Tag Archive for 'Forbes'

Balancing our work and life

Work is essential as the activity that delivers the things necessary for our survival as humans. Beyond survival, work is the lever of our intellectual curiosity and the blessing that has produced civilization.

Congratulations, civilization, because many small business owners love what they do so much that they actually don’t think about it as work – or that they would ever stop.

Alas, facing that indictment, this business owner would be guilty as charged.

B.C. Forbes (1880-1954), founder of Forbes magazine and grandfather of Steve Forbes, said, “I have known not a few men who, after reaching the summit of business success, found themselves miserable upon attaining retirement.”

Is Mr. Forbes warning us about retirement or the dangers of a life without balance? If the latter, consider this Blasingame Small Business Principle: “The work we love can morph from blessing to curse if it exists without balance.”

If you love your work, congratulations; but simultaneous with that love, make sure you also love whatever can counter-weight your work to balance the scales of your life: golf, tennis, knitting, or — and this is a big one — your child’s ball game.

Research shows that balancing our beloved work with other interests enhances physical and mental well-being, and actually increases productivity. And it makes us much more interesting and desirable to be around.

Balancing work and life is easier for employees than it is for an owner because they’re typically concerned only with their assignments. But when the proverbial “buck” stops on the owner’s desk, it’s loaded up with all of the challenges and opportunities facing every aspect of the business. And even if you’ve acquired the ability to take all of this in stride, “all of this” quite simply just takes a lot of time.

Consequently, achieving balance requires conscious intention, plus a little bit more. Finding the right combination of work and balance in the life of a small business owner requires the execution of at least three of the things that we use to achieve success in our businesses: planning, scheduling, and discipline.

The virtue of having a business or financial plan is self-evident. But we should be just as disciplined about a plan that balances work with other interests. Otherwise, paraphrasing Mr. Forbes, we may become miserable upon retirement.

Surely, the recipe for happiness includes work, relationships, and experiences that create memories.

Make sure your memories aren’t just about work.

I talked with Jim HarterChief Scientist for Gallup’s international workplace management and wellbeing practices and author of Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, about achieving balance in life both personally and professionally. Click here to listen or download our conversation.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Steve Forbes reports on current economic conditions

After all these years - since 1997 and thousands of live interviews - I still love doing my talk show every weekday. But there are some days that are the best, including the three or four times a year when Steve Forbes joins me on my show. I have a great deal of respect for Steve’s knowledge, wisdom, experience and world-view, but I especially appreciate the fact that, as Confucius encouraged, Steve is in reality what he appears to be.

Not long ago, I had such a visit with Steve on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, and he talked about the economy, the progress of the recovery, politics and public policy.  Steve is a pathological optimist when it comes to the American spirit and his faith in Main Street small business owners, like you.  But he has a healthy skepticism about the leadership ability of the political class.

Steve has been a member of my Brain Trust for a long time, but he makes his living as President/CEO of Forbes and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes. His new book is, How Capitalism will Save Us.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to what this world-class leader has to say. And if you have any thoughts you want to leave, I’ll make sure they get to Steve. Listen Live! Download, Too!

Small businesses leading us out of The Great Recession

In 1998, I began predicting that the 21st century would be the century of the entrepreneur. And every year that goes by proves that my prophecy was accurate. Even with all of the unfortunate economic conditions we’ve endured the past year or so, I still believe that whatever the economic recovery looks like, it will be led by small businesses to a much greater degree than big businesses.  Here are just a few reasons:

1.    Entrepreneurs are pathological optimists and, as such, refuse to have their dreams suppressed for very long by the upwind quadrant of an economic cycle.

2.    Small businesses can recover from a downturn more quickly to redirect and redeploy their business models in a way that is customized to fit what the new marketplace demands.

3.    Technological innovations continue to incrementalize powerful tools and applications which give small businesses the ability to compete at higher levels, for higher stakes and with less overhead per dollar of opportunity.

4.    In a world where credit and capital acquisition are part of the recovery challenges, small businesses can still get the money needed to capitalize growth plans because the financial instruments they require are not very big or complicated, and often fulfilled by an independent community bank.

5.    In the future, customers will want more connection and less marketing.  Small businesses don’t have big marketing budgets but have always been the world’s gurus at connecting with customers. But now, with the growth and maturing of low-cost online customer communities (a.k.a social media), its advantage: small business.

I could go on, but you get the picture. And remember, what’s good for small business is good for the world.

Someone who agrees with me about the impact entrepreneurs will make on our future economic success is Carl Lavin, Managing Editor at Forbes, who set out to find the small businesses that will be among those to lead the U.S. into the coming expansion.  Out of thousands considered, Carl and his crew picked what they call America’s Most Promising Companies for 2009.

Here is a link to this group of America’s finest, which hail from all over the country and represent a wide variety of industries.  Brett Nelson, Entrepreneurs Editor at Forbes.com, has done a great job of turning information about these 20 companies into valuable resources for you. Check it out.

Carl is also a member of my Brain Trust and, recently, he joined me on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, to talk about what you and I can learn from these companies. Take a few minutes to listen and, of course, be sure to leave your thoughts. Listen Live! Download, Too!

Warning: fsockopen() [function.fsockopen]: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Temporary failure in name resolution in /var/www/wordpress/wp-includes/class-snoopy.php on line 1142

Warning: fsockopen() [function.fsockopen]: unable to connect to twitter.com:80 (Unknown error) in /var/www/wordpress/wp-includes/class-snoopy.php on line 1142