Can You Be a Great Dad and Run a Business?

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Part of the reason you wanted to get into running a business was that there was something that you had control over and that you wanted to give to the world that you had pride in. Some of these things apply to the reasons most people want children. Add into the mix that there are plenty of late nights, early mornings, and a lot of stress and the boundaries can become blurred. Are we talking about running a business or having a child? But there are so many parallels between running a business and having a child, it is important to note that when the boundaries get blurred, you balance running a business with being an effective parent. Many parents struggle to look after their children while also looking after a business. But are there any ways that fathers can effectively make them both work? 

You Cannot Do Everything Yourself

One of the greatest lessons in business and in life is to stop being so proud and admit when you need some extra help. Fathers who juggle family life and business need to learn the art of outsourcing and delegating. Whether it is having a housekeeper at home to make sure everything is in order or having business IT resources to help the business, being a parent and running a business requires you to ask for help sometimes. When you are getting help in the work environment, by delegating or outsourcing, you are reducing any potential for burnout. It could be a massive breakthrough. It may make you realize that you should have been outsourcing and delegating all this time. The greatest lesson in delegating work is that you are actually learning to trust others. Your business is your baby, and parents can learn by outsourcing many components to make their life easier. The result? Free time to spend with the children and less stress overall.

The Importance of Quality Time, Not Quantity Time

Running a business means that you’ve got to get your calendar in check. But if you keep notes of the big events, like birthdays, and only attendees, you might be neglecting the little moments. You’ve got to get into the habit of setting aside some quality time to spend with your children. It doesn’t matter what you do but it is about making sure that you focus your attention on your child during your moments together. Because if they see you constantly on your phone checking your emails, it is going to plant the seed that you are much more interested in your phone, in other words, your business emails, than your child. Your emails will still be there when you check your phone later. The lesson of learning to focus on one thing at a time is not just beneficial in business, but it benefits your skills as a parent. Learning to focus solely on one person improves your communication skills, and when you start to use your workplace communication skills at home, you might be surprised how much you will learn.

Sharing Responsibilities

Running a business means placing a lot of demands on yourself. Therefore, it can be easy to rely on your partner to take care of things at home. Being a father is not the antiquated approach of going out to earn a crust anymore. it is very likely that both parents are working. But even if your partner is not working, they don’t want to be a homemaker full-time. It is not just about looking after the children, but it is about making sure that you and your partner’s goals in life are catered for. If you run a business, this could be your goal in life, but it is not an excuse to avoid contributing to family life. Sharing the responsibilities makes you realize how much time you are away. You may very well be working in the next room, or seldom away on business trips, but if you are constantly looking like you are busy, this communicates the message to the children that your partner does most of the home stuff, and you need to be away. Start to share the responsibilities now, and it will strengthen your family bond.

You Won’t Get It Perfect…

You have to remember that they will never be a 50/50 split between family and work. But you have to remember that balance is about giving meaning to your family life. You may think that you have to work all the hours under the sun to provide for your family. But work doesn’t give meaning to the family, it is the other way round. When you start to think about the little things that you could have missed when your children are growing up, like your child taking their first steps or saying their first words, and you were at work on an “important business” call, or you were thinking about conflicts in work, the fact of the matter is that the business call can be rescheduled, and emails can be answered later. And if you cannot do this, you can delegate them. You cannot delegate the precious moments in life, such as your child’s graduation. It is never too late to prioritize your family. Everybody understands that running a business is complex, and it requires a lot of effort. But when you fast forward to the end of your life and you look back, will you regret missing your child’s first school play or will you regret that you didn’t do more work?

If you are trying to make the changes now, don’t be afraid to ask for help and make sure that you define the true meaning of success. It is not about expensive homes and cars, but it is about your family. And yes, it is easy to say. And when you’ve got deadlines looming on you, the last thing you may want to do is play ball with your child, but it is those little moments that you will never get back. Now is the time to turn the tide.

Phillip Neho

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