When your personal relationships are taking a toll… Balancing Love & Business
By: Melissa McKinney with The Hive Law
When I first started out on my own, I was forced to do a lot of hustling. I didn't have partners to feed me clients or a well-known firm's name attached to my business card. This meant I had to go on a lot of coffee dates, networking events, and call up other small firms to see if they needed help.
I was so focused on building this monster of a business that my home life took a toll.
At the time, my husband and I had only been married for a little over a year. So the honeymoon phase had passed and we could no longer excuse the fact that I was spending almost every waking second thinking, planning, or talking about “The Hive”.
Eventually, I had to face the facts: “I wasn't present in my marriage.” So
I had to make a change; it came in increments, though. It was difficult for me to just stomp on the breaks and automatically have a perfect balance. It took a lot of purposeful planning to help me really let go of the work day and transition into my non-working self.
Since most of my work was done from home, I made sure to keep the office door shut after office hours. So from 4 pm to 7 am the next day, I wasn't allowed to open that door. It helped for me to physically turn off my work mode. That was probably my biggest struggle. Work was so accessible; it was literally under the same roof!
Next step I took was to basically disconnect from my phone after 4 pm altogether. Since I have all my work emails, contacts, etc. at the press of a button on my phone, I decided to just be phone-free (as much as possible) once my husband got home from work. This forced me to be in the moment and not jolt at the sound of an incoming email. It also helped me to unwind before bed, so that was a huge plus.
Finally, I made a conscious effort not to talk about work in a negative way.
When “The Hive” was first starting, it was very easy to complain.
Complain about all the work that needed to get done, all the clients I wish
I had, and how law school doesn't prepare you for this. I was a real wet diaper when I think about it. I was bringing all of that negative energy into our house. Now, I make sure not to complain on and on about how hard work is. For starters, everyone's job is hard; it's not like my husband's work is a walk in the park. So now, I make sure to talk positively about my day, clients, and opposing counsel. I can definitely tell that it makes a difference in the mood of the house but also with how I see work.