How to Get a Better Grasp on Work-Life Balance

Feb. 10, 2023

Having just rounded the corner of a new year, we’re all reminded in one way or another that time doesn’t stand still. For most, the pace at which time passes seems to accelerate with every passing year.  

Even though the world around us screams for more life-work balance, finding the strategies to enhance our own balance somehow seems a difficult task. Why?  

The resources we have at our disposal are greater than ever, yet somehow the world still moves too quickly.  

Maybe that’s the problem — everything is too much, too broad and too fast.  

Like you, most tire dealership owners, managers, technicians and advisors are guilty of glazing over topics and concerns, rather than intently taking the time to delve deeper into a set or subset of specific subjects.  

The problem is that our nine-to-five jobs — or in some cases, our seven-to-seven jobs — consume so much of our time and energy that there’s not much left over for other things.  

Our daily behaviors come about by way of our familiar conditioning and our experiential conditioning, nature and nurture and some combination thereof.  

Over the years, we’ve all had a certain amount of daily behaviors that were expected of us. And we delivered on those expectations to our own individual levels of satisfaction.  

As we age, most of us are expected to deliver on others’ expectations.  

As a tire dealer, you work 10 to 12 hours a day, at minimum, and there’s no way to make good on anyone else’s idea of how you should be spending your “me” time.  

But if you spend all your work time performing, you’re never practicing or preparing. You’re never stepping outside of the ring to look at your own performance. You’re never purposefully and usefully taking in data, skills, knowledge and strategies to any significant extent.  

In other words, you’re allowing your work to affect your life — as well as the future success of your business — rather than allowing your life to affect your work. This is a cyclical and gradual recipe for disappointment, frustration, burn-out and even ruin.  

We’re all better than that and we know it. You know it. So as we move through 2023, what’s the message? 

 1. Take a deep breath.  

2. Always prepare to be a step or two ahead.  

3. Invest in yourself and your business.  

The costs of education in our industry are significantly less than traditional higher education, so you have no excuse.  

Give yourself homework, find creative outlets and grade yourself honestly. And here’s a quick note on homework. It doesn’t have to be tire and auto service-related, but it should challenge you and make you a better person.  

Finally, be graceful, patient and passionate in everything you do. Nothing happens overnight. Every system has a process and every process has a set of behaviors. Focus on adapting your behaviors to suit the process.  

Here are a few unsponsored suggestions, both in our industry and outside of it, that may get the juices flowing. If you like “reality TV,” check out “Kitchen Nightmares.” The parallels to our industry are blatantly awesome!  

If you’re a thrill seeker looking for an edge on life, “Limitless” on the National Geographic channel will definitely get you thinking.  

If you’re not a reader, invest $5 a month in and set aside 30 minutes a day to download a file and listen. Make this your new driving-to-work tradition.  

If you want a shortcut to the best books, $99 gets you the ‘CliffsNotes’ version of awesome titles via Blinkist. Titles like “Four Disciplines of Execution,” “The Power of Habit,” and others will serve you well.  

The reality is that life-work passes us by and we’re all left wondering how it happened.  

Investing the extra minutes each day to find your balance, become a student and push beyond your routines to something just a touch more will make all the difference in your personal satisfaction and the health of your dealership.  

It’s 2023 and the resources are all there. How will you use them? 

About the Author

Randy O'Connor

Tire and auto industry veteran Randy O’Connor is the Owner/Principal of D2D Development Group (Dealer to Dealer Development Group.) He can be reached at [email protected]. For more information, please visit