When people talk about settling down and starting a family, it’s always understood that they would be focusing more on being parent than being a career man or woman.
The point is, people are so used to seeing single entrepreneurs who have all the time in the world for their business. Most believe that entrepreneurship is a huge risk. And that someone who has a commitment to wife and kids can never handle the position.
How to Juggle Entrepreneurship & Parenthood
While many people think both these roles are hard to do side by side, there are some who succeeded and juggled parenthood and entrepreneurship successfully.
How did they do it?
The following is advice from successful parent-preneurs:
1. Prioritize Your Commitments
“Nurture your family as much as you nurture your business. Your business may take care of your family but your family will care about you.” – Brian Gatti of Inspire Business Concepts
With family and work all vying for your attention, how do you know which one to prioritize?
First things first: As a parent, you want to spend most of your time with your child. You want to be with your boy in every of his soccer game. Or with your girl in ever of her ballet recital.
But as a business owner, you also have to shoulder the responsibility of being an entrepreneur if you don’t want to let your clients, partners, and employees down.
So how do you do it?
- Be realistic about what you can accomplish. Take the time to plot out the things you need to do at work and at home. Don’t take in more work more than you can handle. There are also times when you need to focus more on your business so you have to make up for the time you lost for your family by scheduling family time on the weekends.
- Get involved with your child. Despite being busy, you can still be a good parent by being involved with your child in everything he does. This includes making time to attend his school activities, and making up if you miss one because of a work commitment.
- Keep a routine. Routines make everything easier and faster. Find your own time flow where you can work and still spend quality time with your kids as often as they’d like.
- Have a back-up plan. Imagine having an important meeting with a client or a work deadline happen during one of those days when your child is sick. Plan beforehand, if you fail to do these things on schedule.
- Put important things on your calendar. All the things that have to be done without fail during that date should be scheduled. If it’s not on your calendar, then it’s not something to do.
2. Hack your Time
“I recommend [to] not check your work email 10 minutes before your bedtime, nor 10 minutes before your child will wake up from a nap. You never know what will be in that inbox that may cause excessive excitement or worry regarding your business! Better to leave it for a time when you know you can calmly respond to any pressure from work.” – Arlissa Vaugn, Special Event Painter
Most work-at-home parents often don’t have the time to work for eight hours straight compared to those who work in the office. The good thing is you can always hack your time.
So you can do everything on schedule and get more done even with less working hours.
The following are time hacks you can incorporate on your work day:
- Cook for two meals at once so you can simply fridge the other half and have it for the next day.
- Shop groceries online and simply pick it up on the store so you don’t waste time shopping.
- Do things in batches. For example: commute and reply work emails, water the plants and wash your car.
- Have your dry cleaning set to pick-up and delivery.
- You can save far more time if you remove distractions while you work.
3. Outsource / delegate work
“As a mama, we try to do it all. But after having twins in 2010, I quickly realized I couldn’t be the mama I wanted to be if I was in front of the computer or on the phone and watching kids at the same time. I found myself completely stressed and overwhelmed, feeling like a failure as a mom and an entrepreneur. Getting childcare, be it a babysitter or a supportive friend, allowed me to finally focus 100% of my energy on my biz when I was working and 100% on my family when I wasn’t.” – Rachel Cook of The Yogipreneur.
Being a parent entrepreneur means that you might not be able to take in important meetings due to family activities. That’s why it’s critical that you train your staff or hire someone to take your place during these episodes.
You can’t do it all alone so you have to ask for other’s help. You should use every kind of tool or opportunity to make everything work easier for you. Here are some ways successful parent entrepreneurs get their work done:
- Outsourcing Online – There are many freelance services online like freelancer.com or PeoplePerHour where you can find great freelancers to help you in your business. You can let them do work that takes up too much of your time. Or work that you don’t know how to do like web design, editorial, and content writing.
- Get a Virtual Assistant – Hire someone who can help you schedule everything and manage work for you while you’re away from the office. Delegate all petty things so you can free up your mind to deal with the important stuff.
- Teach your kids to help – If your kids are old enough you can teach them to do simple things around the house like taking out the trash, doing the dishes, or their own laundry.
4. Grow Your Parents Network
“Focus on money making and network-building tasks first—so for me, fiddling around with where a graphic goes on my website is last, after finishing projects for clients and doing networking activities” – Kathy Catlin Davis of Inspired Abundance
Having children grows your ‘parent network’ as you meet other families through playgroups, school, and your neighborhood.
This helps you earn your place in their community which can be beneficial for you to meet interesting people that can turn into valuable contacts or even partners in business.
Parents that are like-minded in business may turn to each other for advice and strategies in financing.
These parent networking events are great ways to find help in growing your business. You might even find it amazing how other parent’s business ambitions will inspire yours. So take time and grow these parent connections while you bond with your kids.
At the end of the day, it’s all about reflecting on what’s important to you and finding ways to reach your goals. You can have a multi-billion business and become a committed serial entrepreneur while still getting the award for the best mom/dad in the world.