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Episode #032 – So I Really Can’t Have Work-Life Balance?

This week’s question comes from Seth, who asks, “I started a tech consulting business with a college buddy. He is single and is all about ‘living the entrepreneur lifestyle.’ I’ve been married 6 years and have two children under 4, and I’d like to stay married. Our business has a chance of taking off and becoming a great source of income, but there is a lot of work that must go into getting there and I don’t see how to make time for that work and my home life. How does one find the mythical ‘work-life balance?'”

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Work-life balance. Like the arc of the covenant, the holy grail, and the crystal skulls, work-life balance can only be found in a convoluted screenplay starring Harrison Ford and questionable choices of female co-stars.

Work-life balance, as being sold by gurus in programs for 997, does not exist. Sorry. It would be awesome if it did, but it don’t.

Work-life balance as a reality of your work allowing you a great life, and vice versa, is difficult. And it comes at a huge price. A price few are willing to pay when the bill come due, despite their fawning over it on the menu.

When I last addressed work-life balance in this forum, it was episode 3, released on July 12, 2016. Susan also asked ‘Is Work/Life Balance Even Possible?’

I address the issue often, especially as I suffer through my own inability to find time for family as work obligations catch up.

The answer there and in every single presentation that there is no such thing. However, listening back to that episode was painful, because it was a rambling, convoluted mess. So let me re-address the issue based on Seth’s version of the question.

Spoiler alert! The answer is still, ‘No there is no such thing as work-life balance.’

There are varying degrees of people who have figured out how much work they need to perform to a certain level of life, and how much life you are willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of your work. Most people fail to set either one of these requirements adequately, or even when they do both, don’t set the parameters that both can be met successfully. Making the matter worse.

Let me be perfectly clear. From my perspective, there is no such thing as balancing your work life and your life life. There is only the threshold of pain you are willing to endure when that boundary you actively or passively set is broken in one or both of the conditions I just named: How much work is needed to live and how much living will I give up for the sake of work.

You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other completely, but there will be sacrifices. Lazy weekends versus last minute buildouts. Out of town travel versus Tuesday game night. You will never get it perfect, but you can plan ahead to lessen the pain.

Try to set a consistent schedule and stick to it for both work and life. If either seems to require more attention all of a sudden gage if this is temporary or permanent. You may find you need to withdraw from life to achieve more work or back away from work to live your life. A tough choice, but one that must be made to maintain sanity.

This Week’s Business Questions Asked Here: Are You Still Trying To Make Work-Life Balance Possible? (answer in the comments)

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