There was a time in my life when I had so much going on I barely had time to breathe. I juggled five or six businesses and became too busy to notice that I wasn’t making any significant money from any of them. I was cocky and full of myself and thought I had it all going on… Until some guy I was spouting off to about how ‘great’ I was stopped me short when he asked, “Chris, are you making any money from any of them?” WHOA…wait a minute!
Thank goodness my head wasn’t so big that I didn’t have the good sense to think for a minute and really analyze that question. I sat and took a good look at everything that I had going on and realized two things. First, I was a dumbass. I wasn’t nearly as successful as I had led myself to believe. And second, I had to start doing something different or I was never going to be as successful as I wanted to be.
That was a pivotal moment in my life, both as a person and as an entrepreneur. That was the moment when I realized that instead of working harder, I had to work smarter. I needed to reevaluate my situation. I got rid of all but two of my businesses and put all of my energy into just those two, which I eventually whittled down to one – the most profitable.
Now, I’m asking you the same questions. If you are working really hard, which is the “American Way” and the way that most of us have been taught, is all that hard work really paying off? Are you truly getting what you want from life, or do you find yourself “going nowhere…fast”? If you find yourself working more and enjoying your life less, it might be time for you to reevaluate your situation. You will end up getting little satisfaction out of life if you are working yourself to death. If you make an honest attempt to balance your life, you will find that you are not only more successful in your career, but also much happier in your personal life.
You might want to start by taking a look at your rules: how you live by them and how they limit you. I’ve found that bending – or breaking – a few of the rules that are in the way of my success can not only be liberating but extremely profitable. I’m not talking about breaking laws that will hurt someone else or yourself, I’m talking about identifying “rules” that limit your ability to live and work the way that you want.
I personally hate the 9-to-5 office gig. I prefer to work in more “liberating” environments. I regularly work in my hot tub, or I travel to a hotel and sit by the pool, someplace warm of course. I’ve found that something as simple as taking my laptop down to the corner café can result in some really profitable and amazing ideas. Try it at least once… Take a “working lunch” and go to the park, or sit in the museum, or go wherever strikes your fancy. Explore some creative new ways to do what you do. Get away from your personal “rat race” and allow your mind to relax a bit. Let go of all the stress that clogs your mind. You may find that this is something you need to work on in order to be happier and more successful.
These are just a couple ideas that can empower you to work less, make more and to live really well. Big changes can occur in little steps, so all you have to do is to take the first step in the right direction.