For most of us, there is nothing more meaningful than family and business in life. But unfortunately, both require a lot of one person. And as a result, it can be difficult to balance them.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t come with a manual for being a working parent. And this is especially true for “entrepreneurs”.
As an entrepreneur, you are primarily focused on venturing into new opportunities, crafting work strategies, and achieving results. The reasons you do this are personal improvement, portfolio expansion and monetary gain.
Adding family to the mix can make things a little tricky. Because you are now also responsible for your family, your work pace and your results need to improve. Also, as your business grows, you will need to divide and share your attention between it and your expanding obligations. It is understandable that this can be difficult.
The good news? No matter where you are on your business and family trip, there are ways to balance your work, your life, and parenting.
1. Develop a routine.
The importance of spending time with family cannot be overstated. But if our precious time is lost, we can feel stressed, frustrated, and exhausted. That’s why it’s vital for entrepreneurial parents to consider their time management. And implementing a daily routine that fits the needs of your family and business can do just that. Because? Because this provides structure.
In addition to keeping you organized and productive, a routine makes your day more predictable, which saves you time and energy. For both business and personal tasks, allocate a specific amount of time and embrace flexibility so that things may not go as planned.
Useful routines that you can implement immediately include:
- First, prepare your to-do list each night for the next day.
- View and reply to emails at a specific time each day. As an example, at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Finally, prepare your meal.
- Use your children’s schedules. For example, set your work schedule when they are at school.
2. Set priorities.
Lola Wright, founder of LolaWright.com and coach of LolaWright.com, says most people are committed to their priorities. Finally, feelings of inadequacy can be associated with this over-commitment.
“Know what your true priorities are and don’t commit,” Wright said. “That’s the most important thing you can do for yourself, your business and your family.”
In addition, any project that is not your top priority must be delegated.
“Outsource low-priority work to someone who has that time to help you with a business,” said William Gaunitz, a certified trichologist and founder of Advanced Trichology.
In addition, Cheri Reid, owner and operator of the Huntington Learning Center in Skokie, Illinois, said there would be times when your attention will be split between your business and your family.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself,” Reid added. “Priorities will flow and go.”
3. Live by your calendar.
“If it doesn’t exist on my calendar, it’s not real,” he said Shark tanks Robert Herjavec. Good advice. The question is, however, what should be included in your calendar?
On my calendar, I set aside time to network, learn, and relax, as well as for specific appointments. However, I schedule my obligations before all this. These include holidays, school functions and doctor appointments.
“Plan everything you can a year in advance and follow through,” Herjavec suggested. For him, that means booking his calendar a year in advance. To do so, he sat down with his school counselor and assistant and reviewed “every” vacation and event they had.
“That’s why I never missed a swimming encounter. I never missed a school play. I never missed anything,” Herjavec said. “I would fly from LA back to Toronto to spend a day with my kids. That’s the best thing about having your own business: the freedom to control your schedule and do whatever you want with it.”
Of course, not everyone has the opportunity to meet in person with their children’s teachers, counselors, or coaches. However, even without a year’s notice, you still have plenty of time to add key dates to your calendar. Some examples may be on the first day of school or when they have games or recitals. Even your kids can have their own digital calendar. If so, sync your calendar with yours to avoid calendar conflicts.
4. Set boundaries and meet your commitments.
Acquire the habit of setting clear time limits. This means that defining when you are available and when you are not available is what you do in this section. You can also teach your children this valuable lesson.
Unless it’s an emergency, no one should bother you when you’re not available. This is your time to focus on your business.
On the other hand, being available to your children, however, means being fully present to them without any distractions. The only thing that matters here is you and them. Everything else can wait.
5. Don’t go there alone.
Starting a business requires a village, just like raising a child. After all, business success is never the result of a person working alone. I mean, for every Steve Jobs, there’s a Steve Wozniak by his side.
The reason? Literally, you can’t do it all by yourself. Whether it’s due to time constraints or skills, you don’t have to. As a parent, this is doubly true.
Despite this, learning to let go of control is one of the hardest things for entrepreneurs. While it may be necessary to delegate tasks to another person, you may feel uncomfortable when creating your startup from scratch.
You may want to consider hiring a virtual assistant to handle the day-to-day tasks of your business. Depending on your needs, they can be very affordable. And as your business grows, you will have more team members to help you lighten your workload.
You will spend more time with your family if you delegate more and work less. As a result, you can focus more on taking your business to the next level and to a bigger picture.
The same goes for family life – you can’t do everything. As a family, this means planning and managing time efficiently and building supportive relationships. So let’s say you work from home, but you need a couple of hours to focus on work. Ask a parent, sibling, or neighbor if they can watch over the children. Or maybe find someone through sites like Care.com or Sittercity.
6. Before entering the door, stop.
“Entrepreneurial parents need to prepare to be parents before they open their doors and come in,” says Leila Bulling Towne, The Bulling Towne Group, LLC. “Of course, you can turn off the phone and save the laptop, but changing your mindset is key.”
Once you cross the threshold, the role of the entrepreneur changes when you become a father, Leila adds. Be sure to store your work luggage before dinner and before bed so that you can be fully present.
7. Take your family on the trip.
Obviously, you can’t hire your kids full time. However, you can ask your children for help after school or when they are at home on service days. If the children are not there, you may need to delegate some tasks to your partner.
In addition to giving you more family time, this teaches your children values that will make them stand out. Responsibility, teamwork, and problem solving are all part of these skills.
In recent years, I have followed Sherrie Campbell, a parenting psychologist. Campbell’s advice is simple and easy to understand. As Sherrie suggests, we can teach children about life to be successful by teaching them these seven values. As for children, we all need actionable and doable information.
8. You can commit, but not to self-care.
It doesn’t matter if you start a business or have a baby, your sleep schedule will be altered and your hobbies will be put aside. Identify areas that you are not willing to remove from your routine and determine the extent to which you can commit.
It is essential to draw a clear line when it comes to moments of special significance. Simple things, like putting your kids to bed, reading a story, or watching a recital or basketball game, can’t be replaced. At the same time, it is also essential to take care of yourself, either running every night or relaxing with a few minutes of meditation. As such, you should block time on your personal care calendar, as you would for an appointment with a dentist or investor.
9. Disconnect during family time.
“There is no experience that can compare to bonding with your children,” says Choncé Maddox. “However, family time becomes less enjoyable when you or your spouse are hooked on your work while everyone tries to spend quality time together.”
“I know it can be tempting to check your email when you’re watching a family movie,” Choncé adds. “Trust me when I say they’ll notice how connected you are to your devices instead of them.”
Children take care of everything, even when they are small. “When my son played basketball, I was tempted to bring my laptop and catch up on work,” he continues. “However, I’ve sometimes noticed that he looks at me to see if I’m watching him, especially when he’s shooting.”
“That made me realize I didn’t want my mom to always remember me on my laptop or phone.” As a result, I work very efficiently during my time so I can disconnect when needed.
10. It is okay to accept what cannot be changed.
Whether it’s raising children or running a business, it’s never easy. They are probably both of your biggest challenges in life.
There is always a fine line between finding the right balance between the two even on a “normal” day. In addition, this does not take into account mitigating circumstances such as a sick child or a work disaster.
In both areas, learning to deal with adversity calmly is key.
It’s common for entrepreneurs who raise families to feel like they’ve failed in both because of stress, falling prey to the games their brain plays when things get tough.
Even for successful ambitious, admitting family involvement is difficult, but letting go of perfection is crucial. In short, there is no perfect father, just as there is no perfect entrepreneur.
Certainly, crises will arise and there may be times when you don’t feel like you’re doing your best. However, looking at things from a broader perspective will show you that you’re not really that bad.
In life, stumbles are inevitable. And once you accept that fact, you can focus on what matters most, whether it’s playing with your kids or thinking about your next product.
Image Credit: Julia M Cameron; pexels; Thanks!
The publication Entrepreneurship requires Balancing Work, Life and Parenting first appeared in Calendar.