Running a business is hard work; there is a lot of responsibility and pressure on you to make things work. There are times when you might even wonder why you are not just working the 9-5 for someone else as your own venture become all consuming. When you then add a relationship into the mix you can really feel like you are being pulled in all directions, so how do you have a happy relationship and prevent your business being the driving force for your whole life?
Keep Your Partner in the Loop
It helps to understand what someone else is going through and if you know that you are going to be hitting a busy patch and will be less accessible, it makes sense to talk about that in advance. They don’t need to know the whole detail as that potentially is just as damaging but making them aware that you are going to be tied up for a while because of a project helps people stay chilled about not seeing you so much as they understand why you are absent.
Set Aside Time for Each Other
Often we fall into the trap of working all day, sorting kids all evening and by the time we have cooked and fed everyone, got the little ones into bed, all we have left is silence as the television takes over the evening. While it is essential to have some ‘goldfish brain’ time where you do not have to focus on anything or think about work, it is also important to make time to talk to each other. Note though that this is not the time you should be talking about work. Whether you eat your meal after the children are in bed that night or turn the tv off and sit with a glass of wine, it is important just to have some time together sharing company and remembering why you are together. If there is time to build in a shared activity at the weekend when grandparents can babysit maybe you can grab a game of tennis, watch a film or take a walk in the countryside. It is important to remember what attracted you to each other in the first place and rekindle the fun from the early days.
Set Boundaries at Work
It is likely that all small business owners have fallen into the trap of working evenings and weekends, not booking holidays and focusing solely on the business. Of course, it is vital to build a level of work that supports you, but if it becomes all-consuming, then life tends to slide. Where possible you need to commit to having set hours where you deal with the business, even the owner of the company needs time off. The beauty of being the boss is, of course, the ability to juggle work and home, attend a school play, go on a playdate with other children and their parents, but these should be changes to the norm, and as a rule, you should have set hours unless something crops up.
Setting a goal is incredibly important for not only your business but also your personal life too. But why is this? What makes setting a goal so important and how can you make sure that you set effective goals?
In this video, I discuss How to set effective weekly goals
Every year in March an event known as International Women’s Day takes place with a theme or focus for women who work in the world of business from solo entrepreneurs to those who work in multinational companies and every lovely lady in between. This year the event takes place on the 8th of March, and the focus is #BalanceforBetter, which is all about building a gender balance in every industry and business area recognising that both men and women have a different but equally valuable skill set to bring to the arena. ‘A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.’ (IWD 2019).
Each time there are various events linked to International Women’s Day, and if you can take part in any of them, I would encourage you to do so as you will gain loads of insight and experience that will help you in your own professional journey. On the website, you can see where the events are being held and the details you will need to attend. Women are an integral part of any business and should be encouraged to hit their goals and dreams rather than set in competition against male counterparts or worse still other women. Whatever our walk of life should be promoting and supporting each other, as the famous quote says, a flame does not burn brighter by extinguishing others around it.
Women who run small businesses are discovering the unique pleasure that comes from another type of balance in their lives. The balance between home and work that comes from being your own boss, and while this can be a challenging journey it is one that thousands of women embark on, and importantly succeed at through all walks of life and with a massive variety of skills, through many different businesses and industries. Running a business brings a degree of freedom that you do not get from working for other people, the time off to attend appointments and school events, the ability to work in the evening having spent precious hours with the children. It might not be the easiest road but the value women in business bring to industry is something we should not overlook. It is essential that we acknowledge and support these women, whether this is supporting them by sharing their work or creating peer group mentoring support with others in the same boat. Women in business will always hold a significant importance which is why events like International Women’s Day exist.
My own journey has been one of learning, failing and getting back up, and most importantly learning to fly and succeed. This adventure is something that I have been supported in by lots of other women and had the pleasure of offering my support to many more. I would like to thank all of the women who have been involved in my story so far, it has been a pleasure and a privilege working with each and every one of you.
When you launch your first business, you think it’s the greatest thing in the whole world, and you want it to succeed so much. So, how do you overcome the major pains of starting your first business?