Finding the Balance Between Work and Family: Tips for Business Owners

Small business owner sitting in home office conducting client phone call

Finding the balance between work and family can seem impossible when you’re a business owner. Family time is precious and children grow up so fast. But owning a business is also one of the best ways to support your family. Therefore, if you want to own and grow a business while raising a family, it is important to find a way to manage your time. You need time to work and concentrate, but also some focused time with your family. So organization is a priority, and knowing your goals is essential. Here are some tips on how to prioritize:

Stay Focused

Make your time at every activity a priority. Treat it like an appointment. When you are scheduled for work activities, close your doors to outside interruptions unless they are emergencies. But do the same with your family time. Make family time a high priority and don’t give it up unless you have an emergency.

Set Goals and Stick to Them

In order to stay organized, you need to set firm goals and stick to them. Check in with your goals regularly, as often as you need to stay on track. For some people that means weekly, but for others checking daily is necessary. Visualize your end goal before you get started on your work each day.

Create an “Office” to Work In

Whether you work at home or away from home, find a place to use as your office. That can be a corner of your dining room or your favorite chair. The idea is to do your work in the same place daily unless you are meeting with clients or traveling for work. Then when you go to that place, you will transition to work mode more easily.

Create a Schedule and Stick to It

Having a regular weekly schedule will help you work regular hours. It is easy to let your family responsibilities reduce your work time, but you can’t run a business unless you put in the hours. You can have a flexible schedule to work around your children’s school hours; however, it is crucial that you make a schedule that you can follow. If you create unrealistic hours for yourself, you will set yourself up for failure. Create a schedule that you can work with so that you can succeed and work toward your goal incrementally.

How to Use an MBA for a Career Change

If you are currently working but looking for a career change, an MBA can be the ticket you need to go in a new direction. You can either move to a different role in your company, or find a new job elsewhere. An MBA offers you credentials in business skills that are accepted worldwide. You can also network with fellow students, visiting speakers and your professors to find a new career path. To help with this change, here are some suggestions:

Examine the Curriculum

Once you have been accepted into the MBA program, examine the curriculum to determine where you want to focus your time. While you will gain some basic business acumen, you can also specialize in a topic area that interests you. This curriculum and related seminars, focus groups and experiential study will give you the expertise you need to market yourself for a new career.

Network

Your interactions with fellow students, professors and visiting speakers can help you learn about job opportunities, career directions and learn about other companies. Get to know other people in your school — network with them and see how you can help each other.

Participate in Extracurricular Activities

Whether through the school or other avenues, find opportunities to listen, learn and participate in activities that will give you further expertise in your area of interest. Go to lectures, demonstrations and open houses at companies and organizations you want to learn more about. Visit your fellow students at work or meet them for lunch to take a look at their workplace. Look for weekend conferences in your field that have discounts for students.

Look at Job Search Sites

Practice using job search sites to find the type of jobs that interest you. Figure out how they work, apply for interesting positions or call the HR representative at the company for a networking interview. You can learn about potential opportunities in your field and the companies that have them. Practicing these skills will give you confidence when you are ready to make your career change.

Ask for Referrals

Let everyone you meet know that you are interested in a change and ask them for referrals. You can gain valuable networking contacts while in school that will help you find the new career you desire after graduation.