Entrepreneur Family Life: Have A Family Business Work Life Balance
As if I didn’t already have enough on my plate.
When I first started my first business I was raising a family, working a full-time job, a part-time job, and I decided to start a business. It was a business I really enjoyed doing so it never really felt like work. There was just one problem.
I was busy all the time!
The whole purpose of me starting a business was to create a freedom lifestyle and spend more time with family and work less. However, I found myself busier than ever and working just as much with very little to show for it.
Since the bulk of my income came from my jobs, my jobs took priority. Some days family time suffered. Other days the business suffered. It can be very hard to find that balance when you are just starting out.
On the weekends I was free to work on my business. However, small children do not understand “mommy has to work on her business,” and husbands say they understand, but still interrupt at the worst times.
People would ask me all the time “how do you do it all?” It wasn’t easy. Since starting my third business, I have learned a thing or two.
Below are my top tips to help balance starting a business with family commitments and a full-time job.
Tips for Working a Job
If you love your job, great it will help. But if you hate your job remember to be grateful.
Your job is supporting you, your family and your business. It will be hard, but stay focus. You don’t want to get fired because you were caught watching a webinar on list building.
1. Free Education
There’s no doubt that you are learning skills at your job that will help you in your business so leverage that. When you run the show in your business nobody is telling you what to do, when to do, or how to do it. So learn from your employer and ask questions.
Need advice on how to motivate your coaching clients? Ask HR or some other colleague how do they keep their employees motivated.
Ask a recruiter about the qualities they look for when they are recruiting for a position so you’ll know what qualities to look for when building your team. Ask salespeople about sales. They don’t have to know it’s really for your business.
When commuting to and from work LISTEN to business related podcast, audios, and lessons when you can. Or use this time to create the meat of your content by recording your voice and transcribing it later.
2. Good Relationships, Good Terms
Be careful that your business idea doesn’t impede on any agreements or conflicts of interest for your job. If your business has nothing to do with your job then you are probably okay. Some entrepreneurs keep their startup a secret from their employer.
Others tell their employers and relieve stress and get the support that they need.
Only you know your work environment and if your new venture will be perceived well. When in doubt, no need to saying anything yet.
Leave on good terms. No, it’s not because you may need your job back one day. If you’ve done your market research for your business then you’ll be fine. Leaving your job on good terms is closure and it’s the right thing to do.
Tips for Family
1. Set priorities
Family comes first. I make sure they are taking care of prior to the scheduled business time.
2. Schedule your time
Schedule time for your children and spouse. I know this sounds bad, but this will ensure that it gets done.
If you stay focus on your most important tasks during the blocks of time for your business, scheduling time for your family will be temporary.
By the way, scheduling time for friends, parents, and other people is up to you. Be careful not to stretch yourself too thin, you are trying to build an empire here.
3. Keeping a clean home
Talk to your family and let them know the venture you are about to partake in and how ultimately it will benefit them. Especially how it will affect them. Be sure to let them know you need their support with running the home (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc).
If you can swing it, you may want to hire a cleaning person from care.com or pay a family member to help.
Have pets to walk? Do you run daily? Instead of listening to music or nothing, maybe catch up on some business audio or audio books.
Tips for Business
1. Schedule time for business only.
This is blocked-uninterrupted-focus time for your business. Have a goal and focus during this time so achieve what you need to accomplish.
Be firm. People are not going to understand your 6-figure business goals and will impede on your time.
If you have a little one. Take him or her to grandma's house or someone else you trust. I found out the hard way that I just could not resist that little face and blocked-uninterrupted-focus time became baby time.
2. Outsource When You Can
Your are a DIY-er. I also know you are in this business alone and if you’re just starting money is tight. Because you have so many time commitments delegate the non-revenue generating activities and/or tasks you do not do well. You may have to hire someone.
You may have to hire a cook, maid, nanny, or assistant, family member or friend. Someone who loves to write and owe you a favor may ghost-write for you. You can find a lot talent on www.fiverr.com for very little investment.
3. Keep it Movin’
Brain dump. Have a recorder or note book handy so you can jot down ideas and keep it movin.’ This way you have a system for storing your ideas and can go right back into focusing on your revenue generating activities, play time with the kids, or time with the hubby.
Don’t get too hung up on writing a business plan. The reality is that once you write one they are pretty much obsolete.
I love how the Jason Fried and David Heinemeir Hansson explain the use of business plans the New York Times Bestseller “Rework.” The book suggest that business plans are really business guesses and since they are merely guesses, stop stressing over them.
Just focus on building relations, selling and keep it movin.’
4. Scale Back
If you feel you need to scale back, do so. More than likely you started this business for your family, so don’t neglect them.
Chances are you also started your business to free up more time. Working hard and being super busy with your business on activities that don’t line up with getting clients creates a contradiction.
Kind of like creating a business to free up time, but the business is taking up all your free time. Before I realized this contradiction for myself, it was hard to stay motivated on unflattering tasks get anything really done. I too scaled back and it has made all the difference.
I hope you are able to take these tips and incorporate them into your own life. Trust me when I say that having structure, setting boundaries, and planning will go along way! You've got this!