If you’re reading this blog and have never heard the name Chris Brogan, I’m throwing down a challenge to you today to learn a little bit more about who is and what he’s about.
On paper, he’s the co-author of the New York Times best-seller “Trust Agents,” and has more than 11 years of experience in online community, social media and related technologies. His blog is in the Top 5 of the Advertising Age Power150, and he consults and speaks professionally with Fortune 100 and 500 companies on the future of business communications and social software technologies.
Outside of that, he frequently offers up no-nonsense, sage advice that many of us may think sounds self-evident, but often do not put to good use. As we like to say in the Dale Carnegie world, “Common sense, but not always common practice.”
I tell you all of this to say that I’m the e-mail list of his latest venture, Human Business Works, and today’s newsletter really resonated with me and I’m sure it resonated with many other people as well.
The topic: balance.
Brogan talked about running two companies and working on a third, all the while still maintaining a relatively normal home and personal life. He credits his smart teams at these companies for his ability to step away and trust that things will get done. And he also focuses on three key principles:
Communication is key. He involves his wife in the planning process when he’s booking speaking gigs. If a particular project doesn’t work for her, he doesn’t do it — period. He relies on his right-hand man at Human Business Works to listen to his ideas and then execute with ideas of his own. His business partners keep him focused on growing the business.
For every idea, an end in mind. Brogan no doubt gets many offers for many different projects that would require even more of his limited time. And just because it’s a paying project, it doesn’t mean he automatically says yes. He weighs the effort required versus the pay-out. “Would it put money in my pocket? Sure. But it would also potentially add unnecessary complexity to my life.”
Money for time. “You can always make more money. You can never make more time.” Brogan implores us to seek out ways to save the precious time we do have, so that we can do things like attend our children’s parent-teacher conferences and play a round of golf with the guys. And never “give away your time too cheaply.”
Make sense? Of course, it does. But it never hurts to have a friendly reminder. Because a work-life balance is key to maintaining your health — and your sanity.