Sometime around the middle of last week I published the following quote from Walt Disney:
A man should never neglect his family for business
Somebody who read that quote followed up by asking me:
Yes, it’s possible, but you need to apply common sense too, no?
That comment started me thinking. And I ended up drawing the diagram here and wondering whether there aren’t two competing worlds we live in or choose between.
I posed the three factors you can see in the diagram:
- The people you care about
- Work you like
- Business success
And that led me to a the key question: Do the three factors pull away from the center, and away from each other; or do they push towards the center, and work better together.
So which of these is your world?
1. The Glass Half Empty
If all three of these main factors here pull you away from the others, you live in a sad world. In that case, time with people you care about takes you away from business. And work you like makes you less successful. The underlying world view is full of hard roads, long work weeks, managing by criticizing and threats, racing rats racing, and climbing corporate ladders. In this world, nice guys finish last.
- The more attention you give to people you care about, the less you have work you like and business success.
- The more attention given to work you like, the less of you is available for your people, and the less business success.
- The more attention focused on business success, the less you can give to people you care about and the work you like.
2. The Glass Half Full
On the other hand, what if you live in a world in which all three factors pull towards the center? Focus on work you like, and you do more, achieve more, become more successful, all of which makes you happy and giving more of yourself to the people you care about.
Is that your world?
The easiest argument to make is that business success and work that you like go together. Do what you love, love what you do, be more likely to succeed. Building a business around doing what you love is hardly a novel idea.
It’s harder to argue that focusing on people you care about (you could call that family if you like, but it’s not necessary) generates work you like and business success. I think this is where we have to bring in the compromise, just as my friend suggested above. Find ways to compromise to maintain balance between work and the rest of life.
Is either one of these worlds real? They both are. It’s up to you.
(Photo credit: PeterPolak/Shutterstock) (Drawing/diagram is my own)