Inboxes fill up, task lists go unchecked – we all have times when we struggle with maintaining the balance between our personal and business lives. But if we want to be our best, we have to take the time to work on ourselves first, and understand who we are and what we bring to our relationships.
Self-awareness plays a key role in optimizing the work-life balance. To help us understand how we can increase our self-awareness, we sat down with Mike Reagan, a 25-year sales and marketing executive and advisor for Threat X.
Finding the Right Balance
From unlimited time off to 4-hour workweeks, there’s been a trend toward obtaining the perfect “work-life balance.” We often imagine drawing a line in the sand between personal and business, but according to Mike the reality isn’t always so clear cut. “There doesn’t need to be this crisp line between personal life and work life,” Mike said. “In reality, it’s our life. Our life is rooted, for the most part, in the way we interact with others and with the world.”
Instead of striving to perfect our work-life balance, we should strive to perfect ourselves and our relationships. To do this, Mike says we need to ask ourselves the question, “How do I want to live my life and what do I want to achieve through interacting with others?”
3 Ways to Stay Grounded
In search of the perfect life, we sometimes lose track of ourselves and what’s actually going on around us. That’s why improving self-awareness is all about staying grounded. Here’s Mike’s advice:
- Being present and listening.
- Ask yourself, “What am I trying to achieve when I’m interacting with others?”
Sometimes we find ourselves in a job where the company culture doesn’t quite fit with our personal values. According to Mike, if that happens, we need to ask if we can facilitate that change in culture, or call it out. “If you can’t see a path toward changing the organization to align with your values, find one who can.”
“What you need is an organization that’s willing to acknowledge the imperfections and commit to change when they discover that they’re veering slightly from those values,” Mike said.
A Fully Unplugged Break
With email, phones and social media, it’s getting harder and harder for professionals to completely unplug themselves and take a break. But according to Mike, it can and should be done. Here’s how:
- Have a firm handle on your business. Know what’s going on, understand what the state of accounts are – existing customers as well as prospects.
- Delegate. Have all your ducks lined up so you can easily communicate to someone in your absence.
- Communicate to your customers, prospects and team.
- Establish boundaries.
“If you tee it up properly and have people you can trust to care for those accounts – you’ve given them all the detail they need…then you can go away and shut your email off and not check,” said Mike.
What is Most Effective When Someone is Trying to Sell You?
We like to ask our podcast guests this question. Here’s how Mike answered:
“Present to me, immediately upon engaging me, that you know me. That you know my company, that you have done your homework. If I hear a standard spiel that I know they’re giving to me and everyone else they’re calling, I’m going to hang up.”
In every episode of the B2B Revenue Executive Experience, we try to pull one nugget of wisdom from our guests that they would impart on a sales professional. Here’s this one:
“People talk about work-life balance. For me it’s life. What are you trying to achieve in your life? If I were to boil it down to one word it would be care. Care about your customers, care about your prospects, care about your coworkers – if you truly care you’re going to listen…you’ll find that you’ll end up seeking to serve them in ways that really address their needs. If you care about your customers, your prospects, your coworkers – you’ll end up taking care of yourself in the end.”
If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.