A Matter of Perspective: 9/13/13

Raising a Family, Raising a Business

Finding a healthy balance
Ben and Jeremy offer two different perspectives on work-life balance as a business owner and entrepreneur.

Benjamin Wills

Balancing work life and family life is easy, if the balance comes in at 80% work time and 20% family time. I believe most successful entrepreneurs will even debate that family gets 20% their time! There really is no way around the fact that an entrepreneur business owner must fill many job roles which each require an 8-hour day.

To keep family and sanity intact, there must be buy-in from the spouse.

The family does take on more burdens indirectly from the lack of support time from the entrepreneur. Between lack of time and often lack of money, there is constantly a powder keg of stress ready to blow at any kindling of frustration.

I am absolutely a believer that one must have full support from the spouse when taking on large business endeavors, otherwise the business owner will most likely see a catastrophic failure on the personal and/or business fronts. If you do not have buy-in from your spouse, I highly recommend seriously considering not starting a business.

Be guaranteed that you will have miserable emotional days owning a business, and those days will be especially miserable during the early years.

The early days are often dark, and seemingly no relief or success are in sight. If you have buy-in and support from the family, they will be your cheerleader and comforter.

Your family will play a large part in maintaining your sanity during the tough moments. The time invested up-front in gaining their buy-in and support won't prevent the trials, but it will pay off in dividends in the midst of them.

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Jeremy Wills

For most of us, trying to balance personal life with our career is an elusive battle. 

It seems like an impossible feat, given our desire to give 100% in all we do. I have come to understand that I am who I am. In the end, I reconcile my personal life and work through the lens that I work in order that I might live; and not that I might live to work. This has been regardless of my time as a business owner or  as an employee. With this said, I maintain personal habits in order to help me stay the course.  

First, I look outside the box to change what is otherwise routine into an enjoyable experience.

Instead of board meetings taking place inside the office, I prefer to take hikes outside and drill through lengthy thought processes with key decision makers. I have also made an intentional habit of running over lunch each time my schedule allows. It is during these times that my best vision casting and business processing takes place. It breaks routine and provides fresh content. It also minimizes my desire to get that “Vitamin B” experience when I get home!

Secondly, I believe it is crucial to maintain a flexible schedule. 

Early mornings and late nights will always present themselves—and have! However, maintaining a flexible schedule allows for me to still be able to serve my family’s needs while meeting deadlines and keeping the business moving forward. I also believe in taking adequate time off. Aside from the opportunity to recharge, I get the opportunity to see how the team performs without me.

Ultimately, a business should strive to build the proper systems, people and tools in order that no one person is required to execute on any given matter. And, the ultimate litmus test is to take time off in order that one might see how their job responsibilities are met without them

Lastly, I’ve never been afraid to put my family first in everything. 

There have been immeasurable sacrifices from my immediate and extended family in order to ensure the success of our company, for which I am eternally grateful.  I hope to repay them by demonstrating my undivided attention to their needs regardless of the state of business.

Likewise, we’ve extended similar flexibility to our employees with an unrestricted time off policy. Our desire is that our employees understand that family and personal life come first, and a side effect we hope to obtain is personal responsibility to take care of our customers and an understanding that work-life balance merely perpetuates peak performance while on the job.

As matter of principal, I have striven for four things in life: to find favor with Godfavor with manto maintain physical health and to increase in wisdom.

This has always been the case, whether as an employee or as an employer.

It is all too easy to pour oneself into work.  It takes commitment and belief to reap a healthy balance between a profitable business that is able to properly serve its clients while meeting the needs of the home.