I just got back from a speaking gig in Denver. My brother and I did a talk at the 2016 Pro Green Expo, a pretty big green industry trade show. We got to meet a lot of other landscape company owners, and after our talk we ended up going out to dinner with a few of them.
Being from Cleveland, we don’t have things like the Rocky Mountains in our backyards. We don’t have the Super Bowl champs either, and at this point I think we have a better chance of getting mountains in Cleveland than the Browns going to the Super Bowl.
Anyway, there is something that I noticed about my new friends from Denver. They all seemed to love the mountains and the outdoors. Skiing, hiking, hunting and fishing were the topics of our after-hours discussions. What I thought was really interesting was that they put such an emphasis on those activities.
One business owner told us that he spent almost $20,000 on season ski passes for all of his employees and that he is on the slopes every day. He even mentioned that he gets upset when his employees don’t take time off from work to do some skiing.
Another guy we talked to said that he moved out there more than 20 years ago so he could spend as much time as possible in the mountains. We heard this same theme from quite a few people we talked to out there.
Now don’t get me wrong, these folks work hard on their businesses. In addition, they were spending three days at a conference learning things to help them become better at their craft and improve business skills. They all talked about how busy they were and how good business was for them. We also discussed the same challenges that we all have in our businesses, from finding good employees to cash flow issues. But there was one thing that I think they “get” more than most business owners I know, and that is work-life balance.
Heck, even our Uber driver told us that he gets out to the mountains every week or so to hike and see new things.
Now I will leave the social analysis of this whole scenario up to the sociologists out there. But here is my takeaway from this experience, and I think we all can learn something here: You have to live for right now and not for someday. We all can’t have the Rocky Mountains in our backyards to remind us of that fact, but we can and should consistently look for ways to find that balance between what we do and how we live.
So get out there and play as hard as you work, wherever you live.