A few months ago I made a declaration to start blogging regularly in an effort to be a better communicator.
I lied. Real talk, up until this week, I hadn’t wrote shit.
But I want to,,,, and I do believe I have a lot to say. I find it difficult however to carve out the time to talk about what you’re doing while you’re still trying to do it. I also didn’t think anyone was particularly interested in hearing about all the grunt work or the building process. Then came this weekend when I was encouraged to talk about what I do, how I do it and how I balance it out.
I want to start with the latter: How does one achieve balance? How do you have a full time job, launch an app, work as a partner in a consultancy and prepare to launch a totally unrelated side venture effortlessly?
The truth is YOU DON’T. There is no real balance. Every second you dedicate to one venture, aspiration, dream, or relationship takes away from the other. Every Google hangout I do is taking time away from time I could be hanging out with my family.
I’d like to think my life is a little like Samantha from Sex and the City…minus NYC, the men, and all of the sex. It’s basically just me being saucy, drinking, spending a ridiculous amount of time in meetings, on a computer and making my friends listen to me bitch about how I don’t think I can get through this week.
I suppose balance is a little like a two dollar bill, it’s out there, but you just don’t run across it every day. And you certainly aren’t very likely to get everything you want at the same time. It’s like the ATM giving you $20 in $2 bills. It could happen….but probably not.
Now before I make my life sound like a struggle city…I must say that I am afforded much more flexibility than most people as I am fortunate enough to work from home. But please believe my company gets every penny out of me. People think that just because you work from home that means you’re not really doing anything…on the contrary, what it actually means is you don’t have set hours giving people the perceived freedom to contact you anytime they please, morning, noon or night. In communications you are always on.
Even with my job, most days I get up 2-3 hours early just to ensure I meet self imposed deadlines. I make my to do list, occasionally hit the gym, and try to get as much done as possible before 8 am. “Work work” stops around 5 or 6 but often runs later depending on the project and then after that you revisit your projects until you fall asleep which is generally between 12-2 am. This happens every.single.day. There is rarely time for happy hour, I go out maybe once a month, my weekends are split between writing press releases, conference calls across the world and taking assorted classes or projects to improve myself to better execute my ventures. I have no significant other and the last relationship I attempted ended in part because he was just like me, a workaholic. Your friends, family and loved ones will bear much of the brunt of your ambitions and you will feel really, ridiculously guilty about it.
Now I know I have someone reading this who’s arguing …”you make time for what u want!” This is very true. But you can’t give your all to anything or anyone if you haven’t given it to yourself. You can split your time between everything in your life but at the end of the day, an even split will likely lead to your downfall as some things simply demand more of your attention. You don’t want to give it 80% of your time, but you have to or else it simply won’t work.
The light at the end of the tunnel that it will be worth it.
Remember, Freedom isn’t free. In war, finances and in life. It takes a degree of sacrifice and you have to be willing to take a calculated risk to bask in its glory.
But again, it has it’s perks. Even if you fail. I personally find that my pursuits give me a renewed confidence in myself. The journey itself has opened up so many new doors, brought so many amazing people into my life and exposed me to new perspectives I would have never known. I have learned mental endurance. How to optimize my productivity. I now know that if nothing else I can bet on myself and even when I come up short, it’s just a lesson well learned.
My ventures are also my way of giving back to a world that have given so much to me. I know this all sounds super cliche but I sincerely hope I leave this life better than I found it. I’m really passionate about helping people actualize their dreams and I believe it’s my gift and God gave it to me to share.
So with that…I’ll leave you with this quote: “People change for two reasons. To avoid pain or to seek pleasure.” Pinpoint why you’re doing it and don’t lose sight of that.
If you have something on your heart to build, contribute or employ, do it. You likely already have all the tools, you just need to piece them together. Start where you are, use what you have and succumb to sacrifice….an equal mix of balance rarely makes for a good recipe.