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Edition 182 – It’s Not All About Profit

A client phoned me earlier this week. He was looking for a referral to a professional colleague for a friend of his wife’s. The friend’s relative had not felt well early last week and headed off to the doctor. He went home to rest up – and never woke up. In his early 60’s, pneumonia took him in the night, at home, on his own.

I don’t know about you, but early 60’s isn’t that old in my opinion. In the era of life expectancy into our 80’s, that’s a full quarter of the game that he didn’t get to be a part of.

All of this has got me thinking.

About people in business that work long hours to keep the wheels turning. Mostly by choice rather than by design.

About the professionals that labour early and late just to get the work done, keep the clients happy and get the job out the door.

And how, in most instances, these individuals almost consider it a badge of honour to have worked nights and weekends to keep on top of what it is they have to do.

You see, in most situations, these are the same people that have young families. They’re the parents of school age children whose lives are flying by whilst they’re busy, being busy, at work.

Sometimes it’s the weekend sport that is missed. Or the presentation evening. Or the reading group at school.

Mostly, however, it’s everyday time together, as parent and child, that is missed. The everyday things that, frankly, create the memories in families and in our lives, are lost. Kicking a ball, washing the car, baking a cake – these are the memories your children will want to remember. Not that you weren’t there.

When your children are grown up, they will recall either:

  1. How much you were there; or,
  2. How much you weren’t there.

One will be a positive reference that is a story they will be proud to tell.

The other is a negative reference that is a story they will never want to tell – or if they do, will be sad to.

So, if it’s your family business, what are you doing to give up some of the profit that you are generating to buy in help?

What are you doing to train people to do what it is that you’re doing, so that you don’t have to do it so much, or for so long?

Why not sacrifice a few dollars of profit and build more lifestyle into your family business?

After all, in my opinion, it’s not all about profit.

From John Lennon’s musical masterpiece, Beautiful Boy:
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.