Category Archives: Personal Development

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Finally Have the Work-Life Balance You’ve Always Dreamed of!

So many of us are searching for a good work-life balance! Why is it that some people seem to be able to manage it all? They have a great career, spend lots of time vacationing with their family, seem to be in great physical condition, have strong long lasting relationships…. We all know them. What’s their secret? I’m going to venture a guess and say since you’ve opened this article that you’re thinking “they’ve mastered the art work-life balance”.

You couldn’t be more wrong. I want you to picture in your mind (or just refer to the featured picture for this article) to a justice scale. On the left, you have your work. On the right, you have your life. The truth is they will never balance.

Work-Life balance does not and will never exist.Stay with me. What I’m about to tell you may change your life!

Here’s why there will never be a work-life balance. Your work is a part of your life. It could never be equal to your life. Our lives consist of a many, many components. Many lives contain relationships with a significant other, relationships with children, siblings, parents, aunts uncles, grandparents, and friends. Life includes hobbies, extra circular activities with children, homework, physical fitness, entertainment, spiritual development, and mental wellness. Our lives should include self-care and caring for others.

When you think of all the facets of “life” the thought of work being equal to that of life is ludicrous. Yet, day in and day out we search for work-life balance.
So back to one of my original questions. What’s their secret? It’s a very simple one. It’s work-life integration. While it’s simple most people will never achieve it. Why? Because you must change your mindset. You must let go of the old “when I’m at work I’m only doing work”.

If you truly want to have a life filled with doing the things you enjoy most you must integrate your work into your life.

 

Let go of the 9-5 philosophy! Who said we must work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day? More and more people are demanding and searching for work that provides a quality of life, not just a paycheck. According to Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workforce, 61% of people are looking for an opportunity with a new organization to “do what they do best with a purpose”. It outranked pay by 4 times!

Seek out an employer or organization that promotes integrating life into work, one that encourages it’s team members to call during “work” hours to make appointments for their children, one that encourages taking time each day for physical fitness, one that encourages results based pay rather than hourly based pay, one that provides autonomy for you to create your “work” time, and one that allows you to access your natural strengths.

The choice is yours.

 Choose your priorities. Too often we want to be great at in everything. We want the best spouse, the best homemaker, the best parent, the best employee, the best looking. We want to sit on all the advisory boards, volunteer until the world is saved, be the free cab service for all the parents who aren’t there to tote the children to and from activities. The truth is it is your life. You only get one.

You have to choose what you do with the limited time you have here on earth. If you are always complaining “I work too much”. Maybe it’s time to look for a new employer. Maybe it’s time to make a trade. Is living in a house that requires you to spend 8 hours a week of your life commuting allow you to live your life? Does your employer offer an opportunity to telecommute? Would buying a new less expensive some give you more time with your family? If you don’t have enough time with your family what are you willing to trade? Your income for a less demanding job? Your position on the local nonprofit organization?

 Stop saying no!

I know what you’re thinking. “I need to LEARN to say no!” Trust me. You say no to countless things every day. You’re not even aware that you’re doing it. Every time you say yes to something you are saying no to another. For example, when your customer asks you to stay late and you agree. You’ve said yes to your customer while simultaneously saying no to something else. You may have just said no to time to cook and have dinner with your family. Maybe you said no to going to the gym. It may have been no to reading your favorite book. You may have said no to the balance you so desire for your life.

So, the next time someone asks for your time before you say yes ask yourself what that yes means saying no to. I guaranty you will immediately begin to feel more balanced when you chose what you are going to do with your time. If time management is a challenge for you The Top 6 Time Management Strategies That are Proven to work! is a must read to have a balanced life!

Therefore, if you want to live a meaningful purposeful balanced life you must decide what that means to you, prioritize, stop saying no, and then make any and every change to achieve it. And stop the work-life balance craziness!

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Large group of people with relationships

You Can Build Wealth – But You Must First Build Relationships

Relationships are the key to a fulfilled, successful, and yes even wealthy life.  Life is 100% relationships. Think about the people you come in contact with every day. Each one of those people plays an important role in your life. Whether it’s your spouse, children, customer, business partner or even the casual acquaintance. Build the right relationships and you will ultimately build your wealth.

1. Participate in a relationship-based referral group such as Core Dynamics

The key word in that statement is “participate”. You must get actively involved. Just showing up to the weekly or monthly meetings isn’t enough. Will you get some business by just your attendance? Yes. However, if you want to truly grow your business based solely on your referral partners you must get to know them and allow them to get to know you, the real you. People never, and I mean never, like to be sold on product or service. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. They want to know how you can help them. Schedule at least 2 lunches or coffee meetings every week before you leave the group meeting. Otherwise, life happens and you’ll be sure to be meeting-less that week.

2. Know, like, & Trust.

Zig Ziglar said it best “If people like you, they will listen to you. If they trust you they will do business with you”. People have to trust you. When was the last time you went to a car dealership to purchase a new car? Did you feel a little uneasy about the process or did you work with someone who you ultimately trusted to help you through the process? Building trust can take months or even years. But I can assure you once people trust you they will refer you to their family, friends, colleagues, and other business owners.

3. Keep it to coffee.

Just about everyone drinks coffee. Meeting for coffee requires less commitment than meeting for an hour over lunch. Within 20 minutes or so you can begin to build the relationship. Schedule your next coffee meeting before you leave. Remember, this is relationship building, not a one and done stop to spew your product or service all over them.

4. Always ask.

Too often I’ve witnessed meetings where the 2 parties involved talk over each other to talk about themselves and their products or services. It becomes a series of bad commercials and no one is listening. Ask them how they got into the business. Find our what their challenges and successes have been as a business owner. Inquire about their family. Get to know them. While it may sound simple refraining from sharing everything we can offer and asking about the other person can be a real challenge.

5. Listen and listen again.

Now that you’ve asked the questions clear your thoughts. Don’t try to think about what you’ll ask them next. Do not think about how your product or service could help them. Just listen. Listen intently. People love to share their stories. Let them share. Building relationships takes effort on your part. Listening and truly hearing what the other person is saying is key.

 

6. Take notes.

Yes, take notes. Let’s face it. The average person only remembers 50% of what they hear after 3 hours and only about 50% of that after 24 hours. If you really want to build the relationship take notes and study them as if you were studying for an exam. People have a genuine need to know people care. Remembering their birthday, their favorite restaurant, their pets name goes a long way. I always ask permission to take notes and share that I can remember things much better if I write it down. Most people consider it a compliment that you would actually want to remember what they’ve told you.

 

7. Keep your word.

Maybe this one is so simple people undervalue the power of doing what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it. Remember, if people trust you they will do business with you. Miss a scheduled meeting, forget to send information you promised you would send or fail to meet a deadline that you assured them would be easy to meet and you’ve probably lost their trust. You may gain it back eventually. However, the process of building the relationship and the trust starts all over again.

 

8. Understand the power.

Many business owners don’t understand the power of relationships. Everything you do in life can be successful or fail because of a relationship. Marry the wrong person and end up divorced. Chose the wrong CPA and end up with a drowning business. Chose and build the right relationships with the right people and it will change your life. Business is an ever evolving target and so are your clients. If you are a small business that relies on local shoppers your time is better-served building relationships than your marketing campaign. Yes, it’s that serious. Small businesses can live and die by a referral. Do a great job for someone who knows, likes, and trust you and you’ll get more business from them. Break their trust and you will lose more business than you will ever know.

See the power.

Here’s a simple example of the power of relationships. Ms. Jones purchased a house. Mr. Ross was her realtor. Mr. Ross recommended Mrs. Davis to provide the financing for the home. Mrs. Davis recommended Miss Scott to provide the home inspection. Miss Scott recommended Mrs. Wright to close the loan. Mrs. Wright recommended Bob Green to help the Jones move. Bob Green recommended Mr. Smith to provide the homeowner’s insurance. Mr. Smith recommended Ms. White to provide the move in and move out cleaning. The Jones family was taken care of through the entire process. Each business gained a client and new business…with zero marketing. All they did was build the right relationships with the right people.

 

9. Block time.

We all have the same amount of time. So, why are some people so successful and others are not? The difference is simple. Successful people block the time to do what’s important. Building relationships is important. Even if you only block a couple of hours a week, block it. Make a half of one day a week your meeting or relationship building day. If you block every Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. to build relationships you could meet 4 people every week. That’s 16 new or a combination of new and existing relationships every month.

 

10. Go give!

We live in a society of go-getters. Be a go-giver. Look for opportunities to help others achieve their goals or just meet their needs. Ask who they would like to meet. Make the introduction for them. Ask what you can do to help them and then do it. Another favorite Zig Ziglar quote of mine is “you can get everything you want out of life if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want”.

 

So, the next time someone invites you to a networking group, get excited for the opportunity to create and build a new relationship!

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