*Resources mentioned during the episode*
The Outsiders Business Incubator – A year-long business incubator for experienced corporate professionals who want to translate their skills and passions into a profitable and fulfilling business. onestepoutside.com/9to5
Three things to nurture
Hello there, and welcome back as we look at effective work-life integration, which sounds very serious, but we’re taking quite a nice relaxed look at it, given that it’s the summer period here in the northern hemisphere. And for this episode, I wanted to make things super simple, because we talk about my five L’s or at least I talk about my five L’s, which are the five areas of your life that that really matter. The whole point of that model is to help you to elevate beyond just looking at the work domain and even within work to go beyond looking at the traditional markers of success. And to consider the impact you want to make and so on. Right, so it’s a really useful tool. And I definitely recommend, if you’re not familiar with it, check out the episodes on this, but also the free resource, you can go to one step outside.com, forward slash success, one step outside.com, forward slash success.
At the same time, we’ve been talking about designing that lifestyle business, the business that’s going to support your lifestyle, we’ve been talking about dropping your balls, we looked at former Coca Cola CEO, Brian Dyson’s Robert versus glass balls analogy, and there are some balls, you can drop in there bounce back up again, because they’re rubber and that others like your health, that of your family, your relationships with your partner, and so on their glass, and they’ll be scuffed, or unfortunately, completely crushed into gazillion pieces. So there are all these different goals, and we want to manage our priorities and get that all elusive balance, or as I prefer to call it integration, I talk about structure, I talk about time blocks, and so on.
Now, ultimately, these are all tools that I hope will help you you know, big picture concepts and frameworks that will shift your thinking as well as some really practical frameworks that you can use and implement when it comes down to it if you’re a simple soul, and I like to think I am. If you’re a creative who don’t, who don’t, who doesn’t a creative who doesn’t like all these, you know, tools and systems and schedules and so on. If you just like to keep things simple as most of us do, I want to really distill all this down to three things that matter. For me, and I think in this concept, this context of designing this business that’s going to support your lifestyle, designing an enjoyable and fulfilling business, that’s going to allow you to do the things you want to do spend time with the people you love, and so on. Right? And that means that there are three things to nurture. So yes, I’ve gone down from the five L’s to three things, what are those three things you need to think about? Well, they are my business, because yes, that is a priority. We’ll look at why in a moment. If that’s not clear, my family, whatever that looks like, and myself. So I need to nurture and I believe you need to nurture yourself, your family, and your business. Those are the core things.
Now you get to choose what each of those three things mean, your family could be the sort of 2.4 children kind of scenario. That’s the traditional format. It could be a dog, it could be aging parents, it could be aunts and uncles, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, whatever that looks like. But it’s those three buckets, Bubbles, areas that really need to be nurtured. And I think and I have yet to implement this. So we’ll see. But I think this very simple triangle or Venn diagram, three things is a really good prompt, just to always bring it back to you. Okay, am I taking care of myself? Am I taking care of my family? And am I taking her own business and ideally, a bit like the iki guy diagram, the Venn diagram, where we look at the intersection of the four different areas, we’re looking at an intersection of three different areas here, right? Ideally, we’re designing and building a business that allows us to take care of ourselves, take care of our families, financially, timewise, and so on, right? Ideally, we’re taking care of our health, so that we can then take care of our family and our business. Ideally, we’re nurturing our family relationships, so that our mental and emotional health is good, so that they support us in our work and business. So they’re all very much mutually reinforcing.
And it doesn’t mean that every single choice we make has to tick all three boxes.
But for example, if I’m considering and a really practical example, here, a particular project or client, a workshop that’s going to happen at some point or a trip, you know, for a meeting or something, I can ask myself, okay, is this taking my business in the direction I want to take it? Because sometimes you get distracted. I mean, sometimes you do it because it’s simply so financially lucrative and that’s fine. As long as you’re clear on why you’re doing it. Sometimes it’s really exciting project. Sometimes it’s completely aligned with your vision and so on. Right. So number one is actually moving a business forward. But then secondly, how does it fit with my family life?
So whether you call it work-life balance, integration, your boundaries and priorities? You know, I’ve had clients before who were working into their half term holidays and summers and Christmas and so on, and I myself, had my company accounts do and I was sitting on Christmas Eve and involve my brother in law, which is always a bit controversial and totally unacceptable, which I recognize now. But that can happen. You know, if it’s compromising and infiltrating your boundaries that you’ve tried to set, you know, how does that project or client or trip sit with your family life? And then for yourself too, when I say yes, I’m into, again, a very concrete example would be I do these workshops, for corporates, and I tend to do them certain times, obviously, you can’t completely decide the time, but generally, I do them that one o’clock, midday, afternoon, maybe late morning, I these days saying no to the evening ones, which used to be my favorite, or the early morning ones. I also did some for a while that was super early in the morning, because we thought, You know what, I’m not doing anything anyway.
So I might as well do first thing, but it was always hell getting out of bed, especially when the kids were teeny tiny. And, you know, doing it in the dark. And so and it wasn’t particularly enjoyable. But the worst one is the seven o’clock on an evening, because we do a tech test at 630. This is pretty much prime bedtime. And inevitably things will kick off, and I’ll hear them screaming. And you know, I won’t be I’ll be late for the webinar and so on. And yes, I’m getting money for it, but it’s just not worth it. So a few weeks ago, I did say yes to one of those because it was a last minute request on the Monday for me to fill in on Wednesday, I have a long standing relationship with this client, I wanted to help them out. And hey, it’s an additional X amount of money in the bank, right. But the whole day, I was kind of dreading it during it. It was like, Oh, I could hear them next door. And afterwards, I was just like, never again. So these are the lessons we learn. So again, coming back to those three things for each new opportunity that comes along. How does it sit with the business goals and plans and strategy and vision? How does this fit with my family balance life? Priorities? And how is it going to fit for me is it going to cause me stress and migraines. And so in my case, you know, if you’re a morning person, you don’t want to maybe do a late night thing. If you’re better in the evening, you maybe don’t want to get up early in the morning, you hate traveling, you love traveling, and so on all the things we talk about when we’re designing and building this business that’s going to work for you.
So three things to nurture. Let’s go through each of these step by step.
So let’s start with the business. The thing is, I’m passionate about my business. And I hope you are too and I hope you will be as you design and build it as you want it to. I love working with my clients, I really want to help them. And more Prosaically per business is what supports my lifestyle. That’s the whole point, right? So earning the money, having these client relationships, developing these programs, doing the marketing that I do, and even doing this podcast is what allows me first of all, inherently the fulfillment, and enjoyment and meaning and passion, leveraging my skills, all that icky guy and on purpose. And secondly, financially, it’s what allows me to have the income that I need to support my lifestyle. And thirdly, the particular business model that I’m following is what allows me partly for obligation to only work certain days a week, and therefore have the balance and time for my family and so on. Right. So for me, business is also important. Again, if you’re designing and building this so called lifestyle business, that supporting the lifestyle that you want, you’ll be the same you’re designing it to sit at that core of the iki guy the purpose, using skills that you want to be using, and ready in your zone of genius work that you love doing, you’re doing something that feels meaningful, you’re making an impact, and you’re getting money from it, right. So that’s super important.
And then it is by definition, not only giving you inherent joy and value and fulfillment, but also giving you the financials and the freedom to do what you want to do with the rest of areas.
Right. So that’s why the business is so important. I’m so passionate about it. It’s so critical, especially now we’re you know, renovating the house, we’re doing all sorts of things that cost a lot of money. It’s all the more important right? So business I have to search the business for my own personal fulfillment and meaning and purpose and role as a business woman, not just a mother and whatever. And also because it’s what pays the bills for me. Secondly, family you know, a lot of people talk amazingly about family first now there is this whole talk and I’ve written an article about you know, can you have it all this kind of work life balance as a high achiever?
Family First businesses do exist the way which I designed my business and many of my clients is absolutely so that you can have both the fulfillment and the financial security and freedom and also put your kids first and so on.
I see more and more people which I think is amazing and which we should be celebrating saying hey, you know, my dogs barking in the background or you know, the kid comes down to camera which you know, is a personal choice if you do it or not I don’t do it. But you know, I can’t have a call them because I need to pick the kids up from school or actually my child is ill so I can’t have the call. Today can remove it or somebody the other day said I couldn’t make it without seeing my aging grandmother, which is also totally the right priority. So whatever family looks like for you, whether it’s your kids, your parents, your partner, your friends, nieces, nephews, animals, right? How can you nurture those relationships, having quality time with your partner, and by the way, if you’re single, also making sure that you can nurture those future relationships, so if you’re dating and, and spending time with other people in your community, meeting new people, and so on? Do you want to first of all, because it’s an intentional choice to stay in touch with your parents?
And if so, you know, how can you make sure that you’re prioritizing that, and not through obligation, but through recognizing that they’re not getting any younger, and you want to be there for them, and you enjoy being with them, hopefully, and they want to be with you, and so on. Your siblings for me, you know, I always think of the fact that my sister is the one who’s going to be there when our parents aren’t there in future. And friends as well, right friends can fall into this category as well. Even though unfortunately, to some extent, friendships can kind of fall by the wayside a little bit, or at least a de prioritized the frequency, if not, the quality is decreasing, when you have kids and a career, and so on, you know, we’ve reached that age where we kind of unfortunately, have to something has to give, I guess, but it is important to nurture that too, because when the kids are fully grown, and so an empty nest and all that, then of course, we have nothing left, if we’ve put everything into the kids. So that’s why it’s so important to nurture yourself and your business as well.
So nurturing your business, nurturing your family, whatever that looks like, and your relationships with your family, your role in your family. And then finally, nurturing yourself. Self Care is not selfish, when you are your business, taking care of yourself is taking care of your business. Just like with a business, there is inherent value in taking care of yourself, because you’ll feel good, you’ll be healthy, you won’t die. And that’s really important. But also, it supports everything else in your life, it’s what’s going to allow you to have fulfilling friendships and so on to pursue your hobbies, it’s what’s going to allow you to actually run the business because of course, if you’re ill all the time, you won’t be able to show up for your clients, you won’t be able to deliver what you want to be doing and so on. Right. So again, like all three of them, it’s inherently valuable and important intrinsically. And then also it supports the other things. And all three, again, are complimentary, not, it’s not a question of zero sum, it’s not choosing one over the other, what we’re striving for, it’s not like we’re trying to get 10 out of 10. For each one, just like with the five L’s model, it’s not about getting a perfect score on each one. It’s about considering these three different buckets, three different areas, three bubbles, whatever you want to call them. Three important things to nurture, and make sure that if we are D prioritizing or neglecting something we’re doing so intentionally knowing, okay, yes, I’m prioritizing this business project, or whatever it is, because the money is so good that yes, sort of, in the immediate term, it kind of compromises I will be a little bit stressed.
And I will have to, you know, not do X Y Zed with my family for a little bit. But it means and hopefully that timeframe is not too long. We didn’t want to put it off too long, that we will be able to afford to do X Y Zed to have that holiday together or to join this activity or, you know, to have whatever experience to to be able to live a better life in some way. Right? So likewise, you could choose okay, you know what, I’m not going to push through that deadline for my book or my course I want to launch because it’s holiday, I just want to be present, or I need to really take care of my health right now. I’m so tired. And I you know, I’ve not been very well and I need to focus on that. Unfortunately, that does mean intentionally D prioritizing maybe a little bit of a business and not perhaps staying in touch as much with friends and extended family I need to right now take care of myself take care of my kids, perhaps if they’re having issues, or if you just feel like you’ve been neglecting that as well. Right. So the point is to be intentional about these things. But again, super, super simple model three things, draw the little circles or triangle, but on a post it note, you need to nurture yourself, your family and your business. So I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I hope it’s not too simple. I think it’s a very important reminder still for all of us of what really matters, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks so much for listening, and I’ll see you next week. Bye for now
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The Outsiders Business Incubator
A year-long business incubator for experienced corporate professionals who want to translate their skills and passions into a profitable and fulfilling business.