Invest in your family

When it comes to investing in your career and family, go for “and” rather than “either/or”.

Successful careers have proven to be a double-edged sword for many people, particularly men. So many men set out to build successful careers in order to provide for their families but, in the process, end up sacrificing the very family they were working so hard for.

They work at their careers, putting in long hours, much energy and effort to succeed and then, when they finally feel they’ve got somewhere, turn around to find that their family is no longer there.

Their partners are strangers and have developed their own lives, and the two of them have very little, if anything, in common. Their children have long ago given up trying to get their time and attention and built their own lives with friends who have similar home situations.

Now, when “Mr Successful” comes looking for his family to share the spoils of his success with them because it’s no fun spending money on one’s own … they’re really not interested and they’re simply not there anymore. How does he feel? Devastated!

Such tragedies are even more tragic because they are preventable. They need never happen with some wise investment decisions.

I say, “Investment decisions,” because our families are one of our seven forms of wealth and, as such, they’re an asset that requires wise and regular care and attention for them to grow.

What kind of investments should one be making in the family?

The most obvious one everyone knows about is time, and they’re quite right. Families need to have time invested in them. How much time do you spend with your partner, listening to her innermost thoughts and sharing yours with her? Remember how when you first started your relationship, you would spend hours talking to one another about all sorts of things – things that wouldn’t make the six o’ clock news, but were nevertheless important to the two of you? There are still things you need to hear her say and that you need to say to her. It’s important. Do it.

Act like you consider your partner’s needs and desires as important. Saying so is nothing. It’s what you DO that says what you really think. If you say that your partner is important to you but you regularly miss those appointments the two of you made, you’re deceiving yourself. What you put your focus on and act on says what you consider to be important in your life.

Be there for your children. First milestones for young children are important. Be there for them. Don’t be one of those absent fathers who always has something else (work related) that is more important, thinking the children will understand. They won’t. Invest time in your children.

It’s, of course, completely futile if you spend time with the family but you’re actually not there – your mind is somewhere else rather than in the room, thinking of work. Some people think that doing this makes them more important. It doesn’t. Don’t kid yourself. Learn to live where you are. That’s what makes you powerful. The present is your moment of power. So, don’t live anywhere else other than the present, the here and now, because you have no power anywhere else. Living in the present, exactly where you are, is known as mindfulness – and it is becoming more important for leaders to lead mindfully, which means that they live and lead in the here and now. If you want to lead your family well, lead them mindfully.

If you call yourself an astute businessman, remember this: no investor expects a return on an investment they never made. It’s no different with the investments you do or don’t make in your family.

Leave a Comment