Achieving a work life balance is a phrase that I heard for the first time only a few years ago but as soon as I heard what people were saying I knew what they meant. Like almost everyone else I have experienced being chained to a job that prevented me from having much of a life outside of work.

My experience came very early in my career about 15 years ago and after the initial excitement and enjoyment in my first proper office job I realized that work was becoming my life and personal errands and time became constricted to late evenings and short weekends.

The more I got on with my working life the deeper I got; higher rent, better car and credit cards soon handcuffed me to the salary I needed to keep paying the bills. This is a common story that many of us share and the longer this goes on, the harder it gets to break free.

Many people told me that I should just deal with it and told me "that's life" but I wanted something different.

About 3 years into my working life during a period between jobs I was fortunate to meet a bunch of wealthy people that were in the pub on weekday enjoying their lives with a freedom that was different from my own working life.

It gave me the first taste of people who work but don't work in traditional jobs, either they were self employed or they worked in positions that enable them a great deal of freedom if they get results. Within months of meeting these guys I had become a freelance contractor, earning a better day rate but more importantly having much more time to enjoy myself.

This was the start but since then with different businesses and ventures, no matter what I have earned or achieved the thing I valued and appreciated the most was the freedom and work life balance I had attained.

When others have asked me about this recently and wanted my advice they didn't realize how many small sacrifices I have had to make at different times to make things happen. When I first went freelance I had to sell my car, postpone an expensive trip, move out of my own place and sleep on a sofa at a friends for 3 months until I could be sure I would have enough work. It was only a temporary step back so I could take a massive jump forward.

It's often a scary prospect to take a move backwards to possibly go forwards but it really is essential for a lot of people.

In recent years it has taught me that we should value our freedom, time with our children, friends and family, enjoying a bit more of our short lives rather than valuing a bigger house or a nicer car. The irony is that I have found that by taking a few backwards steps to enjoy my life more, I have found more success and money in my working life too.

If you want to read more on my thoughts and advice on this topic see my blog

Author's Bio: 

Matt Kinsella is the author of How To Be Lucky, a book about how Matt came from a teenage homeless hostel to become a successful entrepreneur and his guide to how others can do something similar. How To Be Lucky is not about chance or the kind of luck you need to win the lottery it's about making your own luck. The philosophies and techniques Matt discovered that helped him turn his life around changed his life so much he saw no reason why he could not document them along with his story and turn them into his book How To Be Lucky, to help people achieve great success from nothing in the same way he did.

For a small taste of what Matt's about click here for your free ebook