Tag Archive for 'work life balance'

A father’s tough love is the harder job

As the father of an adult daughter and son, and the grandfather of four knucklehead boys (Hurricane, Tornado, Crash and Train Wreck), I’ve learned some things about love.

All the hours logged as Dad and Poppy have often caused me to contemplate how different are the roles of mother and father, especially in the overt demonstration of parental love. It’s fascinating how the manifestation of this love differs between mother and father—biologically, emotionally and experientially.

A mother’s love, at once sweet and fierce, is observed in almost all animals, not just humans. No doubt you’ve heard this metaphor: “… as sweet as a mother’s love,” and this warning: “Don’t get between a momma bear and her cub.” I have been a witness to, and recipient of both of these expressions of love, and there truly is no other force in nature like it.

But it troubles me that there are no corresponding references to a father’s love. In fact, a human father’s love is more often associated with unfortunate references such as, “tough” and “disciplinarian.” And here’s a warning no child has ever heard: “Just wait ’til your mother gets home!”

Could this be why Father’s Day is not quite as big a deal as Mother’s Day? Just sayin’ …

Mothers occupy the pinnacle of parental love – with justification. And not to take anything away from them, but let’s be honest: since a mother’s sweet love is as primal as the miracle of birth, they don’t have to work too hard to deliver it. But there is a uniqueness about a father’s love that deserves a better rap. Here why:

Unlike a mother’s sweet love, a father’s tough love does not exist outside of Homo sapiens.
When a father’s parental toughness is called for, especially when applied to an indignant recipient (read: teenager), it requires a love that has found the courage to at once endure an immediate negative response and a willingness to defer gratification – sometimes for years.
No one is more keenly aware of the distinction between the application of these two demonstrations of love than a single parent (especially single moms), where both kinds are required of the same person, perhaps within minutes.

Mothers, please forgive any bias you may detect, but here’s my conclusion about parental love: The only force in the universe that comes close to a mother’s sweet love is a father’s tough love. But the latter is the harder job, and the return on investment almost always takes longer.

Write this on a rock … Happy Father’s Day, Dads. You’ve earned it.

Defining success in more ways than one



There are times when being one with your small business is not only a good thing, it’s essential. But extreme commitment weaves a fine seam between business and owner. And, unfortunately, entrepreneurial single-mindedness often results in the opposite of what is intended:  a business in jeopardy, run by unhappy humans.


The best way to be a successful AND happy small business owner is to define success in many ways, including having a life that’s balanced with richness outside of the business.


A small business is more like a patchwork quilt than a security blanket.  Some patches represent good things and some not so good. Some patches are about the business, others are about the owner, and some are hard to tell. Small business happiness is found by those owners who feel successful regardless of which patch is in front of them.


Having multiple touchstones of success, not just money and stuff, helps keep the rough patches in business and life in proper perspective. If you became a small business owner to find financial success, good for you; as a capitalist, I admire that motivation.


But if you think just being rich will make you happy, get your umbrella out because I’m going to have to rain on that parade with these two truths:


1.  Wealth only provides options, not a guarantee of happiness.


2.  If you can’t be happy without wealth, you aren’t likely to be happy with it.


Small business success can actually be found in being able to attend a child’s school activity in the middle of the day, as well as in getting a new contract.  And you should be as proud of being able to give back to any worthy cause as you are of the reason you can give back: your business’s financial strength.


Now let’s talk about fun.


Reasonable people disagree on where we will spend eternity, but most agree that this is our only trip through this life. And every moment that goes by without some kind of joy is a precious opportunity lost.


You’re no doubt planning for success this year, but have you made any plans to have fun?  Not your trip to Disney World.  Are you having fun on any given day as you run and grow your business?


If you desire maximum small business success, learn how to run a tight ship while encouraging your people to laugh and find joy in their work.


And one more thing: Be sure to laugh at yourself — in front of others.  Those are usually the best laughs of the day.

Write this on a rock… Define success in more ways than just money and stuff. And don’t forget to have fun.

On Monday, I talked with JoAnna Brandi, The Customer Care Coach, about what it takes to be happy and keep the good and bad stuff in perspective. Take a few minutes to listen and tell us how you keep your life in balance.


For more great Small Business Advocate content, click HERE

Nourish every part of your life

One of the things that has become abundantly clear about modern humans is that there are definite rewards and consequences for the way we live our lives.

The most obvious example is the way we treat our bodies — this stack of protoplasm that drives our spirit around. Surrounded by plenty and extravagance, our eating habits can lead to longevity or brevity. We know that smoking shortens life, as does drug and alcohol abuse. And since more and more of us pursue a sedentary profession, lack of exercise can affect our quality, as well as our length of life.

Recently, a cardiologist friend told me that over half of his practice involved treating patients who were sick because of their lifestyle alone. A sobering statement.

But that is an example of what we do to our flesh and blood. What about that thing I mentioned that is driven around by our protoplasm, the spirit?

At this stage in my life, I’ve noticed that many people my age are emotionally and spiritually adrift. When I use the word “spiritual,” I’m not talking about theology, although that could be part of the equation.

In my anecdotal observation of this phenomenon of humanity, I’ve noticed that everyone I know who fits this “adrift” category has one thing in common: They have lived their lives without having anything in it that was more important than themselves.

This group was more likely to not have an active faith life. They were more likely to have not volunteered over the years for some social, community or religious cause that allowed them to contribute to people whom they would never meet. In short, they had spent very little of their lives putting others first, including their own children.

What have I learned from my observations? I’ve learned that just as we should nourish and exercise our protoplasm, making sure we avoid things that harm our flesh, we should also nourish and exercise our spirit. And in my opinion, one of the best ways to do this is to spend as much time as possible putting other people, and worthy beliefs, above our own immediate gratification.

What does this mean for small business owners? I think it means that we should take care not to let our precious business, that we have nurtured from birth and love so much, become the single most important thing in our life. This is a challenge I make to you and I also make it to myself.

Oh, and cut back on the doughnuts and get yourself to the gym a couple of times a week.

A while back on my radio program, I talked about what it takes to be happy with my friend and long time Brain Trust member, Jim Donovan. Jim is an international bestselling author whose books include This is Your Life, Not a Dress Rehearsal and Don’t Let an Old Person Move Into Your Body. Take a few minutes to listen to Jim’s sage advice and leave your thoughts on achieving a work-life balance.

Are you taking charge of your own happiness? with Jim Donovan




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