Consult Carson 8/25: “Work-life balance: Mission impossible?”

From today’s mailbag: “I’m trying to get ahead, make good money and results and survive the corporate game. That said – is work-life balance actually possible?”

Carson: It is. That said, finding that utopian balance in a frenetic working world can be one of the most challenging endeavors you will undertake.

If you are faced with this conundrum, you likely have a role which requires you to work long hours either to fulfill requirements or to achieve the results you need.

Work-life balance has a different definition for each of us: it’s the contentment and peace with the place our career fits into our world; it’s the belief our personal and business lives mesh well and that the former is not crushed by the prominence of the latter.

Sometimes, job requisitions, hiring managers and supervisors will be clear: “This job requires 50, 60, 70 hours.”  Sometimes, to make ends meet, you have to work 2, 3+ jobs and the hours pile up quickly.  And then, there are roles where there is no set prescription for your commitment in the way of hours, but in order to reach the expectations from the role from quality and quantity perspectives, it’s imperative you will have to put in longer hours than originally thought.

Which of these groups do you belong to?

1. Schedule. When we lack a schedule, it’s quite easy for things to get out of control. While spontaneity spices up life, lack of organization in our schedule can lead to chaos.  Just as you must schedule the client meetings, the debrief with your boss and your cold calling and follow up time, you’ve got to take that lunch break, escape and read a book or see a film and unwind, and you’ve got to make time for your other passions and people in your world.  If you fail to make time for the other things that matter, that part of your world will dissipate and you will be left with your career; heaven forbid something happens to jeopardize your business world at that point, but if it does – guess what you have left then?

2. Prioritize. Certainly, we work to maintain or better the life with which we have become accustomed. It’s extremely important that we pay our bills and manage to get ahead so we can plan for the down side. It’s important to take care of ourselves and our family.  However, you are not your job.  Your job is not your sole purpose.  And while it is fantastic if you enjoy your job or are contributing and making a difference, you very likely have other interests and talents in the real world outside of the office.  Failure to develop those aptitudes will lead to their erosion.  Yes, your job is very important for a variety of reasons – at the very heart of which is its ability to fund your fun and fundamental needs.  But it is not all of you and therefore does not deserve all of you when you’re off the clock.

3. Evaluate. If you’re working all the time – why?  Is it to get ahead – because you feel the second you let up that somebody’s going to pass you up?  Is it to make a ton of money that you’ll never have time to spend or people to spend it on?  Certainly, if in the line of duty you stop giving your best, it’s very possible that others will position themselves ahead of you.  However, if you…….

4. Work smarter, not harder, you’ll find balance.  Look for ways to delegate work by working with your supervisor and team.  Look for ways to manage your day where you devote certain hours to certain components of your business.  Do not get caught up in the daily minutiae – it’s so easy to get lost in responding as quickly as we can to e-mail or getting bombarded by putting out fires.  Each of these makes us less effective, though, because they take us away from prioritization.  While we desire to complete 100% of our slated tasks in a given day, we often must accept achieving 70% of them and 100% of the absolutely necessary ones.

When work can be completed, that’s when we need to shut off that aspect of our lives and throw ourselves into investing in the other ones.  The people and places and activities that enrich our other persona are vital to refresh and rejuvenate us so we can be at optimum efficiency!  You may feel you need to work all the time, but this will only serve to leave you run-down and less effective.  If you can recharge your batteries by checking in with the best facets of your personal life, you’ll return to work at your best.  It’s the very reason vacation makes us return with fervor and keeps us fresh and at our best.

Yes, work-life balance is very possible, but we often have to work just as hard to achieve that as we work to sustain a successful career and our relationships!  Work issues may come up which cannot be ignored, but be sure to keep track of the time you owe yourself to invest in the other side of your life.  Even when you greatly enjoy your job, it’s vital you diversify your portfolio of personal preferences.

By making work-life balance a priority, scheduling for YOU and for others who enrich your life and for activities that enhance your enjoyment, you make very sure it can be a reality.


Carson V. Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership.  You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.  You will also be directly contributing to his third book, “A Salesman Forever.”

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page:

Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.

If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to

About cvheady007

I am a Christian, Husband, Dad, workaholic and author. Biography Carson Vincent Heady was born in Cape Girardeau, MO, graduated from Southeast Missouri State University and moved to St. Louis in 2001. He has served in sales and leadership across Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Carson is best-selling author of the Birth of a Salesman series, the first book of which was published by World Audience Inc. in 2010. He released The Salesman Against the World in 2014, A Salesman Forever in 2016 and Salesman on Fire in 2020. He is also featured in Scott Ingram’s B2B Sales Mentors: 20 Stories from 20 Top 1% Sales Professionals. Carson is a 7-time CEO/President’s Club winner across 5 roles at AT&T and Microsoft and National Verizon Rockstar winner. He has been recognized as a top social seller at Microsoft and is consistently ranked in the top 25 sales gurus in the world on Rise Global. He is included among the Top 50 sales authors on LinkedIn. With over 330K social followers, Carson has also been interviewed on over 30 sales and leadership podcasts, by such luminaries as Jeffrey & Jennifer Gitomer, Jeb Blount, Brandon Bornancin, Sam Dunning, Larry Levine, Darrell Amy, Scott Ingram, Thierry van Herwijnen, Jim Brown, Sam Jacobs, Luigi Prestinenzi, Donald Kelly, Marylou Tyler, George Leith, Pat Helmer, Eric Nelson, Ron Tunick, Jeff Arthur, Mary Ann Samedi, Jean Oursler, Andre Harrell, Marlene Chism, Bill Crespo, Matt Tanguay, Josh Wheeler and Chad Bostick. He has also co-hosted the Smart Biz Show on EG Marketing Radio. His articles have appeared in several noteworthy publications such as SalesGravy, Smash! Sales, Salesopedia and the Baylor Sports Department S3 Report. Carson lives in St. Louis, MO, with his wife Amy and daughters Madison, Sidonia and Charlotte.
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