There’s no secret that there’s a perception of the difference in how people live their lives in the UK and other Western European Countries such as Spain, France & Italy.
Those of us who have been on holiday to Spain will be familiar with the word mañana. Specifically, this translates to tomorrow but it is also used as a ‘whenever’ quote, when the Spanish know that something has to be done but will be “fitted in” when convenient. This can be highly frustrating to a British brain when we are focused on doing everything at 100 miles an hour and wanting results now!
We had the fantasic opportunity of living in Spain from 2004 to 2007 and when we first arrived, I couldn’t understand why they weren’t all bothered about having a nice new car or why most people don’t fill their houses with posh furniture and fancy gadgets (especially in the country where there weren’t lots of cinemas, fancy shopping centers and places we would normally spend our free time). I soon realized that the car was just a means to get you to work and the outside space of their homes were more appreciated than the inside, of course the weather was a major factor but in the main, they were just not focused on material possessions. They would go down to the beach on a Sunday, as would we, but the full family would be there, from babies to great-grandparents, the bars and restaurants would be full every weekend night with families. They are totally family orientated and I believe we can take valuable lessons from this.
So who has the right idea?
Both Countries have successful exports, be it in Products, Services or Sport etc. However, after spending over 3 years in their environment and witnessing their business ethic, it became apparent that their family and social life play an equal role and I realised that in Britain, the desire to succeed and specifically within the current economic climate, us Brits are having to work so hard that it can sometimes be to the detrement of our family and social life.
Yes, money is important and yes, we all want our businesses to succeed and thrive but are the same not true of our personal lives ?
Think about the last time you didn’t check your emails during the weekend or when you sat for a whole evening with your wife/husband/partner without taking a call or catching up with paperwork.
I recently attended a networking event where a lady told us that her 5 year old son had said one evening “mummy will you please put your phone down” The realization of how this must be affecting him led her to switch it off every evening for just 2-3 hours while she spent valuable time with her children, she knew the business would be ok and she felt better for this precious time.
Now you’re probably thinking that I’m going to tell you to ‘take a break’ and put your business to one side while you enjoy the present and maximize your personal life. Well not quite. I am going to tell you to push on with your business and make it a success…..BUT…..be clever !
Sit down and take a good look at what you do and more importantly why you do it, don’t do it alone, there is somebody we can all talk to, a husband, a wife, a partner, a mother, a best friend. Find your ‘impartial man’, somebody who wants you to succeed but can also see both sides.
If, however, you don’t have this or need a fresh pair of ears/eyes, book a slot and call me for a free brain storming chat, no obligation, just the beneift of my experience, knowledge and ability to recognise where people need help and how they can gain this.
In the meantime, think about what your work/life balance would be and how you can achieve it, do you need help at home? do you need help to organize your day? do you need help with basic admin support?
And think about this – would it make you feel better if you spent that little extra time with your family/friends ? If the answer is yes, how much would this resonate in your business approach ? Surely it’s a win-win situation ??
If you would like a little extra help or think that a chat would at least be a step in the right direction, simply click below and schedule a convenient time.