Being a business owner is difficult at the best of times. But with Covid-19 having kept the kids at home the past few months, entrepreneurs who are parents too have had a whole heap of extra pressure placed on their shoulders. Now summer is here, and the time for getting the children back to school seems way off.
But, while running a business when you have kids to look after may not be the easiest thing in the world, it is doable. In fact, Kimmie Wong - serial entrepreneur, Success Coach and Business Strategist has been doing it for years. She says that “to achieve a successful work life balance, you have to be passionate about what you do, realistic, and learn to plan ahead”. If you’ve been struggling to juggle everything, then Kimmie’s tips will help you to see that there is a way of balancing your responsibilities, so that you can be the best parent possible and a global success story.
“Manage your time”
This is perhaps a pretty obvious tip, but Kimmie knows from experience that it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. “When you have meetings with clients in different time zones as well as plans with the kids, it can be hard to know where to start. But it is possible to fit everything into your day.”
Kimmie recommends getting a diary, planner or calendar with space for everything you could possibly need to schedule. “I’d be lost without my planner. It has all of my meetings, monthly goals and appointments in it, as well as every event I have planned with my children. While we’ve been in lockdown, I’ve also been blocking out time to do school activities with them and keep the house in check while they’re running around all day”.
But you must make sure you stay on top of your schedule. “It’s no good putting something down six months in advance if you’ve forgotten all about it when it finally comes around. So always check what you have coming up in the next few days and weeks. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to be blindsided.”
“Make sure you follow through”
When you make a commitment, you must stick to it. This is true for both business meetings and family days out. “Having a good work life balance means being reliable in all aspects of your life,” Kimmie tells me. “Your family deserves as much focus as your work”.
But to do this successfully, you need to make sure you are not spreading yourself too thin – follow-through is only possible if you are realistic about what you can achieve in a giventimeframe. So be mindful of this when you are working on your schedule and remember that “your business might be your passion, but family should never be an afterthought”.
“Learn to live with compromise”
When you have so much responsibility, compromise is a necessity. She knows how frustrating it can be, but Kimmie has learned that without it, “you just can’t get the important things done”. So, you need to constantly assess what needs prioritising, in both your personal and professional life.
You must get comfortable with saying “no” and making sacrifices. “It’s worth it, although it may not always feel like it. When you learn to live with compromise, you’ll find that you get better at making the important stuff happen.” In fact, this can even help you become more efficient and productive, which might lead to you having more time for the smaller things after all.
“Check-in with yourself”
“Even the strongest entrepreneur and parent can only take on so much,” says Kimmie, and it is important to recognise that you are only human. Her advice is to always ensure you prioritise your wellbeing, even when you are at your busiest: “You have no chance of staying on top of your game if you don’t”.
“It’s important to make sure you stay aware of your mood and energy levels. There are plenty of ways to pick yourself up and keep moving forward productively if you’ve hit a low point, but if you try to power on then eventually, you’re going to burn out.”
Kimmie recommends you “take regular breaks, get out of the house or office for a breather during the working day if you can, and try to make time to do some mindful activities.” These can include anything from journaling to exercising andcan give you the headspace you need to throw yourself back into whatever you are doing with renewed energy.
“Involve your family”
If you have too much going on at work and are struggling to be present during family time, then it can be a good idea to get the family involved in your working day. “Sometimes, when I have client calls or project deadlines I need to hit, I get my kids and my husband to give me a hand. It helps me get through my work more quickly, and it makes me happy to see them getting stuck in.”
“They can help which pictures to post for social media, which colour templates to use for branding, getting a second opinion – anything you think will make a difference to your day, but that doesn’t put too much pressure on them.” Not only will this free up time in your day, but it also “teaches your kids invaluable skills at a young age, and in a fun way”. If you want your children to learn the value of a good day’s work or really get a feel for what you do, this could be the ideal way to do it.