Balance your business and family is not a myth

In our last mastermind call, Becky McCray mentioned a post she read about how Work/Life balance is a myth.

She triggered me to write a post about how you can have a family and business balance as entrepreneur. Read my thoughts about this below.

Mom and kids photo

It’s not a myth

Of course when you look at the word balance, like a scale that has to be balanced all the the time it will be pretty difficult. Sometimes a crisis situation with the kids require your full attention. Other moments there is a crisis with a client that requires your attention.

For me, balance is about building a business that gives me the opportunity to create a better world, and building my family at the same time.

Work and life balance is more about a well-rounded life. A life where you are happy with all the things you do. Saying Yes to the right things and No to the things that don’t support your well-rounded life. Or as Derek Sivers is saying, It’s Either HELL YEAH! or no.

Family and business balance is more like a rubber band. Normally it is in the relaxed state when things run according to the plan. Sometimes you have to stretch the rubber band to solve a crisis. After the crisis you bring it back to the relaxing state.

You can’t stretch the rubber band all the time, or the band will loose it’s flexibility. Make sure that after a stressful situation, days, or week, you bring things back to the normal state. This way you will be able to stretch the rubber band for your next crisis situation.

It’s about control of your time. About setting priorities.

It’s also very personal. The perfect balance means something different for you and me.

So there is no need to compare yourself to other people’s balance. Focus on your balance and the balance within your family and business.

From my programs and mentoring sessions I have learned that balance has two sides.
For some people it means that they need to free up more time from their business so they can spend more time with their family. For other people it is about freeing up time with the children and spending more time in their business.

Time away from kids

Many coaches with their own business, work from home. Or they work most of the time from home and have sessions with clients at other locations.

When you work at home it is good to have some clear boundaries. This time of the year my office door is closed for a pleasant temperature in my office. This doesn’t mean that our kids can’t come in.

Then there are times that I have a mentoring session with a client via Skype. Or I have a webinar for one of my programs. To make it clear that I can’t be disturbed at these moments I have a special sign that I can hang on my door handle.

Our daughter created this sign a few years at school for Father’s day and it says “Do not disturb, dad is busy.”

It’s really clear for our teenage kids. It also worked when they were younger because it is about the sign on the door handle.

Sometimes you just need to focus on the work for your client. These are do not disturb moments for your children.

How do you make this clear to your children?

Time away from your business

When there is someone in the house taking care of daily business and the children can take care of themselves you can work all day long, and at night and in the weekends.

The work you are doing for your own business is just wonderful. You are helping more clients. You are realizing your big dream.

The rest of your family is noticing this too. You spend so much time in your business that you have no time and energy left for your spouse and children.

Every relationship costs time and attention. The relationship with your clients, and also the relationships within your family.

To make sure that you can always fall back on your family, also in moments of stress, you want to spend time with your family.

Create structure in your day. Have a starting time when you go to your office, have a time when you have lunch. Use your lunch time to exercise and relax for example by taking a walk. Finish your working day around the same time everyday.

When the children are at home, work mainly when your kids are also working. When they are doing their home work you can work too. Work together at the desk in the living room. Relax from your work when your kids are playing.

Though to make a living when all we do is work

Credit photo Don DeBold

Your balance

When you talk about family and business balance what does that mean for you?
What is the most important thing that you do to create your balance?

By Erno Hannink

Sparring and accountability partner for entrepreneurs who create sustainable positive impact. Explores decision-making. Shares his insights on this in, articles, books (Dutch), podcast, newsletters, and tools. Has a life mission to reduce social and ecological inequality. Father of two children, husband of M., runs, referee for the national soccer league, and uses stoicism for calm. Lives in the Netherlands. Speaks Dutch, English, and German.