Svanholmen Island, Sweden.
As you can see by my latest two posts, I am on “vacation mode” and this post will be on the same theme.
I hear many entrepreneurs who justify their crazy work loads with the argument: “I am going to work like a maniac for XX years so that I can sell my company and never will have to work again in my life.”
For me that is as clever as saying: “I am going to starve myself for XX days so that I can go crazy on the all-you-can-eat-buffet-dinner.”
I strongly believe that a much better strategy for how much you work – and how much you eat! – is to spread it out and not overdo it.
Being a speaker is a dream job in many aspects, but perhaps the biggest perk of all is that you can look at it as a job that is done by many semi-retired people.
Personally, I will have 5 months off this year to be with my kids.
At the same time, I am one of the world’s most globally booked speakers.
And I do not intend to retire (I do not even own a retirement account!) because as a speaker, you can literally do your job until the day you die. Not very many jobs let you do that. Edward de Bono, for example, is 82-years-old and is still giving keynote speeches.
Because as stupid as I think it is to work too much, I equally think it is stupid to totally stop working at a certain age and spend the rest of your life “in retirement”.
Now, I think everyone who works 8 hours per day 5 days per week until they retire should change that to 6 hours per day, 4 days per week until they are so old they can not work anymore.
I think that would create happier families, workers and societies. At the same time, I think it would probably produce more productivity counted over the lifetime of a person.
Now, do not get me wrong. I love entrepreneurs — people who have an idea that they strongly believe in and that they want to see come true. But I have met so many entrepreneurs who say “I love my job, but I hate my life.”
When I sold my company in 1999 (after working way too much for a few years), I pledged to myself that I should be a “Lifetrepreneur”.
The definition of an “Entrepreneur” is “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses”.
The definition of a “Lifetrepreneur” is “a person who organises and operates his or her life in the best possible manner.”
Lesson: Being a speaker is the perfect job if you want to achieve high “life-work balance”. The fact that most people call it “work-life balance” just shows how many people have forgotten which of the two should come first.
Question: Are you spending as much time as you would like on work, or are you spending too much? If too much, then what can you do to create the right “life-work balance” in your life?