“Everything in moderation, and there’s a perfect balance in this life if we can find it.” Ryan Robbins
As parentpreneurs, do you often hear that voice in your head that says:
“How am I going to find time to work on my business and look after my family?”
“How am I going to find time to go to that business event and fit everything else in?”
“How am I going to get any work done when the children are on holiday from school?”
“How do I bring all the business and family-life pieces altogether?”
To quote the actor Ryan Robbins “Everything in moderation, and there’s a perfect balance in this life if we can find it.” Work-life balance is something that most parents yearn for and I am a firm believer that you can find a work-life balance. It’s all about finding the right formula that works for you, your business and your family, keeping everything in perspective and your eye on the long-term goal you have set for yourself.
We have put together 5 key ingredients to creating the winning formula.
1. Family time Spending quality time with your children and partner, without distractions, strengthens family bonds and banishes any guilt you may have been feeling about working hard on your business. Create time for purposeful family moments, like watching a movie, a trip to a theme park, a holiday, the list can go on. Life is about creating memories, yes we want our children to see that we work hard but we also want them to see and experience the benefits of the labour. For many parents, the thing that motivates them most is their children and leaving a legacy.
2. Boundaries Create time boundaries with your family and friends, for example during my core working hours during the day, I put my mobile phone on airplane mode to cut out all distractions. If there is an emergency, my family and the school can call the landline to get hold of me. I very rarely work on weekday evenings between the hours of 4pm -7:30pm – that’s my core family time.
3. Systems and Processes In order to work towards achieving balance, you have to have systems and processes in place. It can be a pain to set up but in the long run, it’s worth it when your business is running like a well-oiled clock. Having a system in place makes it easier if you decide to outsource parts of the work you do.
4. Ask for help I did a blog post on this topic alone – you can find it here. At times it can get overwhelming when running a business and raising a family, whether it helps with childcare, financial help or just a listening ear – never be afraid to ask for help.
5. Self-Care Amongst the cooking, cleaning, sickness, business tasks and being there for your family, it is vital that you find time for you. I run a regular self-care challenge – you can find it here. I also did a blog post on the topic of why self-care is important for busy parent entrepreneurs which can be found here.
“To help yourself, you must be yourself. Be the best that you can be. When you make a mistake, learn from it, pick yourself up and move on.” Dave Pelzer
It’s never easy to admit you’ve made a mistake, but it’s a crucial step in learning, growing, and improving yourself listen in on how to recover from a business mistake.
“Raising children is a creative endeavor, an art rather than a science.” Bruno Bettelheim
When you are a parent working from home and building a business, it can be a real struggle keeping your children occupied while you try and get some work done. For parents who choose to work from home, there are many pros and cons. I know for me, I love the flexibility working from home gives me; not missing school plays, coffee mornings and the conversation bonding experience I have with my daughter when I drop her off at school and pick her up.
I am going to give you 5 ways you can get your children involved in your business – there is something for all ages.
1. Get your children involved with decision-making – for younger children this could be asking their opinions on what colour design they prefer, such as for a logo or social media images. Children often see things from a different perspective and by them suggesting you add something or tweak a design, it could make it all the better.
2. Get older children involved by proofreading your website content, emails, blogs posts etc. This is something I do with my older children – written English has never been my strong point and I have a form of dyslexia. I often ask my older children to have a look and give me their honest opinion on things.
3. When sorting out your filing, bring out the shredder under supervision and shred private documents you no longer need together. Whilst you are doing this you can also teach your child the importance of filing, keeping things organised and shredding confidential documents.
4. For younger babies and toddlers there are not many ways to get them involved, it’s more a task to keep them occupied for a short period of time while you carry out quick business tasks. Get the play mat out, place their favourite toys on the mat, and play nursery rhymes in the background. Or allow some strategic screen time.
5. For those parents with a physical business, there will be times when you have to take your child to work with you. Make it an adventure and think outside the box when coming up with ideas for how to get them involved. I will give you an example from when I was running my women’s fashion online business. I had to go to the office on a weekend to prep for a photo-shoot we were holding. I took my youngest daughter with me, who was 3 years old at the time. She loved it – it was one big dress-up session for her (see pic below).
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It is challenging for parents to fulfil their family as well as business responsibilities at the same time. Being a parent entrepreneur, you are required to create a good balance between your personal and professional life. It is a fact that you get loaded with a range of tasks as soon as you become a parent. Let it be your children’s nursery fees, their health, and safety and more, you need to pay proper attention to make sure all their needs are being met. With all the unavoidable responsibilities, it gets difficult to focus on the core processes of your business.
Many parent entrepreneurs, instead of working hard, are unable to drive favourable results for their business. The reason behind the slow progress is a weak opportunity mindset. Parent entrepreneurs have thousands of things running through their minds. They usually lose their focus and miss out on opportunities that might take their business to the next level.
To make your business more productive and progressive, it is essential to have a good and clear mindset that emphasizes on opportunities. It is wise to opt for the ways that hit the sweet spot. Having an impactful opportunity mindset would help you look for the best possible opportunities that might turn your business around. You can create long-lasting relationships with your customers if you provide them with the things they want the most. All you need is an “Opportunity Mindset” to look for the opportunities and make the most of them.
Here are some of the tips to create an Opportunity Mindset:
It is of utmost importance to have a good understanding of yourself. To create an effective opportunity mindset, it is essential to keep your likes, dislikes, and goals in your mind. The more you know yourself, the more you are likely to achieve your targets. You will be able to create a positive mindset which, in turn, will help you implement new ideas every day.
Focus on your capabilities
Focus on your qualities and strive to enhance them. You can turn yourself into a professional and successful business owner if you realise your potential. Look for your passions and try to incorporate them into your business procedures. Be determined and focused on the smooth running of your business.
Understand business strategies
Being a business owner, you should have a clear idea of what you want. You are required to have a good understanding of the business strategies. Implementing strategies without keeping their outcomes in mind is a waste of time and energy. Therefore, it is paramount to understand the tactics before applying so that you can meet your business requirements professionally.
Know your potential customers
Know your potential customers and be aware of their preferences. Customise your products as per their specifications. You are likely to gain their trust if you offer things that satisfy their expectations.
You should keep track of your competitors as well. Be observant and look for the businesses that leave the market. You can leverage the opportunity and bring your business in front of the target audience by offering better services or products.
“I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them! – C.J. Walker
Do you have an idea you want to pursue? Have been thinking about taking the leap and becoming an entrepreneur? Listening in and take notes on five signs you are ready to start a business.
Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
Thanks for listening.
Starting your own business can be tricky. However, if you add kids into the mix then you may find yourself faced with a seemingly impossible task. We are here to show you that just because you are dedicated to your family, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up your dreams of your own business.
In fact, if you are careful with what you do and the approaches that you take, you can have a successful business. All without sacrificing time with your precious family.
Know your hours
Just like normal employment, if you are thinking about setting up your business you need to have set hours that you can work in mind. Thankfully, one of the biggest bonuses to working for yourself is that your hours can suit your life. Not the other way around. However, you will still need to devise a schedule that works for both.
It is a good idea to know when childcare is a possibility, after all, there are going to be days when not having the kids around will help you to focus your efforts.
Don’t forget some me time
One of the biggest mistakes that parents can make when setting up their own business is splitting their time equally between their work and their kids. What time do you have left for yourself? Try to take off at least one day a week, use that time to step away from your work and spend time with your family. Even better, plan in the odd bit of time for a nice long bath, reading a good book or perhaps just watching a movie. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Get some help with the housework
It isn’t viable for everyone, but if you can afford to, spend out on hiring a cleaner. This means that your time can be focused away from the daily household chores. Not only is it nice to work in a cleaner environment, but if you have time with the children planned in, you won’t be tempted to spend your precious time cleaning up the home.
Keep to your plans
When running your own business, and looking after your family it can sometimes be easy to allow the lines between the two to blur. It is important to try and keep these lines as clear as possible. If you plan to work, then make sure you are focused on working. If this means that the kids are not around, then this is something that you will need to arrange.
If you plan to spend some family time focused on the kids, then put the laptop or mobile phone away and concentrate on them. They will know if you start to wander towards work, even if you think you are covertly looking at your phone.
Never feel guilty
One of the biggest problems with being a working parent is the guilt that comes with it. This can be even worse if you are setting up your own business. Try to ignore these feelings of guilt, whilst you may not be spending as much time with your kids that you can, you are making sure that you can provide with them. Not only this but you are showing them that anyone can be a success if they put their mind to it, and that is a very important life lesson to learn.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort” Paul J. Meyer
In this episode I give you 3 ways to increase productivity while strengthening your family. You can build a successful business without sacrificing quality time with your family it’s not an impossible task. Listen in!
Thanks for listening.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” Bruce Lee
Being a busy parent and trying to run your own business can be tricky. Life is busy and time is limited, so there is a good chance that you will want to make the most of the time that you have.
Productivity is the key and even though there will be times when it eludes you, there is always something you can do to keep things on track.
To help you to make the most of your time, we have put together the top 5 productivity tips to help you.
Start the day off with the hard stuff
Whilst many of us fire up the laptop in the morning, only to spend an hour answering emails, this may not be the best use of our time when our minds are fresh and ready for the day. Instead, tackle those tricky issues head on straight away rather than leaving them until you are feeling fatigued.
In doing this you may find that you come to an answer sooner, meaning that you can spend the afternoon answering emails and preparing yourself to log off in time for the school run.
Don’t be frightened to take a break
For many parents who work from home or run their own business, there seems to be a fear around taking some time out of being a business person. However, the truth is that there is no shame in taking an hour, a day or even a long weekend for yourself.
If you worked for someone else then you would be entitled to paid holiday, so take the same approach in your own business and give yourself some time off. Whether that is with the kids or by yourself, your body and mind will really thank you for it.
There is going to be a good chance that the old 9-5 won’t work for you. Of course, if you own a shop then you will have to keep to the opening times you have set out. However, for those who work from home remotely, there is an option to work around your own life.
Struggle with the afternoons? Then why not try to get a couple of hours in when the kids are safely tucked up in the bed? An early riser? You could always work for an hour before the rest of the house gets up.
Working for yourself means that you keep your own time, so make sure that you take advantage of it.
Be positive but realistic
Even the most productive of parents are going to struggle to fit everything into just 24 hours, so be realistic about what you can achieve. That said, it is important to be positive too, remember that there is a reason why you opened the business because you knew you could succeed; so aim for the sky!
Involve your kids
Now you can’t expect your offspring to form an expert panel that can help run your business, but you should also recognize that they may very well have some quality input to add.
If you have an idea that you are not sure will work, run it by the kids and see what they think. Thinking of setting up a promotional event for your shop? Why not involve them smaller members of your family in the running of the event. They could make the banners or design the invites.
Running your own business and being a parent is never easy, but there are ways that you can make it that little bit easier.
“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” Deborah Day
As a parent entrepreneur, your life is bound to be busy. When you are passionate about what you do, you can fall into this trap of over-working. There is always something to be done; an important client’s query to be answered, a new report to be made or a business meeting to be conducted. Upon all this, you also have the responsibility of parenting; picking up and dropping kids off at school, preparing for their meals and so on. Not that any of these things are unimportant or can be avoided, the point is that taking time out for yourself will not only make you a better entrepreneur but will also help you parent well.
Self-care means taking time out for yourself. From eating healthy foods to reading incredible works of literature, it includes everything that makes you feel good about yourself. You can go to the gym or call your best friend and talk for an hour. Don’t feel guilty as it will be better for both your children and business in the long-run.
Although you are a hardworking and ambitious entrepreneur with a goal to conquer the world, a little bit of me-time won’t hurt. Let’s take a look at some reasons why self-care is so important for you:
It Keeps You Healthy
Regularly exercising, eating good food and having enough sleep will ensure that you are in top shape, ready for the challenges ahead. You have got to understand that you will be able to take care of your kids better if you take care of yourself. Make sure you have a healthy routine so that everybody benefits.
It Lets You Recharge
As a parent entrepreneur, you will have to do constant hours of toil and hard work. However, you can recharge yourself by immersing yourself in the book you have always wanted to read or by going to a holiday to experience nature. This will give you time to reflect and think about your life. The stillness out of your busy routine will sharpen your focus when you get back to work.
It Helps You Become a Better You
Emotional and spiritual well being is as important as health. Whether you have taken a day off to find out about a unique culture or have decided to visit an ancient museum, sometimes for yourself will allow you to expand your horizons and become a better, more contributing person.
It Makes You More Creative
How many times have you had an incredibly creative idea (an Aha moment) while doing something totally unrelated? This is how the mind works. You might get a new business idea while cycling or even in the midst of fixing your car. This is because taking a break from work allows our brain to think things from different perspectives.
It Lets You Really Live
Sometimes, the hassles of daily life make us forget that we are living and breathing human beings. Having some time to yourself lets you appreciate the little things in life that you took for granted. Just take it easy and enjoy – everything will be alright!
Stuck for ideas? here’s a gift to you 30 Self-care ideas download for free.
“The best advice I can give to anyone going through a rough patch is to never be afraid to ask for help.” Demi Lovato
Asking for help when you are running a business can be one of the most difficult things to do for a number of reasons. We may have been taught that it’s a sign of weakness or we fear we are being a burden to others. I can remember many times during my business journey that I have asked for help whether it be with childcare, practical, or financial help. Sometimes I did honestly fear that people would make the assumption that my life was out of control or I was not coping. I didn’t want people to worry about me.
If you have a fear of asking for help, I would suggest the following advice:
- Make a list of the friends and family in your circle who you can ask for help. Highlight the names of those who have offered you help in the past.
- List the things you need help with such as childcare or practical errands like cooking, cleaning, and walking the dog.
- Match the names to the particular task you need help with.
- Find out the person’s availability as to when they can help you.
- When asking for help, be direct, specific, and realistic about the help you need.
- People love helping others, not only does the act strengthen relationships, it makes the helper feel good about themselves for doing a service.
- Don’t be a martyr and get over yourself because no one gets anywhere alone. You cannot and should not do everything yourself. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Asking for help clears space for you and frees your time and energy so that you can give focus to more important tasks you need to undertake.
- When you ask for help and support, you maintain focus and energy and create more flow, making your business journey a more enjoyable one.
- When you ask for help, you create opportunities for others to share their knowledge and experience.
- When you ask for help, you allow others to experience the happiness that comes from giving.