This whole post is going to be about moderation. It's a necessity of life. I am the type of person, who even though I work just 3 miles from home, I still leave 20 minutes before I need to be there. The drive is about 10 minutes, and I relax listening to talk radio a few minutes outside before I go in. At the end of the day, I walk in, kiss my wife if she is there, and relax at the computer for about 15 minutes. That's how I do it, and it works for me.
I juggle my job, everyday life, and online business fairly well for one reason: I moderate the part that isn't necessary to exist. My priorities are very simple:
1. Family - This includes my wife, parents, brothers, her parents, and making sure everything with them is well. To take care of us, I have to work, so that makes the top of the "Family" priority. If a bill needs to be paid to make sure we have A/C then I pay it. If I come home and she is dead tired from work, and I'm not, I cook dinner and do the laundry, or vice-versa. Once I have honored this priority in my life, I begin to look to the others.
2. Everyday life includes going somewhere, anywhere, that isn't paying me to be there. I don't care if we just walk around Target for an hour sipping on a coke I bought outside, having a cookout at her parent's house, or we go out and spend $100 walking and shopping around the mall.I know it's not fiscally responsible for us to spend $100 at the mall every day, and we just don't feel like doing anything other days. Anywhere that isn't paying me to be there is necessary to unwind, but in moderation.
3. I had someone ask me, "Since your online business is last on your priorities, you don't take it seriously?" Wrong, it wouldn't be a priority if I didn't take it seriously. Some things aren't priorities: Watching my favorite TV show, playing a game online, and reading a book would be a few of them. None of those benefit the ones around me at all, so they aren't priorities. Sure, I can't make enough money working online part time to provide for us, but I can do some good things working online. I have met people whose experiences are phenomenal, and met total jerks who think they are better than everyone else in business online, and learned more about business from both types. I have had some terrific relationships with customers, even developed close friendships with some. Even when I was on Wagglepop and other small auction venues, I made a couple steady friends to discuss our businesses to this day. The difference is, I moderate this priority more than the first two. This one is not necessary for us to exist, so if I have to go a few days just checking emails and packing up a few orders, then that's all I do. I don't get angry because I cann't spend more time on my stores, with my first day off in 11 days, because my wife wants us to do something together. I moderate the priority that, if that day ever comes, I can live without and be content if necessary.
Moderation took several years to master once I started selling online in 2002, and by the time I mastered it I was doing it full time. I have seen people lose everything, family, business, hope, dreams, because they don't moderate their online activities. Whether it's eCommerce, Social Networks, Chatrooms, or even blogging, it should always be seen as expendable when there are bigger priorities.