In 11th grade I was trying out for my high school golf team. It was a 4 day tryout at the end of the summer and going into the last day I was a few strokes away from the final spot. The tee-off was 6:30 Thursday morning, but the course didn’t have a driving range. My dad had an idea. We had collected a bunch of old balls over the years, so we decided to get up early (around 5:00 am) so we could have our own practice session to loosen up (and get an edge on the competition).
At the time, I didn’t think much of what my dad did. Just like me, he woke up a little early, and after I hit balls and teed off he went into work. Only after a few years of working a full time job do I realize how incredible that was.
That day was a really special day for me and he didn’t want to miss it. Yes, I did make the team by a stroke, which was a cool feeling, but the real memory I cherish was that 45 minute practice session with my dad. We were the only two people awake and we were outworking the competition. Not only was he the only parent to show up, he wanted to be a part of the day. To me, that is what work life balance is all about.
Sometimes you read articles saying people need to work fewer hours to achieve balance. I’m not sure I agree with that. I see how dedicated our team is and the fulfillment that comes from a day’s work. I believe work life balance is about finding out what is important to you and prioritizing your time so you don’t miss those moments that you will remember for the rest of your life. I have an incredible amount of respect for everyone at Famous that fully immerses themselves in their work and family. Two people that come to mind are Tim Kiley and Bruce Neubauer. I am constantly blown away by their dedication, their passion, and the hours they put in for our company. But what I’m even more impressed by is how they won’t let work get in the way of their family time. I doubt Tim has missed a wrestling match and Bruce is always there for Adam and Bonnie. If something is important to them they will make the time – and that’s a great lesson to live by.
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