Core Energy You :)
As fate would have it, most businesses are owned by PEOPLE. While your business may be an all-consuming part of your life; us people were meant to work to live instead of living to work. If you feel like the only thing you do in life is work, at some point, you’ll be unhappy with what you have achieved in life.
There are eight critical mechanical components of business. There are seven levels of core energy. I’m creating a series of posts called Business Mechanics & Mindset. You can read about these topics in more detail in my book entitled, “Business Mechanics & Mindset: How Your Thoughts Create or Sabotage Your Business Success”. Today’s post is the last of this series entitled Core Energy™ Business Owner.
Before I go too far, I’ve created another post that you may want to read before you read this one. It is entitled “What is Core Energy?”. It explains the seven levels of Core Energy™ in detail that will be mentioned in this entire series.
If you want to watch a video of this exact same topic, go here: https://youtu.be/gLtxkwS1JNA
(Core Energy™ is a registered trademark of iPEC and all Core Energy™ concepts described in this blog post are derived from iPEC’s Core Energy Coaching™ program.)
Once upon a time, I hired a business consultant to help me with my business. Well meaning as this individual was, he simply gave me more tasks to do when I was near burn out. While I wanted my business to be successful, I also wanted to spend more time with my kids… I wanted to take vacations with my family… I wanted to live a rich and full life.
One of my favorite movies is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In this movie, an ambitious man, George Bailey feels like his life has been wasted because he didn’t get to travel the world… he didn’t build skyscrapers as he had wanted… and he was facing jail, if he couldn’t come up with $8,000 that his uncle had lost earlier on Christmas Eve. He was so sad that he decided to end his life by jumping off a bridge. To make a very long story short, George discovers that his life touched so many other lives that mattered in profound ways… hence the name “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
What was it that helped George move from attempting to end his life, to jumping for joy that he had a wonderful life? Core Energy, of course.
There are eight key ingredients that researchers have found are vital to living a full life:
Personal Growth: What’s on your bucket list? Do you want to… travel the world? … learn a new language? …play a musical instrument? …become a better leader? …get a college degree? …become a renowned public speaker? Investing in your growth is something all of us humans need regardless of whether your 5-years old or 95-years old.
Spiritual Awareness: For some this can mean religion. What I mean by spiritual awareness is an assignment of value to non-material things. A sense that your life is about more than what you can see, hear, taste and touch. This reaching beyond the physical tends to result in high moral standards and genuine empathy for others.
Fun & Enjoyment: Remember when you were a kid and had no bills to pay, or life-sucking job? You had fun. Right? Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you should give up on fun. Go fishing… play golf… do a craft… go shopping… or whatever fun means to you. This really is the spice of life.
Relationships: By relationships, I mean both intimate relationships and friendships. A relationship is comprised of someone who understands and empathizes with you. Likewise, you understand and empathize with them. While fun & enjoyment may be the spice of life, relationships are the embodiment of life.
Health & Aging: What are you doing to be in a place that you can enjoy all that life has to offer. Do you want to go hiking, but run out of breath in the first mile? Do you want to be a great-grandparent, but won’t make it past 50-years old because of poor diet and exercise? Do all you can to ensure you have a long and full life.
Personal Finance: Let’s face it, many things in life require money. If you have not earned the income that supports the lifestyle that you want, you will either get into crippling debt or settle for second best. Money is not always about buying things for yourself. It’s often about giving to charities or helping others in some way. If you don’t have your financial act together, you won’t accomplish any of this.
Career/Business: If you’re a business owner, your business is certainly important and needs to be successful. This is a big part of who you are and what you accomplish for yourself, your employees, and your customers. If you’re a working stiff, you still have career aspirations that are important to you.
Family & Parenting: You didn’t arrive to this earth on your own. You have parents. You may also have children, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and all sorts of people who are related to you. It’s important that you invest in your family unless you want to live a life of regret.
The way that us life coaches evaluate all eight of these facets of life is with an exercise called, The Life Wheel. You can determine which areas of your life are doing well and which areas of your life need your immediate attention.
Why Does Work/Life Balance Matter in My Business?
I’m glad you asked. Think about George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. He was so focused on the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan and how he sacrificed personal ambitions, that he was blind to all the good he had done with the rest of his life.
Many business owners I coach also have this focus on their business. They think that if they just make enough money or gain enough customers or sell their business, life will be great. Unfortunately, on the way to making their fortune, they wreck their life so thoroughly, they’re left with nothing when business success happens.
Think about the other character in It’s a Wonderful Life… Mr. Potter. He was quite successful in his banking business but had nothing to show for most of the spokes of his life wheel.
If you want to be successful in business, your business and your money must serve you… not the other way around.
What about Core Energy?
As promised, this is not a post about work/life balance, but rather a post about how Core Energy™ plays a role in a healthy focus on your life… as a business owner. Let’s climb the ladder from Level 1 to Level 5 to see how you can balance your work and life better.
Level 1 – Victim – I Lose
A business owner may show up as a victim at home and not be a victim at work. Here’s what that looks like. I can tell my employees to do anything. They either do it, or I fire them. If I like what they do, I can give them a promotion. I’m all powerful at work. But, when I come home, I sit and veg in front of the TV. Why? Because I’m an equal with my spouse and haven’t developed the skills to be a partner instead a boss. When I tell my kids what to do, they talk back and rebel. That’s not the worst of it. I’m working myself to death and get no appreciation for providing for this family. They spend my money and all I have is my work. It’s easier just to watch TV and check out until I go to work tomorrow.
Level 2 – Conflict – I Win, You Lose
At this level, a business owner sees his home life as attempting to win conflicts. If he wants his wife to stay at home and take care of the kids and his wife wants to do her own career; there will be a fight. If he wants steak and his kids want macaroni and cheese, there’ll be a fight. If he wants to watch Big Bang Theory, and his wife wants to watch The Bachelor, there’ll be a fight. Much like the Victim Mindset, the conflict mindset is a result of a boss that gets his way at work but is suddenly challenged at home. Instead of backing down as a victim, the conflict mindset wants to win the fight and subordinate others.
Level 3 – Acceptance – I Win…
At the acceptance level, you’re trying to cope with adversity at home. You may desire something at home but sidestep direct conflict. Let’s say that you want steak, but your spouse has prepared macaroni and cheese because that’s what the kids want. You decide to either order out or cook your own steak to still get what you want without insisting that others cooperate. While these coping efforts seem like personal victories, they often result in division at home or with friends.
Level 4 – Compassion – You Win
You’ve heard the phrase, “Happy Wife, Happy Life”. Compassion mindset business owners live this mantra. If you have a stay-at-home husband, the phrase can be adapted. The compassion mindset business owner will try to serve his/her family. They do believe that their work effort is fully in support of their family and friends. Unfortunately, this one-sided action often backfires. Kids that get every toy, phone, and car they want is not a recipe for happiness or contentment. Spouses who are lavished with gifts and attention don’t always reciprocate. Compassion mindset business owners can find that no matter how much they give and serve, it’s never enough. If on the other hand, friends, family, and children reciprocate, the compassion mindset can work quite well to create a very balanced life.
Level 5 – Opportunity – Win/Win
At level five, business owners look for opportunities to combine multiple facets of their life. For instance, they may invite their spouse along to an extended business trip. They will invite their children to their work so that they gain skills while better understanding what their parent does outside of the house. When conflict arises at home, opportunists see it as a growth experience. They can become more understanding of others while others become more understanding of their desires. When handled with tact and empathy, these conflicts create bonds instead of division.
I’ve briefly described how Core Energy™ intersects with your home life as well as your business life. If you’d like to elevate your home life to Level 5 or above, you must be intentional. It’s easy to expend all your energy at work so that the people at home get the worst version of you. There are many tactics that you can use to elevate your energy level at work so that you come home with plenty of energy to spare for the people who mean the most in your life.
I hope you learned a few things about creating a work/life balance. This is so important to putting your business in its proper place in your life. I also hope you enjoyed this series of posts about how Core Energy intersects with eight critical facets of your business. If you’d like to learn more about how I coach my business owner clients with Core Energy Coaching™, please visit my website at www.mmbizcoach.com.