One time I spent 57 out of 70 days on the road and up until about 3 years ago I’d have several crazy travel schedules like that a year.
The lies I told myself to make these trips were well intended. I’d tell myself that “I’m doing it to get ahead so I won’t have to work so much when my kids get older” and that “I’m working hard for my family”.
I also lived the life of “work hard, play hard” as if being gone for 2-3 weeks was OK if I then got to spend a lot of time with my family for 7-10 days in a row.
(My grandparents were hard workers, my parents are hard workers and I grew up learning the value of hard work. I grew up learning how to out work others and how to out work tough circumstances. Long hours equaled success in my mind.)
Several things happened that changed me. One of my greatest mentors, Jay Conrad Levinson (the Father of Guerrilla Marketing), upon seeing years of my unsustainable pace, gave me advice that stuck with me and changed me. Funny thing is I’m sure I’d heard the advice before.
It was one of the last conversations I ever had with Jay before he passed away just a few months later so it was anchored even more in my heart and soul. The advice was more of stating a fact then really advice but I knew what he was saying. Jay said to me:
“David, there are no awards for the person that works the most hours”
This changed me at my core and for years now I’ve tried to worship being productive versus being busy. Everyone always seems so busy and they seem to celebrate their busyness.
Do you try to stay busy or do you try to stay productive?
You might work long hours to make money but at what cost?
The truth was more than anything I worked hard to make money. I worked hard because it felt good to be celebrated and thanked by so many. Sure I worked for my family and to give them a good life but I had selfish reasons too or good reasons I blew out of proportion.
Not working as long of hours as come at a cost financially…Finding ways to be more productive versus busy is really hard…but being more balanced has drawn me closer to my kids and has helped me not only drop 50 pounds but keep it off. I’m probably a better husband and a father. I’m probably even a better boss or leader.
You can’t live on red alert and you can’t sprint a marathon.
I have my kids 50% of the time, 7 days on, 7 days off. I’ve passed on many conferences and events with many of you because of my schedule with my kids. I thank you all for understanding my priorities and supporting me.
I’m sorry I have missed important events with my clients and friends but thank you for your consideration. Please don’t stop inviting me.
When you say yes to something you say no to something else. When you say no to one thing you’re open to say yes to something else.
What do you prioritize? What do you worship?