20 Feb 2015

A Business and a Life – You Can Have Both

At The Growth Coach, our process is all about helping people find their WHY, which, for me, is a mission that’s close to my heart. I’m Judi Cogen and before I started with The Growth Coach’s corporate team, I lived the struggles that many of you face every day. Let me start at the beginning…

When I graduated from Columbia Business School in the 80s, I joined a big consulting firm. I traveled constantly and I understood that was how it was supposed to be. But after a while, I realized my plants were all turning brown and I hadn’t had a date in 6 months. Something had to change. I took a job with Avon, got married, had a son, moved to Cincinnati and had a daughter. I had work and life balance. I was happy.

Along the way, Avon had some major changes and I left the company to rejoin the consulting world before opening my own retail franchise. I thought I was being smart by getting into a franchise early, but the system wasn’t strong enough and the economy was crashing. Even worse, it was retail, so I was working seven days a week. My kids had to call me to say goodnight. Even my marriage was falling apart, although I didn’t realize that until after we decided to close the store. Money was tight and I didn’t know what we were going to do, but at least I had my family. That’s when I joined The Growth Coach.

The Growth Coach is special because we help people get their lives back. I am here because I understand that no business owner – our franchise owners or their clients – should have to go through what I went through. No one should have to choose between owning a business and having a family. No one should be faced with having to choose between being able to feed their family and actually having a family to feed.

The Growth Coach is known for our Strategic Business Owner quarterly workshops and the thing we hear most often is that business owners don’t have time for the program. Let me tell you something I’ve learned – you don’t have time NOT to dedicate to being strategic about your business. If you don’t schedule time with yourself to make changes and improvements to your business, nothing will change. Everyone wants a business they don’t have to manage every day that can run on its own – and The Growth Coach can help you get there – but it takes time.

Sit down and think about where you are dedicating your time right now. Are there tasks you can delegate? Or errands you can combine to save time? Sometimes making time for the most important things takes making an adjustment in your life. A while back I read an article in the paper about a man who had written an email to his college-age children every day while they were away at school. It was a lovely article and, when I shared it with my son, he asked if I would do that for him. I accepted his request and decided to turn what could have been daily emails into a daily blog called Dear Kid, Love Mom. No matter how busy I am or how little I think I have to say that day, I make time to do this for my son because it’s important to him. We don’t usually talk about the posts or what he thinks of the topics (which are quite varied) but he always notices if a new post hasn’t been published, so I know he’s reading them and I know it’s important that I keep writing.

I’m hoping you can think of your business the same way. Even on days when you’re staring at the proverbial blank screen, take the time to figure out where to go from there. Make a conscious decision to make the business – and your life – better. Make time to make your business stronger and make time for your friends and family. You can have both, but you have to find the balance that makes it all work together. If you’re having trouble doing this on your own, The Growth Coach can help.

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