The balance of family and business
Updated: Feb 16, 2019
Running a business is easier than running a family in my opinion. For a couple reasons: first, Kids are like sponges absorbing everything we do as parents, which means the good and the bad. In business, If I mess up on a job, I can just fix it. Not so with your kids; some mistakes stay with them their whole life. This can be good and bad. You could be teaching them some amazing value or discipline, but you could be leaving a negative impact. The second reason is that kids need love, lots of love. So much love that you feel drained from it, especially when the mom is a stay at home parent and that’s all she does. Seriously, Moms should get paid! However, your business also needs love, or it won’t grow. Having a business is a lot like having a plant: they both need water/love, or it just doesn’t grow.
I also have a hard time coming home and getting out of work mode. What helps me is to take off all the gear I work in and change into home attire. My wife doesn’t like it when I come home and talk about work, when she knows I have been talking about it all day. She just wants me to come home and be present with our family. I would say I am an obsessive person when it comes to business, which I honestly think is a good thing. However, it can also have a negative impact on my family who just wants their father, not a business owner. I really want to find that balance between work and family. Though I have been unsuccessful so far, I have gotten better. Stephen Covey says the things he always makes time for are family and naps. I never realized how important naps are until I started taking those 10-15-minute power naps halfway through the day. Sometimes I even take them in the parking lot of a convenience store in my truck. I always wonder what someone would think if they saw someone in one of our decorated trucks sleeping. I would say to them, “You have no idea how important this is!”.
We have 3 boys now in our little family and they are awesome! But I think they might be trying to destroy us ha-ha, kidding of course. We have lots of weapons in the house, and I love it. What they really want is to attack Dad and test themselves as little men. They all know (learning) that attacking mom is off limits. I love wrestling with my boys, and I don’t get to do it enough in the summer. Summer is so incredibly busy, which is good but very tiring. I hate having to miss my boys doing things for the first time, but I do love when I come home, and I hear “Daddy!”. There is no greater feeling in the world than when your boys run to hug/tackle you. In the winter time when work slows down, I get to catch up on Dad time and it’s so great.
Something I would really like to improve would be my patience with my kids, and you’d think with running a business this would be a quality I would have in abundance, but that is not the case. I am getting better and growing but I am under construction. Likewise, in my business I really just need to be more patient with my employees and my clients. It’s okay if everything doesn’t happen right now. My Mom tried to teach me delayed gratification but, easier said than done. I am a very ambitious person who really values efficiency (ask anyone who knows me) and If I feel something is not efficient or could be better, then I make it that way, including myself. In a family setting, trying to create efficiency doesn’t go over so well, ha-ha. Kids are not efficient, but It’s important for them to struggle and figure some things out for themselves. They need to fail in order to learn to succeed. I don’t think failure is better than succeeding; I think you can’t have one without the other. Who cares if tasks take longer, isn’t that the beauty of life we’re missing? Taking the time to really enjoy something for what it is and not constantly trying to be improving. When you’re 15 minutes late to an appointment and the kids are ready (finally), you’re about to walk out the door and one of them poops. Is that really so bad? Isn’t that life at its best? I mean come on, kids are the purest form of life, they enjoy everything. Well, until you tell them “no”. You get what I mean though, they just see the world so perfectly and as we get older, we get this cynical view of the world. We get offended over small things, we talk bad about people behind their back, we think that person doesn’t deserve that promotion, or that person doesn’t deserve that house, or whatever it is. We have lost sight of how beautiful life is, and how great this country is. Now don’t get me wrong, some people are in some terrible situations and it grieves my heart when I stop and seriously think about it and I wonder how I can go back to the norm of life. Back to what I was saying though, I wonder if it’s possible to regain that childlike wonder, that awe of everything around you. That desire to try new things and not care if you fail or succeed. Kids love the process of learning to live, and frankly as adults I think a lot of us have lost that. Society has created this performer mentality (striving for approval from others) while at the same time creating the idea that everyone is a winner. Society has taken away the competition of life, the thrill, the drive and left us empty, with nothing left but cynicism. I am not saying everyone is like this, this is just the feeling I get. Well this rant has gone on long enough, I think. Let me know what you guys think below!
“Make your gutters great!”