I don’t know about you, but I’m really sick of hearing the term work-life balance. Every time I hear it, I think about being punished for being passionate about my business. Open your mind to a different way of looking at your work – I call it work life integration – and it can lead you to being happier and stop feeling guilty about not having work balance in your life. Watch this short video to learn more about it.
In today’s video, we’re going to be talking about integrating your work and your non-work life. I don’t know about you, but I’m really sick of hearing the term work-life balance. Every time I hear it, I think about being punished for being passionate about my business. In today’s video we’ll look at a different way of looking at your work. I call it work life integration, and hopefully you’ll learn a different way of looking at your life as well.
Hi, I’m Josh Patrick, the founder of the Sustainable Business, the Financial Freedom Project and Stage2Partners. I’m also the author of Sustainable, a fable about creating an economically and personally sustainable business.
So, there are two things I want you to know.
You’re never going to have work life balance if you own your own business, and the reason is really pretty simple. You don’t ever stop thinking about your business, nor should you.
Now, lots of people will disagree with that, but the truth is I have yet to meet a private business owner who doesn’t spend time thinking about their business when they’re not in the office. When they’re home – they’re thinking about it. When they’re skiing – they’re thinking about it. When they’re on their boat – they’re thinking about it. It’s not the only thing they think about, but it’s a primary interest in their life, besides their family and their children.
So I don’t think you should stop thinking about your business. If you’re passionate about your business, doesn’t it make sense you want to focus on this?
Doesn’t it make sense you want to spend time thinking about it? Doesn’t it make sense that you want to be thinking strategically? Because you’re not going to be thinking strategically while you are at your business. You know, if you listen to your neighbors who are employees, you’re gonna drive yourself crazy about this, because they’re going to talk about work life balance.
Now, there’s a difference between employees and employers or a private business owners.
Employees, they shut off their mind when they leave work. They don’t think about work when they leave as a rule. Now sometimes they do, but most of the time they just shut it off. They think you should be able to compartmentalize. I think that’s a big mistake. And I hope you do too.
But what if you don’t want to work all the time? You know that’s a rational idea and something to strive for. So, if you don’t want to work all the time, you have to start thinking about working towards what I call “Operational irrelevance”.
And the first step that you can do first starting to become operationally irrelevant is stop doing that $20 per hour work.
If you’re doing work that you can pay somebody else $20 per hour to do, you’re spending time on the wrong activities in your business. Now I want you to focus on not only thinking strategically but acting strategically. And the people I know who do the best job of integrating their business and their life, are the ones who act strategically and that’s the focus of what they do in their business.
You don’t want to think on start thinking about acting strategically. You want to start making time to act strategically.
Which is why you want to get rid of that $20 per hour job that you’re doing right now and you want to start thinking about how can I do work that’s worth $500 an hour, a $1,000 an hour, $2,000 an hour, $5,000 an hour, and ultimately $10,000 per hour. It can be done. There are people that do that. You just need to learn how to do it yourself.
Now, Peter Drucker is one of my favourite people in the world. He was a great management thinker and in fact he was the father of management consulting. And one of his quotes I really like:
“Only marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.”
I want you to think about this for a second. How much time do you spend on marketing? How much time on innovation? And how much time do you spend on things that just costs money to your company, that you could hire people to do better and cheaper.
So let’s get back to work life balance.
I want you to start thinking about integrating your work and your life, not separating that and have what’s called work life balance.
You know these things are not separate. They’re things that should be put together. Your kids play sporting events and conferences aren’t separate. They’re part of your entire life. If you can integrate them with your business, that’s great. Your spouse isn’t separate from your life. Your spouse is an integral part of your business, even though your spouse doesn’t work at your business or your spouse might not work in your business. I will promise you your spouse is very, very interested and concerned about what’s going on in your business and you need to keep them up to date and let them know what’s going on.
If you love your work, and I hope you do, you’re going to want to integrate this.
You gonna want to take them to business trips and make them a vacation. You’re going to want to have customers make it be a social event. Now to do this, you have to really clear about what the values are, and not let people in your business, who are customers, who are not part of your value system, otherwise you’re not going to want to socialize with them.
Now, in my particular case, some of my best friends are my customers or have been my customers. And after we stopped working together because there’s not a reason to do so, we remained friends. We continue to talk on a regular basis and we continue to socialize in a regular basis. To me, that’s work life integration.
If I take two hours off in the afternoon and go on a bike ride, I’m able to do that because I own a business. And I’m not trying to separate make a time or not. Because when I’m done with my tour of bike ride, what am I going to do? I’m going to come back and I’m probably gonna do a little bit of work. Whether that works at 5:00 in the afternoon or 3:00 in the afternoon.
So if we work a few hours, we take some time for ourselves to do something that’s fun, when you come back and working, what we’ve done is we’ve integrated our work, we’ve not separating.
So another thing I want you to stop doing is – I want you to stop being the first in and the last out of your company. Nobody cares. You can go a little bit later, you can leave a little bit earlier… If you are working strategically, the business is going to be doing the right thing.
Now, Dan Sullivan has this great thing called “Unique ability” and you need to know what your unique ability is. And you need to spend at least 50 percent of your time doing this unique ability. This gives you the time and the capacity to integrate your personal and your business life together.
Now my experience integration leads to being happier and you get to stop being guilty about not having work balance in your life. Now, I don’t want you to have work balance. I want you to have work like integration.
So why don’t you scroll down, leave me a comment about what you think about work life balance versus integration in your business? And you’ll also see that there’s a button down there. You get a free eBook I’ve written called “Relationships and roles”, and it talks about the different roles that you can play in your company and the relationships that you’re going to have with your business as it relates to that. So this Josh Patrick, again, thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.