Balancing Life as an Entrepreneur
The need to strike a balance in life between work and family is not lost on the entrepreneur.
The effort required to get a startup over the hump to profitability can take months or even years.
During this time, there is a very focused and intense effort to get the job done. But - it is also important that all affected family members are pulling in the same direction and know what the overall family objectives are. The "business" was always the "family business" even though Rose and the kids weren't materially involved in the day-to-day operations.
During my air freight forwarding days, we ran so lean that we couldn't get the billing done on a daily basis, therefore I would have to come in over the weekend to rate invoices and get them sent out to our customers. If I didn't get them out on time, it would effect our cash-flow - therefore it was imperative we billed timely and regularly.
Beside the long twelve to sixteen hour days during the week it was also not unusual for me to entertain clients on Friday or Saturday night - or both. Thank God my wife Rose was understanding.
Our family made the business part of our routine. Many times the kids would go with me on Saturdays to play on the office machines while I was doing the invoicing, or beg me for a ride on the forklift out in the warehouse.
I have seen spouses who were not supportive of the dreams and aspirations of their spouse, adding the most difficult obstacle of all to their chances of success. We set family goals, at first very small ones to make the kids part of the dream. A small success like a new account may have meant a day at the beach in Galveston, a night out to dinner or a special breakfast after church on Sunday.
I give all the credit of the support I received in building my businesses to my wife, Rose - as she kept the kids in engaged in the goals the family as a unit was trying to achieve. Instead of complaining about my long hours and depose me to our kids, Rose reinforced the sacrifices being made to the benefit of the family.
We weren't always able to take the nicest vacations or give the kids everything they wanted at Christmas, but somehow we cultivated a strong sense of the family unit - everyone pulling in the same direction. We celebrated small successes and we looked at failures as temporary.
The sense of togetherness as a family when tied to an entrepreneurial dream cannot be overstated. A man or a woman on a mission to follow an entrepreneurial dream is contagious. People like to follow dreamers, and that especially includes your kids.
Make your spouse and your kids part of the dream. You'll be thankful they were on the journey with you!
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