Can you win and have balance in your life? I think you can. Recently, I downloaded an audiobook called Winning by Tim Grover. Tim Grover is a former trainer for Michael Jordan, who some would say was the greatest basketball player of all time. In the book, he talks about athletes and CEOs and what it takes to win. I haven’t gotten through the book yet, but one thing I’m a little worried about so far is the portrayal that in order to “win,” you must create this off-balance environment. I keep seeing this idea that you need to sacrifice everything to win.
Recently, I saw an entrepreneur’s tweet stating, “I rarely get to see my kids anymore, but that’s a risk you have to take.” If that works for you, that’s fine; everybody gets to make their own choices. Personally, I hate this thought process. I don’t want people to think that’s the only way to win in business or life.
Yesterday I celebrated my 24th anniversary with Service Express. When I started here in 1997, I wasn’t married, and I didn’t have any kids. I got married two months in, so I will also be celebrating my 24th wedding anniversary soon. I now have three kids, two of which are going off to the University of Michigan, and my youngest is starting her junior year of high school. As they were growing up, my goals were to coach their sports teams, be home for dinner and be an engaged and involved dad. Those goals were important to me, and there’s no way I was going to sacrifice my family time for more business success at Service Express or anywhere else. Does that mean I made it to every sports game? No. Did I make it to every dinner? No. I have three kids, I couldn’t do that anyway. I always had to balance.
When I say I balanced, I’m not saying I sacrificed everything at work and did everything with my family. Let me make it clear, I didn’t do that either. I had to figure out what my priorities were and act accordingly. Now I can look back and feel good about where I was at and the balance I created. Everybody needs to look at their calendar and make sure it matches their priorities. I really hate this idea that says you must sacrifice everything, including your family, to be successful.
I was only the 15th Service Express employee. At the time we were less than $3 million in revenue, and we had only four locations in the United States. Today, we’re over $200 million in revenue, almost 1000 employees, over 50 offices in the country, and we’re now in the U.K. Service Express has grown exponentially over the last 24 years. We’ve proven that it’s possible to achieve your personal, professional and financial goals while also having a balanced life.
This message really resonated with me. I was seeing too much about this out of balanced mindset that we’re supposed to have. Maybe to be Michael Jordan or to go up in space you need that out-of-balance mindset, but those weren’t my goals. You can have a lot of success in this life while balancing what’s important to you. Set your priorities, make sure your calendar matches it and have the discipline to follow through.