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I’ve been recently dealing with a death in the family, which instantly changed my perspective on what’s really critical in life.

I understand being very focused on business issues, customers, employees, and profitability. Yes, those are important.

At the same time, we all realize that there are other things which push those to the background. If you’re sick, you’ll focus on that so you can get back to business and give it the time and energy it deserves.

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We work our butts off, and do everything we can for business success. Many times it feels like I’m so tied up in it that there’s nothing else.

Then something comes up that makes me realize there are more important things.

My mother died recently, so of course there a lot of logistical things to take care. But more important are the relationships I’m reconnecting, all over the world. And it’s fascinating to see how my friends and colleagues support me, even though they never met her.

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It’s wonderful to be the boss, right? You get all the recognition and glory while your people do all the hard work.

Yeah, I don’t see that either.

The truth is that if you want to have time for your life, in any position at all, you have to create it.

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The work is never done. Ever.

It’s a fact of our modern life, really. And I’m sure you feel this in your business; there’s an infinite supply of stuff to be done and things to worry about.

The question is, though: What really matters?

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Our dryer broke down yesterday, right in the middle of doing laundry. So I had the joy of sitting in the laundromat feeling quite annoyed.

It’s not like I didn’t have work to do!

But business DOES impinge on personal, and vice versa. If you just got beat up by a customer, there’s a good chance your family is going to feel the aftereffects.

We’d like to think that we can neatly compartmentalize these things.

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What’s in it for me?

That’s a phrase which is particularly popular in sales, to help marketing and sales people to focus on the customer rather than themselves. WIIFM.

But do you want to be a self-focused person and leader?

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Milton Friedman declared that the primary purpose of a business is to make money. Over the course of the last century, we’ve kidded ourselves into thinking that this is the ONLY purpose of business.

But it’s not true.

The money is just a holding place for adding value to the world. Sure, you can transfer money to someone else and it makes them happy – but it hasn’t actually made the world a better place until someone uses it to DO something.

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I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but for me this is a great time to avoid doing hard work. It’s cold. I just got back from vacation. Everybody’s out of the office.

Don’t get me wrong – we all need to have some relaxation and downtime.

But we know that most of these reasons are bogus excuses.

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ONE OF THE UNIVERSAL KEYS to getting stuff done is to focus.  Avoid distractions, concentrate on one thing, and you’ll actually move ahead faster.

I get that.  Especially in our highly distracted culture, you can spend your entire day just flitting from one shiny object to the next.

But there’s more to the story.

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RosannROSANN WINN is a small business owner. And a performer. And a teacher. And a mother and wife.

It’s hard to know which of those to put first.

I’ve known Rosann for a number of years – we first connected when she sang for our yearly church picnic.  I was impressed not only with her artistic ability, but also her generous nature and gracious support.

But that’s a tiny part of the picture.

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