By Durk Price
I have always been one of those that likes to work hard and play hard. I’ve put in years of effort and late nights to build a successful business. But I’ve also been sure to carve out plenty of time for my family and activities that I love such as golf and skiing.
I believe that success is all about balance and I guess I’m not the only one who feels that way.
Recently Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg generated a lot of comments and conversations by telling an interviewer that she leaves work each day at 5:30pm to spend time with her family.
This seemed to fly in the face of the high-tech work ethic of pulling all-nighters and being at the office around the clock, fueled by IPO dreams, pizza and Red Bull.
I say Sandberg has it right. It is not a sign of laziness or lack of commitment to leave the office at a decent time that allows for a personal life. But interestingly, it took her reaching the highest levels of management before she came out publically about her schedule.
However, I believe that some may have thought it was okay for Sandberg to have this routine because she is a top executive or because she’s a mom and wants to be home for dinner with her family. But this is not a Mom thing or a gender thing. It’s a balance thing and about deciding priorities in your life.
Everyone needs time to recharge and do the things that make them happy. My kids are grown but I still leave the office at a reasonable hour. Yes, I often have business dinners but many of those seem like outings with friends since I have great relationships with our clients and partners. I also make time to read a lot – not just business and marketing books but other works that interest and fuel me.
I also have the pleasure of being in an industry where many others share my passion for skiing and golf. I have skied with clients including KaTom’s Charley Bible and at many industry conferences and events there is a group of us that have become golf buddies. I get to often combine business and pleasure.
We live in a time where we are connected all the time. We can do our work from anywhere. Often this means that we could be working around the clock. But that doesn’t mean we should be. Of course, there are times and deadlines that call for some late nights and extra effort, but that should be the exception not the rule. Finding balance is not always easy, but in the end it’s worth it.