Words by Medy Navani, Founder & Creative Director of Design Haus Medy.
As I relaxed into the freedom of being an entrepreneur many years ago, there were countless things I came to learn throughout the journey. One of those “things” was that the blend of business and pleasure can, in fact, prove invaluable in moving towards success. Sounds counterintuitive? Allow me to elaborate. I have heard people coin the practice of mixing business with pleasure as one of the “seven deadly sins”, and while there is no doubt that based on our conventional wisdom, blurring the lines can bring with it hidden dangers, there are other ways to frame it.
Most of us are conditioned to believe that “business” and “pleasure” are two mutually exclusive entities, two different ends of the work-life spectrum that should never, ever meet. Though what I have come to discover over the years of running my own companies, generating new business and winning exciting projects internationally, is that the business experience is, in fact, part of what makes me whole, too. Doing what I love in my work keeps me stimulated, inspired and happy. And that, of course, means it has been a key ingredient in my success to date, and the success I dream of in the future. It is, in my opinion, the special recipe for leading a productive, enjoyable and successful work life.
So how does one mix business with pleasure in a way that will enhance your entrepreneurial success? Here are my tips to create the most effective leverage.
1. Know YOU are your business. As an entrepreneur, people buy into you, your passion, your personality, your knowledge. Once they are sold on you, they will then turn their assessment to your product or service. It is your transparency as a business owner or entrepreneur that is appealing to clients and customers, people respond well to authenticity and like to see who is sits behind the suit, so to speak. Remaining professional, while allowing your true colours to shine through is key in building genuine relationships with your clients and customers, which is paramount to your success.
2. Expect the unexpected. Always keep in mind that each person who crosses your path in a social capacity can be influential on your journey, even if you meet them outside the boardroom. You have no idea the conversations that can result in brilliant or open new doors, so be sure to remain open-minded to people, as you never know where it may lead. Train yourself to think in an “every interaction presents an opportunity” mindset, and you will soon find yourself unlocking possibilities you may never have identified before making this mental shift.
3. Your profession is your passion. The saying “follow your passion” is a term of phrase we are all familiar with, but passion, in reality, it isn’t always enough. There is a difference between enjoying a particular activity, such as social tennis, and the potential for that activity to actually translate into a viable business or lucrative career. Similarly, a great business idea won’t get you far if you don’t have a passion for a key element of the journey – it could be the product, the industry, the thrill of doing deals or in fact a passion for building businesses and seeing them fly. Fuelling a successful career that combines business with your pleasure or passional element is critical to motivation, performance and longevity.
4. Balance is key. When it comes to mixing business with pleasure, it’s important to strike get the balance right. There is certainly a line you must tread and if dramatically overstepped, has the potential to throw things off balance. For instance, one must know how to tactfully ask favours from friends, how to explore ideas with new social acquaintances without being pushy, and how to fuel your work with creative passion, without forgetting the numbers and balance sheet! Finding that equilibrium early on in business will ensure you know your boundaries, and help you to efficiently and effectively leverage the right relationships and the right time.