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When you run a website that is devoted to helping people make smart choices with money, it’s impossible to deny the obvious truth: money is important. And when you eat, sleep, and breathe (and sometimes dream) personal finance, it’s easy to lose sight of the “other” aspects of life –the things that are more important than money.
My perspective on the balance between money and those other aspects of life has changed a lot this summer. When the 2017-2018 school year ended, I promised myself that I would take a six week self-imposed break from this blog and focus on the things that are more important than money. Now that this siesta is ending, I’d like to share a few simple reflections with you.
Faith is my foundation in all things (including money and work)
As a full-time teacher, realtor, and blogger, I’ll be the first to admit that I spend more time “working” than what most people consider normal. Why do I do it? I’ve always been happiest when I am engaged in purposeful work, especially if it involves an opportunity to help other people.
This summer, a sermon series at church on the idea of balance truly challenged my perspective on my personal view of work. It made me ask, “Am I working too much?”
My initial response was defensive, if I’m being honest. I’ve always had high-bandwidth when it comes to work. In faith, I have always strived to make the most of this God-given ability.
Yet more and more, I began to see that some time away from blogging was needed, even if it meant risking a loss of revenue and momentum for this little website.
Ultimately, I needed to trust God and have faith that FinanceSuperhero wouldn’t fall apart if I took a break.
The result? Revenue remained strong while the site hummed along on autopilot.
Family is everything to me
Life brought about a significant change in 2018. Our son, Joshua, was born in February, and his birth has brought about big changes for our family.
In fact, my son is the biggest reason I felt the need to step away from this blog for six weeks. He reminded me that family is just one of the things that are more important than money.
So instead of trying to write copy, send out emails, work on Pinterest strategy, or finish up my much delayed personal finance course, I set all of that aside to spend time with my wife and son. Stroller rides, family swim time, singing silly songs, and rolling around on the floor took over my regular blogging time.
The result? I have never been happier.
Pro tip: Work will always be there, and it can almost always wait. Time does not slow down or wait for anyone.
Friendships are easy to neglect
A funny thing happens when you start a family, work full-time, and simultaneously strive to maintain two other businesses: time for other things is decimated.
Before I started blogging and working in real estate, it was easy to have time to read, run marathons, and spend lots of time with our friends. Today, I find myself lamenting the fact that there just aren’t enough hours in a day to do all the things.
Taking a step from blogging this summer and unchaining myself from my laptop restored time to spend with friends.
And most importantly, this time with friends was true quality time.
No logging in to check my Adthrive stats or FlexOffers sales numbers. No adjusting the Tailwind queue. And no email.
I was reminded that straight-up quality time with friends and being intentional about growing relationships is one of the many things that are more important than money.
Balancing it all
So, money is important. Check.
There are plenty of things that are more important than money, too. Check.
But how do you balance it all?
Honestly, I’m still trying to figure that out. What works for me may not work for you, and that’s OK. But some of the implications are becoming clearer to me.
FinanceSuperhero isn’t going to become the next mega-personal finance site anytime soon. But I’m going to resume posting 1-2 times per week, ramping up the value I provide to subscribers through my email list, and I’m going to put the finishing touches on my Financial Foundations course in the next week.
You can expect the same quality content for which this site has become known–real-life, action-oriented ideas to help you save money, make more of it, and still live a good, balanced life. But it won’t come at the expense of my family, my day job, my real estate business, or overall well-being.