It sounds crazy. I skipped the biggest marketing conference of the year. And I didn’t have anything more urgent to attend to. I just wanted to relax.
I was planning the EXECUTE event for our great authors at The Author Castle. Me and my husband Paul needed to put in a huge amount of work for this event. This meant long nights and, to make things even more hectic, after the event I was going to fly to the Traffic & Conversion marketing conference in San Diego.
And do you know what I was thinking when he drove me to the airport? I was thinking, “What the hell am I doing with my life?”
I was going to meet old friends, attend marketing meetings, and strategy sessions from the top marketing influencers in the game. I was also planning to spend some time with my chief marketing officer and public relations firm. I even had a 1st class flight and my hotel room booked and ready to go. There are a lot of reasons why I should have attended this event, and halfway to the airport, I told my husband to turn the car around.
But you know what? This didn’t conform to my values.
During the run-up to the EXECUTE event I’d barely seen my husband. He understands and I’m grateful for that. But I know how it works. If you spend too much time working and not enough quality time with your loved one’s things are going to spiral downwards fast.
I prioritized my marriage because I knew I hadn’t spent enough time with my husband. He’s my rock and sometimes you need to take a break from work and put back into perspective what really matters.
As a business owner, it’s easy to trade your downtime for a few extra hours at your desk. I’m sure that nobody would have resented spending time attending the biggest marketing conference of the year. But I’d already spent more time than I wanted to on working without a break.
For the sake of my own mental well-being I had to turn that car around. And you should too. If you think you’re being consumed by work, it’s time to take a step back. Most things aren’t a make or break scenario. Meetings can be rescheduled and you can always look back at the slides from an event afterwards.
But you can’t get that quality time back. Going weeks without seeing your loved ones is a bad road to go down.
My family always comes first. The fact is that there’s no reason for me to work all these hours if not for my family. Success and money means nothing if you have nobody there to share it with. Your family are the people who will always stand behind you, but only up to a point. You need to reward them with your time and love. Don’t neglect them.
All entrepreneurs should think twice before they trade their families for success. They’re good for your mental well-being and ultimately whether you succeed or fail they’ll always be there.
And that’s why I turned the car around. Take this opportunity to step back and do a self check in. Succeeding professionally is only meaningful if you prioritize the values you hold close. Are you where you want to be?
Originally published at medium.com