My work-life balance is stuffed – how do I fix it?

Dear Aunty B,

I run a medium-sized business in the services industry and my work-life balance is stuffed. If I was going to ‘fess all Aunty, it doesn’t exist – not that I don’t want it to.

I am under the pump with budgets, plans and stupid little dramas that occur when you are running a business and have to deal with live humans. Every day I get up and pack my running gear or gym bag and swear on my mother’s life that I will go to the gym that night and every night I am the last to turn off the lights, crawl home, eat and drink too much, get scolded by my wife and go to bed.

Now I am thinking I will just wait until this rotten FY 12 is behind me and I will start again in July – but, Aunty, I can’t think that, can I?


Margaret River


Dear Tommie,

Forget about yourself. Who cares about you and what you feel and think? Instead think about it this way.

What matters the most to your business, your family and your community? What is the most important thing in the world to them? What do you know would stop them in their tracks and cause fear, grief, confusion, sadness and bewilderment? What might distract them from building their lives, their future and the future of your company and of the community? Your ill-health. That’s what.

Your physical and mental health is your company’s greatest asset. Your great relationship with your wife and family is your company’s greatest asset. (Believe me, you are heading for divorce and wait to see how that impacts on your business!) Your ability to think clearly, act rationally, contribute with energy and be in prime health is your community’s greatest asset.

Now, you are not stupid. You take calculated risks based on the facts every day in your business. The facts are that if you don’t exercise a lot and eat well, you will get sick, feel like crap and die. OK?

So next time you decide not to go to the gym because you are too busy, ask yourself this: Is that little bit of paperwork really more important than my business, my family and my community?

Is that job you just have to do really the difference between life and death or would putting on your running shoes be a better contribution to the long-term health of your business and relationships?

Can that late meeting really not be rescheduled for the morning so you can show your staff that their health and wellbeing is also of vital importance to the company and people around them?

So here is my challenge to you. Until June 30 – and from them on for the rest of your life – not once will you put yourself and petty little office jobs first. Instead you will think of the long-term big picture, because that’s the kind of bloke you really are.

Happy running!

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

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