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Business, it's a family thing!

15 March 2012

Ever read a newspaper article about how a successful business person grew his business from the garage to becoming a huge success.  The story takes you from their meagre beginnings, through the years of growth, noting stats and percentages to substantiate the business performance inviting the reader to find the source of the “golden egg” to success.  

Have you ever considered those who were there as the journey unfolded?

I cannot speak for the lives of others however I can speak for myself and my experience as a business owner & business coach observing my clients and how family and relationships are a huge part of the journey, be it good and bad.

Having been a business owner while being a wife and mother, only now can I look back and reflect on the years that I let pass without truly being present in the conversations with my girls when they were telling me a story that happened at kindy or looking at a butterfly as it crossed our path.  Spending a romantic evening under the moonlight on the back deck with a glass of wine once the children had gone to bed, was merely a pipe dream engulfed by the need to process pays for staff or create the new marketing campaign for the upcoming season.

During this time I remember reading a story about Janine Allis (Boost Juice founder) wanting to look into her childrens eyes while having a conversation with them and not being distracted by thoughts about her business.

The question is how do you overcome this?  How do you continue to love, devote quality time and truly value relationships of your nearest and dearest when your business and livelihood seems to need you more?

My suggestions:

1.Stop being the technician in your business;   identify your role and delegate the rest.  By having a written position description for your role it makes it a lot easier for you to delegate time consuming and low yield work to your employees 

2.Have dinner at the dining table with all the family;  this is great time to ask each person what happened for them in the day.  Make this a time for genuine questions directed to your loved ones, not complaining or dissecting your work day.  This time is not about you, it is about what you missed out on in your loved ones day.

3.Book in Special Time; allocate time to spend with your partner, or children just as you would an important meeting.  Take the time to share in an interest that is about your child or partner and you will not only have time with them but learn more about the activity that brings them joy.

4.Clear boundaries on family v’s work time;  if you are working from home, then commit to your work hours as you would if you worked at another location for a boss. Make agreements with your family on when work starts and finishes for you so they can be assured of quality time when you are finished your day.



  • Shelley Lisson

    Shelley Lisson 8 years ago

    Thank you Charmain for your article. I have 2 children and have run my own businesses for over 20 years and appreciate your words and absolutely agree with your \"rules\". You're point about sitting together and eating is a hugely important one. I make sure that we sit and eat at the table each night and usually serve a \"shared platter\" it opens up interaction and a sense of exchange at the table.

  • Ricky Nowak

    Ricky Nowak 8 years ago

    That's very helpful Charmian. Thanks! I shall implement your welcomed advice, starting today!

  • Rachael McKenzie

    Rachael McKenzie 8 years ago

    Hi Charmian,I think this applies to everyone with a career and/or business. It is dfficult to segregate work and family life as they are generally intertwined.My husband has his own small business and it is so easy for it to consume every part of your life! We now (try) to not to talk \"shop\" after 8pm or on Sundays.How does everyone else manage?Kind regardsRachael