Episode 269, The Myth Of Work-Life Balance? With Ryan Deiss

Work-Life Balance. Have You Nailed It Yet? As we launch into the summer months, we’re sharing an episode with Ryan Deiss. If you’re an entrepreneur or even just an adult, this. Episode. Is. Going. To. Help. You. Yes, emphasis intended.


How many books have you read, podcasts have you listened to, or conversations have you had about gaining, maintaining, or nailing down the elusive work-life balance? Is this a constant battle for you? If the answer is yes, you’re going to appreciate Ryan’s take on this. At first glance, it may seem like he’s throwing the concept out of the window. But as you listen to Justin Rondeau interviewing him, you’ll see that he’s learned a few things about work-life balance.

“I love reading these books where they say, ‘map out every day, based on the minutes’, like what?? You can do that because you write books about doing that! I’ve had very honest conversations with lots of people, but I don’t know a single person that can really pull that off for an extended period because stuff happens”. Ryan Deiss

Who Is Ryan Deiss?

Ryan Deiss is an entrepreneur, author, and investor, and according to Shark Tank star Daymond John, “His companies practically own the internet.” He’s the founder of Scalable and Digital Marketer and one of Roland Frasier’s partners. Ryan will be popping up more frequently here on the Podcast, so make sure you hit Subscribe or Follow on Apple Podcasts.

The Myth Of Work-Life Balance.

“To be clear, I don’t actually run 40 different companies. We’ve got talented people running stuff, but it is busy. I mean, in this world, if you’re an adult, you generally live two lives. You know, you have a work-life, and you have your personal life. And then we’re all told that we need to have this work-life balance. And I can tell you, I’ve got four kids, and I started really actively thinking about this and studying this when my wife got pregnant with kid number one (so for over a decade), and I’ve never been able to make it work.” Ryan Deiss 

A Better Way

“So what I’ve done is I’ve more adopted a mindset of Prioritize and accept that some balls are going to get dropped. Be okay with that. If you are a valuable human being, there will always be more demand for your time than you have time to give. So I think that’s the first big thing. It really starts with prioritization and the simultaneous acceptance that you can’t get it all done.”. Ryan Deiss.

Listen For

  • Why It’s not enough to just prioritize.
  • Why you have to decide How the season of life you’re in is key to choosing your priorities.

“Prioritization is fractal. There’s prioritization at a macro level. So at the highest level, you have faith, family, friends, vocation, health, these kinds of big areas that different people are going to prioritize. Now, I think you’ve got to ask yourself, what’s the season of life that you’re in?” Ryan Deiss

  • Why being Intentional is more attainable than being balanced.

“I think that’s the big thing. If you’re intentional about it, and it’s your call, then you don’t have as much guilt.” Ryan Deiss.

So how does Ryan achieve anything resembling Work-Life Balance?

Tips For An Intentional, ‘Balanced’ Life.

1. Schedule One thing, and One Hour. Make sure that the one thing you choose is a high-value, high-leverage item. Don’t waste it.

“Here’s the best that I can really accomplish. I pick one thing that I’m going to try to get done on a given day, and I try to schedule one hour. One thing and one hour, and I make sure the one thing is big enough that if that’s all that I get done, great. And I make sure that the hour is enough for me to make significant progress towards that one thing, maybe not get it done, but make significant progress. But here’s what I found. I found that one hour can bleed into two and three and four and five, right. That time tends to expand, except when it doesn’t.” Ryan Deiss

2. Block out your priority on the calendar.

“You can say, oh, you’re a priority, but people show priorities, and they show commitment in two ways, right? Your wallet and your calendar. So I literally sit down with my wife twice a year, and I say, block out when you want us to go on trips and when you want to go on family vacations. So I can say that my family gets first dibs because they do over my calendar, and when that’s blocked out, that’s blocked out. I’m going to be gone.” Ryan Deiss.

3. Don’t take your laptop home.

“These are all tangible, visible things where I know, if I’m leaving work past six, then I’m not prioritizing family. If I’m taking my computer home, then I know that I’m going to be working from home.” Ryan Deiss.

And There’s More

4. Be realistic. You can have a hard cut-off time at work when you need to. So do it. But- understand you’re not going to be able to do that every day.

Prioritize, but accept that some balls are going to get dropped, and some things are going to slip through the cracks, but that’s okay.” Ryan Deiss

5. Don’t over-commit yourself, don’t over-schedule.

“The key is you can’t make that the norm, these times when balls do get dropped when things don’t work out. Is it the exception, or is it the rule? When it becomes the rule, that’s where you have to be concerned”. Ryan Deiss.


The concept of “Balance” assumes that there’s some aspect of equality, a notion of equilibrium. Go ahead and set all those ideas aside. Forget balance. Instead, accept and adopt prioritization. Then say, based on the season of life that you’re in and what your values are (the things that really, really matter to you), what you’re going to prioritize.

“Because at the end of the day, I’m one human being with the same 24 hours as everybody else. And the more in demand you are, the less you’re going to be able to check all those boxes off.” Ryan Deiss

Thank you for listening.

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