You can take the man out of corporate, not the corporate out of the man
Work-life balance isn’t a myth or something you ‘might achieve’ sometime in the future. It’s achievable right now, but that achievement can come with its own set of struggles.
When I left the corporate world it was because I wanted to be my own boss. The main reason for that? Like many of you reading this, it was for work-life balance – so I could spend more time with my wife and children. I didn’t want to miss out on their important life events.
The fatherly work-life balance thing came together quickly … and brought with it an incredible set of advantages. But I still found a few things really hard to shake: deeply ingrained habits from my past career.
Like these three:
The lack of corporateness
Oddly enough I struggle with not wearing a suit. It feels strange to be in casual clothes each day and I actually find myself really enjoying meetings in Sydney when I can wear a shirt and tie!
The working hours
Yes I love the flexibility that flying solo gives but I still find myself feeling guilty whenever I stop work at 4pm (even though I may have started that day at 7am!).
Sometimes it’s also lonely.
Working on public holidays when it seems everyone else is having a ‘day off’ tends to bring this feeling on. There are no after work drinks anymore either!
How do I get over the above?
Rationally I am very aware that the benefits of running your own business completely outweigh the bad. I do, however, find that weaknesses and covetous thoughts need to be owned and worked through. Here’s how I process the above:
"At the end of the day, I’m in business to be a family man. "
Drop the guilt
If you started work at 5am and it’s now 3pm, it should be pretty obvious that it’s ok to go and pick your children up from school.
Have a day in the city
: Put a suit on, venture into the city, have a meeting, spend a fortune on lunch, get stuck in traffic. That’ll instantly cure you of that particular hang-up!
At the end of the day, I’m in business to be a family man. It’s easy for that to get lost in the noise.
Do you miss anything about your old corporate job? Has your work-life balance improved?