About the Episode

Tune in to the first exciting episode of Balance, Not Burnout, where our host Mark Williams puts the spotlight on the flaws of an overly busy and fast-paced world. Drawing from his firsthand experiences, Mark dismantles the myths surrounding hustle culture and offers insights into the power of slow and steady achievements. Listen to compelling discussions about prioritizing quality over quantity and why finding balance is the ultimate key to long-term success. Dive deep into the value of intentionality and setting boundaries to create a fulfilling and balanced life.

Episode Transcript

Mark W Williams:

Welcome to Balance, Not Burnout. I’m your host, Mark Williams, a CEO and advocate for a better balance and work life culture. In this podcast, I’ll be challenging the widely held belief that one must work tirelessly around the clock to achieve success in a competitive business world.

Join me to explore alternative approaches and look for the secrets to achieving success while maintaining a healthy work life balance. I’ll be exploring this theme with a lineup of incredible guests who have managed to find that sweet spot between work in life.

For the past 32 years, I’ve been in the financial services business. And for a good chunk of that I traveled 42 to 45 weeks out of the year, Sunday through Thursday or Sunday through Friday, every single week. And I can tell you that easily 60 hour workweeks are the norm. And during that timeframe, working literally almost from sunup to sundown, I gave up a lot. And unfortunately my family took the brunt of that.

Coming from that traveling background 60 7080 hour workweeks, literally traveling 42 to 45 weeks out of the year, I really started to understand the concept of slowing down and finding balance, which believe me was challenging at first, making the shift required a complete overhaul of my mindset and habits. As I had to learn to prioritize myself and my needs, set boundaries, invest intentionally in my relationships, and cultivate a Healthier Work life balance. Not only that, but my family took the brunt of most of those hours away from home.

So having to relive and re establish relationships with my own family over the last number of years, to really understand that we can work and get everything we want out of our work life, and still have a balance in our home life.

First things first, to see this type of shift take Route more broadly, it’s necessary to challenge the status quo of business today. And unfortunately, I would submit that we live in a society where hustle culture is deeply ingrained, where busyness and stress are often seen as badges of honor. But here’s the thing. Success doesn’t have to be synonymous with constant hustling. I have come to appreciate the immense value of finding equilibrium in all aspects of my life, which I have found leads to increased productivity, improved wellbeing, and a greater sense of fulfillment.

Unfortunately, the consequences of an overly fast paced business culture are serious. It can lead to burnout, reduce productivity, and even impact our physical and mental health. That’s why we need to rethink the speed of business. Achieving Success is about quality, not quantity.

It’s about making thoughtful and strategic decisions rather than rushing into things without careful consideration. And sometimes, in fact, more often than not, it feels counterintuitive. But taking the time to analyze the situation, understand all the factors at play, and make a plan before taking action can lead to better outcomes and long term success.

Most of the major challenges I have felt in making that shift was just literally relearning my work habits. I’m very routine oriented, as I’m sure many of you are, I get up at the same time. In fact, if you were to call me at 715 in the morning, I’m probably doing the same thing every morning in the midst of brushing my teeth, or something like that.

Literally, it’s reestablishing your work habits, how you organize how you prioritize which things you do first, which things can wait. I have found much as I have found growing into management, learning to delegate, which was one of the big lessons I learned time management and learning to prioritize our time and what needs to get done first, what can wait, what can be delegated? That is probably the biggest obstacle to overcome. Once you’ve learned to master that others will fall into place and learn your new routine.

So what are the benefits of slowing down? Well, when we slow down, we are able to be more present, more focused, and we can better assess situations. I can’t tell you the number of times my wife has told me you’re here that you’re not present, learning to be present, learning to give someone My entire focus.

And I’ll give you a small example. Because we’re tied to our phones. And I grew up in a customer service oriented family and work life. When someone leaves me a message whether that’s a text, a voicemail or an email, I actually took pride in the fact that I would respond almost instantaneously. I had to relearn that not only to set boundaries for myself, but to set boundaries for others.

I have found that if I immediately respond over and over those that I’m responding to now expect that response immediately. Fortunately, I have learned to train those To wait a little bit longer, give me some time to think about my answers. Sometimes it’s not even replying because I don’t want to reply with something that I’m not sure of an answer.

So for example, I might reply to you and say, Hey, I just got your note, it’s going to take me a little bit more time to get back to you. I just want to make sure you knew I got your note. And then I pushed that off for a better time where I’ve had more time. Just the act of that slowing down and not responding with my full answer took a lot of time. Again, one of the few benefits by building intentionally and creating space in our lives, we can actually increase our productivity and satisfaction. It’s about working smarter, not harder. It’s about balance, not burnout.

Why is it important to challenge the status quo of business today? Because I believe we live in a society that right now promotes and actually values people working incredibly hard, in fact, harder than they should. Even in our own lexicon.

Today, everyone has a job and a side hustle. Some people have two or three side hustles. I learned early on in my career, if you don’t give something 100% of your attention, and 100% of your focus, the result will not be 100%. And unfortunately, today we’re juggling 234 different things at one time. Not only that we’re not getting enough sleep.

In general, we’re not getting enough exercise in general. And ultimately, even our health is taking a toll based on this fast paced, do everything do as much as I can make as much as I can society. So let’s challenge that a little bit. Can I still have all the things I want, make the money that I want, and yet have a balance and spend time with my family.

Unfortunately, I learned the lesson the long way. 20 years of traveling, spending a lot of time on the road, missing ballgames, missing presentations missing my children’s activities, they took the brunt of that. And I do believe there’s a way to do both. That’s what we’re going to be exploring in this podcast with all types of management, not only CEOs, people that you would expect are burning the candle at both ends. But we’ll take a look at managers, we’ll take a look at frontline employees.

Take a look at retail, people that are putting in hours at different times, there is still a way to slow down and get everything out of life. And that’s what we’re going to talk about.

So what are the benefits of slowing down? Well, when we slow down, we’re able to be more present, more focused. And we can better assess situations. If I’ve heard it once. I’ve heard it 1000 times from my wife, you’re here but you’re not present. That has rang true for the majority of my life. In a room, being present, but not focused at all.

It’s being said, I have so many things I need to work on and or pass and or delegate that I just can’t do it all. And as I have slowed down in my career and focused on the things in front of me and prioritized my projects, prioritize my customers, prioritize the needs of my family, I have ended up in a much better spot both physically, mentally, and I’d even challenged financially.

By building intentionally and creating space in our lives, we can actually increase our productivity and satisfaction. We have all heard it. It’s about working smarter, not harder. It’s about Balance, not Burnout.

Welcome to the show!