It’s a battle that most entrepreneurs will face – how do you raise a family while pushing your business through hyper-growth? I have ‘been there, done that’, and want to share my advice on successful parenting as you grow your business at the same time.
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Despite what some may believe, it’s not about choosing between being a business owner or being a parent. And I can say this with confidence, because I’m a proud member of the dad-preneur club.
So how do I do it? Here are 5 lessons I’ve learned in finding my own balance.
You Need to Delegate
Learning to let go is the only way to manage increasing work and life demands. At work, this means showing confidence in your team’s abilities by letting them take the steering wheel. But how could you trust anyone but yourself?
It starts with hiring. Find people who are not only independent and able to take charge, but who also share your values and style. This way, things can be done in a way that you would do them. On the flip side, if you keep doing everything yourself, you are only holding your business back by not utilising the talent you already hired.
Asking for help at home gives your family the opportunity to show support, while also opening the door for them to ask the same of you. For the smaller tasks like tidying, create a chore chart. And for things like gardening and tutoring the kids – what is really worth your time? Find tasks that you can outsource and, if it makes sense to, go for it.
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Use Family as Inspiration
After my last company was acquired, I found inspiration in my family. I realised that family inspires me to work harder and persevere through obstacles. And so I went on to build my next business venture, Picniic, around family and keeping families connected.
With the support and happiness it brings, family is what allows me to thrive as an entrepreneur. It shouldn’t be viewed as a barrier to growth or entry for entrepreneurs. Instead, family should become the reason to get out of bed every morning, ready to transform dreams into reality.
Take Care of Your Health
For entrepreneurs juggling the increased demands of work and life, health is usually first on the back burner. Down the road, this will lead to problems in all aspects of your life, business included.
Managing to grow your business, on top of a growing family, demands mental and physical strength. If you notice yourself feeling moody and fatigued, it may be time for a diet and lifestyle change. Besides the physical benefits, taking care of your body creates a mental shift towards loving the way you feel. And as this feeling multiplies, it will provide you with the fuel you’ll need to get through your daily to-do list.
Health is your vehicle to be great. Without it, you don’t have the means to get anything done. But with a healthy body and healthy mind, you become unstoppable.
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Be Fully Present
How good are you really at separating your role as CEO from your role as parent? How effectively do you compartmentalise these two aspects of your life?
Achieving a balance between the two means finding the “on” and “off” button for each role and never trying to be both at once. This means when you’re at work, you should be completely focused on work. Stay on-task and get everything done, knowing that at the end of the day, your family will require all of your attention.
When it’s family time, put aside your work. No more checking emails or worrying about tomorrow’s presentation. Be fully present. After all, your family deserves it.
Look at Your Calendar
Sometimes, the easiest way to prioritise is by inspecting your calendar. Is there a balance between your work and family life? If not, consider what’s important (hint: it’s your family).
The life of a mom/dad-preneur is a race against time. Your calendar is a reflection of how effectively you are racing. Proper time management keeps you on-pace.
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Raising kids while you grow your business is no easy feat, but if you follow these guidelines, you should be just fine. Always remember that life is not about perfection; it’s about progress. So when, despite your best efforts, you find yourself on the wrong side of the work-life equation, remember what Sue Atkins said: “there is no such thing as a perfect parent, so just be a real one”.
How do you manage the work-life balance and find time to grow your business? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!