Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

How I Built A Business While Raising 4 Kids

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


Now I know that you’re probably thinking that the premise of this is completely ridiculous. After all, most people have enough trouble managing a business and taking adequate care of more than one child separately. The large majority would probably think that doing both at the same time is bound to result in a catastrophic failure.

The novelist behind Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk, captures the attitude you need to have when dealing with these responsibilities: “Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home... it's your responsibility to love it, or change it.” The first thing you’ll need to do before committing to any large responsibility is to make sure that you really enjoy fulfilling that responsibility whether it is a job, family, or anything else.

I’m here to tell you that while balancing familial and professional responsibilities is very difficult and certainly not for everyone, it’s not completely impossible either. This may sound like a cliché, but it’s entirely possible to make this work as long as you got the fundamentals down - stick to a schedule, organize yourself, and have a very clear sense of your goals. At the heart of tackling these huge responsibilities is the recognition that it is just another problem that can be broken down further into its constituent parts.

Striking the Balance Between Family and Career

Forget running a business, you can’t raise a family with four kids if you’re just working a regular 9-5 job that requires you to commute and spend forty hours a week in the workplace. The first thing you absolutely need to do is to come to the realization that you can’t do two things that require your physical presence well if you compromise on both of them. That means that your job - whether you are self-employed or work at a company - needs to be a position where you spend the majority of your time working from a remote location.

The following ancient proverb from Confucius rings especially true in this situation: “The man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” Your spouse might be able to handle the children for one part of the day, but it’s unfair to consign them to 24/7 house duty permanently as they will need time for their career and personal relationships as well. Therefore, if you’re trying to balance a demanding career and family, you absolutely need to secure a remote position.

Nowadays, finding remote work shouldn’t be too hard of a task. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that the proportion of Americans who worked remotely 100% of the time rose from 15% in 2012 to 20% in 2016. This highlights a significant trend towards our future reliance on the interconnectivity of communications and collaboration allowed by the Internet as well as the increasing viability of remote work in general.

Regardless of if you decide to start a business or work a career, you’ll want to investigate a bit into whether or not the positions that you are interviewing for allow for remote work.

Juggling Finances

The silver lining about raising four kids is that you do get a considerable tax deduction depending on your income level. Of course, this doesn’t underscore the full complexity of having to deal with the finances of both a big family as well as a business. Let’s take a look at some of the tools that can greatly assist you in the process.

To begin, you’ll want to get a budget if you don’t already have one - it’s so easy for us to lose track of our spending habits and unintentionally splurge if we aren’t constantly reminded of what we’ve spent money on in the recent past. The personal financial program You Need A Budget (YNAB) is a perfect example of a software that can help you document and visualize your main expenditures. Of course, it’s especially handy if you’re trying to keep track of the spending needs of yourself and five other people.

If you’re looking for methods to assist you in dealing with taxes, hiring a CPA and someone who possesses specialized knowledge in tax deductions and credits can really help you out. Furthermore, programs like TurboTax can really help you keep track of how key metrics like your credit score relate to your taxes as well as document the taxes you file.

Setting up the Business

If you’re going the route of building a business while simultaneously raising children, you’ll need to really invest yourself into finding and utilizing all of the free online resources at your disposal. The first thing you’ll want to do is to really get the basics of website hosting and design. Taking a few days to grasp the fundamentals of HTML and CSS from websites like freecodecamp can really boost your expertise and online literacy.

Afterwards, you’ll want to really spend a lot of time researching SEO techniques and how to optimize important things like the conversion rate of your visitors. Right now, the Internet has transformed into a competition of who can cast the widest net in order to attract the most users to their landing pages and who can make those initial visitors convert on a number of business objectives.

Getting yourself situated with respect to your time, finances, and priorities is the first step to managing this difficult lifestyle. You’ll need to really start to research and network afterwards if you’re trying to grow.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.