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Balance, life, family, career and work in a crossword arrangement.

Balance: Getting the Right Mix

December 16, 2019
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Balance in all the important areas of life is something most of us struggle with. Thoughts on the subject from an entrepreneur …

Balance: Now and Later

Balance is the key to getting the right mix when living out today’s reality and tomorrow’s opportunity for our life. A healthy balance includes maintaining meaningful work and relationships today while at the same time investing in each of these areas of life for the future.

 I like to break my life down into three major categories. 

  • Relationships – family, friends, community, emotional health
  • Activities – rest, recreation, hobbies, growth and learning
  • Work – Providing life’s essentials, giving back to society with dollars & service

I find that being an entrepreneur, I often get to mix my work with the rest of my life. The leadership, decision making skills and experience at work help when planning my time with family and friends. I also get to support organizations that reflect my world view and my interests in life through my business.

For many of us, especially us business owners, work is the area where we struggle. Too much work or too little work and we find life is just not happening as well as it could. Do I have this all figured out so that my relationships, activities and work life are always in perfect balance? No, that’s just not true. I can say that I give it thought, and continue to desire and work toward that balance in my life. I also wish it for you.  

Testing the Balance

Developing a servant mindset has been a key to keeping a balance between my work and the rest of my life. There is a fine line between being a true servant and a workaholic. 

The way I test myself is to ask “Is my business for the purpose of acquiring more stuff or helping others?”. “Am I looking for recognition or anonymity?”

 I daily find myself desiring more stuff and/or wanting recognition for accomplishments or acts of generosity. This realization helps me examine my motives. I know there will be times when I will be recognized and financially rewarded for my work, and there is nothing wrong with this. But if the lack of recognition or reward reduces my passion and effectiveness, then I likely may be out of balance. 

The Reward

When there is a deeper reason than acquiring stuff or propping up my ego, that is when work no longer feels like work. The correct balance means the people closest to me don’t feel nearly as neglected when duty calls me away. They may even step in and help me. Balance and a servant attitude helps us all to enjoy the blessing of  being a part of something bigger than ourselves. 

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Participation Matters!

January 22, 2019
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What would it take to change your mind about awarding participation? A compelling argument, or do you need indisputable facts? Let’s look at an issue that’s been debated as long as there have been contests and winners and losers.

I actually believe in giving participation trophies, and not just because I am an awards provider. It actually makes good sense because participation is a big deal.

Some believe that we should only award the best, the competition’s winners.  If we award the participant we are sending the wrong message – that everyone is a winner just for showing up.

But, isn’t this true in much of life? Isn’t it the showing up and participating that counts? No one, not even the youngest of children, when handed a second place or a participation trophy after losing a contest, thinks they won the contest. But they can still feel proud and appreciated by the event’s planners for showing up and making it a contest. Think about it.  If only the best team shows up, there is no contest.

A well thought out awards plan, even one including participation trophies, can serve multiple purposes.

  1. It recognizes great skill and achievement for the champions
  2. All participants are thanked and appreciated for participating and making it a contest.
  3. Everyone goes home with a token or a gift, a reminder that they participated in that event so they remember it and want to come back. (This is how great event planners market their events. They send everyone home with something that has the event’s name on it.)

In February, one of the biggest single events that we provide awards for, the American Birkebeiner®, sends everyone, all 10,000 participants, home with a participation trophy – a medal or year pin signifying that they finished the the Birkie for the first or the 45th time. This is one of the reasons, I believe, that it is one of the greatest events on snow and it sells out every year!

Participation matters!

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