Business Connect – March 14th 2019 – ‘Parenting & Work’.
The work of launching and running your own business (i.e. entrepreneurship) and managing all the bases that come with children (i.e. parenting) are big themes for us at Beluga Bean. So the March Business Connect made for a rich meal as we brought both ingredients together for roundtable conversation on ‘Parenting & Work’.
Around the table were entrepreneurs at every stage of business and parenting, and yet everyone seemed to equally relate to the range of topics, pinch points and solutions that were shared.
This write up is not offered as a complete guide to the session’s menu, but rather as a buffet from which you can pick and choose takeaways that resonate with you… to inspire, further reflect,
So with that, here are the takeaways from the session:
Questions and challenges managing the entrepreneurial journey as a parent.
Do these resonate?
- How do I support my kids when I have my own business?
- How can I be emotionally available to my family when I have my own business?
- Concern about getting overwhelmed and how to avoid it.
- Challenge of maintaining balance in my life if I fully commit to my business.
- Difficulty in focussing on priority tasks when so much to do: what do I do first.
- Challenge of defining my identify as a business owner when I’m also parenting.
- Doing it on my own: should I have a business partner?
- How to work well with my business partner?
- How can I be more effective as both parent and entrepreneur?
Opportunity for Conscious Design
- Consciously design your life, to include the intention you have for yourself, the experience you want and the quality of life you want. eg: if you want more time with the kids, make that a part of your contract. eg: 50% time on the biz, 50% time with the family. (or whatever proportion works for you).
- Make dates with your kids: once a week. One on one time. Or massage in the evening.
- Most people need to slow down in order to run their businesses better. Make time to work on the business, nit just in the business. Take the approach of conscious design into both your life and your business. Be strategic and considered about this.
- The advantage of being your own boss is that you get to decide what is critical: strip out what is not essential. Only give your time and energy to what is most essential… to you, to the business, to your life.
- If you have a partner at home, share responsibility for the bases that need to be covered at home. Note: it doesn’t have to be even share of same things: one person might do a lot of cooking, but the other may do kids homework. It doesn’t need to equal, but it needs to be even. It’s ok to play to each others strength in how you divide the bases that need to be covered.
- Clearly define your roles. And it’s ok if you don’t love every aspect of your role all of the time: it’s part of working as a team.
Availability To The Kids
- Loving wins out: acknowledgment that everyone present is a dedicated parent. It’s so easy to self-criticise and feel anxiety about “am I doing enough”. Reminder that these kids are being brought up by devoted parents who love them, and that in itself communicates. It’s rare that parents need more self-criticism, so instead how looking to the all the ways in which you are a loving, dedicated parent and acknowledging yourself for all of that.
- Step into their shoes and see the situation fro m their perspective (which is different from what you think you would feel if you were in their shoes… actually see it through their eyes). From that awareness, support them as you think best.
- Relationships with the kids are founded on the same as principles as relationships with anyone.
- The 3 pillars are: 1) Respect 2) Trust 3) Good Communication
- It all starts with Self: do I trust myself, do I respect myself, do I listen to myself
- Good communication includes: tell the truth quickly
Self-Care & Resilience
- Create routines to help you use time effectively. Including routines for taking care of yourself.
- Often we know what we should be doing but we don’t do it. Opportunity to look at the (often unconscious) beliefs that are driving the behaviour.
- Resilience is about taking care of yourself. Such a big theme – put yourself first so that you are better able to show up for everyone else at home and in your business.
- Ask for help: Share the load with others: ask for what you need. Asking for help is the hardest thing sometimes, but its often the best thing.
- Gratitude is so powerful: start the day with gratitude
- Do ONE thing: when making changes, choose one thing to focus on and do that for a month. In the course of a year you will could change 12 habits. It’s not about trying to have a personality transplant and do it all at once!
As ever, there was appreciation for the opportunity to gather, share and create support. It was an inspiring session and we all left lighter and with renewed springs in our strides.
We look forward to the next ‘Business Connect’, which we run every month.
You can find a list of upcoming events on Beluga Bean Calendar.