Establishing Balance in Life and Leadership: 5 Ways to Live Your Purpose

Want to live in stronger alignment with your purpose? Brian explores 5 ways he prioritizes his time and energy to live life by design.

I was once asked to describe the best day of my life…with a catch.

The day I married Jean and the dates my kids were born were not options.

After a few moments, what came to mind was the day I found out I would have to leave the company that I had spent years building. 

As the founder of that company, it was a huge part my life. After many years of building the business, I sold a majority stake. I was asked to stay on as CEO but would transition into a contract position. Then in June 2018, I was told by the new owners that my contract wouldn’t be renewed.

My ego took a blow, but looking back, it was the best day in my career. It was my Steve Jobs moment  

It pushed me out of a role I realized I didn’t really want to be in anymore, and I got the chance to ask myself what I wanted to do with my life.

What is my purpose? What impact do I want to have?

Legacy of Significance grew out of this searching. 

I was able to develop my business in balance with what’s important to me in life. And now, I get to help others do the same.

In this post, I’d like to share some of the ways I live my purpose each day. I hope they’ll spark ideas for you to use in finding a balance that keeps you excited every day— no matter where you are in your journey.

There are five main ways I live my purpose:

  1. Making time for those I love
  2. Focusing on my relationship with my partner
  3. Prioritizing the things that I love
  4. Dedicating time to something meaningful
  5. Building something that aligns with my purpose 

It may take a pivotal moment like the one I experienced to lead you to find your purpose in life. Sometimes, we need to stop racing forward to assess where we’re at and what we want.

Or, you may already be living your purpose but haven’t realized how to fully embrace it and find a balance with life’s most meaningful priorities.

1. Make time for those you love.

Our relationships give our lives more meaning, and we need to find intentional ways to nurture them. Those relationships are going to be around long after we retire from our careers or sell our businesses. 

I have three children who have spouses, plus seven grandchildren. Once a year, each person gets a day that is totally dedicated to them. They decide where we go and what we do — from breakfast to dinner and everything in between. I call these “Papa Days.”

For me, the itinerary doesn’t matter. My grandchildren have chosen to go to the Build-A Bear Workshop, trampoline parks, kids museums, snowboarding, riding an Amtrak train and indoor skydiving. The adults choose horseback riding, Broadway plays, wine tastings or cooking together, to name a few. What’s important to me is having that one-on-one time with each of my family members to nurture my relationship with them. 

2. Focus on your relationship communication.

My wife Jean and I have learned that in order to have a healthy relationship, we need to focus on effective communication with one another. It’s how we strengthen our foundation of support and understanding. 

Effective communication is one of many topics we spend time on at our couples’ retreats. We discuss how to listen to understand instead of listening to fix or reply, and how to shift our language from holding each other accountable to being there to support each other. We also talk about how to redirect a conversation that is going south to a more positive outcome. 

Your partner is who you come home to and who supports you throughout life’s triumphs and challenges. Continuously working on effective communication with them is always worthwhile to prioritize.

The communication skills you hone at home will be valuable at work as well.

3. Make business decisions that prioritize what’s most important. 

What aspects of your life are most important? Maybe it’s family, connecting with friends or even exercising, and you prioritize your health by choosing to schedule meetings after a specific time of day to ensure you get in your morning run. 

For me, it’s travel. (I love running, too, and have a goal of running at least one mile, outside, in 100 different countries. I am at #63 as of now.)  

When I thought about what I wanted in my life after leaving the company I built, I knew it needed to involve travel and having a positive impact on others. 

I’ve found ways to incorporate travel regularly in my business, such as leading some of our couples’ retreats and entrepreneurial retreats in different countries. I also get to teach and speak on leadership  around the globe with the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

Also, Jean and I decided we would design our lives and our business so we can spend one month living in a different country each year. This year, we spent our time in Greece

I get to experience the world because of how I structure Legacy of Significance and have enjoyed so many opportunities to develop new friendships and experience their cultures. 

Decide what your non-negotiables are to live a balanced and fulfilled life, and make business decisions to prioritize them. 

4. Dedicate your time to an organization or project that is meaningful to you.

I’ve been involved in Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) since 2001, and spent time on the global board of directors. I’m driven by the organization’s ambition of creating transformative experiences in the lives of our members. Over the years, I’ve been able to travel and connect with global EO leaders all around the world.  

Especially if your career isn’t fully aligned with your purpose in life, find an organization or a project to be involved in that fulfills you. (I’m fortunate to have both!)

Maybe that means volunteering with a local nonprofit or starting your own community initiative where you can use your passion and skills to provide value and make a positive impact.

5. Build something that matters and aligns with your purpose.  

Sometimes a project that’s meaningful to you will morph into something greater. 

When I left my company at the end of 2018, my wife told me to do something I love. She asked me, “What gives you the most energy and fulfillment?”

I wanted to build something that mattered. Legacy of Significance started as a purpose project, but over the years, it became so much more than that and evolved into our full-time business. 

Helping new managers grow into their roles and guiding executives to become better leaders really motivates me. I’ve also enjoyed helping couples strengthen their relationships during our couples’ retreats and empowering entrepreneurs to find their purpose.

For me, this work is my purpose.

Just like me, the entrepreneurs I work with want their lives to mean something beyond the business they built.

So, take a moment to ask yourself…

What gives you the most energy and fulfillment?

Sometimes by shifting your perspective, prioritizing what’s important, and making time for those you love, you’ll find the right balance in life and leadership. When you find that balance and do what you love, life is fun. 

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