It’s the time of year where entrepreneurs across the northern hemisphere face the same struggles: How to balance your entrepreneurial commitments with expectations from your partner and family. We’ve nearly reached the middle of the Summer holidays. It’s a season of weddings, holidays abroad, summer parties and, for those of you with children, the Summer holidays.
Many of my business buddies are struggling to keep abreast of their business duties while balancing them with the needs of their partners and families. Today I’m sharing 10 tips to help you meet the needs of your growing business and family.
1. The Foundation
First of all it’s important that you have a solid foundation both in your business as well as in your family. Focussing entirely on running a business while your relationship is at the brink of failing will take your focus away from what really matters to you in your life. It pays off to spend time building up your personal relationships (or less ideally ending them) before focussing on the next stage in your business. Equally even the most successful family bond may not survive you focussing on a failing business that really is no more than an expensive hobby. It may be worthwhile to call in someone to help you save your business before the impact on your family get’s unbearable.
2. Mental and Physical Strength
Starting a business is exhausting, running a successful business can be even more exhausting. You need to have the same energy left to give to your partner and your children as you offered to your business. Equally if your family is zapping your energy, you need to reassess how much is left to pour into your business. It’s time for you to assess your well being and work on building up the mental and physical strengths needed to give equal amounts of love and care to both.
3. Be realistic
Sometimes we all fall foul of the entrepreneurial dream that some people want us to believe in. Building a business is as easy as 1, 2 and 3 and then you’ll have loads of money and you don’t have to do any work. Yeah, right. I think we all know that that’s not how success is made however hard other people want us to believe it. Let’s get realistic. How many hours per day/week can you really devote to your business? When does your family need you most? Once you know the times you are free to work, you need to get realistic with how much you can achieve in that time, which brings me to the next part.
It’s going to become very important to find people to delegate work to. That could be a business partner, a member of staff or a VA team on steroids like mine. Finding the right person is the key as they need to believe in your business as much as you do. They need to have similar attitudes and values to be able to help you reduce your workload. If you’d like to know more about the things I could help you with, check out my services over here.
5. Be in Control and Accountable for your Actions
Now that you’ve realised how much time you really have available and what times of the day you can dedicate to your business, as well as someone in place to help you when it gets busy, you need to look at your actions and be accountable for the decisions you make. If you choose to spend all of Sunday working on your business then be honest and let your partner know. If you choose not to work between the hours of 7AM and 9AM because you want to spend quality time with your family, then let your staff know. You are in charge of your business and you should never let your business be in charge of you.
6. Decide when to say No and when to say Yes
This point is important for both your home and your business. Sometimes we can say yes and sometimes we need to say no, but it’s really important to not always say yes to your business and no to your spouse or vice versa. This is where the word balance becomes meaningful for me.
7. Communicate with those around you
So, as we have established, sometimes you can say yes and sometimes you need to say no. The key here is to keep communicating. If you’re having to say no to your spouse to a holiday 2 weeks before a new product launch that’s okay, but make the no a yes. Explain why you needed to say no and then offer a better time for you to say yes. Equally if you’re having to go away with your family because you haven’t had a holiday together in months, then you need to say no to your business commitments and be clear to your staff and clients that you’re not available at that time.
8. Cut out any waste of time
When you’re already stretched to the maximum with your commitments I recommend spending time on cutting out anything that may be a waste of time at this point. If you spend ages commuting to wherever your place or business is, then look at how you can reduce that time. If you have other commitments placed on you by family member such as volunteering for something and these do not bring you joy and it means you have less time for your family or business, then it’s time to start saying no.
9. Work when everyone else doesn’t need you
The best times to work are often those when the house is quiet or no one is in the office – yet. Early mornings and late nights can be the best times to focus and get stuff done in peace.
10. Use your family as your encouragement
The reasons behind why you’re doing what you’re doing is highly likely to do with your family. Maybe you’re planning to have more income so you can provide a better home for your children, save money for private school/college/university or even move abroad so your children can grow up in a different environment. Use those feelings during the bad times. Use them to motivate you to make this work.
Before you decide to take the leap into entrepreneurship it’s important to have an honest conversation with those around you. Get their feelings and opinions early, share your plans for the future with them. Be honest. Just be aware they may be honest in return and your ideas may worry them, particularly if they don’t have an ounce of entrepreneurship inside them. Being aware of the feelings of those around you will allow you to take little steps in the right direction and reassure those nearest and dearest to you.
With this in mind, enjoy the rest of the Summer holidays – and make the most of it.
Are you nowhere near fully booked, but you just don't have any time?
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Together we can save you hours of precious time every week by streamlining and documenting your processes, reviewing your business tools to make sure they work FOR you and then implementing all of those changes.