Focus on Family: The Balance of Owning a Business & Having a Family
Owning a business takes up an incredible amount of time, particularly in the early stages when it seems like you, as owner, wear every hat in the company. While the sacrifice you make to build your company is ultimately with your family in mind, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that your family needs you around even when your business needs you most. Finding a balance is essential.
Don’t “find” the time, “make” the time.
If you leave it up to chance, something will always emerge to make you busier. You need to put free, family time in your schedule and don’t compromise on it.
•Commit to turning of your work phone for a set time every day, like turning it off at 8pm and leaving it off until the next morning.
•Don’t look for time to spend with your family, schedule it. For small business owners, the calendar stretches to all hours of the day. If you allow it to, it can take over your life. Put time with the family on the calendar daily, and set business aside during that time. You might lose some of that time to pressing business needs, but if you don’t schedule it, you’ll likely lose it all.
•Your kids are interested in you, and that includes what you do. Show them, but make it interesting. Bring your children to work sometimes, but don’t put them in front of a computer or TV while you work. Show them around. Show them the fleet. Drive them around. Let them know that your place of work can be interesting and not just the thing that keeps you from them.
Don’t forget your employees. They have families, too.
In a way, your employees are an extension of your family. And what’s better than doing things together as a family?
•Create activities for employees and their families, and make sure to bring your family along, too. A company-sponsored employee family outing (think bowling, participation in a charity event or maybe a trip to a rope course!) is a fun activity that builds company morale while allowing the families involved to be together and bond as well.
•Your employees often work as hard as you do. Take care of them by creating programs that reward their hard work and allow them to be more connected to their families.
- Give them their birthday off – or creating a paid holiday specific to the business to allow them to recharge their batteries.
- Be flexible for employees that require an untraditional schedule to care for a family member.
- If you prop them up to benefit their families, they will do the same for you when the need arises.
You’ve worked hard to create your business, and you will continue to work hard to guarantee its success. But don’t let the business overshadow the thing you likely created it for, your family. Make it a priority to keep the work/family ratio in balance, and make it possible for employees to do the same, and you ensure success on both fronts.
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