Yeah, that’s my big thing.
And I get it.
You might not want to hear about it.
And yet… I’m going to keep talking about it.
Here’s why… You don’t want to be the last one to figure it out… Really.
I spent a lot of time trying to find balance in my life when I owned my auto repair business. Hell, I even wrote a book about it.
I did a pretty good job of it, for the most part, and I really believed I was doing a good job.
Unfortunately, I really wasn’t doing so well.
So how did I figure it out?
Ummmm, well, I sold my half of that auto repair business and, in a matter of weeks, my business was gone.
Now, here’s where the story gets interesting…
What did I have after those weeks of business selling?
I had a check in my hand for my share.
You might be thinking… “Wait, what’s so bad about that?”
Nothing… unless ALL you have is a check.
When the check cleared the bank I did an assessment:
- Money in my pocket – check
- Place to live – check
- Two furry babes to keep me company – check
What I didn’t have was what struck me.
I didn’t have a life partner. I didn’t have a business partner. I didn’t have a business. I didn’t have customers. I didn’t have friends. I didn’t have a place to go every day. I didn’t have anything to build every day.
I had spent so much time building my business that it’s really all I did. Sure I spent time with my partner who was also my business partner which meant we spent all our time talking business. I didn’t have time for local friends because I’d let my customers become my social life at the track or at events or at their parties.
I infused balance in my life by reading, working on my side gig of consulting, writing, and running.
I was suddenly acutely aware that I’d built my life around my business.
The balance I’d cultivated was tied strongly to that business.
That worked until it didn’t. Once I didn’t have the business I was left with very little.
And so I had to figure out, all over again, what balance really meant.
I can tell you that building balance around your work isn’t balance no matter how hard you try to justify it.
At some point you have to have something outside of your business because there comes a day when you may not have the business any more.
Balance looks very different to me now. And I can say that as I work hard to create and maintain it, it looks and feels more like a life.
I balance working on my business with working on my life. Neither is allowed to consume me.
As I sat tonight engrossed in a book of fiction, yes, fiction, LuLu came running in from outside. She got right in my face with a kiss and wagged her tail. She was excited and then I heard it, the clap of thunder. It had been a clear day so I was surprised. I walked out onto the patio, to find it was windy and raid drops were starting to fall.
I started to turn around to go back inside and, then, stopped.
Instead, I stepped outside the covered patio onto a bit of flagstone.
The rain drops began to hit my feet. I took one more step and lifted my face.
Drops hit my face and glasses, and I stood there for a moment…
I thought: “So this is what it feels like to have the rain fall on your face.”
Then I realized that while I’d been in the rain before I’d never stopped to appreciate it. I hadn’t ever stopped and let it simply fall on me.
I’d never let it just fall on my face.
I finally opened my eyes and looked around. And then I smiled to no one, at nothing, for only the moment.
I asked nothing of time in that moment and it asked nothing of me.
Those are the moments of balance I want more of.
And the moments I want you to have more of as well…