By Michael Gunther

I must admit, as a business owner, I feel the need to create balance in my life quite often. In fact, I originally thought when I started my business that I would have more free time and flexibility by being my own boss. More time to exercise, to be with family and friends, to take kayaking lessons, or finally get that painting job done at home.

Yet, like many business owners, I am so busy working in my business that I’m afraid before I know it summer will be over and my dreams of taking a summer vacation will have slipped away. So I’ve decided to go on a family camping trip – one that has been a tradition in my family for over 40 years. I grew up in a family with 17 children and this trip is an annual reunion for those siblings who can still brave the camping regime. In fact, my 85 year old mother still camps with us; further motivation for me to find time to go.

Here I am, on the eve of my camping trip, stressing about going out of town for just a five day break. I’m stressing about getting out of town, stressing about my business surviving without me, stressing that I will not be able to relax enough before I turn around and come back home, stressing at my hectic schedule I will return to. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

The irony is not lost on me: I work with business owners on balancing their lives, and yet I struggle with that very same challenge. I am fully aware that every time I take a break or create more balance in my life, I come back more energized, more focused, and with about 50 more ideas on how to grow or improve my business.

I have been pondering this dilemma; knowing the value of getting away from the office (whether for just a few short hours or days) yet still not partaking in the activities or trips that I know would make me a better leader, business owner, and consultant . And I realized that we stay so busy working towards achieving a goal or dream that we do not take time to enjoy the journey. Before we know it weeks, months, or years go by – time we can never regain.

I encourage you today to take a few minutes and identify a list of activities, goals, or dreams that you want to do to create balance your life; to enjoy this glorious summer season. With this list, plan when you will start the top three items – block the time on your calendar if necessary. Keep a commitment to yourself that with all the hours you work, you will spend at least a couple of hours a week on activities you believe will create balance your life.

The Bottom Line

To be more effective in your role as leaders or business owners, you need to make sure that you create balance in your life by making time for the activities or relationships that bring you happiness.

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