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The Gift of Time

Over the last year, I’ve come to realize that of all the things we value on earth, time is perhaps more valuable than any of us realized. I know at times during 2020 it seemed like time either dragged out indefinitely, or just plain tortured us as we navigated the unknown. Now, well, it’s a good thing we’re still here, and have a little more time to enjoy life. 

Some of the biggest positives that have come out of all this had to do with how I see people spending their time. Whether they’re exercising more, getting more sleep, or simply spending more quality time with family at home, these are positive changes. People are better prioritizing their health, and their families. Our day-to-day normal has been reset, and I personally hope that not everything goes back to the way it was. 

For me, it’s the simple things. I’ve found that I enjoy taking a few more minutes to eat my breakfast of eggs and oatmeal in the morning. I used to think that when I got to the office and found employees talking and laughing, that meant they weren’t working. But the deathly silence I experienced in 2020 because no one was at the proverbial water cooler was unsettling, and made me realize something. 

Family Financial Partners employees, if you’re reading this, stop now!

As a business owner, I now would rather have my team spend 30 minutes a day laughing, joking and telling stories around the office than work in an environment with no employees or no banter. I’ve realized as we’ve continued to reopen that my mindset is totally different when it comes to how I want to be as a business owner. I want to create morale, and that’s not done by controlling. It’s done by creating an environment where people are free to be themselves and enjoy their work life, and the team they work with every day. 

I’ve found that in taking this approach, I’ve gotten 120 percent in return from my team, and the outlook as a whole is more energetic and productive. So to my employees (because I know you didn’t stop reading!), I’ll apologize for the type of leader I was before the pandemic. I’m not proud of that guy. 2020 was a lot of things, but the number one lesson it taught me is that my employees are my number one clients. 

But back to the idea of time. Last week we talked about monetary gifts, and how they’re about so much more than just the money. Today, I want to challenge you to think about how you give your time. Whether it’s volunteering at your church, reading to kids at the library, or joining a service organization like the Rotary Club, how are you giving this most valuable gift? Are you making a point to spend more time with your grandchildren? Making a family dinner once a week a priority? My parents recently relocated to Kentucky from my home of Seattle, and I could not be more grateful for the additional time with them, and for the additional time my three boys are getting with their grandparents. 

As we wrap up the month of love, think about where and how you plan to give your time in 2021. We’d love to hear your thoughts. 

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