There are many reasons for an entrepreneur to create new enterprises or retool an older business for today’s competitive environment. Sometimes, it becomes a balancing act between family and your startup.
The Balancing Act Between Family and Startup
The list for why entrepreneurs feel compelled to create new enterprises is a long and interesting one. Here are two of the major reasons, as demonstrated in the history of business in the last one hundred years:
Who doesn’t like money? Who doesn’t want more of it? Who is there among us who couldn’t help more of our fellow planet dwellers with more money on hand? Even billionaires enjoy the feeling of adding a few more measly millions to their bank accounts.
For many, money translates into power. Power to be independent. Power to order others around, or the power of choice to do or not to do. Of course, the power to purchase unlimited quantities of everything from toilet paper to Rolex watches. But maybe even more — the power to do better for the humans and the environment around us?
Money means the power to do good. To succor the homeless and disenfranchised of a community, of a country, of the world. The charities of former moneybags like Rockefeller and Carnegie are renowned for the results they have accomplished with the use of the supposed, “filthy lucre.” And, just because many called it so — those who have gone before have done incredible good for all of us.
Nobody is ever really surprised when a successful entrepreneur names new buildings, new parks, or a new country, after themselves. The ego of your common everyday entrepreneur is no larger or smaller than that of the average “Joe Six-pack.”
However, some feel that what a successful enterprise does to the pride of an entrepreneur is similar to what a lit match does do a can of petrol. In other words, if the entrepreneur is not careful — the ego can explode. And who can blame the entrepreneur? After all, most successful entrepreneurs put in an inordinate amount of blood, sweat, and tears — and untold time into their baby (infant enterprise).
In fact, let’s grow that analogy to completeness: most entrepreneurs love and take great pride in their creations just like a mother does with her infant.
Naturally, there are as many reasons that could be listed here as there are holes in Swiss cheese. But let’s move on to practical tips on how the obsessive entrepreneur can successfully perform the balancing act between family and startup.
The first thing to learn as an entrepreneur is that you can’t do it all yourself. The poet said, “no man is an island.” And while poets are not noted for their business acumen, they know human nature better than most. In this case, what an entrepreneur should get from this poetic gem is that a DIY philosophy is not the best idea when you have to divide your time between family and business.
So learn to delegate. If you look at the lives of Thomas Edison, Charles Schwab, or Sam Walton, it’s noticeable that they all learned to delegate parts of their job to others. (Although many of them never did learn to share much of their fame and fortune with their subordinates, most did with their families.)
And with today’s user-friendly apps it’s a breeze to communicate to others what you want them to do and how you want them to do it. Then set your tracking apps to keep track of their performance and forget about it — some that are deputized at the drop of the ball. Some entrepreneurs and employees will exceed your expectations. It’s trial and error, true enough, but it won’t be long until you find out who can take on responsibility and who cannot.
Knowing who you can depend on will be a godsend to founders who realize that the “homewrecker” in their relationship is likely their own business.
Stick to a routine
Keeping all your ducks in a row may sound like a moth-eaten cliche, but those ordered ducks really work.
Sticking to a routine doesn’t mean that you have to adhere rigidly to a preordained schedule whether created by yourself or someone else, but it does mean that you should have a schedule that is written down somewhere so you can always access it. If nothing else, write an abbreviated schedule in lipstick or shaving cream on the bathroom mirror.
Don’t be afraid to be flexible
Although a standardized routine is going to help you balance family and business, you’ve got to learn to be flexible. When the baby gets diaper rash at the same time you are scheduled for an important finance meeting, don’t let your schedule get in the way of your concerning parenthood. To put it another way, no parent ever alienated their children by spending too much time with them.
Don’t forget as stated above that you can delegate almost anything to a business associate you trust, so you can go to a school play, take your spouse to a movie, or play hooky from work with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the park with family.
The balancing act takes commonsense
Following commonsense advice may seem too simple — but look around. Thankfully nowadays there is more advice about how to balance your work, your life. losing your balance between family and startup.
Image Credit: Marcelo Moreira; Pexels; Thank you!