Startup general interest

The four elements of life you need to balance

By September 29, 2014 2 Comments

Running a startup (and an investment studio…) is a marathon not a sprint. It will be hard work, and unlike a true marathon there will inevitably be periods when you have to run flat out, but you need to look after yourself if you want to get to the end of the journey.

There’s a lot of talk about what that means, but in Leading the life you want Stuart Friedman usefully sets out four areas of your life that need balancing (review and summary here):

  • work
  • home or family
  • community or society
  • yourself

The trade-off between work and family is the most visible – you work late at the office and it matters to those waiting for you at home – but the other two are equally important. Looking after yourself through exercise, meditation or whatever floats your boat is key to performing well at home and at work.

The trick that the most successful people pull off, according to Friedman, is to stop thinking about work-life balance as a zero sum game and find activities that improve all the elements of their lives. Compromises are still made, but with a full understanding of what’s most important. Three tips for doing that are to be real (i.e. authentic), bring the different parts of your life together, and look for creative solutions to work-life balance problems.