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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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Ideal Partners

The Ideal Partner

November 9, 2019
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Want a good test for finding the ideal partner? Build a house together.

When You Need an Ideal Partner

What they say:

 “you should never build a house during the early stages of a marriage. The stress caused by the sheer volume of decisions, many of which are preferential decisions, can be simply too great for the relationship to survive.”

During 25 years of marriage my wife and I have worked our way through two extensive remodel projects and one new family home built from scratch. Now, we find ourselves building again. This time we are building our so called retirement home. It will be a smaller, one level, lower maintenance home. 

We started this journey when my wife’s parents both expressed their desire to downsize and simplify. We don’t find ourselves at this point yet, but we saw this as an opportunity. We could build this home early, while we still have the energy and ability to do so. We had been saving a piece of property with this purpose in mind. The thought of them getting to enjoy it, while waiting for our own retirement, sounded like an ideal opportunity. 

Defining Ideal Partner

This brings me back to the value of a good partner. Let’s look at a definition of the ideal partner.

Ideal partners value the other’s interests separate from their own. They feel congenial toward and supportive of one another’s overall goals in life. They are sensitive to the other’s wants, desires, and feelings, and place them on an equal basis with their own.

Being an Ideal Partner

My wife, Mary Pat’s involvement in this project has been extensive. She has done most of the “behind the scenes” decor and finishing touches. I, on the other hand, have been managing the day to day workflow and financial aspects of the project. We are currently starting month six of the project. Reflecting on this, it dawned on me how much fun I have had working with my partner on this project. Though it’s been exhausting and stressful at times, she has always, and I mean always, shown me these invaluable characteristics of a great partner: 

  • Verbally appreciates my role, over and over again. 
  • Is supportive during the inconveniences that arise in pulling the whole project together.
  • Asks my opinion even when I don’t really want to give it.
  • Always cares more about me and my well being more than the project
  • Laughs often over the silly things we place a high value on, things that are good but often non essential luxuries. 
  • Willing to compromise if it makes the whole project more bearable. 
  • Able to say “maybe later” to things that feel overwhelming at the time.  

What It’s Worth

I never could have predicted the pure joy this project project has brought me.  I give all the credit to a great partnership and 25 years of practice. Multiple home projects and business ventures, raising two amazing children, and a shared faith has prepared us for this adventure.

Never take for granted what you are going through today and who is going through it with you. The value may be in the unknown future joy you will experience with your ideal partner.

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