Come the weekend, I turn off my phone on Friday at noon. No more email, text, or business planning. I keep it on for taking pictures of my family, but I don’t do any social media.
I started this habit a number of years ago when my practice was just getting going. My wife and I had a conversation where she said, “I don’t know when you’re in business mode or home mode”.
It’s a valid concern. As high-achieving business owners, we get excited about the next big idea, potential growth, or way to improve what’s working. For most entrepreneur practice owners, we think that if we:
- Work harder
- Listen to more podcasts
- Take massive action
- Wear every hat in the business
- Save money
… We’ll be successful.
That works to a point. But, then we find ourselves working 60+ hours, checking texts on vacation, and thinking about business while in a swimming pool with our kids. Being “busy” is somehow a badge of honor.
That’s why I want to start with designing the life you want. We might call this “Lifestyle Design”. Similar to designing a house, you don’t just show up and start putting up walls or buying couches, you usually think about where you are headed.
But, in our business (especially because most of us got little or no training), we just try something until it works. Instead, let’s plan out your life a little bit.
I want you to commit to taking the next five minutes with me, will you do that? If not, please come back to this post. Here’s exactly what I want you to do:
- Put your phone in airplane mode, unless you’re reading this on your phone 🙂
- Set a timer for three minutes
- Think about your perfect week: how much would you work? What time would you start? What about eating and exercise? Time with your family or friends? Remember to breath deeply.
When I first did this, I realized that I wasn’t exercising enough, spending time with my family, or going after hobbies. It was a weird transition. I remember working out, in the middle of the day, with a bunch of retired guys. I had these internal questions: “Do they think I’m unemployed?” “Would that be bad?” “Does it matter?”
This approach is completely counter to the culture in which we are raised. What would that new life look like?
ACTION: Block out one thing in your calendar that has nothing to do with work and make it repeat. It could be date night, turning off your email notifications, or not working late one evening. In doing this, you will start to create your life and fit your business into that life.
In the next article, I’m going to share a “don’t let this happen to you” moment from my life.
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI. To link to Joe’s Google+ .