Balancing work, family and life

By Kim Browne

In my opinion New Year’s resolutions are a fun yet ineffective way to change bad habits. Who do you know who’s ever stuck to their resolutions anytime past January?

As a fledgling business, fast approaching our 4th birthday, achieving balance is something we seem to grapple with daily.

According to our founding client, Kim Potgieter from Chartered Wealth Solutions, achieving balance is vital to living and retiring successfully. There are eight areas that make up a Wheel of Balance: Work, play, relationships, money, give-back, learn, health and purpose.

Kim is one of only two Registered Financial Life Planners in South Africa, and the author of a soon to be released book RETIREMEANT: Get the most meaning from your money – so she is well qualified to guide people in pursuing the life they really want.

In order to create, I read Kim’s book and was struck by how this same Wheel of Balance can be adapted and used as an effective tool to achieve balance in the key areas of a healthy, thriving business.

So I set myself the task of “taking the balance test” for Twisted Toast Digital, to consider what we achieved in 2014 and determine where we need to improve in 2015 in our quest for balance.

For this purpose, I firstly considered the Work we did in 2014. Did we exceed client expectations, am I proud of our work and did we help our clients achieve their objectives?

Play: Do we still have fun and enjoy what we do? Did we take enough time to treat ourselves and our clients?

Relationships: Did we build on established relationships and form new ones with clients, suppliers and staff? Could we do more in maximising these? How effective is our communication both internally and externally?

Money: Did we bring enough cash in? Is the business in a good place financially?

Give-back: Do we have causes we support? What are we doing to support our industry?

Learn: How does our knowledge base stack up? Are we growing and do we support our staff in learning new skills?

Health: Is our business healthy? Does it run well? Are we happy with our office space, support structures and assets? Do we have the necessary tools to work effectively and efficiently?

Purpose: Do we have a reason to come to work in the morning and do our best? Do we know what this is?

Here are the results of our test:

TT WOB-02 copy


What’s important to remember is that the purpose of the test is not to necessarily get 5/5 for everything, but to achieve balance.

This is not easy to do and is constantly changing, so the test needs to be done regularly to determine where you need to put in extra effort to achieve that elusive thing called balance.

To maximise the benefit of the test, we need to set goals in the eight areas, honing in on the areas that are out of sync (easy to see visually), but not forgetting the areas in which you excel – to ensure they too are kept in balance. Quite a balancing act!

Are you up for the challenge? Take your own balance test here.

Happy February – we’re lovin’ it!