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  • Writer's pictureRussell Lookadoo

Balance or Shambles?

Successful business owners are generally driven focused and bottom line oriented. However, is the price of success worth it? The great sage Zig Ziglar once said “I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can't truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” So can you have it all; success with balance?

Legendary Utah entrepreneur Larry H. Miller, died in 2009. Mr. Miller’s legacy is amazing as a businessman and philanthropist. One of his last efforts was to write an autobiography. Here is a profound excerpt: “Initially, it was fear that drove me to work those 90 hours a week for 20 years. This overwhelming feeling of being responsible for the needs of my wife and children and not having a college degree to fall back on and my solution was my ability to outwork everyone else. I worked when other people were home watching TV or sleeping or eating breakfast. I was getting the next day's work done a day early. I was sleeping about six hours a night.

It made me successful. It made me a failure, too. I missed most of my children's youth. I missed ballgames and science fairs and back-to-school nights. I missed the first day of kindergarten and playing catch in the yard. I missed dinner at home with my wife and kids. The great irony of my life is that I originally began working those long hours to benefit my wife and kids but wound up hurting them.” He closes by commenting that if he could change one thing, it would be to have spent more time with his children.

When you visit a retirement Mecca like St George UT, Palm Beach Fl, or Hilton Head SC, you can notice the plethora of the “one person offices”. In addition to the golf courses and beautiful recreation areas you will see row after row on the one story business centers. Frequently, the occupants are retired executives who are bored with the 18 holes and walking on the beach so they establish a “business” where they hang a shingle and sit, trying to be purposeful. In reality, they have fallen short in developing a life that is not their occupation. Their friendships and family relations, if present, are not satisfying. They do not have enjoyable hobbies and are not involved in growing and giving back. Like an old tired racehorse, it is where they are put out to pasture.

Don’t let this be your future! Take the disciplines of running your business and apply them to running your life. My clients are coached to set Life Vision Goals in ten key areas of their life:

  1. Material Success

  2. Work Role

  3. Family and Friends

  4. Spirituality/Giving Back

  5. Personal Growth

  6. Mental and Physical Health

  7. Hobbies

  8. Vacation and Travel

  9. Dream home

  10. Retirement

The ideal state, the perfect 10, is recorded in quantifiable or describable terms. The “10” is their “10” and not a goal intended to impress others. The current state for each is rated on a 1-10 scale for a baseline. A goal is set for the coming year to move each goal closer to the 10. One area is then selected for focus and a plan is put in place to improve the rating on that goal. The goals are reviewed periodically progress is re-assessed and a new focus is set.

Are you planning for total success in your life? Are you planning with a balanced, holistic perspective? Or is your future to be the one put out to pasture? You can have it all but it is up to you. Be in shambles or be a perfect 10!

Russell Lookadoo is the HR Guy for small businesses. His firm, HRchitecture, specializes in helping business leaders accomplish their goals by effectively using their teams. Russell brings three decades of experience designing Human Resources solutions that achieve business strategies in varied organizations ranging from a small manufacturer to the nation’s second largest bank.

Russell holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources designation from the Society of Human Resources Management and earned the Certified Compensation Professional designation from World at Work. Russell attended the University of North Carolina on the prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Industrial Relations. Visit his website at

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