By Rolfe Larson, Senior Consultant for Strategic and Business Planning, Joining Vision and Action.

Now here’s a frank perspective:

Balance doesn’t work.  So don’t even try.

Accept the fact that the only way to really make something happen is to go “all in,” with everything you have. Anything less than that won’t get you where you want to go.

Such is the claim made by Chuck Blakeman, who writes “Momentum doesn’t come from balance, but from giving it your all up front.  An airplane burns up to 50% of its fuel just getting to cruise altitude. Most businesses do, too.”

He also recommends that you “Live out your highest priorities—everything else should play second fiddle to those.  And yes, you’ve got to choose. You can’t have it all—right now.”

While I don’t entirely agree with him, his perspective is a valuable one.  Many people writing business plans believe they can achieve all their lofty business goals AND live a balanced life. For most people, however, for at least some of the time, that’s hopelessly unrealistic.

Business Planning and Life Planning

So in that case, the business planning process is a good time to do some life planning as well. Are you ready at this point in your life to take on the goals you have for your business? And if they’re aggressive goals, as they usually are, can you give the business the time it needs? If so, great.

But if not, you’ll need to scale down those goals, find partners to shoulder part of the burden, or defer launching or expanding your business to another time. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in the precarious position of doing a bad job in both your business and personal life.

And that’s not balance.