Tag Archives: work life balance

3 Ways to Build a Business That Gives You Mental Balance

When you are launching a new venture, it can sometimes feel like balance is a complete myth. Michael Schultz knows firsthand about working long, crazy hours, having worked in the restaurant industry since he was 12 years old. He has worked for big names such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Wolfgang Puck, and in 2015, opened Goddess and the Baker, a well regarded cafe in Chicago.

This spring, when he launched his new company, a specialty food and beverage chain called Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea Brew Bar, Schultz wanted to make work/life balance a part of the company’s mission from day one. While it’s something that’s incredibly valuable to Schultz now, he says that wasn’t always the case.

Related: 4 Innovative Ways to Motivate Your Team

His wake up call came seven years ago, days before his first daughter was born, when he wasn’t able to attend his wife’s last ultrasound appointment. When he met her in the hospital afterwards, he recalled that she asked why he was there, since he had meetings that day.

He found himself thinking about all the moments that he had missed, and he told her that he would quit his job with Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Though they had a baby on the way and had just bought a new house, he knew that he couldn’t stay on the path he was on. “I said, ‘I want to create opportunity for others. I want to build a business that inspires people, makes them feel valued and feeds that entrepreneurial spirit,” Schultz said.

Schultz has three pieces of advice for entrepreneurs who have a similar goal in mind.

Related: Does Work-Life Balance Exist? See What These 12 Founders Think.

1. Contribute to your community.
Schultz says he wants the spirit of giving back to permeate every aspect of his company. “Each team leader has a budget for doing random acts of kindness,” he says. “The success of our company can be judged when we impact people’s lives in the community in which we operate.”

The first Fairgrounds location will open on March 29 in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. Twenty percent of the store’s opening day sales will go to the A.N. Pritzker School. The second location, set to open in May, will be in the Chicago Athletic Association hotel. The Chicago Children’s Choir will be that store’s charity partner, and will also receive 20 percent of the first day sales. Members of both the Chicago Teachers Union and employees of Chicago Public Schools will have a standing 10 percent discount at the city’s stores.

Schultz says that there are plans in the works for charity partnerships with every new location that opens, starting in Los Angeles this summer, with Houston, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Miami following.

Related: 3 Effective Ways to Manage Employee Burnout

2. Be a leader in all aspects of your business.
“I take 30 minutes every day to meditate to regroup, refocus and center my energy. That is a behavior we encourage with our team members in trying to help them to create balance in their lives,” Schultz says.

His first priority is to instill in his employees the value of taking time for themselves, even if it’s something as simple as reading a book or talking a walk to take a break during the day, he says. “Having great balance between family, health and business allows you to achieve higher levels in all of them.”

3. Don’t play the “what if” game.
Schultz says it is impossible to move forward and maintain any sort of balance if you find yourself consumed with regret. “There is a moment that comes in everyone’s life you look back and you think about what could have been,” he says. “Don’t put yourself in a position where you can look back and say, ‘What could have or what would have happened [if I had done this’]. Take that leap and have that courage to believe in yourself.”

8 Ways to increase efficiency and production

It’s always nice to generate ideas around how you can make your business or personal life run like a machine.  Have you ever wondered why it seems like two people who live relatively similar lives can have different networths or why one is more productive than the other?  The key is that it comes down to how we use our time, it’s very simple we all have the same 24 hours in a day but how we use those hours can range wildly.  No fear though, i’m going to help provide for you 10 ways you can increase your efficiency and productivity.




The first thing you have to do when you are trying to improve your efficiency and productivity is to analyze how you spend your time.  The reason for doing this is to identify time vampires and what is sucking the life out of your day and sapping your time.  Just to give you an example of potential time vampires they could include: TV Watching, needy friends/family, pointless conversations, etc..

I know what your thinking, how do I go about identifying those things that are wasting my time?  First and foremost you have to look at how much time you are putting into certain activities.  Create some structure for yourself so you can know when you are going off track.  For instance, devote no more than an hour to watching TV a day so you can work on your goals.  This will help you to find out whether or not something like the TV was causing you to lose a lot of time.



  1. Identify time wasters – We’ve already spoken about this above.  Since we only have a finite amount of time daily to accomplish things we have to buy back time from other things that we are doing to ensure that we have time to get things done
  2. Create order and structure – As much as we like to all think we have the ability to just “wing it” with life we don’t.  We need structure, and we need consistency, without those two pillars we won’t be able to build on a dream or a goal effectively and we will be wasting a lot of time, money and energy
  3. Make a schedule – Keeping a schedule is a great way to organize your life.  Knowing when you’re going to do something, with who and where is top of the list when it comes to increasing productivity and efficiency.  You should know what your week looks like in a snapshot so you can make time to work on the more important things
  4. Ruthlessly manage your time – No one is going to manage your time like you will, that’s why it’s so important to spend 80% of your time doing the things that help build towards your project or goals.
  5. Get rest – One of the most key components to being productive is having enough energy to discharge the responsibilities of the day.  This means that at some point we have to put down our smartphones and go to bed.  Make sure that your bedroom is comfortable and free from distractions so you can get quality sleep.
  6. Use hard systems – A hard system according to “E” Myth creator Michael Gerber is anything that forces a set of behaviors that doesn’t have emotions.  So something like a file system in an office is a hard system.  Hard systems solve soft system problems.  Like, you’re having problems putting the right form in the right folder, creating a hard system like a filing system will help you to force good behaviors.
  7. Comfortable work environment – A comfortable work environment will help you to maintain high level of productivity while you are working.  Perhaps an office with light that fosters creative thinking will help out with environment
  8. Mindset – By changing how you think about what needs to be done and when, you will be creating a winning mindset and you will be able to increase your output.  You should make a positive affirmation every morning: “I will be productive today”!


Here's to your success,



Is being obsessed with success helpful or harmful?

Every where you look you will find a “get rich quick” scheme or a “lose 40 pounds in three weeks” ad.  This raises an interesting question.  Is being obsessed with success helpful or harmful? While it’s true that there is no substitute for hard work, being completely consumed with being successful might be more of a trap and cause a person to become shortsighted and more prone to give up on their goals.  Most people would applaud the attributes that are required to make a person successful and so do I, however, I do think there is something to be said for people who take time to reassess their plan and stop and smell the roses along the way.  I’m sure the people who are reading this who know me may find it hypocritical that i’m talking about stopping and smelling the roses since my personal creed is “work as hard as you can, as long as you can”.  I must admit however that when I have taken breaks to go see a movie or to round out myself with a hobby it has provided me with much more concentration on working towards my goals.  So how can you balance your aggressive desire to be the best with living life?  I’ll tell you below.



  1. Create a physical outlet for yourself: There is nothing better for our concentration than engaging in physical activity.  Physical activity has been proven to have an affect on brain function, causing the person who is exercising to be able to focus better and even improve memory.  We are all guilty at one point or another in our life of piling our plates so high that things fall off, we start to forget things and it makes us less productive.  Having a physical outlet changes the game, allowing us to work off mental stress that can bog down our thoughts.
  2. Detach from electronics: Every week you should have at least one or two days without using your phone.  The cell phone can be a constant reminder of what we have to do and when we have to do it.  The cell phone also has a way of keeping our minds captive with what we are missing and who is trying to get in touch with us.  When we detach ourselves even if only for a few hours our stress level will plummet and you will feel present in the moment.
  3. Have work friends and social friends: Some times you just don’t always want to talk shop, but the more we spend time around people we also work with, the more likely we are going to talk about office politics and who said what to stab who in the back.   It is nice to be able to spend time with people who have absolutely no connection to what we do at work because then you can talk about other interest you have in a more well rounded way.  With that haven been said, it is also important to have work friends because those friends can help sympathize with you when something goes wrong at work and you create a nice community around your work, the place where most Americans spend their time.
  4. Get a hobby: One of the best ways to relax and take your mind off of the stresses of work is to find a hobby.  I’ve personally recently taken up archery.  This hobby is great because it will take a long time to get good.  Heck it might take me a long time to get the arrow on the target stand.  I think the key to a good hobby is to find one that your interested in, but your not necessarily good at because this will allow you to grow into the hobby over time.
  5. Purge Negative Influences: There is nothing that can bog down someone mentally more than negative influences in our lives.  Whether it is people, experiences or environments, break free from these influences that can keep you feeling trapped and unable to achieve balance in your life.  You only have one shot at living the life you want to live and why waste it around people and environments that suppress your goals and plans. (click here to read the blog post on living the life you want) 



“When you stay focused and keep a commitment you create momentum, and momentum creates momentum.” – Rich Fettke
There’s no doubt that creating a focus on your goals and plans in your life that is laser like, can help you build momentum towards your goals.  You may see some people in your life who you consider successful who just seem to always get the breaks or always find the opportunities.  They may call it being obsessed with success but what it really is, is that they maintain their focus and always are prepared when opportunities come around.  Obsession can cause you to miss opportunities because you may lose your ability to remain adaptable to the world around you, thus losing your ability to change as the world changes.  In the end obsession can make you miss the mark and make you intolerable to be around.  So is obsession helpful or harmful?  Think about your life, think about how you view your work and social life.  The answer can always be found in what your view is about success and life.  Focus is different from obsession, focus is like an unstoppable train progressing towards the end destination.  Obsession is like an airplane without a pilot, you can fly high, you have power, but ultimately no direction and when things go wrong, watch out!  Stay positive, focused and achieve balance in your life and you will accomplish more than you thought you ever could.


Here’s to your success,