The family-business balancing act

Running a business can be just as stressful as it is rewarding. Having a family leads to similar ups and downs. Unfortunately, stress often wins when the two overlap. Whether the problem lies in too much time spent at the office or constant thoughts of family during work, parents who want to be successful business owners (and business owners who want to be loving parents) must both separate and mold together these two very different parts of life.

It’s all about balance
Embracing the balance of running a business and holding down a rich family life is vital to a business owner’s happiness as well as that of those who rely on him. In an editorial featured on Small Business Computing, Brock Blake, founder and CEO of Lendio, attributes his successful melding of family and business to the professional improvements he’s made over the past few years.

“I’ve also found that stepping away from the office gives me a chance to look at challenges from a fresh perspective – often leading to more creative solutions,” he said. Brock advises business owners to invest the same attention to balance between family and work, as he believes positive vibes created at home translate well in the office.

A recent study by Hiscox shows 51 percent of small business owners attribute their balanced sanity to flexible work hours. Twenty-one percent of those surveyed say it is their effort to make plans with the people they care about most outside of work. It isn’t often added to lists of financial tips, but maintaining relationships with family and friends is essential to success in business.

When worlds collide
One common pitfall moms and dads often experience is overusing smartphones and other means of technology for work outside the office. Sara Arnell, mom to three and Arnell Group CEO, says there are two ways to treat mobile technology as a working parent: “You can look at your devices as either leashes or liberators.” Arnell notes on MSN that mobile technology can either help a business owner spend more time enjoying family life or, if overused at the wrong time, could lead a person to let work interfere with off-the-clock time.

For business owners who often work at home, the congruence of work and personal life is natural, but it doesn’t make balancing any easier. Whatever the case, knowing the borders of each sphere of life is absolutely necessary to the sane parent-business owner, and, of course, utilizing that knowledge to make work just as fun as family time.

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