* Guest post by Nick Tubb.
If successful business owners rely on working long hours and making work a priority, then is there any room left for family time? It certainly doesn’t sound like a recipe for successful parenting, which must be a concern for many budding entrepreneurs.
For those who are determined to be successful as entrepreneurs, while also spending quality time with their kids, it’s clear that there are some challenges to be faced. Is it necessary, for instance, for you to give up on producing the ideal results in one area of life?
Before answering that question, I think that it’s reasonable to point out that few people would feel happy about the thought of reducing the quality of their parenting. After all, it’s natural that we should wish to get the very best possible results for our kids. There’s that ever-present desire to help them lead great lives and to reach their potential. In that context, the idea of putting everything into a business, as the potential expense of your children’s happiness, doesn’t feel particularly palatable.
Focusing on the family
So what about the alternative approach of focusing on family time? That may sound like the ideal solution, although the truth is that it’s unlikely to help with paying the mortgage. You may find yourself feeling happier in some respects, but will there also be a sense that you haven’t found real fulfilment? If you believe that you have the ability to create a great business, for example, then not getting the chance to do so may simply end up being frustrating.
The key here is really about finding balance. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who have successfully managed to carry out that seemingly impossible balancing act of operating a business and doing a great job of parenting too. In order for you to do the same, you need to think about what’s realistic within the current confines of your own life.
As an example, it may involve making slight changes to your business idea. Rather than seeing home life as a complete barrier to building a business, could you think about modifications that will enable both sides of life to work that bit better? With a bit of thought, it’s likely that you can achieve a significant amount.
The other question here is about how you care for your children. Most of us would love the idea of spending every waking hour with our kids, but the reality is that this is something that’s not possible for most people. That’s why childcare organisations are so popular.
Avoiding feelings of guilt
You needn’t feel guilty about having to make the same choices that face so many other people. Part of your dream of running your own business may be the associated flexibility that you get, allowing you to really add value in life. The truth is, however, that you’ll probably need to accept that entrepreneurship almost inevitably means adding in some restrictions. You may not quite have the freedom that you had originally envisaged.
One of the great advantages that many entrepreneurs have is the ability to see the positives in almost any situation. Instead of seeing hurdles that can’t be crossed, they identify opportunities. It’s this way of thinking that often sets them apart from the crowd.
So what does this mean to you, as a parent and as a potential business owner? My own feeling is that it’s a sign that you need to consider the balancing act that’s required, but then take decisions that are based on finding positive solutions.
As with any issues in life, such problems will only really restrict your actions if you allow them to. I believe that it’s perfectly possible to be great at business and a successful parent too. Now it’s time for you to prove that such possibilities exist in your own life.