Balancing Family While Growing A Business
We’ve all wrestled with the “Can I really have it all?” argument in our own heads. But first, you need to define what that means for you, personally; “Having it all” is relative.
Once I knew what I wanted, the second thing I did was make sure I made it happen. I am not oversimplifying an effort that certainly takes careful consideration, but, if you genuinely listen to your heart and pursue what you’re passionate about, you can make anything happen.
Or maybe you can’t. You can’t teach yourself to be an entrepreneur. I don’t think you can learn an extraordinary work ethic either.
Without these pillars to support you, you should instead work for someone. Get a job and build a solid career as a member of an existing organization.
Growing a business requires a unique type of sacrifice – but if it’s in your DNA, it’s a sacrifice you welcome. Whether that intangible exists in your blood or you absorbed it from your environment, (for me, it is both), then you have the courage to change the things you can. Build that enterprise. Thrive.
Today I am a really good mom and successful business owner who contributes to my community. I am proud to make that statement. Here are some of the practical steps I have taken to keep the balls in the air and my sanity intact.
Have a Routine
The number one thing to balancing my business and family is to have a morning routine. I have found that the days I don’t do my normal morning routine my day seems to be out of balance. I like to start off each morning exactly the same way. As a business owner, every day presents a different schedule once I arrive at my office; and a different set of challenges. If my day can at least start the same way, I am more mentally prepared for the one ahead.
I spend Saturday mornings planning my meals for the week based on the evening commitments I have for the following week. I take my boys to the farmer’s market each Saturday to buy those items I need to make meals for the upcoming week. Sundays I typically meal prep as much as I can to make the week go smoothly. Every evening after dinner I get lunches and items ready for work and school the next day. This allows me to get out the door quickly in the morning.
I block schedule my calendar to meet with all the important people in my work life and family life. Building in set times of your day to handle routine items will help keep you on track and focused. Also, it is vitally important to your organization’s success to schedule set times to meet with all the heads of the departments you personally manage on either a weekly or a monthly basis.
This will drastically improve the communication within your company. Block scheduling goes for your personal life as well. Setting aside the time to handle your personal obligations in your calendar will help keep you balanced. This includes scheduling dates with your spouse!
Stay Physically Active
Participating in group classes or group exercises will allow you to release stress. I take part in the Beachbody programs for my workouts. These programs can range from one month to 90 days. I wake up in the morning, go into my basement where I have my fitness equipment and look at the daily calendar to see which workout I need to do that day. I watch the videos and follow along with the coaches.
Working out at home eliminates the need to pack a bag for the gym while having a video to follow can help keep you on track. This also allows your children the opportunity to see you living a healthy lifestyle, and they end up following your lead.
I utilize a few outside services to free up my time. I put all household groceries like garbage bags, diapers, wipes, cleaning and paper products on auto shipment from an online retailer. It avoids me running out of things at the last minute and eliminates the hassle of toting a baby and a four-year-old into the store to pick up a roll of paper towels! I also tapped into a cleaning service for my house.
I can easily handle the normal daily maintenance, but the full house cleanings can take much longer with two little ones. Not to mention I would rather spend those few hours with the boys!
Don’t Stress Over Everything
I do my best to stay even-keeled. Running a business is stressful, having a family also has its own stresses. Staying calm in the midst of the chaos and not getting worked up over things really makes for a better life. When you get stressed, it creates a tense environment for your employees and for your children.
Each of these solutions resolved a specific pain point for me. Some of them may do you absolutely no good as they do not address your pain points.
We are all pretty good at making to-do lists, wish lists, bucket lists. But when you can look a list of stumbling blocks in the eye and figure how to take them on and move forward, that’s when you’ll see an influential person looking back at you in the mirror.
Define what feels triumphant for you. Use no one else’s definition or standard. Apply the answers that support the happiness. And therein lies your balance.