddies came crashing down next to me. That hand belonged to Coach Posey, our defensive coordinator, and he was upset!
Then he yelled, “Hit it!” which meant it was time to run! So my buddies and I hit the track and ran non-stop for the rest of the practice. Once practice came to an end, Coach Posey called us to take a knee. We were exhausted, and he had finally calmed down enough to say to us, “Boys, you have to learn to be where your feet are.” He went on to explain and said, “Look, if you are in the classroom, you study. If you are in the weight room, you lift. If you are on a date, you look her in the eyes and pay attention to what she is saying. And if you are on my field, you practice. Wherever you are, you give 100% to that.”
This lesson stuck with me through the years, and I firmly believe that is how you achieve balance; it’s certainly how I have.
Too many of us have so much stress in our lives because we are not present when we should be.
- We bring work home.
- We don’t pay attention to our spouse or partner.
- We aren’t there for our kids.
- When we are at the office, we don’t give 100%.
I challenge you this holiday to start giving 100% to whatever situation you are in and watch what happens.
How I achieve balance while running a successful agency and coaching business
I do not miss anything with my kids! I have coached them in every sport they’ve joined. And when I am at work, I work. I am 100% focused at work so that I can be 100% focused on my family at home.
- Do I really need email on my cell phone?
- Do I really need to be checking it while I’m on a date with my spouse?
- Is the agency really going to fall apart if I don’t reply until the next day?
- Am I checking email non-stop when I should be paying attention to other things?
I can remember coaching my oldest son in his first t-ball game, and one of the kids made a fantastic play at first base. The kid immediately looked to the stands to see what his parents thought, and they were both on their phones. They completely missed it, and he was devastated. We must do everything possible never to be one of those parents.
Sometimes sacrifices are necessary.
Are there times where you will need to make sacrifices? Yes. Especially if you just started your agency. But you must limit your sacrifices and be smart about them. For example, if you have young kids, work once they go to bed. You won’t be missing much while they are asleep. Or are they headed to a birthday party on Saturday morning? Work while they are gone. You can put in the work at strategic times and avoid missing the important things.
Things get busy, and some days are worse than others. Use your calendar to schedule and maximize your time as much as possible. Set achievable daily goals and hold yourself accountable to make them happen. Getting the most out of your time while at the agency is critical, and you have to have the discipline to make it happen. If you need help with that, try this – if your kids knew what you should be doing with your time, and they saw what you actually did: Would they be proud or disappointed in you?
Your staff is key to having balance.
I don’t believe we build businesses; I believe we build people first and then teams of people, and then they build the business. As a result, your staff is the most valuable part of your organization. Invest time developing them and teaching them skills that they can use for decades. Help them get just 1% better each day, and they will help you live the life you want to live, full of work-life balance.
We are all running out of time. The day will come when we will not be able to do what we want to do. Make the time to do them now. The people who gave you your best memories will one day be a memory. Please pay attention to them now. Be where your feet are and leverage your agency to live the life that you want to live.
I want you to accomplish your business goals and have a highly successful agency, but that means nothing if you do not have a successful life.
Give yourself the gift of work-life balance this holiday season; you won’t regret it.