In a candid conversation with The Adviser, Melbourne-based broker Tim Leonard reveals the detrimental impacts of not having a work/life balance and how he aims to take more time for himself.
Speaking on The Adviser’s Elite Broker podcast, the Mortgage Choice franchisee revealed that his motivation for work and physical wellbeing had dropped in recent years, as he has been working too much and not spending enough time outside of the office.
“Towards the back end of the year [2016,] I’d become very tired and my passion for the business was starting to fall away, so I knew it was time [for a change]. That had to happen because my life balance had started to come out of kilter,” Mr Leonard said.
“I hadn’t exercised for about eight months because of energy levels and the motivation to do those things had fallen away. Because [when] you’re doing it all yourself, and you find that as the business matures, you’re doing a lot more maintenance work and upkeep on the existing loans and that takes time … and that can really drag you down.
“I got to that point where I wasn’t exercising, I was losing the passion for the business – it wasn’t to a critical level but it certainly was falling away – and I knew I couldn’t grow anymore… I just thought bugger it, I’ve got to do it, I’ve got to employ someone and move towards the next step. And I’m really excited about it because once you get one employee on and that succeeds, there’s no reason why you can’t grow the business any further.”
Mr Leonard said family should come first, but it is easy to fall into a cycle of spending too much time at the office and neglecting yourself.
“My business is just a channel for me to financially support my family, give me something to do but in the end, the most important thing to me is my kids, my wife and my family, and just enjoying life and seeing things and having experiences. That’s something that I’m going to improve on this year,” he said.
“The most important thing that I’ve missed out on over the last four or five years from being so snowed in on a business front has been myself. I haven’t been putting energy into looking after myself.
“I look relatively fit as a physical being but I know mentally I need to do more things for myself. That could be just getting away with [my wife] Karen or the simple things like being able to allocate one morning a week where Karen and I go out and have breakfast together.”
Mr Leonard added, “When you become really busy, it’s really, really simple to fall into that trap where you start your morning with your intentions and you get to three o’clock and you think, ‘Crikey, what happened to the day?’ and then it’s six o’clock and then, all of a sudden, you’re in the office at nine or 10[pm] thinking, ‘Well, that didn’t go so well’.
“You might have achieved a few things in regards to satisfying clients or doing what you need to do in the business but then you’ve got someone on the outside, whether it be your wife or kids, and you’re thinking, ‘I probably really should have gone to that game’ or ‘I really should have taken Karen out for lunch today as I planned’. But [instead], I turned around and said, ‘Look, I can’t go, I’ve got to get this deal finished.’”
Mr Leonard said it was the realisation that work was taking up too much of his personal time that made him decide to bring on a new employee after 11 years of broking on his own.
“I’m going to be able to afford to plan my week a lot better, exercise, have time with family, and having my new employee is certainly going to do that for me, which is great. So, that’s the biggest thing I’m excited about… growing the business, making more money, having someone else in the office to share my time with... and on the other side, having a better balance. You need a bit of time for the soul, to make you happier.”
Listen to the full episode of the Elite Broker podcast with Tim Leonard.
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