from Forbes.com Zine 12 Mar 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
One of the main challenges that you hear entrepreneurs, their families & friend talk about frequently is, how to maintain work-life / family-friends balance. While harmony between family, business & other activities may be an elusive goal, it’s important for families with start-up businesses – particularly because of the high levels of accompanying stress – to try to figure this out on some level. Here are 5 Habits/practices which have helped get us on the path towards achieving work/life balance with our family startup.
Habit 1: Seek out moments of actively cultivated ‘quiet’ on your own. One way to cultivate moments of quiet is to meditate. Meditation is a way to plug in, turn off the ‘noise’ & gain some perspective. Yoga breathing is something that I do in my car as a way to meditate while I drive. Ok, I know it’s perhaps not the perfect way to meditate, doing two things at a time, but I find the car is the perfect bubble in which to invite an aura of calm and have the time just to focus on breathing. I have a CD, which I plug into the car stereo system for about 30 minutes and get my lungs and mind full of good ‘karma. My mantra usually goes something like this: “I am relaxed and put things in perspective” (two of the things I constantly struggle with being an A-type person). I now work with a life coach – who constantly reinforces with me – the importance of taking those micro-moments of time out of each day to cultivate a peaceful mind & focus on the present. It costs nothing, can be performed practically anywhere and immediately brings me calm – the perfect accompaniment to the typical entrepreneur’s lifestyle.
Habit 2: Create significant moments of Inter-action with your family members. One of the biggest challenges, especially with our business being right in our house, was finding pockets of focused time together as a family. There were always people around, whether they were customers in our boutique, the orchard or cidery workers coming to the house or the office being right beside our kitchen. Considering how far away we were from civilization, there was a lot of activity & action and our home & family were often the hub of it all – so it was difficult just to focus on & find time for our core family unit.
How? To find quality time together, we often needed to head out the door in some way or another. We got our kids involved in skiing. We often went for walks together, especially after dinner, because it was easy to just head out the door for a quick 15-minute walk down the road and did not require preparation. We invited friends to eat at our place – as often as possible – to save travel time. We invited them with their families, so our kids were with us during social time as much as possible. Reading time before bed was sacred when our kids were young. When they got old enough, I got them to read to me and often I was the one who fell asleep first.
Habit 3: Check in with the Relationship between your individual Passion & the Vision for your business. Make sure your passion is clear to you and keep communication open with your partner about each of your milestones and how these relate to your vision for your business. If you are both involved in your startup, then it’s important to ask yourselves – on an ongoing basis – whether you are following your passions or those of your partner. If the answer is that it’s a “joint” interest – which you are both actively passionate about, then keep on going. If not, or if your passion has morphed, then you need to create time & space to pursue these new directions or consider how to work your passion into your current overall business model.
Habit 4: Devote time to full-out, no-holds-barred Playtime. The tendency to spend a lot of time with the people you work with, particularly when it’s your husband or wife, is high. But it’s important to branch out and get some external stimulus – whether it’s through completely different activities or interacting with other people. I buy into philosophy – that “couples that play together, stay together”. Do activities where inherently you can’t hold a conversation about your business or other organizations – while you’re doing them – like underwater snorkeling or scuba diving, skiing, dancing, etc. LoL
Habit 5: Invest in different friends – particularly those that don’t have anything to do with business – as much as possible (ie, with the same hobbies (if you remember what those are)) . Unless they are like-minded entrepreneurs, they probably don’t want to hear about the ongoing challenge of your business any more than you want to hear about their latest root canal work. Not that all entrepreneurial business stories are equated to dental work, but let’s face facts – some are. But on the other hand, “No pain, no gain”. Whoops. I don’t think it applies here.
Conclusion: How about, “You get back out of it, what you put into it”? So cherish & nurture your relationships, so you will be able to share your victories and get support during the tuff times – when you need it. This will enable you to lead a more balanced & fulfilling life.
Comments: Do you have any Habits that you think should be added?