This past week I had the privilege of listening to Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post and author of 14 books, speak in person at The Art Of Leadership conference in Toronto, thanks to the fabulous Yummy Mummy Club.
Arianna said a few things which resonated with me and some which pierced my heart.
Success is normally measured by two things; money and power. Arianna laid out why we should change that definition before we crash and burn. I plan to learn from her mistakes…
Why is it, as an entrepreneur, we’ve believed the lies that if we’re not working 24/7, we’re not doing it right?! Why do we use BUSY as the measuring stick for success? When did phrases such as, “I’m exhausted” – “I’ve been burning the candle at both ends” – “I’m up to my eyeballs!” – “Sleep… who needs that?!” … become badges of honour we’re proud of?
“Down-time is mandatory otherwise burnout is eminent. Even God rested…” ~ Arianna Huffington
I’m guilty of that. Justifying with my husband and my kids as to why I’ve been on the computer or phone for the last 14 hours straight. Justifying why I had to take a business call during our family vacation. Justifying working on projects which don’t bring me joy because they bring in a paycheque. Justifying why I haven’t mopped the floors in the last 2 months… Justifying building a business at the expense of my family. That’s not the definition of success in my books.
“Often times we make life more difficult than it needs to be. Take time to be joyous.” ~ Arianna Huffington
Those were just some of the arrows which went deep as Arianna spoke.
It’s not just the time we give to our businesses, it’s the extra things that get in the way of living. I have scaled back but there was a time when I couldn’t leave the house without my phone, I couldn’t go to the bathroom without it… I would refresh my Facebook screen every few minutes. Refreshing my Twitter stream. Refreshing Pinterest. Refreshing Instagram. Refresh – Refresh – Refresh. The only thing feeling refreshed were my social networks. Constantly connected. Constantly distracted. Constantly available. Constantly on…
Human beings were not designed to have 99% up-time. We were designed for downtime. Take a day off. A real day off. ~ Arianna Huffington
In her chat at BlogHer this past summer, she spoke the same message, but there she ended it with this quote by Iain Thomas.
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”
― Iain Thomas
When you’re being pulled in all directions, the stress is mounting, you aren’t sleeping well, and you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed… take a time-out, close your eyes, breathe deep and ask yourself, “what is most important?”
“Eulogies have to do life accomplishments, rarely with the accomplishments you achieved at work.” ~ Arianna Huffington
I want everything I do to thrive, not just survive, including raising these beautiful children. A life lived for oneself, is a life not lived. I will be a successful entrepreneur with my family and not just for them. To me, there is a difference.
It's a difficult balancing act. And I think perhaps a lack of balance may be justified for a while in the beginning of a business. But it can't continue forever. Look after yourself and your family and give yourself a big hug from me. xo