“When it comes to balancing a marriage and a business, you want your spouse to think of it as our baby not your mistress.”

That was a quote from Clay Mathile, former CEO and owner of The Iams Company, and founder and Chairman of the Board of Aileron, when he was a panelist at Marty Grunder’s GROW! 2018 event in Tampa Bay, Florida.

It’s a quote for a married couple, but to me has many layers. If you own a business, it shouldn’t be something that consumes you from having a life outside of work.

It’s also a quote that ties in with our cover story this month.

We wanted to have some fun this month and get the perspective of your spouse or significant other to find out what’s unique about life with a landscaper. While there’s a lighter side to the story, we also wanted to pass on any tips these couples had for a strong work-life balance.

No one has all the answers, especially me, but as the season really gets into gear, keep in mind there are going to be many ups and downs (hopefully more of the former), but try and keep a level head and don’t get too wrapped up in the job and just take a few deep breaths.

Oh, and put the phone away, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Not everything needs immediate attention.

Ignorance is bliss and not knowing about that email from an angry customer is a beautiful thing.

Ignorance is bliss and not knowing about that email from an angry customer is a beautiful thing. That email is going to be there whether we look at our phone at 10:30 at night or 7:30 in the morning.

I need to heed my own advice. I have an iPod with no email on it, and it is a bit refreshing to be able to use my phone for music or social media (I need to cut down on that too) and not have to worry about that increasing number by the email icon.

When the subject of work-life balance came up at a recent industry event, Paul Fraynd, CEO of Sun Valley Landscaping in Omaha, Nebraska, said that he doesn’t look at his cell phone for 1 hour after waking up.

That’s something I’m going to try, but as we use our phones for what seems like everything, it’s hard to put that thing away. I’m envious of those who can do so. I feel like they know something I don’t.

Keep that in mind next time you fire off an email and expect an immediate response outside of work hours. Maybe that person who isn’t responding immediately is doing something right in their personal life, and not spending too much time with their “mistress.”– Brian Horn