You are a giver. You give your time and devotion to your family, to your customers and to those you hold dear.
It’s important to you to prioritise your children and family life. You play a multitude of roles to support them and you ensure their wellbeing is at the heart of what you do. All the while, you’re navigating the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship and you want to create a meaningful balance of business life and raising your children.
It could be suggested that the nature of parenting and entrepreneurship have a number of similarities – there are ups and downs, twists and turns, inevitable challenges and yet incredible rewards. All the while, how do you find time to nurture your personal wellbeing? How do you find balance and manage feelings of uncertainty and overwhelm?
There’s a lot to think about as a busy parent with a business to run, and no doubt about it, finding a business-life balance that works for you is essential.
Here, I’d like to offer a calmer approach to managing your wellbeing and your business as an entrepreneurial parent.
Give yourself permission
Permission for what, exactly?
To take time to nurture your wellbeing. To just be.
A gift often overlooked in this fast-paced world we live in, yet it could be considered the most valuable part of our days. As you prioritise juggling family time, work and other important aspects of your life, do you find that giving time to yourself often falls by the wayside? Just as you’d give much of your time and energy to others, as a parent and the driving force behind your business, it is important to give time to yourself.
“I barely have time to fit in everything in my life now, how can I fit in time for myself?” I hear you say.
How about this? At the start of each day, ask yourself these questions:
- What small pocket of time can I find today to put aside and do something I enjoy, just for me? Whether it’s going for a walk, listening to music, reading… we can all make the choice to find 10-15 minutes to do something that connects you to the moment and calms your mind. You deserve the opportunity to embrace the here and now, to sharpen your focus and enhance your productivity.
- What can I say “no” to today, in order to free up a little time for myself? It’s necessary to look after yourself when you’re looking after so many people. You’re at the heart of your family and your business, so it is worth investing time to connect to who you are, nurture your happiness and acknowledge your achievements.
- Who is in my inner circle, that I know I can reach out to if I need extra support? We all need our inner circle – whether it’s family, friends, colleagues, your team or the family you choose for yourself. Finding your tribe is a key component to managing your wellbeing and knowing who you can turn to for personal and professional support.
Further reading, tips and support for entrepreneurial parents: http://www.en-parent.com/
A family-like perspective on growing your business
It could be suggested that building a business has similar traits to raising a child:
Year one: This is about establishing your niche and what makes your business different. Everything feels new, it’s the early stages of your long-term plan and it’s likely to be rather bumpy. You’ll need to look after it and nurture it with everything you’ve got, every step of the way.
Year two: Your business is beginning to ‘have legs’ (your baby is now walking) but it still needs a lot of care and attention on your part. You’ll also need a great deal of patience and long-term thinking when faced with potential challenges.
Years three to five: These years will feel a lot more independent. You’ll have a team in place to support the organisational goals. Your brand will be established. You’ll have your business plan in place. While it still needs your attention to detail, you feel more confident in its development and can trust that it’s heading in the right direction.
Further reading on profiting during those first five years in business: www.entrepreneur.com/article/247278
Everyone’s experience of parenting is different, just like everyone’s experience of work is different. I believe that giving yourself time to nurture your wellbeing and personal growth alongside your life responsibilities is an essential attribute to long-term success.
I hope this perspective helps you take your next step towards the business-life balance you desire.