Mark Cuban says there’s no such thing as balance. He’s wrong.

“You’re on a mission. In order to be successful you’ve got to give things up. Always realize Business is the most competitive sport in the world. There’s always somebody – a twelve year old, an eighteen year old, a seventy year old who’s out there trying to take your company away from you.” — Mark Cuban

The above is a snippet from The View yesterday, when Mark Cuban (Shark Tank) stood in as the “Guy Day Friday” co-host. The essence of what he says is true, but it doesn’t mean you can’t also achieve balance. First, let’s clear something up right away: I’m not referring to the multi-billionaires who own professional sports teams (like Cuban); he’s part of an extraordinarily small percentage of the population that most of us can’t relate to. It’s kind of like enrolling your kid in minor sports with the objective that your kid – who’s playing in the midget division 7 – will ultimately head to the NHL and big money. Almost a million kids are playing minor hockey in Canada this year. And each year, on average only 71 Canadians play their first NHL game. Look, I’m not a dream killer but I’m definitely a realist.

And so this relates to what Cuban argues about entrepreneurs. The majority will never see the kind of financial success such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Amancio Ortega. According to Forbes, there are just over one thousand billionaires worldwide. It would be interesting to get their point-of-view as well. My issue is with the statement: “the thing about starting a business is that there is no such thing as balance.” It doesn’t matter where you fall financially; balance is a choice and a discipline.

Cuban almost proudly boasted that before he made his first million, he didn’t take a vacation for seven (7) years. But that was a conscious choice made by him. Was it necessary? Can balance fit in here? Of course it can. You must recognize that in order to realize full achievement (and I’m not talking just financial) you must engage balance. Cuban didn’t marry until his 40’s – is this realistic for most people? To fully engage balance you have to contribute a certain degree of energy to several aspects of your life. You can’t be singularly focused on one area (work). It’s not healthy.

You can achieve balance no matter what the business goal. And here is how you do it:

Step 1:

Establish three (3) goals for yourself. Be specific. Use the mantra: I’m currently at this stage; I want to be at that stage by this time.

X (equals here) to Y (equals there) by Z (equals when)

Step 2:

Without reversing the order, ask yourself these two questions:

1. Where do I want to travel?

2. With whom do I want to travel?

I’ve written about this specific step in a post here.

Step 3:

STOP SAYING YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO GET THINGS DONE!There are 168 hours in a week. This is every second of time available to you. Figure out how to achieve balance by working through this balance exercise I use with my CEOs. Subtract the hours that you need for each category. Don’t skip any category!

FYI:

Self = time dedicated to only you. E.g.: reading, a workout, relaxing, play golf or whatever you like to do.

Community (family) = time dedicated to people in your life. E.g.: significant other, children, neighbor, friends.

Mission (work) = time committed to work or career. E.g.: at office, conferences, or even time spent at home working.

Social = time spent with others. E.g.: dinner, playing a game, participating in a social gathering

Spiritual = time spent reflecting. E.g.: going to church or wherever connects you to the universe.

HOURS IN YOUR WEEK: 168 – SLEEP = Available Hours

Allocation:

A. SELF = x hours

B. COMMUNITY = x hours

C. MISSION = x hours

D. SOCIAL = x hours

E. SPIRITUAL = x hours

There you have it. Pretty simple, right?

In just a few short minutes you’ve set three goals, established a plan of where you want to go, all while allocating time and working towards balance. It’s a conscious decision to realistically carve out your time, but the truly difficult part is maintaining the discipline to execute. Start with creating a daily register of what you need to accomplish that day. When you write out goals, such as “Attend Annie’s soccer game” or “Round of golf with the guys”, you’ll be surprised with how much you can actually get done in one day. No excuses. You have the power in choice!

“Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.” Frank Herbert

© 2013-2014 R. Todd Millar. All rights reserved.

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