I suppose it depends on a few things, but my personal thoughts are if you want to be really successful, you won’t be able to properly balance your life.
Work will end up taking over.
This raises a lot of moral or philosophical questions, like is it really worth it?
I guess it depends on how you define “rich”.
I personally have a great work-life balance, and I try very hard to put my life before work.
Don’t get me wrong, I work very hard, and I love what I do, but I know the importance of unwinding, recharging your batteries, and avoiding burnout.
Achieving a work-life balance is something I’ve worked very hard at, and it’s something that I still continuously work on, and continuously remind myself about.
Can Women Achieve Work-Life Balance?
Very recently, the owner of Atlantic magazine David Bradley, spoke with Indra Nooyi, who is the CEO of PepsiCo about work-life balance.
I watched the video (embedded below), and it’s actually incredible to see how honest she is.
Essentially, she says that women can’t have work-life balance, because of all the responsibilities that come with such an important position.
She talks about how she used to train her secretary to run through a series of questions when her daughter called the office to ask if she could play Nintendo, because she was away on business.
One of the more interesting quotes from the discussion is about how she believes our biological clock and our career clocks aren’t in sync:
My observation, David, is that the biological clock and the career clock are in total conflict with each other. Total, complete conflict. When you have to have kids you have to build your career. Just as you’re rising to middle management your kids need you because they’re teenagers, they need you for the teenage years.
One thing to note, is that about a year ago, Sheryl Sandberg made a very famous comment about how she leaves work every day at 5:30pm, and is home for dinner with her kids by 6pm.
So it can be done, but in all fairness, Sheryl is one of the highest paid women in Silicon Valley.
Is It Only Women That Struggle With This?
While doing some research for this post, I found that Elon Musk, one of my heros, also isn’t really able to achieve a good work-life balance.
It seems almost impossible for someone like Elon Musk to do anything besides work, he runs Tesla, arguably the most revolutionary car company around, and SpaceX, a space exploration company. These are 2 very serious, very time consuming businesses.
In an interview a few years ago at SXSW, when asked about his kids, he says that he hardly ever spends any time with them.
Supposedly, it didn’t sit too well with the audience.
Elon Musk just lost the whole audience–formerly eating out of his hand. He has 5 children says they are great but hardly sees them.
— maja thomas (@digimaja) March 9, 2013
It’s important to be able to find that balance.
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I think that if I’m being realistic, if you ever want to achieve the level of success that Indra and Elon achieved, you need to make sacrifices.
On the other hand, you could make sacrifices in terms of luxury homes and cars, and learn to appreciate the simple things in life, like just being with your family.
Family is the most important thing in the world, and I think with all of the stress and pressure of life, we often forget that.
It’s been proven many times that money only makes you so happy up to a certain point ($75,000/year), so I think it’s better to enjoy life.
Give time to the ones you love, because in the end, that’s all that really matters. Remember the famous saying:
You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give.
How Do You Achieve Work-Life Balance?
Any tips you can share with us? Is it realistic to assume that we can all have a work-life balance? Let me know your thoughts!