Balance can feel very elusive, especially in this hectic world. Is it even possible to find time for yourself and your family and perform well in your job? Dr. Travis Parry says it is! Dr. Parry is the author of the #1 Bestselling Book, Achieving Balance, host of the Balanced Growth Show Podcast, and founder of the Make Time Institute. In this episode, he joins Penny Zenker to share with us how we can achieve balance in our lives. He breaks down what balance means, overcoming the common misconceptions that keep us from being in that state. Plus, Dr. Parry gives a great method of applying it in our work environment, calling leaders and entrepreneurs to lead their people into a transformational experience. Find out more about achieving balance where it matters most!
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Achieving Balance: It’s Possible To Have It All With Dr. Travis Parry
In this episode, we’re going to talk about balance, achieving balance growth, and leadership balance. We are going to balance things out here. I’m here with a good friend, an expert in this area of balance because he has written several different books, Dr. Travis G. Parry. He is the author of the number one bestselling book Achieving Balance. He is the host of the Balanced Growth Show podcast and the Founder of the Make Time Institute.
He’s earned a doctorate in Family and Human Development to better understand stress and goal development and achievement. He’s also founded the Make Time Institute to help business owners achieve balance. More importantly, he’s a homeschooling father of seven with incredible children and a husband to one an amazing woman and talented wife. Travis, welcome to the show.
We used to tell people we’ve been married for many years. It seems like forever. My wife, I love her. She’s the reason why I’ve got great balance but thanks for having me on the show, Penny.
Tell me more about that. She’s the reason why you have great balance. Let’s start there.
In my first book, Achieving Balance, I left the end of the book on a cliffhanger with, “If you want to keep balance, you can’t just keep working on it on your own. You continue to be a personal developer forever.” We tend to fall off the wagon. We tend to lose balance. Having an accountability partner, which can be your spouse, a family member, or a friend is quite the best thing that I’ve seen to help people retain that balance long-term. She’s done that for me. She’s been my lifelong companion and partner. The reason why I’m in front of you and behind this microphone is so I can keep this message going.
We all need to have accountability buddies, accountability partners, and lots of systems and structures to support us to do the things that we want to do because there’s so much pulling at us. We talked a little bit before that there are different levels of balance. There are different people who are reading this and balance may mean different things to different people. Let’s address that a little bit. What is balance and how do we go about achieving and defining it for ourselves?
I believe in principles. I try to boil things down to principles that can apply to most people. A principle is true for everyone. How they interact with it might be different, but balance had a bad rap. In the ‘80s, everybody felt that balance was equilibrium. It’s doing all these things in all areas of life all the time. As people tried to chase that definition of balance, they burnt out.
They became productive workaholics. It caused more burnout than I think is good. I was there. I felt like I was a workaholic who tried to have a better balance. I thought at first it was doing everything and being everywhere for everyone and you just go crazy. I developed productivity systems and was coached on trying to be more productive and manage my time and energy better.
That helped until I became a productive workaholic who was like, “Look at all this time I have. Now I’m super productive. I’ll work more.” It all came to a head when I had a life-changing experience where my father who was 49 years old, very healthy or so we thought, died of what they called The Widow Maker, a massive heart attack on a mountain bike ride.
I was a financial advisor at the age of 26 trying to help my mom and my family make sense of all these things financially and physically. Long story, I came to grips with what are the most important things in life. What are our highest priorities? As I interviewed others who have had struggles with balance, I’ve also come to find that’s how they define balance. They say, “It’s when I’m doing the most important things in my life.” We’ve interviewed over 1,000 business owners, business leaders, C-Suite executives, and individuals who have basically helped me craft this new idea of balance.
It’s not that you can’t achieve it. It’s very much achievable, but it’s more of an individual feeling of, “When I’m making time for these things in my life, which typically are physical health, spiritual health, mental health, and their relationships like family, spouse, or friends, I feel balanced and feel like life is on a good track.”
I like that you said balance is a feeling. You had said that you were chasing balance. A lot of people are chasing this idea of balance. They are chasing a feeling that we can’t feel balanced all the time. We can’t feel balanced every day, potentially. Maybe for over a week but not a single day. It could be that’s not a measurement stick of balance and it’s a feeling.
I think that it creates a lot of stress when people are seeking the impossible. We have to have the same percentage of time that we spend on our work we need to spend on our play and things like that. That’s not realistic. I like that you said that you’ve got some principles and systems. I know you have a new book that’s called Balanced Growth.
What can we learn from this new book about how we can use those principles to continue to grow for ourselves? As you said, focus on those things that are most important and still achieve in our work life. That’s part of what some people feel is the balance of, “How do I continue to work, play, enjoy, and have joy in my life? Also, happiness and still achieve.”
I had a lot of my clients come to me and say, “Travis, I feel like I’ve achieved balance. I’ve never felt more balanced in my life. This is fantastic. How do I grow my business now and not lose that sense of balance that I’ve worked so hard to develop?”
I want to jump in there. I think that’s important because so many people think it’s a trade-off. You can have one or the other, but not both. For everybody reading, if that’s you, we’re going to drop the mic right now.
One of the things I mentioned in Achieving Balance is that you can have it all. You just can’t have it all at the same time so quit it. Quit trying to run around chasing it. You have to have boundaries so that you can set limits and timeframes. Some of that might be in a day, a week, a season, or a time period in your life. Time I’ve come to discover is less linear than it is cyclical. It’s very much cyclical.
In modern society, we measure time in a very linear pattern. There are times and seasons in our life. If it’s time for us to grow our business and it’s that season of our life that we need to get it to the next level, we want to begin a business and start to grow it as fast as we can, or scale what we’ve already done, most people think I have to throw my balance out the window. I have to work 90-hour weeks in order to start this or to grow it.
The problem is, even if you do that for a period of time, there is a tendency to develop habits so strong that when you come back after you built it or whatever, you’re stuck. You’re back into the workaholic trap. I found that for some of my clients, that was what they were afraid of. I said, “I only work 3 or 5 hours a week. I work four days a week. We take sixteen weeks off a year with my family. We travel. I travel with my wife extensively. We do fun things and that’s our lifestyle. That’s what we value.” You can have that lifestyle if you learn to do what I call the Balanced Growth Method.
I want to hear more about that. I want to pop in for people who are not entrepreneurs and don’t have as much flexibility with their time. Maybe you’re not going to go away for a sixteen-week vacation because you only get 4 or 6 weeks from your employer, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take little mini weekends or long weekends. There’s still that ability to create that lifestyle that you want, but you have to be clear on what that is first. You have to be clear on what it is that you want and then create the space and the systems that are going to support it.
There’s a place there too for leaders in the company who want to help grow the business. There is a culture of balance that should be cohesive. A lot of people inside corporate structures and even smaller businesses do not have cohesive time management or a balanced culture. They have, “This is how I manage my time. This is how you manage your time.” It might vary by department, but there’s not a great culture.
My advice there is if you’re a leader inside a company, make sure that people are satisfied with the balanced culture. They may leave because they have a better balance at another company or location. They may start their own business because they’re tired of working for the man. As far as the leaders go, the entrepreneurs, I have found the single best way to scale and grow your businesses through something I call the Balanced Method, which involves a few main parts.If you're a leader inside a company, make sure that people are satisfied with the balanced culture. Click To Tweet
First, what is your transformational system? What I mean by transformational system is your product or service in this day and age can’t just be good. It can’t be, “That’s nice. Help me a little bit.” It has to be to the point where it’s transformational. Now, you and I both, Penny, have experienced a level of this in various ways. I met you at Heroic Public Speaking and for me, that was a transformational experience.
I came in thinking that I was going to change the words with my speech, and it turns out that developing that speech and learning better staging and all the things that we did there transformed me. It helped make me a better person. That was the transformation I experienced. Whether you’re a financial advisor or you make Legos for a living, it doesn’t matter. The experience that the end-user has needs to be a transformation.
Two is the way that you bring people into this transformation has to be different than what everybody is doing. Everybody is so loud. There’s noise. There’s advertising where we invite our ideal clients to help us develop a book, a system, or a product that should be there for the end user. Along the way, you’re picking up clients and customer reviews. You’re finding out what works. Later on, market, advertise to the masses, and use more automation services that are better but in the initial phases, you need to use invitology in some form or fashion.
Lastly, if you want to keep your balance while you’re doing all of this, it’s super important that you have goals with your family, your spouse, or significant others so that the 2 of you or the 9 of us now have direction. It’s because it helps me to involve my family. It helps me to involve my spouse to help keep me accountable for our time. If my wife is like, “What are we doing for our date? When are we going away next?” If we’ve got these things that we’re doing with the family, it helps me to remember that work is not the only thing, but work is part of my life.
It sounds easy so I guess creating a transformational system or something that can be done quickly doesn’t require much effort.
No. It’s taken me forever but I will tell you, the biggest thing is to figure out what is it that you’re an expert at. You’re the focusologist. I’m the balance man but it took me twelve years to figure out that I was really giving people balance. I was helping them with time. I was helping them with goals. When I finally figured out, “This is balance,” I realized I was an expert here. Experts are defined as those who have at least 10,000 hours in something. If you’ve been in business or a leader for 15 to 20 years, whether you’re going to different companies or not, you have expertise in something.
I want to challenge you just on that for a minute. That’s Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping tip but I think that also you’re a leader if you’re a few steps ahead of other people. You’re an expert in that stage. There are different stages of experts like there are different levels of black belt. There are always other levels. I also want to encourage people not to wait because we all think, “When I’m good enough. When I have enough credibility,” and then they never get there and never start putting their foot forward.
As long as you’re 1, 2, or 3 steps ahead of other people, then there are people who want and need what you can offer. Also, along the way, it leaves you to the invitology where you grow through the process. You then bring others with you and then you’re at another level. I want to make sure everybody is not holding themselves back because we do that sometimes.
I 100% agree. In fact, during this process, I felt like, “I needed a Master’s. I need a PhD.” You put off the creation. Had I written my book ten years ago, it wouldn’t be the same. It’d be a different version but had I known what I’ve known now about invitology to bring those ideal clients in, it would’ve made me a more experienced coach and professional. With that said, I think what I’m alluding to is that 10,000 hours. Include schooling, on-the-job experience, and everything. It doesn’t have to be formalized training on a stage when consulting that sometimes we think we have to be in our 60s or 70s to be the expert. I think it takes a lot less than that.
Especially now, with the amount of information and knowledge that is at our fingertips, it’s very different for this day’s youth than when I was young. I didn’t have YouTube where I could learn things lickety-split. It took a lot more time and effort to get there or AI to give a summary of everything.
To give you an instant answer through Google or ChatGPT. It’s fascinating and I agree. The point here is that you have an expertise. We all have gifts. We all have expertise within us and how are we using that to help solve other people’s problems and concerns? If you can deliver that as your expertise, focus on that one piece and then find a niche. Find a very specific group of people that you cannot just say, “Here are the demographics, but the psychographics.” The things that they like, their interests, their hobbies, or their personality.
It’s because the last thing you want is to build a business full of a bunch of clients that you don’t want to work with or users that are aggravated at you. That’s hard if you’re building tech or something, but it can be done. If you’re thinking about that avatar and you’re marketing towards that avatar, you’re going to be able to attract them.
When you specifically define someone, then you get in their head, what their needs are, what their problems are, what they’re willing to pay for, and what their values are. All of those things make you an ideal fit for those people if you’re clear about what that avatar looks like. I can’t believe how quickly our time has gone. What didn’t I ask you that you want to share with the readers before we wrap up?
I think there’s this concept that even others have written about that this incremental change or over time, this principle of doing a little bit of change is somehow the right way. I don’t think there’s a right way to change, but I do believe that if we have the wrong mindset about growth, whether that’s in our business or in any aspect of our life. If we think we have to be minimalist on this, we have a mindset that’s not open to abundance and it doesn’t allow us to think big.
I challenge people to think big. How could you 10X your business? How could you grow your business or your organization? How could you, in any other area, have your relationships with your family? How could you be more fit or feel healthier emotionally? Whatever it is for you in what I call ten areas of life, how can you grow this? It’s because I honestly think that if we can expand our minds, have an abundance mentality, and get rid of the fears that hold us back subconsciously, these things that we were joking around about earlier are so easy, they’re easier to actually put into practice.
As we put them into practice and begin to achieve them, it’s amazing the boundaries that we have put on ourselves then we can start to achieve. As soon as we start to achieve them, there’s no boundary. I believe that through the research I’ve done with couples that are on the same page going the same direction or families that are unified going the same direction have goals with each other and help each other. That next generation, we can raise balanced individuals, and as leaders in our own family, we can help direct society for good.
We are role models so for sure, our kids are paying attention and the people around us are going to reflect the energy and the way that we think. Also, think bigger. Whatever it is, whatever is on your mind, whatever you are looking to do, 10X it. Go bigger and then go bigger again. When we get outside of what we think is, when it becomes seemingly impossible, that’s when we achieve the seemingly impossible because we extend our mindset to believe it, see it, and make it happen. Also, it makes us think differently. I love that. Tell people, Travis, where they can reach you, where they can get your books, and how to go forward.
I’m all over to LinkedIn. I’m sharing pictures of the balance of me and my family and the things that we like to do and stuff about our business. You can find me there at Dr. Travis Parry or at TravisParry.com. The book will be available at BalancedGrowthBook.com. You can pick it up for free. Just pay for the shipping. When it’s ready to go, you will get the notification because right now, it’s in pre-order.
Thank you so much for being here.
Thanks, Penny. I appreciate it.
Thank you all for being here. Balance is an important topic. It means different things to different people, but there are some basic principles, as Dr. Parry said in the beginning that are pretty much universal. You can achieve it. You can achieve and you can create that balance in your life all at the same time. With that, go grab his book. Learn more about the principles, the processes, and the different types of structures that you can put in place so that you can have it all. That’s what I want for you. I’ll see you in the next episode.
- Achieving Balance
- Balanced Growth Show
- Make Time Institute
- Balanced Growth
- Tipping Point
- Dr. Travis Parry – LinkedIn
About Dr. Travis Parry
Dr. Travis G. Parry the author of the #1 Bestselling Book “Achieving Balance”, Host of the Balanced Growth Show Podcast, and Founder of the Make Time Institute. He’s earned a doctorate in family and human development to better understand stress and goal achievement. Dr. Parry founded the Make Time Institute to help business owners achieve balance. More importantly, he is a homeschooling father of 7 incredible children and the husband to one amazing and talented wife of 20 years.
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