As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to let work consume you. In fact, to build a successful business, you almost have to be consumed by the business—at least in the early days.
Over time, though, a maniacal focus on the business to the exclusion of everything else will lead to ruin. You can’t burn the candle at both ends indefinitely and expect it to continue generating light.
You often hear people talk about the need to have “balance” in your life. Well, I’m not a big believer in balance. “Balanced” people never accomplished anything great. However, I am a big believer in looking at your life and consciously deciding how you will allocate your time in life’s big buckets.
If all you do is work, you’ll burnout. If all you do is exercise or vacation, you won’t get any work done. Too much focus for too long in one area will cause major problems in other areas of your life. The key is to rotate your focus over the course of your life so you can emphasize what’s important in the now while not neglecting the other aspects of your life that need a base level of attention.
The best tool I’ve found to help entrepreneurs determine where to focus their attention is the “Wheel of Life” assessment.
Wheel of Life Assessment
I use the Wheel of Life assessment in my entrepreneur coaching and speaking engagements. Here’s how it works.
To begin, each participant reviews the eight categories on the Wheel of Life. Those categories are:
- Ability to say no
The participants rate how they are doing on each of those categories based on these prompt questions:
- Do you feel you are taking care of your health with a good diet and sufficient sleep?
- How do you feel about your business or career—are you passionate about it?
- What is the state of your family relationships, particularly spouse and children?
- How do you view your spiritual development, and how might you improve it?
- Have you learned to say no, and how often do you say yes when you mean no?
- Are you doing the things that increase your energy or deplete it?
- Are you living the life you want?
- Do you have the friends you want, and are you spending enough time with them?
Participants rate each category on a scale of one to ten and then draw a line to connect the numbers. I then ask each person to look at their wheel and ponder how important it is to be near a ten on each of the categories.
What you’ll find is, you can’t be a 10 in all categories all the time. Your emphasis will need to shift over time. For some periods, work may be your top priority. For other periods, family and health may be the top priorities. The key is to intentionally decide where to place your emphasis instead of just defaulting to work.
It’s also important to understand that while you may decide to emphasize two or three categories at any given time, that doesn’t mean you can drop down to a one or two in the other categories. All eight categories are important to a well-lived life and you should maintain at least a base level of attention to all of them.
After you complete your assessment, ask yourself these questions.
- Why did I score each category at the level I did?
- What surprised me about how I rated the categories?
- What categories do I want to focus on over the next three months?
- What is my ideal score for each category over the next three months?
- What positive/negative outcome could happen if I don’t reach my target level in each category over the next three months?
- Who can help hold me accountable for reaching my target level in each category over the next three months?
To complement the Wheel of Life assessment, I encourage you to create a bucket list and have your significant other create one, too. Once both are completed, combine the lists and put proposed dates on the calendar to achieve the bucket items. You may find that your bucket list differs from that of your significant other. This is a great opportunity for the two of you to start talking so life doesn’t pass you by before you begin to achieve your dreams.
If you are not living your life by design, ask why not? What is holding you back?
Take the time to complete the Wheel of Life assessment every three months so you can consciously focus your time on what’s most important to you. Create your bucket list and start making plans to check off the boxes. Many people are already living the life they designed. You can, too.
About Mark Moses
Mark Moses is the Founding Partner of CEO Coaching International and the Amazon Bestselling author of Make Big Happen. His firm coaches over 100 of the world’s top high-growth entrepreneurs and CEO’s on how to dramatically grow their revenues and profits, implement the most effective strategies, becoming better leaders, grow their people, build accountability systems, and elevate their own performance. Mark has won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Blue Chip Enterprise award for overcoming adversity. His last company ranked #1 Fastest-Growing Company in Los Angeles as well as #10 on the Inc. 500 of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. He has completed 12 full distance Ironman Triathlons including the Hawaii Ironman World Championship 5 times.