Below you’ll find an unedited chapter from my upcoming book 40 Rules for Internet Business Success. To receive updates about the book and get a free digital copy of my book in its current form, enter your email address in the sidebar to the right.
Entrepreneurs tend to be passionate, driven and highly-motivated people. They aren’t afraid of hard-work. They are willing to put up with sixty or seventy hour work weeks for months on end in order to get their business off the ground. While this work ethic is admirable, it can be a bad idea to work a crazy amount of hours for a long period of time. When you’re building a business and are working a lot of hours, there’s a natural tendency to let other things slide. You might miss your son’s soccer game or your daughter’s dance recital. You might miss your family’s meal time many nights in a row. When your kids or spouse want to spend time with you on the weekends, you tell them you’re too busy building your business. When your parents call and ask you to bring the kids over, you tell them you can’t because you’re too busy. You think it’s okay that you’re missing a few family events here and there, because after all, you’re building your business for them, right?
Don’t Sacrifice Family Time
Some entrepreneurs see missing out on family time as a necessary sacrifice. I don’t think that’s the case. I truly believe there’s enough time in any given week to build your business along with having your day job. You just need to be very intentional about how you spend your time. If you spend 40 hours per week at your day job, 56 hours per week sleeping, 10 hours to eat, shower and take care of other bodily functions, you still have 62 hours left to spend with your family and work on your business. When you have a very busy schedule, you need to intentionally invest a few hours of your time in each member of your family each week. That might mean setting aside a specific hour every night after the kids go to bed to talk to your spouse. That might mean planning dates with each of your children (if you have children). If you’re working sixty or seventy hours per week, you can’t expect to have quality family time by giving your family whatever’s left at the end of a long work day. Put your family in your schedule if you have to, but make them a priority.
Make Sure Your Family is On Board
It’s okay to work more hours than you normally would while your business is in a start-up phase, but you have to make sure that your family is on board with what you’re doing. If you unilaterally decide to work 80 hours per week for the next six months, you’re going to have a very difficult time being successful if your family isn’t supporting you along the way. If you’re married, your spouse definitely needs to be on board with your business. If you have children, you need to explain to them in an age-appropriate matter why you’re starting a business and what that means for them.
Never forget why you’re building your business. Most people that start a business on the side have the goal of escaping the 9-to-5 so that they can regain control of their time and spend more time with their families. If your business is taking up all of your time and you don’t ever spend time with your family, you’re defeating the purpose of creating a business. Remember that your business is what you do, not who you are. Don’t build your business at the expense of the relationships you have with your family members.