How To Be A Successful Parent Entrepreneur
Being a parent can sometimes seem like a full-time job. Throw an entrepreneurial venture on top of that, and it can sometimes be overwhelming.
Being a “parentpreneur” is not easy, but here are some tips from Forbes about being a good parent while still running a business.
1. Schedule Your Time
Scheduling everything is advisable for all entrepreneurs. After all, studies show that tasks written down before completion are 80% more likely to be completed than those that aren’t. But it’s especially important for parentpreneurs.
Buy a to-do list or a whiteboard for your own personal use and fill it in one page at a time. Balancing work and family is hard, but it’s a lot more manageable when you know what to do and where to be at all times.
Scheduling will help with more than just productivity. It will also allow you to tell your family or friends exactly when and where you will have free time, which makes you seem much more available than someone who tackles all their work as soon as it comes up.
Of course, this tip only works if you stick to your schedule. If you say you’re going to work from 2:00-5:00, you have to do it. Otherwise, your schedule will become meaningless.
2. Don’t Be Afraid To Delegate
Many entrepreneurs have a hard time letting others handle their business. In order to be a good parent while still maintaining a business, though, you’ll have to set aside some of that pride and accept help from others.
Maybe that means hiring the girl down the street to file documents for you, or maybe it just means asking your spouse to help you with your monthly financial review.
The fact is that you’re dabbling in two huge endeavors — entrepreneurship and parenthood — and you need to enlist outside help for both of them. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for you to take care of them all by yourself.
3. Teach Your Children Entrepreneur Skills
Teaching entrepreneurship skills to children is one of the best things you can do for their future, and it will also help them to appreciate your work time.
For example, you can teach your children about fiscal responsibility, time management, and effective client communication. Their young minds will very likely latch onto the ideas, and your work-from-home time will double as a seminar for your kids.
The best way to teach, though, is by example. So try to let them sit in on your work rather than staying cooped up in a private office. Make it clear to them, though, that you’re not to be disturbed unless there’s an emergency.
In addition to instilling your kids with an appreciation for what you do, you’ll be teaching them how to be a successful entrepreneur. Even if they don’t end up starting their own business, they’ll gain some invaluable life experience.
4. Encourage Participation
Find fun ways to involve your family, especially your children.
Having your loved ones help you get things done is a great motivation for you, and a great learning experience for them.
As well as being educational and making them feel they’re a part of your professional life, it is a way to get more done in less time… which is exactly what a parentpreneur needs.
5. Don’t Split Your Time
Whether you’re working or spending time with family, dedicate 100% of your time to it. Never try to work while parenting.
If your schedule says you’re spending time with your kids from noon until 1:30, then commit to your family time! Don’t check your work email or take a work phone call in the middle of it. In short, never try to give 50%/50%.
Similarly, do not spend time entertaining your kids during the work slots on your schedule. Doing so will cause you to get less done, which means you will have to cut into your designated family time later. It will also lessen the value of having a schedule at all.
Keep in mind that switching from 100% work mode to 100% family mode requires you to change your mindset in addition to your activities. You should take a minute at the end of each work block in your schedule to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and leave your professional baggage behind. The same holds true for your family-to-work transitions.
6. Make Time for Self-Care
Just a few minutes of self-care every now and then will make you much more efficient at other tasks.
A leisurely stroll around the block or a quick snack at your favorite cafe can seem like a waste of time or even selfish to a busy parentpreneur who already feels like they are behind schedule.
But everyone, even mom and dadpreneurs, needs “me” time. It acts as fuel for your mind, and you’ll find yourself getting stuff done a lot more quickly afterward. Just 10 minutes of self-care each day can make a huge difference, in fact.
Being a successful entrepreneur and a good parent are both demanding endeavors. They’re also very rewarding, though, and combining them is one of the most satisfying things you can do if it’s done right. The tips above are a good leaping off point. Of course, every family is different, and every parentpreneur’s experience will be unique. Let us know how yours goes in the comments section below!
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