Succeed at home first.
Looking for ways to keep your family on board with your business journey?
It always makes me sad to see family relationships sacrificed on the altar of success. When I started my own entrepreneurial journey (1983), the number one entry on my personal mission statement was “Succeed at home first.” Every subsequent decision made about the business went through that filter.
Six actions I took helped me achieve my mission. You might find them useful too.
The 6 actions
- Share your why. You started your business for a reason. Likely more than one. Make sure your family and loved ones know what’s driving your entrepreneurial journey.
- Share your ideas and vision. Your family can’t support you if they do not know what’s in your heart and mind. Consciously choose to include them. Talk to them. Ask for feedback. You can benefit from their unique insights and perspectives.
- Share your realities openly and honestly. The demands of running a business often mean making hard choices. If there are going to be times when you must be absent or unpredictably unavailable, acknowledge the potential for disruption. Then commit to doing what you can to minimize or compensate for it in ways meaningful to your family. Concessions need to be a two-way street and time limited; negotiation is needed here.
- Show sensitivity to your family’s needs and feelings. Don’t assume your limited participation in family life and activities is not having a negative impact. Ask. You can’t make the appropriate adjustments if you aren’t checking in on feelings now and then.
- Show them you care as much about them as you do your business. When you are with your family be with them in all ways. That means be fully present, not divided in your attention. Have meeting free days and call free times when at home. Schedule time off for family fun. And if, for example, you must keep an eye on business while on a family vacation, set limits on the time you’ll spend checking in and stick to them. Unplug afterward so you won’t be tempted if necessary.
- Share your success with your family. No one succeeds alone. Your achievements are your family’s achievements too. Celebrate your big wins with them, acknowledge their contributions and sacrifices and show them gratitude along the way. Never be too busy to share your affection and appreciation.
Perfection is not the goal. Excellence will be tolerated.
Loving your family (and significant others) as well as you love your work makes the success you attain a source of satisfaction and joy. That is priceless.
More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.
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