Making Time for the Family
When you first begin your business, everything is fine and dandy. It's like bringing home the new baby from the hospital. Everyone visits to see the new baby. Everyone thinks the baby is cute and wants to hold it. Everyone "oohs" and "aahs". After a few months though, the newness wears off. Now it's time to get down to raising this new baby and preparing him or her to be successful for their role in life.
A new business suffers about the same type of beginning. You talk the decision over with your family and involve them in hearing your initial business plans. Everyone gets excited and tells you to "go for it." Everyone agrees to help out and the whole house is buzzing about with visions of big bank deposits dancing in their heads. After a few months though, the newness wears off. Since you probably haven't made any money, family members may grow tired and discouraged. They begin degrading your motives for opening the business in the first place. They may even embarrass you and make you feel like a total failure without even realizing it.
Eventually, if you stay with the business and exclude the family, they will begin feeling rejected. A spouse may be upset because you don't go to bed the same time you used to. He or she may pressure you into spending more time with them and the children. You love your family and don't want to hurt them - but you don't want to hurt your business either. You are torn between two decisions, and sometimes this decision is extremely difficult to make.
What are you supposed to do? It's only common sense, if your spouse gets ill and you have to take care of him or her, that this situation would demand more attention than your business. But, most situations are not this severe. Often times, family pressures only come from the fact that the family member feels left out and rejected. Naturally, when you are building your business, your time is occupied in this field - much more than when you didn't have a business. Your spouse may be used to falling asleep with you while watching television. You can still do this! Just take a break and watch television with your spouse until he or she falls asleep. In turn, he or she should have the understanding that you will probably be working on your business for a few hours while they are sleeping. Give a little!
If the children are used to your spending more time with them, try and involve them in some aspect of your business. Take them to the post office with you to pick up your mail. Talk with them about school or other things that interest them while you're both in the car. Ask them to drop the mail in the mailbox while you are cleaning out your post office box. Even a small amount of responsibility in your business builds up a respect for your work and they will give you more space when you need to take time away from them.
If your children are young - take a nap when they are a sleep and work long hours after they go to bed at night. If you work a full-time job, take some lunches by yourself and study your business-related materials. You'd be amazed how much research and new ideas you can come up with in 1 hour at lunch undisturbed over a peanut butter sandwich. Save money too! Carry a mini-cassette recorder or pad of paper with you every place you go. Write down ideas that come into your mind and review these ideas while eating supper or watching television. I'm sure you can find time to build your business - it just takes a little thought. It may not always be the amount of time you want and need - but you can squeeze some time in somewhere. Just find out "what" method works the best for you!
There are a lot of excellent books on the market about managing your time successfully. Find one and read it. Your family, friends and other human relationships are very, very important to your mental attitude. Don't alienate them completely. Just find ways you can enjoy the best of both worlds and everyone will be happy - including you and your business.
Some other ideas:
If you are involved in mail order, start an ad sheet for your kids or spouse. Involve them in their own money-making plan!
Have a business name that includes the names of members of your family. It will make them feel that they are an important part of what you're doing.
Agree to give your family a certain amount of the profits from your business.
Set up a vacation fund or other goal that benefits your family!
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