Is Your Family Ready For You To Be An Entrepreneur?
Starting your own business can seem daunting. Many people shy away from starting their own business because of fear of the unknown and not wanting to take the risk. But those that have taken the entrepreneurial path can attest that being your own boss can be very rewarding. This month at LTAW we will focus on entrepreneurship, from the basics on how to get started to personal testimonials from people who are currently in business for themselves.
Last week we kicked of the month by telling you, if you’re thinking about starting your own business to just “go for it”. We also shared the good, the bad, and the ugly about being your own boss. While we think entrepreneurship is great, we also know that it is difficult…not only on the person starting the business, but on their family too. Getting your business off the ground can be very time consuming and it can take a toll on your personal relationships. Even when you have been in business for yourself for a while, your time can be eaten up by client demands and non-traditional work hours.
My Mom has owned her own business for over 28 years (almost my entire life), so I know firsthand what it’s like to have an entrepreneur parent. I don’t recall ever feeling neglected as a child growing up. My Mom was always at every function and very involved in every aspect of my life. She made a point to put her family first. She also made sure that my brother, father and I understood her business goals and involved us in the business. My dad, who was a certified public accountant, would assist with the business taxes and payroll. My brother and I would visit her at the office often and even work during some summers (still waiting on those pay checks!).
So how do you prepare not only yourself, but your family for your new endeavor?
- Discuss your plans with your family. Before jumping into anything related to the business, it is important that you discuss your plans with your family. Make sure they understand what you are trying to do and they support you.
- Work from home. According to the US Census Bureau, over half of the small businesses in the United States are home-based. Working from home can keep you more connected with your family. If you have children, you would be there when they come home from school and you can be sure to not miss out on family dinners.
- Carve out family time. As with any job, whether you work for yourself or someone else, work-life balance is difficult to achieve. When you’re in business for yourself you sometimes have a drive that others don’t have – knowing that whether or not money comes in is dependent on you. Sometimes that means you work harder and longer hours. Set aside a time every day that is “family time”.
- Recognize that not everyone has an entrepreneurial spirit. Just because the entrepreneurial bug has bitten you, does not mean it has bitten the entire family. Your family may not necessarily buy into your dream or even understand it. Keep the lines of communication open at all times. Be open to hearing their concerns.
Be Your Own Boss!
How to Avoid Entrepreneur Overload (Entrepreneur Magazine)
8 Tips on Preparing Your Family for Entrepreneurship (Inc.)
Help! I’m an Entrepreneur and My Family Doesn’t Support Me (Your Success Network)