You take one kid to soccer, another kid to gymnastics, respond to e-mails, knock out some homework, jump on a conference call, practice for a spelling test, take the dog for a walk, attempt to get a work-out, answer more e-mails, help employees with their challenges – all while you are thinking about the big sales call you have tomorrow – and this doesn’t start until you have already put in 8-10 hours at the office. Does this ever happen to you? The life of an entrepreneur is challenging, exciting, busy, and rewarding, but it is stressful too. I have played football on ESPN in front of 100,000 screaming fans, flown into a war zone, and nothing has caused me more stress in my life than laying it all on the line to grow a business. Why do I do it? To provide for the people I love most – my family.
The Service Academies prepared us to balance it all. They strategically put more on our plates than every other institution in the nation to push us beyond our limits. We used these characteristics to lead troops in war while balancing a home life from thousands of miles away. We used the skills to manage a PCS to the middle of nowhere USA, all while getting our master’s degree, training our replacement, trying to keep the family life together, and thinking about a future business we want to launch. Well, now that the business is launched, it can be overwhelming to continue to try and balance it all. There are only so many balls we can juggle before something gets dropped.
It’s time to lighten the load. If you are struggling to balance work and home, then you have taken on too much. Although it is easier said than done, because that is what you have done your whole life, lighten up your workload. You are not only fighting to get everything done, but you are also working against fatigue. Stress and fatigue lead to poor decisions and the consequences can be devastating. Find ways to lighten your load so you can still maximize your efforts while giving your family the time and attention they deserve. Some of the biggest stressors in our life are the big things that loom on the horizon – will my family be protected if something happens to me or the business, will my competitors steal market share, will I ever be able to retire, what liabilities are not accounted for, will I ever be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor?
The same is true for me in business as it was in sports. I worked harder and put in more effort and time than everyone around me. The pressure and stress increased the more and more my career progressed - expectations raised, more people depended on me, higher goals were set, and unforeseen circumstances arose.
Success often occurs when you surround yourself with the right people. Success occurs when people take things off your plate, so you can perform to your maximum. Your financial goals are no different.
Let someone you trust develop and monitor a plan that helps you achieve your goals, so you can focus on what you do best – being the best business owner you can be. The consequences of not focusing on your retirement or financial goals can be devastating if they are put on the back burner. I have never heard someone say they are glad they waited to put a plan in place to maximize their wealth. In fact, it’s almost always the exact opposite! People tell me all the time they wish they would have put a plan in place earlier. If they just would’ve started sooner, the results could be drastically different. It can save you from an embarrassment with your family, it can give you confidence to perform, it can help you retire earlier, it can help you know your loved ones are protected.
Why delay? You deserve to focus on the things you can control and excel at what you do best. Lighten your load. When you can focus on being your best, you become a better business owner and more importantly, a better husband or wife and father or mother. What’s more important than that?