Running a small business already qualifies you for superhero status. After all, you put in long hours as you clear enormous hurdles, while carrying the entire business on your back. If that’s not superhuman, what is?
But there’s a particular breed of entrepreneurs who also have children at home. They often find themselves torn between the needs of their family and the obligations of their business. Yet, they find ways to make the two coexist. Thrive, even.
These SuperMoms and WonderDads manage to find time where others didn’t even know it existed. Which is incredible, considering how easily a small business can consume your waking hours. According to one survey, half of the nation’s business owners work 50 or more hours a week. And 20% are working 60 hours or more. Of those business owners, a whopping 80% report that they work too much and would prefer to work more normal hours.
So there’s the seemingly eternal challenge: how do you maintain a well-rounded life? Here are some tips for finding a proper balance, so you keep your business humming and your family smiling.
Ask for help
Superteams are where it’s at. The Avengers. The X-Men. The Justice League. These teams back each other up, lending their unique strengths. They aren’t afraid to ask each other for help. And you shouldn’t be, either. Consider finding a mentor to help you navigate the challenges of small business ownership.
Delegate to others
Remember, superheroes don’t go it alone. They enlist the help of their support team. That’s not weakness. It takes strength to know what you do best, then also allow others to have opportunities to shine. Don’t be a martyr for your business. Let others share the load and you’ll have more time to be there for your family.
Make it a family affair
Sure, there’s value in the idea of separating your work life from your home life. At the same time, enlisting your spouse or partner as a cheerleader can be powerful. So don’t completely shut it out. Get your spouse’s opinions on things. Ask for ideas. You’ll be surprised how effective it can be, and it’ll help your family feel some ownership in your company’s success.
Moonlight with your own business
Most parents of infants have heard the advice to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” As in, your baby is going to sleep so sporadically that you desperately need to catch some sleep of your own while they’re snoozing. Once your children are older, however, sleep becomes more predictable. And while your children are sleeping, it’s the perfect time to catch up on emails and get extra work done.
Say no when you need to
Small business owners, by and large, accept challenges in life. But it’s okay to be selective. When clients, business partners, or others make requests, weigh the importance and make a judgement call. Any request should be subject to your judgement. And sometimes, for the sake of other priorities in your life, it’s okay to politely say no.