Do you want to know what the worst feeling in the world is to a man or women who is working hard to create a better life for themselves? It is when we take a step back from our work and realize that what we consider to be the most important element in life, our family, is getting pushed down the list of important things and being ignored altogether. When this situation has been going on for a long time, virtually undetected, some family relationships get ripped at the seams.

I will never forget the night that this very same realization happened to me some years ago. I was spending days, even weeks, on the road working hard to close bigger and bigger accounts for my sales position. One night on the road I was in my motel and received a call from my wife. She was reminding me to be home early the next day to attend my daughter's big play at her local junior high school.

There was just one problem. The next day was my chance to close a huge deal that I was working on for months. I was sideswiped when my prospect called me back that very night, before I talked with my wife. The client wanted to meet and I was in his area by chance working on another deal.

I couldn't pass it up. It meant earning an extra thousand dollars per month if I got this sale and I felt that my family was just too important to pass it up. I'm getting to the worst part now, and that is that I lied to my wife and daughter on the phone when I said that I would be there. I already knew that my work was going to come first by signing up this big account, but I didn't have it in me to tell them over the phone. I knew that I was going to sign the deal, make a lot of money, miss my daughter's big day, and then make up an excuse why I was not there.

Now considering that I was already doing very well and considered pretty successful at the time, that night was a very low point in all areas of my life. I realized then and there that I was putting aside what matters to me the most, my family. And they were loosing faith in me, not expecting me anymore, not caring, breaking away...

The next morning I woke up and realized that I wouldn't have been able to live with myself had I gone through with the appointment and missed my daughter's special event. Money cannot replace love and family. I phoned my appointment and totally expected this man to hang up on me and find another company to do business with. However, I told him the truth. I explained that my family needed me and that I understand if he wants to do his business elsewhere with someone that is more reliable.

That was the day that I made the right decision to put my work aside and be there for my family, and risk loosing the “big account” that I was after. Needless to say the business man that I had to cancel on respected what I had to say, and he even rescheduled the meeting. One week later I successfully signed the deal. Moral of the story? Put your family first, work hard in between, and success in all areas of your life will follow.