The myth of the work-life balance in estate agency blogpost for estate agents by Sam Ashdown

The myth of the work-life balance in estate agency

A professional athlete wakes up at 6am (or earlier) and spends each day in relentless pursuit of marginal gains.

They don’t wait to feel ‘motivated’, or to find ‘willpower’. Instead, they practice habit and discipline. They follow a set schedule. There are things they do every single day, no matter what.

They spend time researching the minutiae of their craft, watching videos, listening to podcasts and reading books.

They follow, and spend time with, fellow athletes to see what they can learn from them.

They embrace the suck – the sweat and the tears, the aches and the pains. They know that failure is a necessary part of the journey.

They train in every weather, in daylight and in the dark, no matter where they are in the world.

They track and measure every element of their performance, striving to improve, always.

They pit themselves against the fiercest of competitors, even though it hurts like hell, because they know it makes them stronger.

They invest in coaches, mentors and support teams, and they trust in advice and guidance from those who are wiser and more experienced than they are.

Being a professional athlete is hard – really hard. Only the most committed stand a chance to succeed.

Do you have what it takes?

Because being a successful business owner is really hard too. The parallels:

You’re up early

You spend each day in relentless pursuit of marginal gains

You practice habit and discipline

You follow a schedule

You spend hours learning by watching videos, listening to podcasts and reading books

You follow the best in the industry and surround yourself with people who inspire you

You embrace failure and learn from your mistakes

You put in the time – often evenings and weekends – to excel and win

You track and measure every element of your performance

You compete fiercely and bravely

You invest in coaches and mentors

You’re 100% committed to being the best leader and business owner you can be

There’s something missing from this list: the idea of ‘work-life balance’. And that’s because I think it’s a myth.

Before you jump on the attack, I don’t mean that 24/7 work and no life is a sustainable goal.

That way only leads to burnout.

But if you think you can build a hugely successful business working 9am-5pm, 200 days a year, you’re wrong.

I do believe, however, you can maintain a profitable and successful business, excluding evenings and weekends. But first you have to earn the right to work the hours you want to, without compromising on your financial goals.

Here’s where I think the myth of the work-life balance can damage your business success:

  • Not answering calls or messages out-of-hours
  • Refusing to do an important valuation yourself
  • Letting a client dis-instruct you without trying to put it right
  • Telling yourself it’s ok to start work late, because you work late

That said, it’s also not ok to make your family feel like they’re low on your priority list, and multi-tasking is even more of a myth than the work-life balance.


It’s tough to get it right, but it’s a challenge worth pursuing. I often feel family guilt when I’m at work, and work guilt when I’m with my family. Maybe, if you have ambitious goals to grow your business, that double-guilt never actually goes away. I’ve learned over the years to practice being present, whatever I’m doing, and I believe that helps.

Ultimately, growing a business is hard, but for me, the alternative of not growing our business would be harder. So, my friend, choose your hard.


When you’re ready, here are 3 ways we can help you:

1. Reach out for a call with Sam – choose from three different calls to help you overcome your specific challenges. All free and without strings. Grab a coffee and let’s get to work.

2. Come and spend the day with Phil and me, at AshdownJones’ HQ, in our beautiful Lake District. Meet the team, check out our systems and marketing, and enjoy meeting like-minded (non-competing) agency owners. We’ll even put on lunch! Book your place here.

3. Join our Facebook community of super-ambitious independent agents.

Hope to catch up with you soon and find out how you’re growing your business!

Till then,


Sam Ashdown, an independent estate agent

0 65