People often ask me how I achieve the "Work Life Balance." That’s easy. I really don’t consider what I do for a living to be “work.” Let me explain. There’s nothing to balance when your career and your life all blend in together. A job provides a paycheck. A career provides a sense of purpose and a feeling of satisfaction. A lot of this is because my husband and I own our own businesses, something we love to do and have done for the past decade. It’s not for the faint of heart, though.
Well, that’s just swell, Mrs. Lo, but I don’t have a career, I have a job, you may be saying. Fair enough. I was there myself, for a long time. My first job was working for a caterer at age 14, basically as a server/ kitchen assistant; and I had a series of jobs finally culminating with my last job, as a lawyer at a law firm many years ago. Not everybody has it in their DNA to go out and start their own business.
Here’s what I say to employees: if you are able to have fun at work, then I don’t see the need for a work life balance. It’s more of a work-life-family. And Employers -- the concept of having fun at work shouldn’t be an alien one. Employers, we need to create a great work atmosphere where employees want to come to work. Where learning is encouraged. Where you feel like family. Where people can make mistakes and learn from them. Where trying hard and caring are rewarded more than results. Where people laugh on a regular basis. Where you have lunch together, make plans together, celebrate each other’s accomplishments. I think employers need to create a balance at work so employees can have a life. Employees who are happy and engaged are not counting the seconds until they can get out the door, instead they are incredibly productive employees -- and that is a result you can take to the bank.
Or, to sum it up in the words of Phil Shatz, the great lawyer and entrepreneur, and my wonderful Mentor: “Kid, the secret to running a business is to work like a Captain and play like a Pirate.” I never exactly understood that one, but it sounds about right. Plus it gives me an excuse to post this great photo of Little Michael dressed as a pirate during Newburgh Rowing Club Summer Camp!