I’ll never forget the day I asked my bride-to-be—and newbie to the wacky world of network marketing—how she liked my being a full-time network marketer.

“I hate it,” she said. “What?!” I asked. “You’re kidding, right? What could you not like about this business?”

She told me. “The problem with your business is you have no life outside of your business. In fact, your life is your business. It’s open 24 hours! Everyone you meet is a ‘prospect’ and every minute of every day is an ‘opportunity meeting.’ If you’re not talking about your business, then you’re thinking about it. Everything you do is somehow related to your business. That’s no life!”

Her words were wise and true. I was totally consumed with my business, so much so that it nearly ended our marriage. Fortunately, I woke up in time to get it right. That was more than 12 years ago, and I’m happy to say that my life has changed a lot since then. I have learned to manage my time—which means, my life. The key is balance.

When people ask me what I do, I usually say something like this:

“Well, from 7 to 8 a.m., I spend time alone. From 8 to 9, I’m a dad helping my kids get ready for school. From 9 to 10, I’m a husband going on a four-mile walk with my wife. From 11 a.m. to about 5 p.m., I’m a business owner, from 5 to 7, I’m a coach, and from 7 to 9 I’m a dad and a teacher’s assistant (my wife is the teacher). From 9 till 11, I’m a husband again—and for a few hours during the week, I’m also a brother to my siblings, son to my mom, and friend to my friends.”

To me, life is about balance, about being the best I can be in all facets of my life. I used to think success was directly (and only) related to one’s income and business accomplishments. As I grow older, I place less and less emphasis on the significance of my net worth and instead consider my relationships as the basis for success.

The first thing to do in managing your time is take an inventory. Where do you spend most of your time? If you find you spend a majority of your time in only one area, chances are you’re living an unbalanced life. You may indeed be successful in that one area, but the other areas of your life will surely suffer. My advice to anyone looking for more peace and fulfillment and less stress is to think of your life as a pie. Divide it up equally—then let everyone share and enjoy it!

MARK HELSEL is on the faculty of Networking University, has been
involved in network marketing for over 15 years
and he is co-founder of Virtual Office Systems, a company
created to help network marketers find new customers.