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Wellbeing / Work & family

What do you do when life and business collide?

Some recent additions to the family mean I now have less time, less sleep, and more to do. So where does that leave my business and the big goals I have for it?

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26 long days ago (who’s counting) my wife gave birth to two milk-swilling intruders twins and our lives changed. Needless to say it’s been a challenging time for my business – I have less time, less sleep, and more to do. So what do you do when life happens?

Do you downgrade your business goals?

Delay them?

Forget about them?

Well it might surprise you, but three weeks of sleep deprivation and unrelenting demands on my time are resulting in the biggest steps forward for my business in two years.

Here’s how I turned what seemed like obstacles into a breakthrough.

"Three weeks of sleep deprivation and unrelenting demands on my time are resulting in the biggest steps forward for my business in two years."

I remembered what I was really chasing

When you’re chasing a goal and something starts eating away your precious time it can be frustrating. But sometimes we forget what we were chasing in the first place. I remembered that money and business success are just stepping stones to getting what I really want, and started seeing that many of the obstacles popping up were in fact the very things I want in life. Life events (good and bad) are not just diversions and time outs, they’re often the most important things and need our full attention.

I’m instantly happier when I remember that my kids and the time I spend with them are not obstacles at all – they’re the nuggets of gold I’m seeking.

I realised that my life is the canvas for my business

We tend to ask questions like “Which business model is the best?” and “Which niche is more profitable?” as if we’re designing the perfect business on a blank canvas. But no business is ever built on a blank canvas. Your life is the canvas and your business needs to fit its unique size and shape.

When life changed I caught a glimpse of the shape of my canvas changing. That was a breakthrough for me because for the first time I saw the type of business I needed to fit my life and goals.

I felt my constraints made life easier, not harder

It’s easy to think of new constraints as frustrations, but in fact they are the instructions that point to the business you need.

I used to have a million unanswered questions about my own business. How many hours do I want to work? How big do I want to grow? Where should I specialise? I’ve found these questions difficult to answer in the past, and this constant uncertainty over the details can be paralysing.

Now, with more options eliminated I can spend less time navigating (being lost) and get on with it.

Exciting times for life and business

All of a sudden we are a family of five, but just when I feared family growth would spell the end of business growth, the twins have brought with them a clearer set of instructions for business than I’ve ever had before.

This clarity has brought some rapid progress already – I’m now working to a specific design for my business (instead of broader goals like growth), and I no longer feel life is competing with business.

Do your life and business work together or is it more like tug-of-war?

Dave Gillen

improves under-performing AdWords campaigns at Bankable Online Marketing in Brisbane.

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