Parents, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial parents… WHERE DID ALL THE TIME GO?
Let’s get to the bottom of this.
I’ll start by saying that I am VERY passionate about this topic because it relates to why being an entrepreneur is amazing in the first place.
Being an entrepreneur is awesome because we get to design our business and our life the way that we want.
So, if you want to spend more time with your kids, well, guess what? You get to design your business to be able to do that!
If you want to always have time for your business and family WITHOUT compromising, this is what you need to do:
To manage your time as an entrepreneurial parent, you need to create RULES and BOUNDARIES.
Rules and boundaries… sounds harsh, right? But there’s nothing harsh about a family and work life that you love.
I do some private coaching and I will NEVER schedule a client call after 3PM.
Why? Because my kids come home from school around 3:45.
If I have any calls scheduled after 3, which typically run for an hour, it means I’m finishing at 4. That cuts into the time that I share with my kids.
Mornings, evenings, and weekends are for my family. I need rules to protect those times.
Establish cutoffs for work time.
On the flip side, there are boundaries that I openly communicate with the kids. Like, when Daddy’s working and that office door is closed, please don’t interrupt.
It’s hard sometimes. From time to time the boundaries will get blurred between family time and business time, but that’s not always a bad thing.
I can remember a time recently, I was recording a video and right in the middle my son walks in, and he’s like, “Daddy, daddy, can you come read a book with me?” And I said, “Hey, buddy. Yeah, daddy will be with you in one minute, okay? Just let me finish this and I’ll come right out and read that book.”
He went off and I finished the video, and that video was super popular because it really connected with others who saw that I was just a real dude with real kids and that interruptions happen. So as much as you put these boundaries in place, things are still going to happen.
Interruptions will happen.
What’s important is that you communicate these rules and boundaries ahead of time and re-state them often. This way, people will remember them and respect them. And that’s good news because this is really important!
Communicate your rules and boundaries!
Here’s another example. In my business, I travel quite often and I’ve created rules because I don’t want to be away from the kids or my wife for extended periods of time.
One of the rules I have is that I only travel where I’m away from my family once a month.
Sometimes there are situations where there are multiple opportunities to travel in a given month, and then I have a choice to make. I can either bring the family with me or I may have to say no.
In fact, that very situation happened recently. There’s a mastermind I belong to that I love attending. However, attending the most recent meeting would have kept me away from my kids for the better part of almost two weeks.
That would have broken my rule. It was a hard decision to say, “I’m not going to the mastermind.” But, at the same time, it was an easy decision because I was simply following the rule.
Establish travel limits.
Another rule is: if I’m travelling and I’m away from Amy and the kids for more than three days, as soon as I get back I clear my calendar and that day is just dedicated to being with them.
So for every three days I’m gone, I get a full day with the family.
Create space for your family and nothing else.
These are the rules and boundaries that work for me.
Yours will depend on how your business is structured and what kind of balance you’re looking for.
As entrepreneurial parents, we have the gift of being able to work where we want, when we want.
Let’s use that gift to spend time with those who matter the most.