This blog is a hard one to write. Not because my team were playing up or because I had writer’s block. It’s hard because this blog has had me reaching into the deep depths of my past with a grimace and an outstretched arm, digging around in the areas of my life I have confidently and gladly “moved on from” and do not wish to revisit, thank you very much. The stuff I have moved into the bin of my mind, but not completely deleted, I’ve just left it all there and then wondered why my computer is running so slowly. In the same way, I cleaned my childhood bedroom by shoving all items under my bed. Or into my wardrobe and then lean against the doors. So did I deal with the traumatic and tragic events of my life. 

But I am not a child anymore. And although my wife may testify that my tidying skills have only marginally improved since then, I have been able to take the “adult” steps necessary to revisit the negative moments in my life. I have learned from them rather than sticking my fingers in my ears and singing “La La La I Can’t Hear You”, as I must confess, I would often like to. 

In this blog, I discuss and debunk the work-life Balance. This blog contains myths and legends, heroes and villains but most importantly, an exploration of how you can achieve a more fulfilling work-life balance and how you might already be doing a lot of the Hard Work. Thank you for reading. My name is Andrew Sillitoe, and this is my blog. 

Let’s get to Work: life and Balance. 

Rock bottom is one of the only new places you do not need to ask for directions. You will get there without a compass or map. I hope you never go, and if you have already been, I genuinely hope you never return there. 

The reason I arrived at rock bottom was that I had thrown everything into my Work, and I had lost sight of all the other things that were and still are more important to me. My father, who had died of a heart attack when I was young, made me realise that I needed to change my life, so I didn’t end up like him. I used his tragic passing as a real-life fable, but within years, I had already forgotten the story’s ending.

I was throwing myself into my work and neglecting my health, wellbeing and relationships, particularly with my wife. On our wedding day, I promised my wife I would put her above all things, but in my blinkered fury to be “the best businessman I could be”, I added the small print “I will forsake all others, except spreadsheets, business targets and 12-hour meetings for as long as we both shall live….”

I was trying to be a success at all costs. And I was failing. I would work increasingly long hours, be too tired to go to the gym (again), open a bottle of wine and repeat this cycle every day. It was not what I signed up for. It was certainly not what my wife signed up for. And so she left me. 

Thanks for reading my blog. The End.

Nooo. That was a joke. But that could be how it ended for me if I didn’t turn my life around. It was my wife leaving me that forced me to reassess my behaviour. I didn’t have to stop being a business leader, but I had to stop being a business leader, destroying his life. 

Here’s how this leopard changed his spots. 

Instead of purely focussing on business, I should have been making time for my body, mindset and relationships, which would leave me better prepared to handle my business.


If you had heard me speak before or listened to the podcast previously, you might remember I call these four vital areas of life the 4-Keys. As I began to put this process to work, I completely changed my life.

I became happier than I’d been in years. I was eating healthily, working out regularly, and I looked as good 44 as I did when I played professional hockey. And as all of these changes took place, I even reconciled with my wife after two years of separation. She saw that I was committed to changing for the better. 

I feel a bit vulnerable telling you all this because: 

1) I have grown up with the toxic masculinity impositions that suggest I should not talk about my pain and problems but instead bottle them up so they can come out in healthy, natural, manly ways like road-rage or by starting a war 

2) I am pleased with who I am now, and sometimes it is hard to think about the times I was letting myself and my loved ones down.

If you’re a business leader, maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar situation? Of course, you have to work long hours. You are responsible for people’s livelihoods. I bet you, like me, take that responsibility very seriously. The only thing I’d ask of you is that you balance that incredibly admirable drive that you have for your business with other, critical things. 

Here’s how.

I agree that you have to work with long days, but that doesn’t mean there is no such thing as a work-life balance. Of course, you have to work long hours, but you also have to work smartly. If you are not looking left and right, only straight ahead like some blinkered horse, you’re going to miss out on a lot of life, and there is a chance that the life you’re blocking out might not be there when you take your blinkers off. 

Set 4 key intentions. What is your intention for your business, body, relationship, and mind today? It can be and should be simple. I’m going to have a coffee with my partner or call my mother. It can be. I’m going to go on a walk on my lunch break. I will answer all my emails in one go and then stop checking them after 5:30 pm. If you set simple, achievable 4 Key intentions, it will dramatically change not only how you think about your life but will change your life. You’ll feel positive. You’ll have evidence that you are achieving what you set out to accomplish today. It will keep you present, keep you on the correct path, and mean you don’t neglect the people, including yourself, that need you. 

Set yourself daily targets in all four keys and achieve them. It is as simple as that. You will notice the difference, and so will those around you. Try it for a week. Try it today. I can start you off. Get a pen, and a piece of paper, because I find the act of crossing out a completed task to be immensely satisfying, and write down an intention for your body, your relationship and your business and your mindset. Those can be the four key intentions for the day ahead. You have taken a huge, positive step towards improving your mental health by doing so. 

I hope that this blog has found you at a time you needed to hear it, or, even better, it had arrived before you needed to read it, so you do not find yourself, as I did, heading towards rock bottom, which is up a gum tree and you do not have a paddle. You get the point.

Thank you for reading today’s blog. For more information about The 4 Keys Book, go HERE. My name’s Andrew Sillitoe, and if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to cross “write my blog” off my list.