Striving for Balance in 2016
I'm nowhere near where I had planned to be today. My plan was to be in Madrid, Spain celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary and my father-in-law's 80th birthday right this minute. My wife, three daughters, one of the boyfriends, father-in-law and mother-in-law were to spend New Year's Eve into next week on a family vacation there. We'd be marking these two major milestones there in a very special way.
Well...we had a change in plans.
My father-in-law's malfunctioning pacemaker sparked a multi-night hospital adventure. It started the Tuesday before Christmas and, if all goes as planned, the hospital stay ends later today when we bring him home. He's doing so much better, but his birthday plans in Spain are being replaced by a simple dinner at home. (It'll be as complex and loud as all out Cuban dinners go, but certainly simpler than the Madrid alternative.)
Reviewing my life in light of my father-in-law's close call and our changed holiday plans makes one thing very clear to me. I need balance in my life. Things are way out of balance and frequently close to all out insane. I need to change so my life demonstrates to the people I care for how truly important they are to me.
This past year has been rough. I've worked feverishly growing Larry Jacob Internet Marketing from a website development / Infusionsoft consulting practice, highly dependent on me, to one that is more systematized, process driven and dependent on other team members. This year I've been dealing with:
- cash flow issues,
- finding the right team members,
- immature business processes and, of course,
- shear lack of time.
Where does that leave me today? It has left me unbalanced, for sure, and in need of change.
The person closest to me is my wife, Any. Things don't always run as smoothly between us as they could. I need to consistently communicate with real, visible actions how important she is to me. I need to show her how much I value her. I should NOT take her for granted and this highly driven entrepreneur sometimes does.
At least I am healthy. In the second half of 2015, I returned to a consistent exercise program. That's been good for me. It helps keep me more balanced than I would be otherwise. I'm now a big Orange Theory Fitness buff and getting in my 3 to 4 hardcore workouts in a week makes a difference. I may run another marathon this summer too. All is OK here.
My spiritual life struggles. I watched a movie last night called, "War Room." It's about marriage, prayer, priorities and balance. It's all about a couple and how marriage and family get off track when career, money and power take over. It's so easy to get caught up in my own:
- customer issues,
- project delivery schedules and
- lead generation efforts.
It's so easy to forget how important a healthy spiritual life is for me. When I look at where I'm at in light what's happened to my father-in-law this past week, that's got to change.
So what else am I planning for 2016?
My wife knows me well and she calls it like it is. She'll tell me, "You don't listen." It's a big mistake on my part and causes plenty of friction between us.
I must spend more time listening all around. I've got my team members. I've got employees that depend on me and I need to focus more time on listening to their thoughts, ideas, suggestion and their needs. My business and me personally would benefit greatly from this and it would give me the opportunity to better meet their needs.
I recently heard someone say that customers should NOT be number one. He said instead, "Your employees should be number one." If your employees are cared for, they will take care of your clients. That's something to remember.
Listening to customers is an obvious one and because of how highly I regard my clients, listening to them is high on my list. But what about business partners. Do I put enough focus on what other business owners I interact with needs. How can I serve them better? I'm sure they can benefit from what I can do, but do I dedicate the time to reach out to them, understand what they need and make myself available to them. Maybe not as well as I could.
For lack of time, I just don't prioritize this high enough in the list and we are all missing out.
This what I have in my plans as I start the New Year. Share with you what's helping you prepare for what lies in store for you.