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The C-Level's Recipe for Work-Life Balance


[Former] Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this article by Megan Ingenbrandt.

Add a dash of relaxation, and a pinch of hard work, and that should be the perfect recipe for balancing work and home, right? Wrong! With a growing family, a social life, and a full-time job, it can be hard for anyone to find the perfect balance between work and home.

But when you’re running the business, it can be even tougher. C-levels and entrepreneurs need breaks too, but how do they find the time? Do they let the two worlds cross over, or leave them separate? Is there a perfect recipe to balancing work and home life?

eZanga’s owners, Rich and Beth Kahn, try to keep the business out of their home, while others take a quite different approach – they turn the business into a family affair!

Add a Heavy Spoonful of Family...

Andrew Thompson of Peak Performance says he enjoys having his family mere feet from his office door:

“Because I travel often, I do spend time away from home, however, when I return I get to experience the joy of being a husband and a father, and being included in family activities. My kids are on the company pay roll as independent contractors, so they empty the trash, help me shred documents, clean windows and help Mommy prepare meals in the executive lounge (the kitchen).”

“I’m teaching our boys about my business and how to run a business. Both have expressed interest in wanting to run their own businesses someday and they are getting a daily education that you wouldn’t be able to get anyplace else.”

Halley Bock, of Fierce, Inc., has found that it’s not at all about keeping the realms of home and work separate, but successful delegation of tasks to manage time and de-stress. “A simple, yet, powerful way for leaders to unshed some of the burden and find some peace of mind is successful delegation. Effectively delegating tasks allows leaders to relax and get away from any unnecessary burdens, while freeing up valuable time for what is really important. It also helps others acquire new skills and responsibilities.”

Then Stir in a Dash of Love.

When it all comes down to it, you have to love what you’re doing to be a CEO or entrepreneur. Nima Noori, of, says, “Ultimately, the balance should come from within. If you have to completely drop your work life to enjoy your personal life, you’re not happy with your job and it’s probably more important to focus on how to fix that, rather than make amazing weekend plans that will soon pass and leave you right back where you started. You spend one-third of your life at work, if not more, so why are we trying so hard to separate work and play to gain sanity, when if you combined the two, you’d be so much happier and more accomplished?”

Now Separate Your Ingredients...

It’s no secret that eZanga is a family-run business – Our CEO and CFO are married, after all! While Rich and Beth can’t stand to be out of the office for too long, they know the importance of shutting it off for a few hours of family time. CFO Beth Kahn puts it best: “There’s no separation of the business, but leave the business at the office, and never, EVER take it in the bedroom.”

And Mix in a Dose of Relaxation!

They say it’s important to take time to relax and be with your family. Our CEO, Rich Kahn, says. “I can actually break down how I wind down and relax into four sections: daily, monthly, quarterly, and yearly.” Here’s how he does it:

      • Daily: “To help me sleep every night, I need to watch one to two hours of TV to shut my brain off. It has to be something that doesn’t require too much thinking on my end, something that I can just sit back, relax, and enjoy. If I don’t do this, I can get pretty irritable.”
      • Monthly: “Every month, I get a couple’s massage with my wife. It something that we can do together and both disconnect from the business, but only for an hour or two.”
      • Quarterly: “Every three months or so, I’ll take a long weekend with my wife to recharge our batteries. We’ve found that this works best for us because we get to feel like we’re taking a lot of time away from the business without actually doing that.”
      • Yearly: “Something that has been much easier to do recently has been for us to take our annual cruise. It’s a time where we’re out in the ocean with our family and we can completely disconnect from the business. I will always, of course, check my email and respond to phone calls – but I get to be far enough away that I can’t let it get to me as much. And it helps that I have such a great management team to watch over things when I’m away.”

So there you have it, all CEOs and entrepreneurs balance their lives differently. So really it's all about finding the balance that works best for you.

So, what's your recipe to maintain that balance?


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