Life for an entrepreneur’s family can be challenging and rewarding all at the same time. Entrepreneurs eat, breathe and sleep their vision. They work long hours, are highly distracted, and can be ever so tedious in conversation. They possess a singular focus.
We all work hard, though there is a zeal that characterizes entrepreneurs that can be seen as relentless and sometimes just a little maniacal. We can be tough to live with, no doubt about it: I am the first to admit it. Family is precious and how you relate and communicate during the building and growth of your enterprise is vital.
Here are 6 steps you should be taking to reinforce the importance and value of your family during the many phases of your business cycle.
There is a zeal that characterizes entrepreneurs that can be seen as relentless and sometimes just a little maniacal.
1) Foster Understanding – First off, families or loved ones need to understand the “why” of this all-consuming mission. Most often, creating a better world motivates us. It could be creating a better world globally, but it’s also about creating a more robust world for your family to fully exercise options, be it education, aesthetics, innovation, or any other dream. You as an entrepreneur need to articulate and explain that to your family. They are the underpinning of your passion. You want to look after them, and creating a different world where they will be active participants is your primary goal.
2) Make Family Part of Your Dialogue – Entrepreneurs tend to isolate themselves. Your ideas and vision take seed in your head or your heart. Families have a need for inclusion and must be part of the dialogue; they have important insights that will help shape and give life to your ideas. Empowered family members translate into support, partnership, and a willingness to make concessions.
3) Be Clear On Expectations – Be forthright in explaining the various phases of your business and what it means for your availability. Transparency entails sharing how this will be disruptive and cyclical; there will be periods where you as an entrepreneur will be absent and at other times you will be more accessible. Keeping your family apprised with the understanding that there will be unpredictability from time to time will allow them to have realistic expectations.
4) Take a Pulse – You are motivated to better your family’s world. From their perspective they may potentially see you as not caring, as you are distracted and consumed. Perhaps you have missed one too many school plays, soccer games or family dinners. You should be checking in and asking your family how they are feeling with your cycle. This allows you to show thoughtfulness and it provides an opportunity for you to recalibrate.
5) Be Present – When you are with your family make sure you give the same level of focus, devotion and attention as you do to your business. They need your love and if they feel central they will more likely forgive or make allowances for your absence.
6) Celebrate Your Wins as a Family – Families are doing the tough slugging along with you. They are picking up the slack on many fronts. Your wins are their wins. Shower them with your affection and gratitude. After all, your achievements are family owned too.
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