Are you struggling to get the effective Family/Business life balance? Why it is so tough? Not sure why you feel like you are in a wheel spin?
You probably know what you know and you may even know about some things that you don’t know. But the real problem when trying to manage your business and your family is usually what you don’t realise you don’t know!
With this in mind, it’s time to think about some of the most common ‘traps’ for new players in the game of growing a successful business and successfully growing your family. I am attempting to raise your awareness of some of the possible traps (and I mean just some of the possible traps).
So, let’s get into it. Some of the common traps for new players are:
• Thinking you have already arrived: As I pointed out in the previous chapter, this was me at 29. I was ‘the man’. It is only a matter of time before this one jumps up and bites you. e danger is that this attitude stops you from going any further. It blinds you to opportunities and threats. I’m the master of my universe, right?
• Not accepting there will be growing pains: Growth requires change, and change can be painful to accept both on the business and on the family front. A growing business requires change, but so does a growing family. Not accepting the reality of this can sneak up on you. Are you still pretending?
• Not buying into the big dream: If you truly haven’t bought into the plans to take your business to the next level, or the idea of truly balancing your family commitments, you haven’t fully bought into your ‘big dream’. You will be undermining yourself. Do you really believe it will happen?
• Listening to the wrong people: In the uncertainty of growth and change, you have to be pragmatic enough to understand that not everyone wants you to have a happy ending. So, be careful whose advice you take, but be patient with those who give it. Listen for the intent. Some family members, lawyers, anyone selling advertising and some accountants have their own ‘axe to grind’. Do your advisers really have your long-term best interests at heart?
Understanding your own self-image: The day I became a Dad was the most amazing awakening of my life. I really love being a Dad. From that day on, I saw this as ‘the basis of how I saw myself. Everything else for me came a poor second to my role as a Dad. I have had to change my own self-image on a ‘business front’ on many occasions, each and every time it is a challenge. Strangely, other people seem to want to ‘keep me in a box’ of what they think I should be. Ignore those who are arguing for the old-school you. I have learnt to understand the change, and to embrace the new self-image on all fronts. How do you see yourself?
• Staying in your own comfort zones: We all get comfortable doing things a particular way, but you are in an ever-changing environment, both with your business and your family! It’s time to get uncomfortable. Focus on one of your ‘comfort zones’. Does it have value to you? What is that value?
• Underrating the journey: On the business front, this is underrating what resources will be needed to take your business to the next level. On the family front, being a parent is the only job you work 24/7 with no pay, have no holidays, and rarely hear ‘thank you’! Any person attempting to do both can feel very overwhelmed. If you are felling that way, maybe it’s time to take a timeout?
• Overrating the journey: It is very easy to become caught up in the potential problems. No-one said it would be easy, but sometimes the problems are all we can see, so we just stay the same. Many people delay starting their family because they are waiting for the ‘right time’ – but anytime is the right time. You will adapt. If you get too caught up in all the challenges, you freeze and do nothing! Does it all seem overwhelming to you?
• Not investing in your own education: e single most important investment you will ever make is in your education. Become a professional student; it is the only way to become a master. e parenting gig is the same: children don’t come with manuals. No two kids are the same. Being a parent is a work in progress, and your spouse’s job is just as demanding as yours. When I first started down this road as a 27-year-old, I was given some very pragmatic advice: ‘All you have to do is improve half a percent every week, and you can be anywhere you want in just five years.’ Are you investing enough in your education?
• Not knowing what you don’t know: This is the stuff you can’t see coming. If you have no awareness, you just can’t deal with it. This can blindside you at 11.28 am on a very ordinary Saturday morning. Are you prepared?
There are countless issues in life that we are unaware of, and it can be impossible to really know what the future holds. We should all slow down and evaluate whether or not we have stumbled into any of these traps.
We have worked with over 2000 small to medium business owners over the last 25 years. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that in most cases issues that need dealing with are straightforward. The solution could be more marketing, an improved sales process, or increasing profibility per sale.
The biggest challenges in business and life are the ones you could never possibly have dreamed would happen to you.
At Balance Enterprises: We have a mission to empower family business owners to get their Business working for their families either a s franchisees or independent business operates.
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