I overheard a conversation as I was out the other day. It was man in his late 50s and he was talking to a younger man about parenting. The older fellow said something that really hit home to me and had me really thinking about what the hell I was doing in my personal life. To paraphrase, he was telling this younger lad how time has seemed to fly by the last 20 years. He got married, had kids, had multiple jobs and in the blink of an eye was where he was now. He wasn’t upset, he was just kind of melancholy about it. As if he didn’t know how he got here.
Now, I have no kids, have never been married, so I certainly can’t speak for everything that he was talking about. However it made me think about where I was 10 years ago and what I was doing and thinking about. Let me tell you, thinking about that was just enough to have me empathizing (just a little) with what that gentleman might have been thinking.
First off, I feel like 10 years ago was yesterday, so that’s a bit scary, but more importantly, I am seriously questioning the next 10 years and what I might be able to do so I can take the fullest advantage of them! Probably something we should all do right?
I don’t know about you, but when I have moments like this, I always seem to analyze two things: What am I doing that I think is important and is that thing really that important or is just me who thinks it’s that important. I struggle every day with a few things that take up a stupid amount of time that I should NOT be doing, but alas, every day I have to force myself to not do them. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes it’s the busy work that makes us feel like we are getting work done, when in reality it is just keeping us busy and not really allowing us to get the most out of the day. We could be doing things differently, focusing on other responsibilities or taking time to just enjoy what we have done already. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I still haven’t been able to fully allow myself not to work. I almost feel guilty if I’m not with my team, battling it out. How about you?
After taking some time to let what this gentleman was saying sink in, I realized I need to work on a few things and thought it would be a good topic to write about. I can’t be the only person running a business that feels this way. And I certainly don’t want to be another 10 years older wondering where the last 10 years went. Here are a couple of things I am going to be doing and might be able to help you to:
Communicating more. I am really bad at this. I let things sit on my to-do list because I think I am the one that has to do them. Wrong. My team is here to help me. I have to leverage that and allow them to help get things done. Much harder than it sounds. The more I can talk to them, the better things will be!
Stop doing what is wasting time. I have analyzed three things that are sucking time away from me and my day. Emails, a crazy to-do list and enabling questions to be asked of me. How many of you wake up to 100 emails, a to-do list that just never gets done (and if it does, you just add more to it) and people asking you questions: All. The. Time. I have to fix this and certainly will be trying some new things out.
Finding a hobby. I just realized a few days ago, I don’t have one. I couldn’t believe it. I have things I like to do every now and then, I have things that I do outside of work that seem fun and I have things that I do to relax a few times a year. However, I don’t seem to have a hobby. Something that I’m doing simply because I like it and I want to do it relatively regularly. I’m not quite sure what that is but I am going to find one. Oh wait, I know why this is a problem…I’m trying to run a business, that’s why!
It is much harder than it looks. I am finding that at 37, I am pretty much set in my ways. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great life and I am always excited about the day, but I think as a business owner I have let the personal side of my life not be quite as great as the business side of my life. And I think there might be a lot more people like me out there. I think the guy at the bar might have been guilty of the same thing. Or maybe he just didn’t pay attention to what was in front of him. Or maybe he… we could go on and on, but now is a perfect time for us to learn from that. I mean, what good is a great business if you can’t have a complete, well-versed life—right?
I am interested in your feedback on this as well. Tell me what you struggle with, what you find daunting with the mix of personal and business life. It’s a great time to at least think about things like this and gain some perspective on what you have going on and what could be done a little differently so that the next 10 years are spent the best possible way!
Filed Under: Issue #170, Personal Development
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