Why Work Life Balance Is A Unicorn

unicorn

Work Life Balance is extinct.

Compartmentalization is so last year.

The concept used to be a Venn Diagram with the left circle representing your professional life, the right circle your personal life and the overlap the “balance.”

Now your life is just one big circle, a.k.a. Work Life Integration.

If you’re unhappy at work, you’re unhappy in life (and vice versa).

That doesn’t necessarily mean follow your passion (although nothing’s wrong with it). It means focus on your desired lifestyle and find a career to support it.

Job turnover isn’t just a Millennial thing. It’s reality moving forward.

Admit it. You’re most likely not going to work your current job for the rest of your lifetime (the benefits aren’t that great right?), so job-hopping becomes the norm.

Blame it on the following reasons: Boredom. Multi-Passionate. Uncertainty.

But the biggest reason: Life Stage.

If someone asks me how I feel about entrepreneurship now vs. when I started (almost 10 years ago) my response is: I’m married and have 2 kids.

It doesn’t mean I don’t love being my own boss anymore. It means my family is more important.

So using the lifestyle analogy, I’ll stick with being an entrepreneur as long as it supports me financially enough to control how much time I spend with my family.

Your career (and life too) goes through seasons of change.

Balance isn’t achieved by being proactive.

The tension between battling priorities in your life sharpens your choices.

Choose what’s most important to you based on the most valuable currency: time.

That’s no myth.

How Lifestyle Has Changed The Job Market Forever

lifestyle

Lifestyle matters.

Not only that, but it’s a driver. Let me explain.

Work-life balance isn’t achievable unless you start viewing your professional and personal life as one. If you’re unhappy at work, you’re going to be unhappy at home (same goes for vice-versa). Therefore the biggest “perk” you can receive is flexibility, also known as control of the way you spend your time.

Use Millennials as an example. One of their most treasured entities is travel. There’s not one particular destination that is preferred, instead work “book-ends” vacations.

Having kids may limit the frequency of trips, but the focus of time-off shifts to family. Ideally school and work schedules coincide to maximize time spent together. On the other hand, if you’re married to your career, you’re better off being single these days.

In both examples above there is one constant: lifestyle. As so beautifully stated in Flexibility: The New Definition of Success,  the meaning of work now is to: support your desired lifestyle.

Smart companies get this. You can give people all the perks in the world, but if they don’t have autonomy (otherwise known as trust), they’ll eventually leave to find it.

Lifestyle has even caused a seismic shift in entrepreneurship. Scaling, growth and more profit aren’t assumed goals anymore. More families are starting businesses simply to provide a means to survive together. The term lifestyle entrepreneur shouldn’t be looked down upon anymore because the rules of being an entrepreneur have changed.

In previous articles I cover remote working quite a bit because it supports the shift to lifestyle as a motivator. Just like company culture can be more important than landing your dream job, lifestyle is no longer a means to an end, but an end in itself.

 

How Working Remotely Benefits Your Health

Remote-working

Employing remote workers increases the pool of talent for your company. Telecommuting, once thought of as a perk, now levels the playing field.

Theoretically it can pose challenges to management but if done right, supervision shouldn’t vary much. At the heart of managing remote workers is trust. It is literally impossible to micromanage remotely, yet there’s the temptation to in person.

There are several books and online articles that cover managing a remote staff, but few address the benefits health-wise. Here are three ways:

1. Lack of germs – Experiencing the flu can make you a germaphobe, but in a shared workspace it’s almost impossible to avoid the common cold. Working remotely means you’re communicating virtually, but working independently. Not only does the lack of commute save time, but eliminating travel and interaction equates to less trips to the doctor annually.

2. Increased efficiency – Meetings are a waste of time, especially when they’re run poorly. Two brains are better than one, but distractions decrease performance rapidly. No matter how social of a person you are, working alone produces a much higher rate (and usually with less mistakes). With less scheduled interactions, more quality work gets done.

3. Self-leadership – Strip management from the room and there’s a fear of completed tasks. But shouldn’t you be motivated to get stuff done without someone breathing down your neck? As an entrepreneur, the first thing to go is structure when free from the corporate world. Your responsibility is to create order or risk wasting time. A hard lesson to learn initially, self-accountability means you can be trusted.

More and more companies choose to hire remote workers meaning new leadership practices must be implemented. Quality of lifestyle is becoming the most important factor professionally. The more you are informed about the benefits of working remotely, the easier the transition will be to make. Your body, mind and emotions will thank you for it later.

Why College Has Lost Its Mojo

lost-mojo

Someone recently asked me, “If you could go back and give yourself advice what would it be?

My response: drop out of college

With a perplexed reaction to my comment, I began to explain:

A college degree isn’t worth much anymore…just ask your next employer. Experience matters, where you got your degree from doesn’t. The sad reality is most college grads take a job outside of their major and spend the next 5 or so years working just to pay off student loans.

Also college doesn’t teach “real world” skills. I spoke to USC freshmen and sophomores in a career workshop before and said the 3 most important skills to learn in college are: networking, gaining experience (usually through an internship) and learning how to sell (product, services and yourself). Ironically, those tasks aren’t taught in college unless you take advantage of resources as a student.

Lastly, flexibility is the new definition of success. Money isn’t as valuable as controlling your time. Millennials are the most entrepreneurial generation because they want to make an impact and be happy doing it. Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Kevin Rose prove college isn’t for everyone.

Trade schools and incubators are on the rise because if you have an idea that can potentially make a lot of money, why put it towards an education that doesn’t translate to much? As a Bachelor’s & Master’s degree holder, I may sound like a hypocrite, but if I could do it all over again I’d pass college and jump directly into entrepreneurship.

3 Reasons Why Parenthood Is A Great Time To Start A Business

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At first glance the title is perplexing, but starting two separate businesses while each of our children were born gives me some credibility to speak on this subject. The timing seems illogical, but if you’re an action-oriented person like myself, ideas only become reality if executed quickly. Here are my thoughts why juggling a newborn and a startup makes sense:

1) Efficiency – Time is fleeting as a new parent. Newborns need their parents to install routines even though initially they resist them. Transition to entrepreneurship and you can never have enough time in the day to accomplish your dreams. As a new parent you could be working on your business plan in the dark while baby is sleeping. Since you’re up from the crying it’s a perfect time to research and e-mail on your mobile phone. Meetings are a perfect excuse to find extra help so you can make progress on your business while gaining some rest and sanity from your little one at home. Parenthood forces you to be creative when it comes to spending your time. The lack of free time means you’re wiser with the little you have. Nothing makes you hyper-focused more than the fear of your baby waking up from a nap.

2) Parallels to Learning on the Fly – The most unprepared you’ll feel as a parent is when you arrive home from the hospital. The most unprepared you’ll feel during launching a business is when you start. Both responsibilities can be studied, but nothing is a substitute for experience. Parenting is about trial and error and you only get better by doing it. That’s very similar to the success rate of starting a business. First time owners have a less than 30% chance for success, but if you keep trying your chances increase on the next business. The message here isn’t to have 5+ kids, but to understand that both parenthood and entrepreneurship are about adapting and pivoting accordingly. The more rigid you are in your thinking, the harder it will be to thrive in today’s changing market. Commit to a learning mentality and you’ll figure out what to do next.

3) Teaches Kids Entrepreneurship  – When my kids get older I’m going to tell them we started a business when they were born. Whether it’s a success or failure isn’t as important as following your dreams. Skill sets such as: sales, networking and communication aren’t taught in school. They are taught in the “streets.” We are moving towards an economy where it will be mandatory to have a side hustle, so age shouldn’t be a factor when experiencing entrepreneurship. My wife and I have talked several times about giving our children their “college fund” for school or starting their own business. As college graduates, we don’t de-value education, but we also believe it doesn’t guarantee you anything either. What our kids decide to do when they grow up is their decision. We just feel our job is to provide them with choices.

Becoming  a new parent may be the most inopportune time to launch a business, but then again…you’ll never know until you try.

The Benefits of Scary Dreams

Scary dreams

Nightmares suck. No matter the age, they feel real. As a kid, it’s hard to go back to sleep and as an adult you try to analyze the meaning of them which keeps you up. But when are scary dreams a benefit?

When they are your desired dreams. If you evaluate your dreams and they’re not big enough to scare you, they’re probably too small. Size matters and there’s no reason to dilute your dreams because of your life stage. Sure, as you get older your situation becomes more complicated, even layered, but now you just need to be more disciplined to make it happen.

Most of the time you know WHAT your dreams are, but HOW to achieve them is a completely different story. That’s why during this 8-week online bootcamp geared towards achieving work-life balance we’ll break down what it takes to get there. Dreams appear monumental until you break them into smaller steps. As a coach, that’s what I help my clients do. Register here and we’ll turn your dreams from scary bad to scary good.

Soaring Over California…Or Wherever You Live

Soaring

The first time I went on the Soaring Over California ride at Disney’s California Adventure I was in awe. Most of the scenic icons in the Golden State I’d seen before, but not at a bird’s eye view. In addition to the sights, they added smells and sounds that made you feel you were right there on location.

Disney has a knack for transporting you to grand experiences by using the five human senses: touch, taste, smell, sound and sight. But what they really do best is offer: perspective. Rarely do they create something new, but they enhance the ordinary way you look at things and make it better.

What if you took this approach to your personal life? Rarely can you change your circumstances, but you can change the way you choose to view it. That’s the daily choice you have: “re-framing” your life. That’s what I’ll discuss in this 8-week online bootcamp geared toward work-life balance. It’s making little choices that make a big difference. Sometimes it’s about looking at life in a different way. Choice is a powerful thing and during this course I’ll help you become the 2.0 version of yourself.

Why You Shouldn’t Grow Up

Imagination

Being a parent these days, there’s more pressure to help your kid advance than ever. Start applying to a good preschool once they’re born, research the best elementary and middle schools early and what high school gives them to best chance to get into a good college?

Slow down. There’s things that kids do much better than adults, such as imagination. Kids don’t need to be told to dream big because they already do that. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we were told our dreams need to be scaled down to realistic. Maybe it’s from rejection, failure or being told “you can’t do that.” Whatever it is, it needs to stop.

Some people ask me, what does your ideal client look like? Honestly, it’s someone who has an open mind and is willing to try new things even if they don’t fully believe it can work. It’s the “right brain” that has to be opened up in order to imagine big possibilities. So if you’re struggling to find the free time to dream again sign up for my 8-week online bootcamp geared towards work-life balance. Just because someone told you to stop dreaming doesn’t mean you have to listen to them. Let’s go back in time and start dreaming again.

What Work Life Balance Really Means

work life balance

70% of people struggle with work-life balance, but what does that mean? Essentially it’s when either your personal or professional life is dominating the other. Here’s two examples, if you’re a career driven individual who finds yourself in your 30’s and out of the dating scene for a while because working overtime is the norm OR if you’re a stay home mom who manages a household of 5, but never has any time of your own that’s work-life imbalance.

Easy to identify, difficult to resolve. At the core of work-life balance is feeling a lack of control. Autonomy is one of our primary motivators in life, according to Dan Pink, so when our professional or personal life is overwhelming the other we feel like the victims of our consequences. The same reason why entrepreneurs start their own business is what the average person striving for work-life balance wants: freedom.

There’s a big movement in the entrepreneurial world that doesn’t involve making more money. It’s a little thing called lifestyle design. It means you want to spend your time doing what you want, where you want, when you want. Sounds like a glorified vacation, but it’s much more than that. Fast forward your life until you’re in your 80’s. If you looked back at your life at that point, what decisions would you wish you made differently? Probably anything that deals with spending more time WITH others or ON yourself. That’s why time, not money, is the most valuable currency.

If you’re still confused, let’s talk about the exact opposite of work-life balance: living with regret. People who struggle with work-life balance experience this “inner-tension” of feeling guilty for not taking action. As a Career Coach, most of the clients I’ve worked with over the past 8 years pay me to help them make a career transition, but you know what they really need help with? Confidence.

I can’t force anyone to do anything. That may not sound very marketable, but it’s the truth. I can make suggestions, but ultimately it’s up to the client how much effort, openness and passion they put into accomplishing the goals they set to achieve. But this is where work-life balance fits in. You know what your desired goals are, but you may not know how to get there. That’s where I come in. Work-life balance is about prioritizing. Goals aren’t the same. Some are more important than others. You are a specialist. If you were good at everything, you wouldn’t need anyone’s help. Therefore identifying your strengths, then maximizing them is crucial to achieving work-life balance because your strengths are a “means” to an end (your goals). Work-life balance is a constant challenge. In fact, it’s not a destination, it’s a journey. You need accountability, milestones and motivation to get there. I want to help.

Dreams: Size Matters

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How big are your dreams? Maybe a better question is how long will your dreams take to accomplish?

Life can be rough and as we get older our dreams tend to shrink in size…why is that?

Disappointment. Failure. Rejection.

No one likes to experience those feelings, but if you dwell in the past, thats’ where you’ll stay. Look at Carl from the movie UP. What he thought he was chasing wasn’t really what he wanted. You and I are inspired by dreamers and when we hear stories of people achieving their dreams it makes us re-evaluate ours.

Today is a new start. Jot down what you want to accomplish in the next year. They can be personal or professional goals, but whatever they are write them down. Now go and share them with someone so they can hold you accountable for your progress. Remember the bigger the dream, the longer it takes to accomplish. No one says to dream small, so stop putting limits on yours.

If you need help join me for this 8-week online bootcamp geared towards work life balance. What does work life balance have to do with your dreams? Everything. If you don’t have the time to work on and complete your dreams, what’s the point of having them in the first place? That’s what we’ll do together, free up time to make your dreams a reality. Sign up and let’s dream big, together.