Out the gate, I’m a fan of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and I’m saddened by the news of his divorce after 25 years of marriage. Just to be clear, I am not sad because it is Jeff, I would be sad regardless of who it was since 25 years is a substantial amount of time. Divorces (in most cases) are messy, so I want to ensure I write this article respectfully and note that I obviously don’t know the reasons why Jeff and Mackenzie split and I don’t think anyone should as it’s an extremely personal matter. However, as a complete outsider I can make an unauthorized assumption – I think it might have something to do with work-life harmony.
It’s a known fact that Jeff isn’t a fan of the phrase “work-life balance.” He believes that balance within a person’s professional and personal life implies some sort of strict trade-off between the two. Instead, he envisions a more holistic relationship between work and life outside the office, something he refers to as work-life harmony, and something I’ve personally embraced. This approach aims to maintain a healthy symmetry within a person’s professional and personal pursuit, however, in light of his divorce announcement, does a trade-off still exist? Work-life harmony, in theory, sounds great, but in practice is a trade-off still happening unnoticeably.
As mentioned by marriage.com the 3rd most common reason for divorce is lack of communication, falling just behind infidelity at #1 and money at #2. It’s obvious to me that not feeling heard or important can drive even the strongest relationships apart. Even though I am pro Work-Life Harmony, I’ve always balanced lightly on the term and personally saw that maybe a trade-off was needed, and is healthy from both a personal and professional perspective. Moreover, a family and business can benefit from a trade-off, as it can be a great mechanism to reset the mind and energize the soul. Listen, leading, building and growing a business and family is really hard work, so you need to be diligent and work even harder. My father always was (and still is) great at putting endless hours into his work, yet still makes time to eat dinner with his family and also makes it a point to be around as much as possible for his children, his grandchildren and his wife. Growing up as a kid, I can’t remember him ever missing one of my hockey games or practices. The bottom line is that you need to ensure your family knows that you see them, knows how important they are to you and that you communicate with them every single day. Whether it’s sitting down for breakfast, lunch, dinner or having as many calls/video calls as possible or relentlessly dedicating every Sunday to a family outing.
But I get it, entrepreneurship and business, especially today, is 24/7 with little to no downtime. I live it every single day. But I don’t buy it. The truth is, as Chip Wilson mentions in his newly released book Little Black Stretchy Pants, “I felt like I saw my children very little. The reality was that I saw my boys more than most fathers did because I had to schedule my time and prioritize”. So, I challenge you all to make it work and find routines and ways to ensure you never drive your family or relationships to a point of no return, because a little trade-off here and there may be a great thing for you professionally and personally.
I want you to share this with everyone and anyone you think can benefit from this read. And for any entrepreneur, executive or business owner reading this right now – I want you to understand, I think this approach can work and make you and your business better. At BizON, here’s how we see it:
Now please give your love ones a call right now and let them know that you love them.