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Money - Black and White Money

Money (Photo credit @Doug88888)

We’ve been very busy lately.

In the midst of my usual job, organising our son’s 7th birthday party and writing this blog, we’ve had a lot of clients coming in to have their resume done through our home business.

As we schedule more clients and try to find a way to get the work done, I’ve found myself saying to my wife, “Just think about the money.”

It’s a nice platitude to use when we have so much on our plate and we’re certainly blessed to have so many people coming to see us, but I have to ask myself, is money the right thing to be thinking about?

If I am too busy and am running myself into the ground, should I really be thinking about the money?

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Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

One of the greatest challenges that we are facing today is finding the right balance between work and home.

There are so many demands placed on leaders that finding this balance can be difficult, especially if it isn’t consciously managed.

In addition, we can seduce ourselves into thinking that more meetings, interstate travel and work-related events are more glamorous than the seemingly mundane life of changing nappies, loud and messy kids and a spouse who is demanding more from you.

However, we need to change this perspective.

David O. McKay helps us when he says, “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”

I think that he’s right.

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In our modern society that is so consumer driven, we seem to want more, more, more.

More money, more gadgets, bigger houses and cars, more trappings of success.

But sometimes, less is more.

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Finnish lumberjack of Yhtyneet Paperitehtaa in...

Image via Wikipedia

Stephen Covey tells the story of a man who was walking through a forest when he came across a frustrated lumberjack.

The lumberjack was trying to cut down a tree with and was swearing and cursing as he laboured in vain.

“What’s the problem?”  The man asked.

“My saw’s blunt and won’t cut the tree properly.”  The lumberjack responded.

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This story is for all parents and is a great reminder of what our kids really value in us.

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year-old son waiting for him at the door.

“Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

“Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man.

“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?

“That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.

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Ever since Moses came down from Mt Sinai with the original 10 commandments in the Old Testament, people have had a fascination with top 10 lists.

As I’ve been musing on leadership principles recently, I’ve come up with my own 10 commandments of leadership. 

Of course, leadership is more complex and challenging than what you can fit into a list of 10 principles, but I hope that this is a good place to start that will get you thinking about how you can further develop your leadership capability.

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There’s nothing like a nice relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Sport on the TV, a full belly, quiet and content kids, feet up on the couch with a nice coffee and the weekend newspaper.  Perhaps you even manage a little nap.

It’s pure bliss isn’t it?

Wouldn’t it be awesome if every day was like that?

Or would it?

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I came across this great story a couple of years ago.  It has a terrific message about work/life balance and how we sometimes incorrectly measure success. 

An American businessman was on holiday in Mexico.

As he relaxed on the beach, he noticed a fisherman coming in on his boat.  The American complimented the fisherman on his catch and asked him how long it took him to catch that many fish. 

“Not long.” was the reply.

“Then why didn’t you stay out longer?” asked the tourist.

“Because this is enough for me and my family.” explained the fisherman.

“So what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish for a while, play with my children, take a siesta and spend time with my wife.  Then in the evening, I go into the village to visit my friends, I have a few drinks, play the guitar and sing a few songs.  I have a full life.”

The American was surprised.  “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you.  You should spend more time on the water fishing, then you can sell the extra fish, make more money and buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?”

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Stress is a huge issue in the western world and is a major health issue.  It’s estimated that up to 70% of patients waiting to see a doctor are there due to a stress related illness.

As a result, we often want to avoid stress, trying to minimise it and it’s possible consequences.  On reflection though, I can’t help but think about most successful people and the pressures that they are under when compared with people who are unable to break through in their lives.

Stress can actually be an indicator that you are making progress in your career or business.  It’s also an indicator that you are alive and kicking.  I have three young kids and there are times when they really push my buttons and give me very little down time, but I also wouldn’t have it any other way.  So instead of avoiding stress, I would advise that we should be learning some coping mechanisms so that the impacts of stress are not as dramatic.

How can we do this? 

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