Pop quiz: How many times have you been told that you need to achieve that perfect work/life balance? A lot? Yeah, us too. But what the hell does that even mean? And why do people always feel that they have the right to tell you that you’re working too hard and not living enough?
Here in Team VENTH we’re of firm belief that if you want to get somewhere you have to work hard, and often that means putting in several hours a day pretty much seven days of the week – or all night long if you’re Brian the night owl – to get through the ever expanding to-do list and achieve the results we want. But people often look at this from the outside and get their judgy pants on, claiming that this just isn’t the right way to go for achieving the mythic ‘perfect’ balance between working and taking time off to relax. So we’ve got something to say about THAT…
Watching TV for hours on end is not relaxation, it’s wasting your time
In order to work for yourself you have to be a driven, motivated individual, and you’ve got to prepared to completely throw yourself into all the tasks at hand to progress with your business, or even just improve on your passion or hobby. Take Brian for instance, when he first went to the gym as a competitive guy it wasn’t enough for him to just run on the treadmill every now and again, so he threw himself into it and learnt everything there was to know about improving his health and fitness. It paid off, as he not only thoroughly enjoyed himself, but he also became a qualified crossfit coach, powerlifting coach, personal trainer and nutritional specialist, simply because he found the subject area so interesting and was passionate about looking after himself. That was his relaxation, that was his downtime, and that was his hobby. He did it for fun. Yes, you heard that right – fun.
So why can’t people apply this enthusiasm to their business? If your business is your hobby, then it’s perfectly acceptable to give everything you have to improving and developing that, and if you’re doing it right then you should be having great fun along the way. Don’t listen to the haters that think you should be mindlessly sitting in front of the TV for hours in ‘relaxation’ mode to get in that downtime – because they’re just wasting their time. If anything, those guys need to take a leaf out of your book and get themselves a hobby, to improve them as a person and provide with them with the real relaxation that they’re seeking. Don’t get us wrong, everybody needs some downtime to keep themselves losing focus or getting bogged down in the things that are stressing you out, but if you’re really committed to your business then you’ll constantly be forming new ideas and working up that motivation to get back to the task at hand, because for you your business is your life and it’s fun for you.
Don’t get confused that just because it seems bad to you, that it’s not perfect for me – this is my fun
One point that people often bring up in this argument is handling relationships – and it’s totally important to make time for the your friends and family and the people in your life. But you know what? Passionate and motivated individuals often attract other passionate individuals, who are very much working on their own thing too, as well as showing an interest in what you’re working on. If you surround yourself with people who understand your way of life and who also don’t want to take a day off from fuelling their passion, then you’re always going to be winning because you’ll be working with your friends in a creative environment, bouncing off each other and fuelling each other’s ideas.
Let’s not forget that people are talking about work/life balance from the perspective of being a wage-slave, talking about going to work for somebody else, putting in too much overtime and not getting enough time to relax or do what they want to do. Well forget that. When you work for yourself you control your hours, you make all your own decisions and everything that you do either negatively or positively impacts the outcome of those decisions. They work at a job the majority of the time they hate, saving up for those two weeks a year they get to go on holiday, or constantly thinking about making it through to the next weekend for some time off. It kinda sounds like they’re the ones who’ve got this balance all wrong, slaving away five days a week just for those two days of living on the weekend. Here in the team we love our downtime too, don’t get us wrong, but we also make sure we turn it into something productive, like a business meeting in the morning and some sightseeing in the afternoon, or some vlogging or a workshop on location. All the while, enjoying every second, even though for us it’s technically work hours.
The right way to live for any individual is the right way to live just for THEM
If you’re passionate, motivated and driven about what you’re doing, ignore those who judge you for it, or who think that you’re working so hard that you’ll eventually burn out. Let your passion become your life, and just enjoy the journey – however hard you have to work and however many nights you stay awake thinking about new ideas and forming new plans. Go with the flow and do what feels right for you, take a break when you need to, work hard when you have to and revel in the rush that you get from having complete control over your own life.
And if YOU are constantly telling people they need to get a better work/life balance, maybe ask yourself if you’re actually just trying to apply your current situation to their lives. If so – stop! Stop looking at somebody else and putting them in your shoes, you’re supposed to put yourself in their shoes and understand what makes them tick and what makes them happy. Most of the time we seem to have opinions about things that we shouldn’t have opinions about and if someone hasn’t asked for your feedback, then just leave them the hell alone. It’s as simple as that. If people don’t want your help then don’t help them, instead lift people up and tell them you admire their work ethic, don’t put them down or impart your negativity. Be happy for people that have found what it is that makes them happy – because they’re the hardest workers (and hardest party-ers) of us all.