You need a better work life balance
"Life is very dynamic. It's more of a case of finding balance in those moments in time versus trying to have a plan that ultimately is quite easy to fall short of"
Ben Amanna | Founder | Boxraw
How would you explain what “you need a better work life balance” means?
Work / life balance first of all is just bullshit. I think any CEO, any founder and anyone in a senior position in a company who has ambition is going to struggle to achieve what the normal person is going to call work / life balance.
What do you think about this ‘advice’?
Fundamentally life is very dynamic. It changes at such a fast rate. It's more of a case of finding balance in those moments in time versus trying to have a plan that ultimately is quite easy to fall short of. I fundamentally don't agree with the term. When I set certain schedules in place to try and find more balance in the past, I fumbled and then felt really bad about it. Getting into this weird rut of almost depressive thinking: “Okay, everyone's telling me, I need to find more balance and take time off to benefit myself.” But the reality is that business doesn't go that way.
If not, what alternative advice would you give to agency leaders?
Really narrow down on your rituals, your non-negotiable tasks for the day that can really help and support mindfulness. So when you do have a “work part”, that involves things we insinuate as quite stressful it's important to have set tasks that you do on a daily basis that can take you away from that.
For instance I run every morning at 4:00 AM and train at 12:30 PM in the gym every day. I'll meditate twice a day. I'll journal at the end of each day as well.
Journaling really helps. Typically, when people get the advice to try and find more work/life balance is because they've got so much going on in their head. The reality is people get flustered and annoyed with how they're dealing with things, because they're just dealing with what's in their head versus actually trying to put pen to paper and get their thoughts written down.
The process of journaling is much slower than that of thinking. It forces you to just rationalise the process and try to control what you can. You can't afford to have every single emotional thought on paper, because it will just take too long to write out. So it forces you to deal with the facts.
I'm very big on rituals. When you are hit with advice from people saying to find a better work/life balance or you start thinking you need to find more balance, you actually find more balance by finding more rituals. Finding rituals that can help you stay on the right track.
What’s one thing Ben Amanna has done at Boxraw to minimise the conflicts one has at work or at home?
We had a member of staff that had a problem with a relationship at home. It was a case of contacting them outside of work hours, checking in that they’re okay, heading into meetings together, monitoring their work to make sure they are not overwhelmed and just simply being there for them. Fundamentally, my job as a CEO is to be a servant to my team.
Conversely, if there are conflicts in the office it is something we gladly welcome. We try to breed a very transparent culture here. If there are conflicts they need to be brought to the surface and aired out. It's happened in the past where staff members have come in to make a complaint about a member of their team, when they can address that directly with that member of staff versus trying to come behind their back to try and address it with me.
Because most people don't like conflict. Whereas conflict is a great thing. If I know that you don't like me, we can try and work on that. Ultimately everyone is here for the same ambition, that is to grow the company together.
Humble promo of Ben Amanna and Boxraw
Ben Amanna is mega clever, he spotted a gap in market that hasn't seen much innovation from a brand point of view in years. The boxing apparel sector is heavily dominated by brands that have been around for a long time and got comfy with their position. Watch out! Boxraw is coming and taking over. It reminds me a lot of what Gymshark achieved in the gym apparel space. Boxraw is an epic brand and I am certain Ben's tenacity will help Boxraw become a go to brand for boxers and boxfitters around the world.
Daniel (Polymensa founder)
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