Getting the most out of your life and business takes more than just hard work. Just ask Jacqueline Cornaby, an EO speaker, life coach and founder of Jacqueline International, Inc. In this special interview, Jacqueline touches on the elusive “work/life balance” that everyone seeks, and how achieving this Holy grail of human development can impact your business, employees and life.
On understanding the nature of work/life balance: “To successfully achieve balance, the first thing you must decide on is what, exactly, work/life balance means for you. The reason why so many people find it difficult to achieve is because they’re looking at someone else’s definition and trying to apply that to their own life. This can be especially difficult for entrepreneurs because what they consider to be work/life balance is often greatly different than their employees’ interpretation. Achieving true balance isn’t solely about offering company perks— it’s about digging deep and asking yourself what you and your employees need to feel empowered and rejuvenated, and then applying those principles in your life and business.”
On defining your balance priorities: “I always express to my clients the power of questions. When I ask how their mornings begin, they tell me that they look at their daily calendars and ask themselves: ‘How will I get these things done?’ ‘How’ is a word I ask them to strike from their vocabulary because it limits their day into a series of tasks. Instead, I encourage my clients to ask them- selves three fundamental questions: ‘Who am I?’ ‘What do I want to get done today?’ and ‘Why?’ once these questions are answered, the how comes naturally. I also encourage them to schedule the people or things that matter most to them into their day. I’ve found it’s much more difficult for busy entrepreneurs to skip the book club they love or a family dinner when it’s scheduled into their day as a priority— because it is.”
On implementing work/life balance programs into your business: “When it comes to introducing work/life balance programs into an organization, one size doesn’t fit all. However, before any initiative is implemented, allow your employees to feel empowered by voicing their wants and concerns about a program that will ultimately affect them. Once you discover a great need in the organization, you can fill that void by promoting it throughout the company. For example, if it’s spending more time with family, allow for more telecommuting or provide employees with flexible work hours. I’ve found that successfully introducing a work/life balance program in a business starts by talking to employees and then implementing a plan of action where everyone’s needs are respected.”
On achieving growth through work/life balance: “Work/life balance is not a destination— it’s a journey. In those moments where work or life seems overwhelming, remember to pause and take a breath. Make it a point to schedule mindful moments in your daily calendar and let your newfound balance become a model for your world, both in life and enterprise. At the end of the day, you have a choice: Make a living or design a life.”