Parenting and entrepreneurship are both full-time jobs that have a very different set of responsibilities, but very similar required skillsets. It is not impossible to be both a great parent and a great entrepreneur. Just remember the following pointers when approaching problems that affect your work and home life simultaneously.
Take It One Step At A Time
Driven individuals are often characterized by an intense desire to be successful in every aspect of their life at once. Sometimes, however, it’s just not possible to perform at 100% all of the time. Recognize that sometimes a certain part of your life will be a bigger priority than others. The preference is for quality over quantity. Even 30 minutes set aside for the children that are totally committed to them will be more valuable than a whole day of partial attention.
When the priority is work-related, mitigate the guilt by setting aside a designated quality time to spend with your children. If the priority is your family, schedule a small block of time each day to accomplish your professional to-do lists. An entrepreneur performs best when they are 100% committed to whatever they are doing in a given moment instead of dividing attention between two trying tasks.
Use Your Drive Time
Entrepreneurs often find that some of the most difficult workdays spill into their home life. For the sake of your children and your sanity, it is best to avoid this situation where possible. If you’ve had a tough day on the job, try and use your windshield time to transition from the frustrated entrepreneur to the loving parent. The goal should be that you are a refreshed version of yourself by the time you open the door to your house.
Treat Your Children As You Would Your Most Important Client
It is very easy to designate the majority of your time to the individuals that are going to affect the bottom line of your bank account. While you may be counting on those clients to help you provide for your family, it is critical to remember that you must contribute to the emotional bank accounts of your children as well. Neglecting this particular account could result in lasting resentment. Devote a positive amount of time and undivided attention to the ones you tend at home to help prevent negativity.
Set Clear Expectations
Communication is a crucial part of any relationship regardless of where they originated. Inform your clients exactly when you are and are not available to speak with them. Let your children know when it is and isn’t acceptable to interrupt, and when you will be able to spend quality time with them. Effective communication will help you avoid time-consuming crossover and both parties know when they can expect your attention.
Realize that limits do exist
Children grow up fast. No matter your professional title, it is important to remain present in their lives. Do not compromise the happiness and stability of your family to get ahead. Likewise, if you choose to be a working parent, remember that you are working to provide things like groceries, a better quality of life, or a chance at a better future for your child. Sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice now so that the family can benefit later on. Just be sure you attempt to maintain balance in the process.