Staying Business-Focused While Enjoying Life

I reminded my 17-year-old son recently that while this is a great season of his life, the best is yet to come. The reason we were having this conversation is that he is trying to drag every last show-stopping second out of summer to the point of exhaustion. He didn’t want to work at all and definitely wanted to play all the time. Now, my youngest son and I have a lot in common, but my drive to work at a young age is definitely not a quality we share. I had a paper route and babysat kids of all ages before I was 16. Then, when I was able to drive, I took work/life balance pretty seriously and chose to be the biscuit maker at Hardee’s all summer long working from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily. That schedule might make some of you cringe, but I had thought it through and knew that arriving at home at 10ish left the day and evening wide open for fun, friends and shenanigans. I feel like I’ve been explaining the goal of work/life balance a lot lately. If I’m not discussing the concept with a coworker or friend, I’m reminding myself that it’s important. Even though I’m one of the very lucky people out there who absolutely loves what I do for a living, there are times when you simply need a break. There are days that remind you that it is in fact WORK. And, as I get a little older, time seems to fly by much quicker and frankly, when you look up, the summer is gone. Since I want to believe that older equals wiser, I have come to recognize some important philosophies that help me stay business-focused while still enjoying life. 1.) Work is always there. You can do it at different times of the day. (So, don’t skip coffee or cocktails with friends when you can finish the proposal or report later that evening or at 6:30 a.m. the next morning.) 2.) You can’t do everything. Prioritize the must-do list and delegate the items you can to employees, co-workers, husband and/or children. (A busy mom has so much on her plate so I always like to leave the school clothes and supply shopping to my husband and son. Don’t worry, they can handle it.) 3.) Celebrate the successes, even if they seem small. (Personally, I like to identify something to be happy about every day. You would be surprised how many things you can be thankful for.) 4.) Know when to just let it go or say “no.” I’m a fan of doing whatever I’m going to do really well. (If you have too much on your plate, just strike off something that may not go well or isn’t the top priority.) I bet that Karen Grannemann, CEO and General Manager of the University Club, has a few personal philosophies that help her keep the business of hospitality running day in and day out. I want to congratulate Karen on her recent appointment to CEO. The role isn’t easy but Karen loves people and it’s obvious that she means business when it comes to taking care of the U Club members, employees and the community. I always love September. I think it’s the fun of the kids going back to school and business starts to heat up again and then, of course, there’s the CAWLM Lady Classic on Thursday, Sept. 18. If you’ve never played in this outing, you’re missing out on a one-of-a-kind event for a great cause. This year we are continuing to support C.A.R.E., the Capital Area Response Effort, which helps women and their families who are survivors of domestic violence. It’s an amazing cause and we’re proud to support them in their work. Our celebrity caddy auction gives our lady golfers an opportunity to get support during our golf outing and all the proceeds go to the charity. Celebrities this year include: WLNS anchor Evan Pinsonnault, WILX anchor Jason Colthorp, Tom Ruis of Fifth Third Bank, realtor Jim Kost and many more. There’s still time to play. Go to for registration details.

Tags: From the Publisher, tiffany dowling, work-life balance

Tiffany Dowling

Tiffany Dowling

Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at

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