I’m self-employed and have been for a long long time. Throughout that time I’ve heard the term ‘work life balance’ millions of times. People with solutions to that unique combination or management of work and everything outside of it. Family, friends etc.
Ok, I’m talking to all of you ‘partners’ out there. The people that are with an entrepreneurial, driven and focused individual. I’m particularly talking to those that kick up a stink whenever your other half has to pick up and respond to a few emails, make some social media posts, reply to a few people or jump on their emails at what may appear to be inconvenient times.
Firstly, unless you have a business that only functions and creates revenue within a constrained amount of hours. What I mean here is that if it involves you turning up and only getting paid for the hours you turn up. Secondly, if your business requires zero customer service outside of the expected 9-5 hours.
If that’s the case, it’s not really relevant to you.
You have an income and a quality of life for you and your family that will remain stagnant. If it ticks the boxes you want it to tick. Carry on.
If however, you have a business that relies on being present, having an exceptional degree of service within it and one that requires your hours to be flexible and long your business will be growing and at the same time quality of life for you and your family will be improving.
If your partner doesn’t want that to happen and they want you to put your phone down and close your laptop carry on. Close it and turn it off.
I started writing this by a pool, my wife asleep and kids playing in the pool. I’m finishing writing it now, sat in a waiting room of a hospital with my wife next to me (nothing serious). She’s fully aware I’m working and also fully aware that the reason we were sat around a pool last week is because of me taking these opportunities to be ‘present’ but at the same time getting things done to have the life we are fortunate as a family to have.
I implore both of you (or more if there is) to be transparent about what and why you do what you do. Allow the people around you to understand. Also be appreciative of time you can seize and the times you need to appreciate the moment. If as an entrepreneur you need to be awake before the rest of your family do so. If you need to work in ‘your’ time do so.
You have to become selfless with your time not selfish. Give it when it needs to be given and take it when it needs to be taken.
Plan, have a plan. Know when your work time is and when it isn’t but be flexible. There’s rarely a moment when I can’t drop things for my family. It may need some improvisation. I may need to sit in the passenger seat of our car on my laptop or phone. I may need to stay awake after everyone else is enjoying their sleep.
Sometimes I mess up. I get it wrong. I’m sometimes not present, my mind is elsewhere and the older I get the more aware of it I become. I apologise and correct these situations the best I can.
My family are my motivation. They always have been. Growing up I just wanted to provide for my family and friends. I wanted to be able to pick the bill up if I could. I wanted to be the person they could rely on if they needed something done.
In the same breath and I think the reason I got into THIS industry is I wanted to help people. Be this to lose weight, become more confident, have more self esteem or indeed have businesses that provide for both them and their families. Hell, if they do well enough even expand that help.
I started writing this thankful. Thankful I have people around me that understand the sacrifices I sometimes have to make.
I want those people who are fortunate to have other halves with dreams, aspirations and a drive that means time becomes precious. I want them to realise that they are the reason many of us work those long hours and sometimes have our heads in our mobile phones or laptops at times you wish we didn’t. Don’t be annoyed by it. Be supportive and know that why we do it is for you. Sometimes we mess up and our attention isn’t where it should be. Am sure I apologise
We want you to have an exceptional quality of life.
We want you to be proud of us.
We want our kids to be proud of us.