swimming pool association

President’s Column: Balance

Ken McKenna
FSPA President

Summer is here and what has been a busy year now gets much busier. Rain is wreaking havoc on your schedule. There aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week it seems. Our thoughts seem to always be on business. However, we need to remember that life is just not our business. We need to enjoy our personal lives too. You need to find a balance between work and play.

Work provides the style of living we enjoy but what’s the point if we don’t take time to enjoy it? Take a Friday afternoon off and go golfing or fishing. Take a 3-4 day weekend and do something with the family. I’ve been thinking about this because recently several known pool builders in the Florida area passed away. It makes you reflect on how short life is and what the priorities should be. We may not be around long enough to put things off. The phrase Carpe Diem should be your mantra, meaning, “Seize the day!”

Years ago, prior to getting into the pool business, I made a decision to change my job to be around my kids more. It was the best decision I ever made. Then upon getting into the pool business I was consumed by the job. I brought my frustrations home with me too. It took a while for me to realize that this wasn’t good for me and my family. I still check emails and messages at night or on the weekend, but what I consider an emergency versus “can it wait until tomorrow or Monday” is much different.

We work in a very stressful and demanding industry. I’m not saying this to minimize the importance your business plays in your life, just balance it with a personal life. Don’t miss your kid’s ball game, recital or school event because you are too busy. Don’t put off that vacation you have always wanted to take. It is easy to say there will be time later for things, but we don’t always know that.

You should apply having balance to your staff as well. Plan an activity for a Friday afternoon and take them out to do something fun. Give them an afternoon off maybe to just go home. We decided to close on July 3 and 4 this year to give them a four day weekend. I’m sure July 5 will be very busy but the staff is excited to have that time to do things with their family and friends. There are other things you can do that really cost you nothing.

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