It is impossible to grow a success and have a balanced family life? Okay, it’s time to bust some key myths about the balance between family and business. I want to show you that having a true handle on your ‘business to family’ balance is, in fact, not as hard to achieve as you may think, and is also the quickest way to fast track your business growth.
MYTH BUSTING TIME
So, let’s have a look …
Myth #1: The ‘100% in’ attitude
‘I got this far by putting in 100%.’
‘ The harder you work, the luckier you get.’
‘It’s all or nothing; you can’t be a part-time business owner or parent.’
‘If I take my eye o the ball, the ball will drop.’
There is an element of truth to these. All the above attitudes can be very helpful for a successful business owner. There is no doubt they have helped the growth of many businesses from start up. But problems occur when we become too focused on any one area — it will be to the detriment of other areas. If you spend all of your time focusing on only one aspect of your life, it is only a matter of time before other parts will start hitting you when you are not looking.
Myth #2: The sea of denial — ‘I’m all good.’
‘I’m doing awesome. I’m very successful.’
‘My partner is used to me answering the phone at home.’
‘The kids don’t mind if I don’t make it to their soccer games.’
‘My daughter understands that I can’t get to her dance recital.’
‘I only work 60 hours a week. Everyone is cool with it.’
Interestingly, again there are elements of truth in all the above statements. Your pattern has become your reality, and your reality has become the reality of those around you. But here’s a tip for you: your children’s special days will live in your memory long an er you have forgotten that ‘important’ sales appointment. While these attitudes might seem like they bene t you in the short term, they are not a recipe for good long-term life balance.
‘I’M ALL GOOD’ – I’VE BEEN THERE MYSELF
I can very clearly remember my ‘I’m all good’ period. I was 29 years old, a battling horse trainer, turned car cleaner, turned franchisor. James Home Services had gone from an idea in my head to a state-wide network in just three years.
We had over 85 franchisees across Queensland. We had completely taken over the market leaders that had been in place for a decade before us. I was leading the fastest growing franchise group in the country. I thought I was ‘the man!’, and I had plenty of evidence to back up my cockiness.
But even then I knew that I was doing all this for my kids.
I always spent plenty of time with them. I would happily do the night feeds and sing to them sleep. Playing football or basketball or riding horses with my children was always more important than the business and the commercial demands that ma have been on me at the time. My family got time in my diary before any other commitments.
It all starts with you
First of all, it’s about you as the leader of the business. Everything in your business reflects your approach and attitudes to business and to life, and if your life is out of balance and you’re unhappy personally or professionally, your business will suffer.
From the very beginning, I was very clear that my business had to work for my family. I wanted to be an inspiration to my children, to show them that if they were brave enough to chase their dreams they can come true. And even if you don’t get there, its better to have a go than live with the regret of not ever trying.
I always had a true commitment to my role as a Dad. I was blessed to have a Dad and Mum who always believed in us, always encouraging us to have a go at our dreams. Even when you fell, it was about dusting yourself of , getting back on the horse and trying again.
I felt it was my responsibility to walk the talk for my children. I started franchising when I was only 27 years of age, and I already had three kids. I would not have ‘shot for the stars’ without those little people in my life.
Next, it is about the culture that grows around you
A business that is there to support your family is also there to support other families. We were in the service industry, and our franchisee support staff was over 80% women, the majority of whom had young families.
Our boardroom would constantly turn into a ‘pop up’ childcare centre.
If there was a sick child or a school holiday and there was no-one available to care for their kids, the children would come to work. My own kids also frequently came to work with Dad. Is was done without even thinking about it, and this attitude helped to build a very positive culture that created a family friendly environment.
Our home service providers were all self-employed franchisees. The greatest asset that any service provider is selling is their time. Our systems were designed to make their businesses as time efficient as possible.
We coached our franchisees to build a business that valued both their work and their family time.
If your franchisees or employees are reaching their goals for their families, they become even more motivated.
The outcome: more long-term, successful franchisees and employees, happily delivering high-quality service to even more regular clients.
‘Like’ attracts ‘like’!
In today’s employment market, it is vital for your business growth to attract employees who have similar core values to you. Good employees have options, and motivated employees are also struggling with the family and work balance. If your business is constantly demonstrating it’s understanding of that struggle, you will attract quality, motivated people who are also dedicated to the same values.
Clarity lights the way for everybody
If you know where you want your journey to end, the road will become clearer.
One of the first questions I ask any business owner I have coached is,
‘What do you want your business to look like when it’s finished?’
When you build a new house, it’s a massive project. You hunt for the block of land, spend hours on the design, and consider each and every little thing — what you want or don’t want. Your family’s current and future needs (and wants) are priorities.
But, most people don’t bother to put the same level of focus on what their business will finally look like when it’s done. Once you take the time to get a handle on your whole business picture, everything becomes clearer. Your decision process is more effective.
Your clarity on what outcome you are planning to achieve — on all levels — gives you a default decision process, especially under pressure.
This empowers you to develop the systems and frameworks that document the road for others in your business to follow. Your clarity on the direction of the business feeds con confidence back to your team.
One of the greatest challenges for the successfully growing business is knowing what opportunities to take and which to let go of.
‘A man who chases two rabbits catches none.’
Having your clarity on which ‘rabbit’ you are chasing is the major in influencer on where your business should invest money, energy, time and resources.
If you truly get the family and business balance culture happening, it will became the biggest asset you have to motivate yourself and attract likeminded, motivated and highly skilled team members. Learn more read Robert James’ Balance: How to Make Your Business and Family Life Work Together
Once you have clarity on your ‘personal true north,’ everything becomes clear.