Five Tips for Running a Business That Doesn’t Take Over Your Family Life

Running a business is challenging at the best of times. It’s not all lunchtime meetings and evening client drinks. And when you have kids, there are even more considerations on the table. Having run my own digital marketing business for seven years, I’ve identified the things that help to make me and my business successful. Here are my top five tips:

Be clear about your vision and purpose for the business as well as your personal vision and purpose

If you have a clear goal and direction you’re going in, it’s easier to take purposeful steps to get there. If you want to have a good work life balance, to spend quality time with your kids, maybe building a billion dollar business that requires 60-70 hours of your time each week isn’t the best idea after all.

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Mother-daughter Businesses Share Their Secrets to Success

The relationship between a mother and daughter is often complicated. But some women choose to add a further dynamic to the mix, by starting a business together.

Jillian Intini and her daughter Casey Bryden began working together four years ago designing and manufacturing modern sun parasols for their business Sunbella.

“For us, it was a natural progression,” Says Jillian.

“As a nurse I was seeing skin cancers on a lot of women and I had the idea to design a sun parasol. At the same time Casey left her marketing job to have a baby, so we started brainstorming together and bouncing ideas around.”

“Our little family business is now bigger than we could have imagined a few years ago. We sell online, through retailers, we wholesale, hire and offer corporate branding options.”

“We’ve landed some large corporate deals with Peroni and the One & Only resort and there are some exciting opportunities coming up for us this year. I would not be doing this without my buddy by my side, plain and simple.”

The recently launched Willa In Spades brand are another mother daughter duo, with Amanda Wearn designing and her mum Beth King sewing each piece in the collection.

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Mastering the Art of Mumpreneur

Running my own business has been one of the most rewarding but challenging experiences of my life!  It fulfils a lifelong dream I have had to work for myself and be master of my own destiny.  Working from home gives me the flexibility to work hours that suit me and the opportunity to work in with our crazy family life.  BUT… it is not for the faint of heart!  The challenges sometimes seem insurmountable and on occasion my confidence wavers and I am left wondering if I can do this.  Here are some of my tips for surviving the journey.

Be Confident

I have a fundamental belief that I can do anything, it all comes down to how much work I am prepared to put in to achieve a goal.  As a small business owner you need to have an unbreakable belief in your ability to make it work.  Self-doubt is corrosive and can very quickly undermine your energy levels whereas positive thinking breeds positive energy.  Surround yourself with avid supporters and energetic, like-minded individuals who will encourage you along your start-up journey.

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Adjusting to Life – Working from Home

Have you ever tried to work on your business with a toddler at your feet, a partner off at work and an ever growing pile of emails and missed telephone calls?  Welcome to my day and that of many other mumpreneures around.

When I was first pregnant I went to great lengths setting up my office to make sure that it was “child friendly”.  Naively I had thought that by bringing my baby into a world where I work from home, she would adjust and understand that quiet is needed when I am on the telephone and patience is required when I need to answer an urgent email.  Now I just look back and laugh! What was I thinking?

My daughter is 2.5 years now; and realistically it took me almost 20 months to figure out how to wear all 3 of my hats and not feel like I was letting anyone down.

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How to Juggle Being a Dad, Husband and Business Owner

Juggling being a dad, husband and business owner can be challenging at times.

My name is Paul Ames and I operate “Skye’s The Limit Career Counselling” which helps professionals who struggle to roll out of bed each morning for a job that makes them miserable, we help you to create an unstoppable positive mindset and uncover a career path you desire.

I named my business after my 2 year old daughter Skye, creating a balance in all of the above areas requires great time management, compromise and a positive and driven mindset. When I first started , I found myself falling into a common pitfall of focusing too much on growing and expanding my business and as a result I didn’t spend enough time with my family. I believe that whenever you have kids you develop and refine amazing time management skills and learn to prioritise your tasks more efficiently.

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The Study of Excellence – What Makes Some Excel and Others Merely Competent

In the 1970s linguist John Grinder and mathematician Richard Bandler studied individuals who were excellent in their field to find out what made them different to those who were merely competent.  They discovered that their beliefs, mindset and strategies are what set them apart.

Beliefs

Did you know that our perceived limits are not our actual limits?

Most of us are limited by what we believe is possible.  For example, no one believed it humanly possible to run a mile in four minutes.  When Roger Banister was training for this feat, doctors told him that his body would not cope.  They said his lungs would explode and his heart would stop under the pressure.  He didn’t listen to them.  He just did it!  He ran a mile in 4 minutes and lived to tell the tale.  That same year 35 runners completed a mile in four minutes too. Once they believed it was possible, they challenged themselves to do it and they did it!  A teacher once told me that I was no good at foreign languages, so I stopped studying French at school.  Years later I had the opportunity to live in Spain but was worried about the language barrier, so much so that I nearly didn’t go.  Within three months I was contributing confidently to conversations and many Spaniards said I had a great accent.

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Dadpreneurs – Balancing Business and Family Life

As a Dadpreneur, there’s no such thing as work-life balance, there’s just balance. I love what I do, but I also love my family and being equally committed to both isn’t easy to accomplish. It’s a constant battle to stay on top of both, particularly at the weekends when you have client work to do, but also realise that it’s the only time that you get to properly hang out with the kids.

That’s my choice of course and I could quite easily take a 9-5 job and have the weekends to myself like other Dads, but that would make me unhappy and no family wants a Grumpy Daddy.

When I decided to work for myself, my wife (who works full-time as well) and I decided that we would explain it to the kids. Despite them being 8 and 6 we felt that it was important that they understood what my being self-employed would mean and how it would impact their lives. Of course, there were positives and negatives. The negatives meant that I wouldn’t be able to go on all of the day trips at the weekend, whilst the positives meant that because I had more flexibility I’d be able to do more school drops off and even some pick-ups. The kids were great about it, but didn’t quite understand why I wasn’t going to the same place every day like other Dads!

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Finding a balance between running your business and being a new mum

My husband and I run multiple ecommerce businesses, and as such, have everything from “mature” sites to brand new online stores that we’ve launched quite recently. It’s been quite a journey for us over the years, but last year we also decided that maybe it was time to throw a baby into the mix!

Of course, we had some idea that our life would change completely, everyone knows that right? But when our baby boy was born in May 2015, I really didn’t understand just how completely and utterly dependent he is on us. Much like our younger businesses really.

Fortunately, we spent the nine months of pregnancy relatively wisely. In hindsight, there was always more we could have done, but we spent much of that time focused more on developing systems and building our team than “chasing the next big thing”. This meant training people to do our customer support, shipping, web development, and marketing, so that we would be able to spend our limited time steering the ship, instead of rowing the boat.

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What I wish I knew when I started my business

Have you ever wished your present self could have one of ‘those’ conversations where you pass on valuable knowledge to your younger self? I have several times now, and yet that conversation is yet to happen!!

If your present self can’t have one of those conversations either, I’d best help you both out and let’s have it now.

In the several businesses I have launched over the years, here are some of the business tips I wish I had known or been guided towards.

Business Tip 1: Know and Understand Your ‘Why’

What’s your purpose for starting this business instead of going to work for someone else? Perhaps it’s for family reasons, or you are like me and aren’t a very good employee.

Getting very specific about your ‘why’ will help when things don’t go your way. You may have had a bad experience with a client or lost a contract.

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Juggling motherhood and business

Like many corporate women who realised they couldn’t maintain their demanding career and be a mum, I set out to create my own business working from home. While I’ve always been the type of person who is very busy, highly organised and internally driven to succeed, it wasn’t long before I realised that working from home with a baby rarely goes to plan. And while I’d heard so many people say don’t try to do anything else except sleep and eat once the baby is here, it’s not so simple when you’re running your own business as there’s no one to pick up t he slack for you!

Over the last 2 years I’ve managed to build a good rhythm and while I’m by no means an expert, I’d like to share a few tips that have helped me work from home while being a mum:

1. Chunk out your day

I find that doing too many things at once can make me more inefficient and left feeling frazzled. I’ve learnt to chunk out my day so that I’m able to focus on one task at a time and complete it to a higher level rather than rushing through millions of things and making errors along the way. For example, I might allocate 2 hours to paying invoices, 1 hour to responding to customer emails and 2 hours to drafting up and scheduling newsletters etc. I will ignore any new emails that come through during times that I haven’t allocated to checking/responding to emails.

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