Life outside of work


by: Dennis Sherrin

The lines between work and free time have become blurry (or even nonexistent) for many people, and especially for business owners. Business never stops, work never stops, and family time never stops, which means our ability to juggle is tested, constantly.

The inescapability of unbalanced work-life management is due to so many societal aspects that constant working becomes ingrained in your life without even noticing it. Think about how many times you have received an email after 5:00PM and read it just because you happened to see the notification on your phone. Whether or not you took action and responded, you shifted your attention and some of your “home time” became work time. Living in an instant gratification society means customers and consumers want up-to-date information and immediate responses. As business owners, often these burdens fall directly on you.

All business owners know there are plenty of additional responsibilities involved in running your company beyond the day-to-day operations. You started a business to provide a specific service, sell products, serve great food, provide unique experiences, or some other specific niche, but how much of your time do you get to spend doing the part of business that you enjoy? And how much of your personal time is now dedicated to making sure your company succeeds?

This is something I grappled with in my leadership role at Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore. I’ve spent countless hours developing ideas and having brainstorm sessions with my fellow shareholders to determine how to improve every part of our business. I wondered how to balance growing a business of over 50 employees, how to care for our employees and our clients, how to spread our talents throughout the community, along with the thoughts of what we are doing, how we can do it better, how we give clients great value, how we can help our communities and how are we going to get all of this done?

A few years ago, I recognized some key issues with my thought process: 1. I was not taking time to not think about work. 2. I was trying to do everything independently, sacrificing personal time for the sake of work, and not appreciating who or what was around me.

I realized the costs of these choices are not measured in dollars, but costs do exists. Every aspect of my life needed me to not focus on work all the time. My family needed it, I needed it, and most surprisingly, the company needed it. Understanding this, the shareholders and I began the effort to transform the thinking at hb&k and decided to find experts to help.

What did hb&k do? We identified experts in our profession, associated ourselves with groups of similar accounting and consulting firms, developed a strategic plan (which is now updated annually) with a nationally recognized strategy firm, and supported staff to expand areas of expertise through education and training.

Letting go of some of these tasks and giving them to experts allowed us to gain insight, direction, and peace that hb&k was on the right track to continued success. Without relying on these consultants, my personal life and quality of service both to our employees and clients would have stagnated. Using others helped our firm: be a better place to work, provide excellent client service, enhance our expertise, and realign life-work “sharing” for myself and (most importantly) for our employees. It is a work in process and will always be.

Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore has benefitted so much from utilizing the expertise of consultants to guide and train and we want to offer our expertise to help you. We want you to be able to do what you went in to business to do. We want to help your business grow and prosper, while you have time to enjoy life outside of work.

Our employee’s expertise offers you accounting, tax, payroll and financial reporting services. We are experts in these traditional services. We can handle the back office while you are focused on the front of the house. Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore can also help you with CFO level services, such as budgeting, strategy, forecasting, financing negotiation, as well as estate planning, succession planning and strategic planning.

Speaking from my experience, Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore has benefitted so much from utilizing the expertise of consultants to guide and train. We look forward to being your consultant and helping you achieve your goals and objectives.