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September 3, 2018

Priority order

I was having a conversation with a Breakthrough member and another guy at our Challenger workshop the other day. The member was talking about how valuable the Breakthrough programme has been in terms of business growth (oh alright, I prompted him). But then he spontaneously said, “Actually the most valuable part has been the effect on my relationship with my wife.”

I wasn’t surprised.

The business and his approach to it had been putting a lot of pressure on their relationship. His vision was to spend more time with his wife and family, and the programme helped him realise that he had to change the way he thought about the business and his role. Now he is less stressed, the business is doing better because he’s doing less busy-ness and he is a better father and husband.

One of our success principles is “Health, Family, Work. In that order”.

Another member said that he thought the programme was a cult when he started, and he thought I was off the planet (now that’s possibly true). But the programme helped him realise he had to put his health first. He lost 16 kg over the year, and at the same time his business grew 25%.

I can tell you that over 15 years of running these programmes, the people who have achieved the most outstanding business results have been those who have achieved the greatest shift in their personal lives.

How does this work? How is it that putting your health and your relationships ahead of your business allows you to achieve better results in your business?

We put it down to the cross-training effect. The commitment you make to health and family develops three things:

  • Willpower, which is your ability and determination to honour your commitment to exercise, diet or family when it’s not easy. That translates into “commitment muscle” in your business
  • Self-confidence. When you achieve goals you’ve set yourself to improve your health and relationships, you reinforce your identity as a winner, a goal achiever. That mentality shapes your attitude to your business goals and their achievement
  • Objectivity, your ability to look objectively at your business and make more rational decisions rather than decisions driven by ego and need. This happens because you put the business where it belongs – less important than your health, less important than your marriage, less important than your children

Nearly all of us would agree with that last sentence, but many of us act as if the order were reversed – business first, then family and health, time and weather permitting.

Checking your emails on the weekend, working long hours, thinking about work when you’re with your family, lacking an exercise regime, having a “convenience” diet, getting stressed, arguing at home, missing out on family time, feeling tired all the time, criticising everything – all symptoms of having your priorities wrong.

I’ve heard all the rationalisations for this. They’re all bullshit. It’s your life. Your priorities are your choice alone.

So what priorities have you chosen?

Does your partner agree with your assessment?

And what are you going to do about it?

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