040: From the Cutting Room Floor | Finding Work Life Balance
Stephanie Cox: I’m Stephanie Cox and this is Mobile Matters. If you’re like me, it’s back to school time at your house and your busy with buying school supplies, new clothes for your growing children, and really trying to tackle all the paper work that seems to come with the start of the school year. I thought my kids would be getting home work. Not me everyone. So in the spirit of trying to manage all that with a career. I thought it be be a great time to have a shorter Mobile Matters episode today and talk about work life balance. When I had the pleasure of chatting with Sangram Varje, the Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder of Terminus, we had a great conversation about B2B marketing. We also actually dived into a lot about how he thinks about work life balance. But I couldn’t fit it all into last weeks episode! So here’s Sangram’s perspective of about how a successful marketer, leader, and entrepreneur, can balance their life personally and professionally. I think that you’ll find that a lot of his comments are going to influence how you try and balance it all.
So one of the things I know that you travel all over and speak how do you and your’re a parent, how do you think about work life balance, integration, trying to you know manage the chaos?
Sangram Vajre: It is a hard battle and I think we all have to fight it every day. I was reading a book by Andy Stanley around where work and family collide. And then there's another book by Andy Crouch called Tech Lies Family. I've read those that actually are. I'm just finishing them off and kind of rereading some of those parts where it's really I started to read those books because I felt like I was not being a great parent and one of the things Andy talks about in his book was that look you're going to cheat. It's just a reality of unity that work or are you going to cheat that with your family and the whole, both times the cheating is going to be of time. And you have to figure out what is more important and when. So as an example like I would never I'd never done this before but recently I like my son is nine. He said hey he is a karate thing at like five thirty and I'm like man. Oh sorry, in the middle of the day actually, cause it's summer. So it's like things are happening in the middle of the day. It's like 2:00 p.m. or something and like oh my gosh I have a big meeting today. And he looked at me like OK I know it's OK if you can't come that's fine. I'm like No I'm in town. I physically can do this if I wasn't in town complete different story. But there is no reason for me to not change my meetings and nothing is going to happen in the world that that can't wait for another day. So I'm here. So I ended up canceling that day. All my meetings and I went and was there. Now I share that story for two reasons. One, it was such a huge learning curve for me because learning point for me because he looked at me and said “Dad, you would cancel your meetings for me?” and I realized at that moment that he clearly felt that meetings were more important than him because he shouldn't have been so astonished for that. So it was it was a moment for me to realize that man, I am not as good of a parent as I thought I was or was trying to make up. Right. And two, when I went there I was the only parent sitting. And then that made me feel even worse, and like oh my goodness everybody around us is cheating and everybody around us is not doing this thing and I get it because some jobs or maybe I have the luxury to do some of these things but maybe we do all have the luxury to put family first. As a matter of fact it's a privilege to put family first. And there are moments we all should do this but I have in my past never done it as much as I'm doing it now. And so we have created of our own family hacks thing that I might write one day about and we have done certain things in the last few years that has changed the way we're looking at things and putting the right things ahead of the right thing that I just shared that example because I think we all need to do that more often.
Stephanie Cox: No, I completely agree and I think it's something. Like I know I personally struggle with as well and I think a lot of people do especially when you're in a fast paced industry and there's a lot going on. There's never enough time to get it all done and I often think of it as there's kind of like almost seasons to it and they're not like actual seasons but there's times where like work is really crazy for like two weeks and then you feel like you're you know I'm not the best parent I could be. And then it's kind of like OK that's over that big project was over. Now I'm going to focus more of my effort and energy on my family. So that's been one thing like I've been trying I've been trying to balance more of is how can I make sure. Like when you do have like there's a lot of going on with the kids that you know work is still getting done but the kids are clearly my priority especially around the holidays. That's one of my favorite times of the year. I always take off the whole and I'm you know you're point about privilege. I’m privileged enough that I can do that at work but I take off work the entire time my kids are off. And it's one of my favorite things because we don't I literally don't work and we don't do anything. And we just hang out as a family which is so cool. And one of the blessings about it is you don't you're a couple of days. I say it's like between Christmas and New Year's we're like you no longer know what day it is. And that's one of my favorite times because all we've done is hang out as a family and it's just been so many days that I'm like What day is it again?
Sangram Vajre: And it matters right? I think this does. At the end of the day the role that we can never give up on and the role that will never be taken away from us as a leadership. This is for everyone who is a leader. And I really really hope that that people think through this is the role that we will never have to give up and the role that we would nobody can ever take away from is actually parenting.
That is a role that we just can't so and or a spouse right? A husband or a wife or a brother or a sister. I mean these roles are given to us gifted to us. So now that we have those roles it is up to us to treat them as real roles and actually be proactive about them or to really take the other role that we are going to have a temporary somebody else is gonna come and do my job five years ten years from now. Somebody I won't be needed in whatever I do what I will do something else and that's to be OK. I think as soon as you remove yourself and recognize what's the most important thing for you. I think we can start making the right priorities again. None of this takes away from hard work and the sacrifice and all the things you have to do. But I feel I really feel eight out of ten things that we don't do for our families is because we don't know how to prioritize every day and our priorities on our life. And it's a personal decision not actually a family decision.
Stephanie Cox: I’m Stephanie Cox and you’ve been listening to Mobile Matters. If you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe, rate and review this podcast. Until then be sure to visit Lumavate.com and subscribe to get more access to thought leader’s best practices and all things mobile.