Business, Personal Life, and the Myth of Balance

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On December 15, 2014

It'sNotPersonalFans of The Godfather trilogy will remember a scene in which Michael Corleone sits in his office and talks about retaliation against one of the competing Mafia families. When someone suggests that his personal feelings of revenge may be clouding his judgment, Michael Corleone calmly replies, “It’s not personal . . . it’s business!”

The implication is that what goes on in business is completely disconnected from what happens in personal life. The two have nothing to do with each other.

That may make great cinema, but those of us who live in the real world know that it’s not quite that simple. It’s particularly difficult for individuals who are responsible for growing a business. That kind of responsibility carries a lot of demands.

Businesses don’t grow by themselves. They need attention. They require monitoring. They require decisions. And your business doesn’t run according to your personal calendar. It takes on a life of its own.

That’s one reason businesspeople struggle so much to balance their personal lives and their business lives. But that idea of separating the two and balancing them is—at least to some degree—a myth. There are times when what’s going on in business will throw your personal life out of balance. And there are times when what’s going on in your personal life can make it difficult to keep your business life on an even keel.

Does that mean you should give up growing a business and retreat to a cubicle where you don’t have to worry about things like “balance?” Of course not!

The fact is that nobody lives completely “in balance” all the time. Juggling personal life and business responsibilities isn’t always flawless. But there are things you can do that make it more manageable. That’s why regular business planning (whether it’s weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually) is so important. Good planning won’t eliminate all of your business headaches—especially if you’re trying to grow—but it can make those challenges easier to manage.

And there are tools you can use that will give you the information (the metrics) you need to make your planning and your decision-making easier and more effective. Growing a business is hard work. Sometimes it will throw your life out of balance. But the planning you do now will make it much easier to keep things on a more even keel later next year.

What are your biggest “balance” challenges? Leave me a note in the comments section below. And if you’re looking for help with business planning for the coming year, give me a call at 1-719-339-9505. I won’t promise perfect balance between your personal life and your business life—but there are things we can do to keep things under control!