Tending to Business (and all else): The grass is always greener where you water it

Given the undeniable truth within this particular quote by some wise but unknown person, I can’t believe I had never seen it until just recently!

“The grass is always greener where you water it.” – Unknown

When you’re self-employed and fully committed to work, family and community, you’ve got a lot of territory to cover – and to sustain. The watering can that is your time, attention and energy isn’t bottomless; you can only tend to so much before you risk drought conditions here or there.

As a solopreneur, at times I’m very efficient at rationing my time and energy. At times, life balance escapes me. I suspect you’ve experienced the same as you juggle home, work, and volunteer responsibilities. So what can we do about that?

Analyze. Assess. Adjust.

1. Analyze

Exactly how far out of balance are you, and why do you find yourself tending more to one area of focus than another? It could be a specific project that’s demanding more time temporarily, a new initiative that needs to launch, or perhaps you have an ongoing operational inefficiency that’s consistently hijacking your efforts. Maybe you’re dealing with circumstances affecting family or friends that need your concentrated time and attention.

First and foremost, get a grip on the situation so you understand the cause and the magnitude.


2. Assess

In what ways is the lack of balance affecting you, your business, and your home life? Can the areas getting the short end of the stick sustain themselves while you get things in order? Are you feeling a sense of accomplishment or is the imbalance draining you of motivation? Are others suffering to an intolerable degree?

If you know the imbalance will be temporary, you might be able to let things run their course and essentially fix themselves. But if you’ve got what looks like an ongoing situation that will continually drag down other aspects of your life, you’ll need to consider the next step…


3. Adjust

Do something about it! When you’re in a small business/home/volunteerism balancing act, you need to nurture all aspects of your existence so none of them wither and die on the vine. Periodically you may need to tend to one commitment more than the others, but you can only do it for so long. Prioritize, purge insignificant and low-priority work from your plate, and communicate with all professional and personal stakeholders so everyone is clear on what you’ll be doing – and NOT doing.

I’m personally in an “adjust” mode at the moment and feel empowered by thinking through the process this way. My hope is that it works for you, too!

What about you? What do you do to maintain balance in your work/home/community obligations? When you’ve got competing priorities, what comes first?


4 comments on “Tending to Business (and all else): The grass is always greener where you water it
  1. Hi Dawn,

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. I am definitely over-extended particularly in the volunteer area. It is definitely time to pare down but how to get over that feeling that you are leaving worthy organizations in a lurch? I’m actually working very hard at recruiting my replacements for a few local obligations (hint: the fact that I view them as obligations is probably a bit of a red flag, don’t you think?)

    • dawnmentzer says:

      Dominique, It sounds like you and I have a lot in common! That’s precisely what I’m in the process of doing as well. Although my volunteer involvement will continue, I’m in the process of scaling back rather significantly to regain balance.

      And you’re right – when the word “obligation” comes into the picture, that’s definitely a loud and clear read flag!

  2. releader says:

    I met with a new real estate licensee yesterday who wanted to pick my brain on success tactics. Predictably, we covered the territory you lay out in this blog. There’s one other bullet I would add, though: emulate. If there’s someone whose business reflects the kind of success you’re striving for, take some time to evaluate what appears to be working for them. Better yet, take them out to lunch and pick their brain. Nothing like flattery, a good meal, maybe even a glass of wine to free the tongue. Then, when you’ve collected the pearls, put them into practice. As always, Dawn, your posts are content rich. Thank you for yet another great topic.

    • dawnmentzer says:

      “Emulate” is a wonderful addition, Tyler. You’re right, who wouldn’t be flattered to share a best practice with someone who gives recognition where recognition is due? And surely, the dinner and red wine wouldn’t hurt either! 😉 Thanks for enhancing the post with your insight – and for your positive feedback. 🙂

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