One weekend I was in Pennsylvania cheering on my son and his champion college basketball team and a few weekends later I was leading a 2-day business conference on Friday and Saturday morning. Saturday after the conference ended I headed south to attend our oldest daughter’s college fashion show. In the middle that I worked with our youngest daughter, who is a junior preparing for her senior year and life after high school. As well, in the midst of being mommy, I handled the concerns as the owner and CEO of a child development center in 2 locations while continuing the process of opening the 3rd location. In between those assignments, I processed orders and shopped for new products for Nikki B Jewels. Did I mention the time I set aside for my husband and for my work in the ministry? To answer your next question, yes I did sleep, every night.
Often people ask me “how do you have time for family and business?” My answer is simple, balance. I have heard people talk about “juggling” their obligations and responsibilities. Juggling in itself indicates you are throwing things in the air, rotating everything in a mechanical method and if one thing falls everything has the potential to fall. Juggling requires everything to be predictable and timely. For me and my life juggling is too structured: my life requires “my personal balance”. I call it “my personal balance” because everyone’s life, situations, circumstances, family dynamics are different, and you must deliberately find what works for you, your family, and your business. It is possible to keep family first and still be a success in business; I am living proof.
Here is what I have discovered works best for me; this is a glimpse of my personal balance plan.
- Put your family on your calendar. I know some people who have family night every Friday or every Monday the husband and wife have personal time. Once Steve and I tried to have structured scheduled times but it did not work; we were less than successful. We have found that consistency in day of the week is not as important as being consistent. If this week we spend time together on Monday and next it is Thursday that is alright, it works for us. You have to discover what will work for you. The important point is to schedule the time. If you do not other, less important events will overtake you day after day. In placing your family on your calendar remember to include the events of their life. If you want your family to support you in your business then you should support them in their endeavors. To support requires more than your encouraging words: be an active participant at the basketball game, attend the spring concert, sit in the front row at the award ceremony, and be at the luncheons and banquets as much as possible. There are times when I have to say, (get ready it is a difficult word) “NO” to other people, business associates, or business opportunities to be there for my family. I have found when I keep order in my life even opportunities are not missed if they are for me I will get another chance. I am determined to not lose my family as I chase my dreams.
- Include your family in your vision and business. This has been big for me in balancing the events, responsibilities, and obligations of my life. Every member of my family is involved in my business ventures. They discover something they enjoy and we incorporate that into the business or allow them to work in that area. My husband and I work side by side in the finance and professional services arena. He is an excellent financial advisor and our working together strengthens our relationship. Each of our children has found their spot within the organizations and are thriving and once again our family is being strengthened. As I consider a new business opportunity I always consider how the opportunity will serve the visions and dreams of the members of my family. I want them to know I believe in and support them in their visions just as they do for me. A win for 1 Brown is a win for all Browns!
- Have fun. When our family comes together, rather it is my husband and I on date night, all of the children and I, or one child and I, we have fun. Going to the grocery store turns into a memorable event. We laugh and enjoy life. We schedule time to do things but we do not wait for the schedule to enjoy ourselves. There are times when I cannot make it to an event or function involving my husband or one of the children but they are far and few in between and when they do occur there has been so much investment into their life and our relationships that the occasional absence does not hurt or sting.
My husband and my children know that I love them and they are my primary priority because I tell them and show them by my decisions. Steve and I invest in our children and their lives today because we want to teach them the value of family so they will invest in their families one day. As well they will be excited to come home because as they grew up we created a balanced life where they were important and laughter and love reigned. We want to teach them by our very life that family is first but that does not negate the ability to be very successful in business, in fact it enhances the ability. I encourage you, discover your personal balance, and talk to your family find out what works for you, your family and your business. Enjoy your balanced life where family is first and you are a business success!
See you in 2 weeks!
UP NEXT CHILDCARE: Getting Hurt at Daycare