Fiercely defensive of personal time…

The last couple of days have been super hectic.

Because on top of everything else, I’ve had health checks to create.

But “New Year, New Me” and all that tosh, I’ve revamped them a bit.

Not massively, but I’ve just taken to including a bit more stuff (plus, when I first came up with the idea, I was in the process of writing my new book, which has long since been finished/published).

The whole process has been enormously refined, and I look back to the “original” packs and I scoff at myself.

But that’s just the way it is, isn’t it? We evolve.

When I think back to the hours I used to work, I cringe.

I used to have regular 18 hour or even 24 hour stretches.

I’d have started off at the shop (we used to have a web design shop) pretty early (well, for me…). Perhaps 8am.

I had a team of about 6 people back then, but only one of those really cared, I think. He’d stayed up with me before doing a 24 hour session meeting a deadline for a client.

The thing is, I didn’t work those hours and earn loads of money.

I didn’t work those hours because I wanted to either, it was because I felt I had to.

I didn’t even get that much done, overnight, because my brain had slowed so much I’d spend an hour on a bug that with a fresh mind I could fix in 5 minutes flat.

I kept that up for ages, too.

And I knew something had to change, and something I’m fiercely defensive of now, is my personal time.

Mainly and most importantly to see my family; I want to spend quality time with my wife and kids, and in an ideal World, I’d spend even less time working now than I do at the moment.

Now, interestingly, I’m working more (and later) than I have in quite some time, but that’s because “needs must”. But – and here’s the ridiculously important thing – I wouldn’t even dream of being in the office later than say, 6pm.

Not unless there was some catastrophic disaster meltdown scenario… I’d never leave a client offline or anything.

Chatting to a ‘competitor’ (not really, we do and focus on different things, but we both still do web design) he was telling me the crazy hours he worked.

Like 20 hour days… because he’s so busy.

Whether he was exaggerating slightly or not, I don’t know, but I could very easily believe it.

Because I’ve been there.

I’ve got caught up in it.

I’ve thought it was important.

But it all changed when we had Josh (my eldest).

I’ve always wanted to be around for my family, but I remember speaking to a client of mine (and in fact, one of my first clients from 2007 odd).

I’d gone up to see him, I think, because I was maybe doing a website for him or something (it was a long time ago) and he’d told me about how much closer he was to one of his children than the other, and he puts that purely down to the fact that with his first – he worked, and worked, and worked.

But he made a significant effort with his next child to be around more; well, not specifically for that child but by the time that child was there, if you get my meaning. As a result he was much closer with the second child.

He told me this along with much more significant wisdom that I took with me throughout my business life and I truly think it changed the direction I was going. I was easily heading for the regular 20 odd hour days.

My point here is, I want my kids to be as close with me and my wife, as we (my brothers and I) were with our parents.

Clients will come and go.

Businesses will come and go.

Your family are there (hopefully) for life.

So what matters more?

Working a few more hours?

Or spending time with the family?

The thing is, I’m not even talking about doing less.

I HATE phrases like this because it sounds so pompous but stuff like “Work smarter, not harder” is enormously appropriate here.

Let’s say you turn over £100,000.

You work hard.

Let’s say you WANT to turn over £1,000,000.

Can you work TEN TIMES as harder?

Obviously no.

So it all comes down to working smarter…. and that’s what I’ve focused on for the last, well, 10 years.

But it’s far, far, far easier said than done.

I know I’m not there yet, but I’m working astronomically smarter NOW than I was, say, 10 years ago.

And I’m working much, much smarter NOW, that I was a year ago.

It’s like I said at the start of this email, it’s all about evolving how we work, what we do, how we do it.

Question is, what do you want?

To work smarter? Or harder?

I know which I’d prefer.

If you want to work smarter I suggest you get a copy of my book Fix Your Website Fast.

I’ve transformed my business and you can too, as everything I talk about in my book to generate more business and more sales, I have either tried and tested personally or done for my clients.
To grab your free chapter, click here.

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Meet the Author

Ben Waters

With over a decade of experience and 3 books currently under his belt, Ben is an expert in marketing. Ben runs The Magnetic Tribe, a private, exclusive group for high performing business owners and entrepreneurs who want to grow their business. The Magnetic Tribe allows Ben to mentor other business owners, with tried and tested strategies, that work. Grab your free chapter of Ben's book Fix Your Website Fast here.