Updated: Jan 9
Originally published in the Answers from the Board Column, Daily Court Review Houston, TX
I own a strip center mailbox and shipping business, heck I am the business. I am open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. My wife helps out sometimes, but it is basically just me. How can I run the business that is just starting to grow and still have some kind of family life?
Short on time,
Do not feel like you are alone in this; I am writing this column in my home office at 7:30 pm. A recent study of more than 50,000 employees from a variety of manufacturing and service organizations found that two out of every five employees are dissatisfied with the balance between their work and their personal lives.” says the study’s author, Bruce Katcher, president of the Discovery Group, a management consulting firm.
There are many schools thought, too many to cover all of them here, but I will give you a few tips that will help, Set realistic expectations for your self and your family. You have to be realistic when you plan both your business life and your family life. In your case, as a one-man operation, you have very few options at work other than shorter hours or hiring help. I encourage you to hire a part-time employee as soon as the business can support it. A few hours two or three nights a week can provide much-needed rest and renewal. Plan, no, I man actually write a plan for the time you have with your family. The first part of that plan has to be your priorities.
You have to be your first priority, you must take care of yourself first, or you will be in no shape to take care of your family or business. Taking care of your self includes a few minutes of relaxing before you get home to your family, workouts a few times a week and at least one evening outing that is just for you to have fun and recharge your batteries.
Your second priority has got to be your family. It is your family that you are working for, and that will give you the support to help you through the hard times. Set aside time for each member of your family weekly, make sure you have two or three date nights a month with your wife, it will pay off on the nights you have to put in the extra hours. Plan interactive activities with your children the kind where you actually talk to each other or read to younger children, I have sat through a few tea parties in my time, and I would not trade anything for those cookies pretend or otherwise.
Plan your off time with the same care and thoughtfulness you plan your business, and you will find following your business plan is easier as well.