Category: Profit through People

Should you focus on life balance in the midst of a recession?

August 2nd, 2009

Many people would say absolutely not – and it is quite understandable as it is common to be concerned about what the next day will bring in the midst of such turbulent change, lack of cash flow and unparalleled level of volatility in the recent past. However, I believe it is exactly when you need to focus on it!

As my HR mentor told me several years ago, life balance is critical – not only will it likely add to your enjoyment but it also makes you more productive and successful in the work environment. My current newsletter feature article focuses on this topic and goes into detail about three key elements to creating life balance: 1) don’t go it alone, 2) knowledge expansion, and 3) life experiences.

There are compelling reasons to force yourself to set aside time to create life balance. Read more about it by clicking here.

Is there a good time for advice?

July 11th, 2009

“You weren’t ready to absorb it at the time”……

Many years ago, I sat in MBA classes and listened to a plethora of topics. I did well in my classes. Then, 10 years later, I discovered some old textbooks in the garage and was amazed that I had a book on how to save taxes (I assume from my financial planning class). I remember nothing about that topic (let alone the book) from that class. At the time, I realized it would be beneficial to purchase a house – and so I did that.

Fast forward 10 years, and I was concerned about how to keep more of my income as opposed to working everyday with no progress, and so I started studying several topics related to financial planning including saving taxes. I ended up buying the newer version of the book I had stashed in my garage at Borders and thought it was amazing, new information, which I started implementing immediately. And I thought I had a good memory! (at the time)

About that time, I talked with a friend, and she had a profound statement, “you weren’t ready to absorb it at the time”. After thinking about it, I realized that I had a focus (buy a house), and so I was saturated with immediately useful information.

Why bring this up today? I just returned from my HR mentor’s wedding, and while I was in town, I talked with my great friend Sandi, and she gave me some advice that I’d heard before (several times actually) but it was profound since I was currently ready to think about that particular topic. And, interestingly, she is the same person who had the profound statement, “you weren’t ready to absorb it at the time”.

So, what is your focus? It might worth noting.

Does Everyone Need a Vacation?

July 7th, 2009

Absolutely! Several years ago when I was a VP of Operations, my HR mentor used to give me a hard time about taking more vacation, as I had to not only enjoy more time off but she also wanted me to set a good example for my team. It was tough to fit it in – after all, isn’t there always a new crisis brewing? She was absolutely right.

Time off not only gives you a chance to rest and rejuvenate which typically helps you come back to work in a refreshed frame-of-mind but it also gives you quality time with family, friends and/or alone. After all, what’s life about if you cannot take time to enjoy it.

The last few years, I’ve been fortuante to be able to go on vacations with my family (parents, brothers, nephew etc), friends, and alone (typically to visit relatives, friends etc). I see a lot of people working really hard especially in the recession (for example, my brother is a high quality electrical engineer who works a significant # of hours in order to keep the projects on track with fewer peers to help complete them), and so I think it’s important to remember vacation/ rest. I’ve been on vacations ranging from low cost (enjoying time with friends at the beach) to the luxury/ rare (such as going to Europe), so there can be something for everyone. I just returned from a family vacation – it was a bit crazy at times (what family vacation isn’t after all!) but it was a great experience – full of family, fun, new experiences, and learning.

When is your next vacation, even if it is “the weekend”?

Does Working 24/7 Work?

May 18th, 2009

Over the long term…..No! Of course, I’ve tried this approach in my past – from time to time, every successful person most likely has to work long hours (whether for yourself or someone else); however, I’ve found taking a break can make you far more productive. Last week, I went to North Carolina to visit with my close friend from high school and college. We were at the beach for a few days with some new friends and then took a 3hr round trip to visit with former colleagues/ friends for about 40 minutes since that happened to be all the time available that day. Then, after returning home and going to a jam-packed meeting day for my business, I was able to get away with great friends in Catalina. Many years ago, I’m sure I would have been very stressed at taking off time when I should be finding prospective clients and working, working, working. Thank goodness, I’ve found that taking a break and enjoying family and friends is not only enjoyable but also add a touch of productivity to your business/ job.

How? Well, for many people, getting away from the day-to-day grind can free up thinking which creates even better productivity upon your return. Also, I find that I am able to learn new and relevant things on trips and with people. For example, I spent the ride home from the beach with a new friend, and we brainstormed about marketing activities for real estate, which can have some direct correlations and insights into marketing for consulting businesses. Also, in re-engaging with old friends/ former colleagues, it reminded me of events and reenergized me with respect to a few subjects. And, it reminded me of why I wanted to stay in touch with such fabulous people.

I find you can learn something from every experience. In Catalina, I went golfing because one of my friends, a high school student, was interested in golfing, and it reminded me of the value of practice. At first, my golf balls went all over the place (since I haven’t played in years), and so I convinced my friend that we should have a maximum # per hole; however, after several holes, I could see my swing coming back and the balls at least got off the ground and a few were solid shots (of course, it is easy to still screw up a solid shot with 4 putts but that’s another story).

The bottom line for me is to make sure to enjoy life, keep and maintain valued relationships and to keep an open mind as you never know where your next great idea will come from!

Start From a Position of Strength…

April 21st, 2009

I was just talking with a friend about the trials and tribulations of the economy, work, life etc. It is amazing what a difference it can make to come at a situation from a position of strength vs. one of weakness. For example, my friend is in transition in her career and was provided an unresponsive and unavailable transition counselor. Instead of giving up and considering it a lost cause to gain value from the experience, she persisted until she found someone available and convinced them to fly into town to get together. The only reason this occurred is because she addressed the situation from a position of strength and was persistent until achieving the desired result. How are you approaching situations in all aspects of your life? Even if you don’t feel like it, consider coming at the next one from a position of strength as an experiment to see what will occur. I bet you’ll be amazed by the results – and, remember, it can become a self-fulfilling circle of success leading to success which creates success….