The fulcrum of work/life balance is not static, and it certainly doesn’t start in the center, it moves throughout your lifetime.
If you listen to some people you would think work/life balance is measured in hours or days or even weeks but the reality, and reality is often hard to accept, is that it’s actually measured in years if not decades.
So you had to work late on Wednesday, that doesn’t throw your entire work/life balance out of whack. It’s just an inconvenience. Those who measure work/life balance on too small a scale tend to be negative people. They tend to think the world, or maybe just their employer, owes them more than they do. These are not self-starters and they certainly don’t have an entrepreneurial spirit.
After high school and college the real work begins and the connection I had to work back then was much stronger than it is now. Not because I’ve grown lazy but because I’ve grown. I’ve grown in terms of having more responsibility but also having people to help with that responsibility.
I’ve spent my career in television news but what I experienced is true for many professions. As I began my career I spent an inordinate amount of time at work. Work far outweighed life and there was very little balance for me.
I could have spent less time at work but I would have gotten less far along the career path. Those early years were not the time for balance. Balance would come later.
An entrepreneur will keep that fulcrum from moving, they’re willing to stay unbalanced for longer than most people because they are driven to succeed. They know that when the shift happens, the reward is greater.
That’s exactly what I did when I started my business in 2012 while still working a full time job. I intentionally stayed unbalanced (in more ways than one it seemed). The fulcrum moved, and work, from my job, my business, and my rental properties, took almost all my time. There was very little time for life.
After I sold the business, with my career doing well, I moved the fulcrum so that life outweighed work.
A little more life compared to work but I still had a job that required time and effort. As I get closer to retirement, which for me was much sooner than is typical, the fulcrum continued to move until it finally looked like this.
I needed 25 years to get to this point. Some will get here sooner, some will take much longer but work/life balance is a sliding scale. How fast you slide in one direction or another is up to you.