Running your own business is a 24/7 grind. It takes commitment, patience, energy, and a lot of hard work. If you want to master your life, you need to learn how to master your time. It isn't easy to maintain a balance between work and life, but anything is possible if you adopt the right mindset.
As an entrepreneur who runs multiple businesses, I understand how important it is to have a supportive network of family and friends in my corner who encourage and inspire my growth and the overall vision for my life.
That is why I wanted to invite Lonnie Ogulnick, the Founder and CEO of Gordon Wealth and the author of, The Heart of a Beast, to write a guest post to talk about how to help your family support your grind.
Take it away Lonnie!
In theory, we are all hard workers. We all have those moments of uninterrupted work where we grind harder, get more done, and tap into our inner beast. We become so mission-focused, that the world outside of our work starts to disappear, and we start getting things done faster than we ever have before.
Then our kids need a ride to the movies.
Being an entrepreneur and having a family is tough, but you already know that. Everyone knows that. If we took the collective hours that have been spent writing articles on the topic of, “Work Life Balance For Entrepreneurs”, and applied it to something useful, we could probably cure cancer.
This isn’t an article about hacking your daily schedule to spend perfectly equal amounts of time with your family and work. Rather, it’s about sharing your life mission with your family, so that all of you are aligned in pursuing success.
When I was gone on weekends writing my book, my kids didn’t feel neglected, they felt proud. When I came home, we talked about my book, what it was about, what books they wanted to write one day, and how we as a family are on this mission together.
When I’m “underground” at work and grinding away on a project, my wife gets angry at other people for trying to interrupt me. She’s my confidant, my consultant, and my partner in my mission, just as I am to hers. We don’t feel neglected when the other party has to dedicate time to work.
Having a family that supports your hustle isn’t some Herculean feat. I would like to share with you three ways of how to help your family support your grind:
1. Make Your Mission Their Mission
Most things in life come down to communication, and this is no different. If you want your family to buy into your mission, you have to clearly communicate it to them so that they understand the following:
- Exactly what you’ll be doing.
- Why it’s so important to you.
- What it might mean to their life.
- How important they are to the mission.
One of the problems entrepreneurs have is that their families don’t really know what they’re doing. If you’re disappearing for days at a time to work on something that no one else understands, or if your thoughts are constantly occupied by a project no one else knows about, how can anyone else buy into your life?
Talk to everyone in your family about your mission and their role in it. If you can’t see their role, it’s because you aren’t thinking big enough. If you need uninterrupted work, then your family is your first line of defense against distractions. They can field incoming calls, handle things you don’t need to focus on, and generally keep yourself unencumbered while you grind.
They might also be a sounding board for your ideas, an escape when you need to decompress, or collaborators on certain projects. They need to understand that they play a role in this mission, and that comes down to you communicating how you all function as a team.
2. Designate Your Off-Limits For Family Time
Friday nights are family nights in my house. Saturday nights are date nights with my wife. Sundays are for soccer games. You don’t have to have a set daily schedule, but you need to have some measure of routine about the time you spend with your family. Part of being a member of a team is being dependable, and in order to be dependable, your schedule has to be somewhat predictable.
What this also does is it takes pressure off of you on a day-to-day basis. For example, I make an effort to see my kids for at least 15 minutes every morning before school, and usually it works out. However, there are a decent number of mornings where I just have too much going on.
My kids don’t feel neglected, because they are sharing in the mission, and they know that regardless of whether I’m there for breakfast or not, they own blocks of my week that are not negotiable. As a result, their importance to me is solidified in their minds.
3. Support Them In Their Missions
All of this advice so far has been pretty me-centric. It’s all about inviting your family into your mission and making time in your schedule. However, that only works as long as your family does the same to you. For example, both my daughters practice Jiu-Jitsu. When my daughter was younger, she was working very hard for a new belt, and we were driving her to and from classes every day.
However, we didn’t just drop her off and mentally checkout. We talked to her every day about how proud we were of her, how she was a role model for her sister, how as a family it was our job to do whatever she needed to succeed in her mission. She took the same mission-focus that my wife and I take to our work, and applied it to her mission. She knew her family would be her support team, because she served on everyone else’s support team.
These are some of the ways of how to help your family support your grind. Always remember that your family is your squadron. You only have to balance work and family if the two aren’t connected at all. If every member of your family is balancing work and life, then all of you are living significant portions of your life completely isolated from each other.
When you all align with each other’s missions and function like a squadron, supporting each other and sharing in your victories, your work and family life become infinitely more rewarding, and you will never have to deal with the stress of sacrificing one for the other.
Lonnie Ogulnick is Founder and CEO of Gordon Wealth and the author of, The Heart of a Beast. He is also a realtor for Douglas Elliman and a strategic life coach. ** Advisory Services Offered through Investacorp Advisory Services, Inc, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Securities by licensed Individuals Offered Through Investacorp, Inc, a Registered Broker / Dealer. Member FINRA, SIPC.