Successful Mortgage Banker Shares Work Life Balance Tips

In my own life I have made career choices based on the goals of being a great dad and husband while at the same time fulfilling the requirement that my life had to significantly impact others.
— Don Conwell, Branch Manager at AmeriPro
Don Conwell Advices to Do Something Every Day to Lean the Right Way

We are all looking for the perfect life vs. work formula. If it came in a powder I would put it in my protein shake every morning. For me the goal of achieving a perfectly balanced life proved elusive and tremendously frustrating. I was like a juggler who had introduced one too many plates into his routine. There was no way to keep up and I spent most of my time picking up the pieces. Your work life and your personal life are not separate. They are both with you at all times and how you address this reality will determine the quality of both.

In Todd Duncan’s book, Life on the Wire, he throws out the quest for the perfectly balanced life and instead compares the journey to a tightrope walker. The tightrope walker is almost never still or in balance. As he journeys across the wire he is in a constant state of movement using a long pole to make minor adjustments. This allows him to maintain his focus, shift his weight, move forward on the wire, and arrive safely to the other side. Duncan says that life is exactly this way. As we live our lives, we must constantly be adjusting for our “imbalance”. Work, family, marriage, finances and health, are just some of the forces that pull and push us in different directions. When I found myself with four children (okay… find may not be the right word) under 4½ years of age, working over 60 hours a week and in school full time there was no “life” balance. In fact, sometimes it felt like I had no life. My wife was the stay-at-home Mom and I was the stay-at-work Dad. Neither of us had written this into our vows but we did understand that this was a season of life. We survived by leaning into what needed our greatest attention at any one time. This required day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month adjustments. As Duncan says we learned the art of “purposeful imbalance”. Twenty years later we are still on the wire but much further along.

As I moved through Todd’s book he addressed not only the constant need to rebalance but he also provided clarity to the choices we all have to make along the way. Money vs. memories, risk vs. responsibility, and making your mark vs. leaving a legacy are just a few of the tension points he addresses. There is little satisfaction in making it across the wire only to find that both the journey and the destination were shallow.

In my own life I have made career choices based on the goals of being a great dad and husband while at the same time fulfilling the requirement that my life had to significantly impact others. There were long periods of time where it was hard to see that I was achieving any of these goals. My first career was as a stagehand. The hours, as you can imagine, were terrible and not at all aligned with what my foundational goals were. At times I wanted to just give up. I had no choice but to keep going. After all I had to feed those four children I had found.

As I worked this and many other jobs along the way, I leaned hard into doing my best, learning from the experience and taking the only step I knew: the next one right in front of me. Ever so slowly I found myself making progress, and though I had no way to see where I would end up, it was clear in looking back that my steps were ordered. When I entered into mortgage banking in 2002, I had no idea that I had found my profession. When passion, a skill set, and an industry align, wonderful things occur.

Like most jobs, providing home loans has very little legacy or long-term value and does not in itself make my life meaningful. The magic is that how we do our jobs does. Regardless of your profession we are all given the daily opportunity to interact with people and impact their lives. In my case one of the most rewarding examples of this is the culture we have created in our office. I work on a phenomenal team and I know that their lives away from work are better and more complete because of working here. Our culture is foundationally built upon kindness, humor, grace, ownership of your job, ownership of your schedule and the shared responsibility to care for team members. This culture colors everything we do and every interaction we have with clients. Because of this we have been able to attract and retain extremely talented team members and fiercely loyal clients.

Do I have this all figured out? The answer is No, but I do something every day to make sure I lean the right way.

AmeriPro Funding is an award-winning Tulsa mortgage company dedicated to providing expert home loan advice and an exceptional experience.  

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