Two important jobs: parenting and business owner. How do I make it work?
I have been running my business, SB Creations, for several years now. It was a slow start. I didn't know what I was doing at the beginning and I muddled through for a few years!
But, over time I learned, adjusted, and improved. And now I am proud to run a profitable, professional, and fun business (well, that's what I tell myself anyway!).
Business and Babies
In between all these years of business, two adorable little babies came along in fairly quick succession.
My kids have taught me more about love and sacrifice than I could ever believe - and a lot about time management - and being creative even on 3 hours sleep!
Now they are not-so-little kids anymore, in fact they are at school full time now (and already showing signs of being the strong, independent people I want to raise).
My daughters know that Mummy loves her job. And they know I work hard.
They also see me at school sports day and parent helper day. Drop offs, pick ups, and afterschool dance classes!
It's a balance. It's a juggle. But I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.
My top tips for managing family and a successful business
Not that I am an expert of course, and I often need to reassess how I am spending my time and what is/isn't working. But over the years I have learned a few tricks to keep me sane!
1. Set clear boundaries - at work and home
There is a note on my email signature and in all my proposals that clearly states my working days/hours. And while I might often work outside of those hours, that is my choice, if circumstances allow. And does not guarantee I will be contactable out of my core hours!
And likewise, I try to be realistic at home too. I aim to work really hard during work hours, and switch off in the evening to be with my kids as they are growing far to quick (*sob).
However, one of the HUGE benefits of working for myself is that I can choose my hours, and I can start work a bit later, or finish earlier to fit in family commitments (book week parade, sports day... I'm looking directly at you!) - and then I might jump online again once the kids are in bed, or while waiting for the kids gymnastics class to finish.
Just don't try to work all hours or type an email while cooking dinner - it could get painful...eek!
2. Get clear on your "Why's"
Why are you in business? What are your personal and business values? Ensure you know exactly why you are managing your business. As the months and years tick by, it's easy to forget why we started the business in the first place. We might get so dragged down in admin, or the hustle, or stressing too much about the bottom line that we lose sight of our dreams that started it all.
Try to keep your "why's" close at all times. Make time to reflect on how far you've come, and where you want your business to go in the next year/5 years/10 years. This will help you keep the passion alive, even during the tough times or when running a business is not feeling all that exciting.
3. Ditch the guilt
There is no need to feel guilty for being a working parent, or for being passionate about your business. In fact, I'd go as far as to say you're being a positive role model for your kids. And as long as you manage your time effectively (see point 1 again!) there is no need to worry.
I believe the world needs passionate people who want to make a difference with their business ideas. So rather than feel guilty, be proud.
4. Prioritise self-care
No, not just bubble-baths and candles, although they can be nice! I am talking about deeper things that keep you mentally healthy, such as:
knowing your limits in work load
being in touch with your energy levels
taking time to rest or play
being clear about saying NO to work projects if they don't align with your why's or you simply don't have capacity.
5. Be proud of your business and share with your friends and family
Don't be shy. If you have started a business, tell people! Friends and family might not be able to get involved directly, but I have been so fortunate over the years to have many friends and family act as sounding boards when I need to work through a business or family issue, and they are some of my biggest supporters, in terms of helping with the kids, referring work to me, or simply acting as emotional support.
This is what works for me
I would love to hear your tips and strategies for juggling a business and family responsibilities... how do you prioritise and enjoy both?