Looking for work-life balance? This desire inspires many to become entrepreneurs. Launching your own business can be daunting for anyone, but add a spouse and children to the equation, and it can be downright overwhelming. With proper planning and clear communication, though, you can be successful at growing a business while growing a family.
Anyone who’s ever started a business knows that it’s a family affair. It’s important that your spouse and children are supportive of your endeavor. Share your vision with them, and make sure they understand how succeeding in your business equals freedom for your family.
Then, get them involved whenever possible to instill a sense of ownership in them. Even young children can pitch in by emptying the trash or sweeping. This also gives you the opportunity to teach them a strong work ethic and the fundamentals of business. An added bonus is that when they’re helping you, you’re also spending extra time with them, which is a win-win.
Short of cloning yourself, you’re not going to be everything to everyone at all times. There will be plenty of late nights—at least at the beginning—as you get your business off the ground. This means you’re bound to miss the occasional soccer game or date with your spouse while you’re nurturing your other baby—your business. Because you’ve already gotten your family on board, they’re more likely to understand when you can’t be there all the time.
Likewise, it’s important to set expectations with your employees and clients. If you work non-traditional hours, make sure to let everyone know what they are so they become accustomed to them. If you establish your boundaries at the get-go, they become a matter of routine. And you’re allowed—after all, it’s your business.
Being organized is essential when you’re seeking flexibility in your schedule. Tools like WorkflowMax help you stay on top of everything from managing leads and invoicing to project tracking and reporting. Being organized helps you keep an eye on things when you delegate tasks to your employees, too, which is another important element of juggling work and life.
While you’re at it, keep your personal commitments in order by using a family organizer app, such as Cozi. This useful app enables you to keep everyone’s busy schedules—along with household lists, chores and meal planning—under control and all in one place.
Just as you schedule your important client meetings, be sure to block off time on your calendar for those can’t-miss family events, such as your daughter’s music recital, that much-needed weekend away together or your anniversary dinner. While you’re at it, go ahead and schedule some time here and there for yourself. When you return to work, you’ll feel recharged and ready to tackle the challenges of growing your business again.
Remember that a balanced life, much like Rome, won’t be built in a day. You’ll have days—or even weeks or months—when you feel like you’re working non-stop. Don’t lose heart. The idea is to strive for balance over the long-term, which is what makes it all worthwhile.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the balancing act that is growing a business while growing a family. Though it’s no easy task, in the end it’s all worth it.