Dawn of a New Day, New Beginnings
“People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life.”
John c. Maxwell
Among business owners, male and female, there is often a real sense of loneliness, and particularly among women in business. This is something I repeatedly hear in discussions with executives and business owners. That loneliness can become hard to bear. And the lack of understanding from people close to you when business is not going well has the potential to be a real energy drain.
Choosing to move forward and advance ‘ahead of the pack’ entails learning and adapting, and changing on a personal level. It means separating yourself from the pack. Separation often means loneliness, but it does not necessarily mean that is what it needs to be.
Choosing to start and run a business means change on a personal level, means learning and adapting to a changing world around you in a way that separates you from the crowd.
So where do you go? Talking with your spouse, partner, or friends is not always helpful; in fact, at times, it can be quite destructive. You can sometimes be talked out of the business and spend a lifetime wondering ‘what if’.
“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”
Alain de Botton
On the other hand, if you treasure the partner you have chosen for life, open communication, trust and understanding can be the foundation for personal growth for both of you. You can create opportunities for building understanding when the business gets in the way of home life, or when home life must be placed before the business for periods of time.
Living the dream of your business means there will always be a demand on your time in one area or another. Living the dream of a full life that includes family and a life partner or spouse and ongoing friendships means dealing with challenges in such a way that less than ideal results in any one situation does not dictate the quality of your relationships – or the success of your business. Achieving such a state requires holding the above values – at home and in business.
This is no easy task. But if you choose to, you can include those close to you; you just may not always be able to turn to them always when business gets tough. They have their own set of priorities. Their priorities and yours will not always match. But if you have open communication, an ability to hear what they may be saying, and the ability to communicate the difficulty of the choices your are making while maintaining a high quality in that relationship, those moments that unbalance all of you do not need to destroy those relationships.
“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.”
Robert H. Schuller
Find yourself a group of people, those who are engaged in similar ventures, who have similar goals and similar challenges. These people are often seeking new avenues for moving forward in life and business, and seeking new challenges on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. These people are the ones who will support you through the worst and the best of times if you are wise in choosing who you talk with about what is happening in your life.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce, the local Rotary Club, or other community clubs with a business owner/operator basis such as Kiwanis, and Lions clubs. These are areas where you will find like-minded people engaged in and managing businesses and life; common ground. Joining such groups may take you away from your personal commitments periodically, but spouses and partners often find others at social events for the offending organization with whom they are able to share both struggles and solutions – just like you.
I’ve said in other articles in other ways that valuing your time and those who surround you involves knowing what you value most in life and work. You are master of the values you hold. And…life doesn’t always go the way we want. Our challenge, always, is learning how to manage the disruptions in a way that encourages everyone around us to look for new ways of managing what has created new problems or new challenges.
Life is truly about learning how to cope with, survive, and thrive through the everyday challenges we face. Through challenges and barriers to what we want, we learn and grow – but only if we choose that reaction, choose to act with head and heart, rather than having knee-jerk reactions.
Set yourself apart as well by hiring a coach, and finding a mentor.