Creating a Business while Raising a Family

How to Build a Business while Raising a Family

Right now, as you read this, I’m smack dab in the middle of building a business. It’s a surreal and exhilarating feeling, to put so much hard work into creating something from vision to reality. I’ve dedicated so much of my focus to this undertaking and it feels so good to be doing this, for myself and for my family.

There’s a constant outpouring of ideas coming out of my mind. I’m constantly thinking up new marketing programs and promotional ideas, dreaming up launch parties, discussing employee conduct and branding ideas – there’s so much to do! It can get exhausting sometimes, and there were some days that I felt a bit burnt out, but most nights I either lay awake with anticipation or dream about my ideal shop!

As you can imagine, this venture has taken up quite a bit of my time. And I thought I already had my hands full with work, blogging, husband, kids, and a house to manage! It’s been a bit of a juggling act, with some days being more successful than others, but we’ve developed a flow in our household that’s working for us, and I wanted to share some tips on how to create a business while raising a family.

How to Raise a Family & Build a Business

Be Tenacious

This is the time in  your life to be more determined than you’ve ever been before, and to work as hard as you possible can – at everything! You are going to have to work your butt off to get your business running, you’re going to have to work harder at family, at home, at health, at relationships – things will become more challenging. But curb the complaints – remember, YOU wanted this! Anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed and down a bit, remember why you wanted to do this in the first place.

Always put your best face forward. Don’t only slap a smile on for a client, be your cheerful, happy self to your children, your family members, and your friends. Be an inspiring individual, remind yourself that you’re working towards a goal. Yes, it’s hard. But you’ve got this.

Be Efficient

Time is of the essence, especially in a full household. Depending on your daily schedules and routines, you will need to carve out essential and focused time for your business, without impeding on your family time, your home life, and your own personal time. This means focusing on tasks at hand, ignoring the call of social media and unnecessary Facebook updates, and using time management techniques or creative multi-tasking.

On a typical day I wake up just before 6 am and get my “necessary” tasks out of the way; think emails, to-do lists, organizing, and planning my day, week, and month. By 7 am the kids are up, and it’s morning routine time, then out the door by 8 am. I’m usually back home before 9 am, and my “work hours” are from 9 am to 4 pm. However!!! Some days are taken up by client meetings or doing business errands, or even personal appointments. I have to plan my time properly, and use the time I have efficiently to really get shit done.

Be Present

During your “business hours” you should be very focused on your work. A client at a meeting gets all your attention. You take notes during a workshop, and you spend time ensuring your invoices are correct and look great. Your business is another baby in your life that needs your full attention.

Do the same for your children and other loved ones in your life. When it’s family time, be fully present – don’t check your emails, don’t look at your phone, don’t do “just one more thing”. Same goes for dinner dates with your partner, or time spent with friends. Make your time with your loved ones just as important as your work.

Be Flexible

Being self-employed means setting your own schedule, right? You could time your day down to the minute in attempts to get through your workload – but sometimes things don’t go as planned. There are deadlines, client meetings, an exploding inbox and a phone call from your daycare provider asking for your child to be picked up because of the dreaded 3D*.

At this point you may feel like the universe is testing you. But what else can you do, other than take a deep breath, think positive, and pick up your kid? I like to think that the universe is sending me a personal message: “your child needs to be with you right now, everything else can wait”. I get to spend time with my child, and I move my workload to after the kids’ bedtime, and everyone (including me!) can sleep a little happier that night.

Be Inspiring

There are some days that will really push you over the edge. It will seem that your never-ending ‘To Do’ list is encroaching on your days, your household is falling apart, your relationship is failing. Time to take a break – fifteen minutes, an hour, or a day, just take a break. Go for a walk. Reflect. Remind yourself again why you want this. Be grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given.

It’s so much easier to just put your bitch face on, trust me, I know. It’s easier to take out your frustrations on the people around you – but don’t. Not only will it plant seeds of doubt in your loved ones’ eyes, they might start thinking that you may not have what it takes or that this work choice might not be right for you. Because if you’re not happy at work, why are you doing it?

It’s hard to take negativity back. Instead, be grateful. Remember that you are inspiring those around you. You are showing your children that you are a strong woman who is pursuing her dreams. You are showing your partner that you’re happy with your choice, and that it’s making you a better person, not worse. You are following your dreams, and you should do so with grace.

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Solutions to the work-life balance comes in many different forms, but when it comes right down to it, it’s your business and your life – it comes down to you. Do you have any tips to share about how to achieve a work-life balance? How do you run a business while raising a family?

*3D – what is this? I recently discovered that if your child has three loose bowel movements (aka. diarrhea) your daycare provider legally has to call you and ask you to pick up your child. Even if he’s fine by all other means. Now you know.

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  • This post is so inspiring! I love how honest you are, proving that women can follow their dreams as well as having a family – it’s not one or the other.
    I hope your business is a huge success, you deserve it!

  • I don’t know what it’s like to balance work and family, but I do know what it’s like to balance work and blogging. I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the thought of having a full time job and keeping up with my blog. It’s very time consuming and stressful.

  • These suggestions are on point! Being present is one of my main 2015 goals, I really struggle with multi-tasking attempts but am so much happier when I just give one area of my life my complete focus at any given moment. Thanks for all the wisdom.

  • I couldn’t agree more with your “be present” point. That is so so important when raising a family or even just having a significant other!

  • Thank you! This post is on point, for sure. I need to learn to be more flexible. I have such issues with being able to do things out of order/schedule. I need to learn that it’s okay and it’s not the end of the world.

  • LOVED your tips and words of advice. I work at night and definitely need an actual office space so that I don’t have to listen to my husband watching TV while I work.

  • Great tips! I found that motherhood really forced me to focus on what I wanted out of a career and prioritize my activities. Now I’m in the process of starting my own business — it’s hard work, but so rewarding!

  • Wow. This post is perfect timing. It’s like you were peeking into my own life. Thanks for the great info. My issue is my times to work are usually during the wee morning hours, between naps, and after the kids go to bed. After caring for them all day I am exhausted. I can’t wait for my business to take off more so I can hire a babysitter!

  • Its so amazing and empowering to see so many women taking control of their careers and making choices that create a healthy work|life balance. Kudos to you and the success that is sure to come. Your writing and creativity is amazing.

  • I totally agree with all of this. It’s SO much work to be in business for yourself. I’m juggling 3 right now and a family life and it’s so overwhelming at times, but when I can balance it all perfectly I’m like YES, HIGH 5 FOR ME. Hahaha.

  • I love the content and beautiful visuals in this post! You can see how close this issue is to my heart just in the name and tagline for my blog: In Tandem: Your Creative Pursuits Amid Work & Parenting. It’s an exhilarating and challenging process. I love the word “tenacious” in this context; I’m going to carry it with me for its spirit of follow-through and stick-to-it-iveness!

  • A very informative post. Your points are so encouraging and helpful. You seem very organized and determined and that’s a big Plus for you. Your determination will help you succeed. Good luck and much success in your business.
    Carol L

  • I have friends who are able to do this and I really admire their dedication. When done right it’s the best of both worlds.

  • You are amazing that you have achieved so much – more power to you. Sometimes it is very hard, but so rewarding!

  • A person has to have organization and time management to make sure to keep on track when having a family and business. These are great tips for anyone to follow.

  • I find being present is the hardest – sometimes you have a thought during family time about a business idea but because you aren’t really present with the family your gyping them and the idea usually suffers because you get distracted…

    M

  • You really summarized this very well. I think it would be nearly impossible to do it if you didn’t have predictable segments of time when you have no childcare responsibility.