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Striking a balance between business and family

By Chantell Barkum //

Most business owners are passionate about their business, which easily allows for entrepreneurs to work grueling hours in the pursuit of a successful business. Oftentimes, women face the challenge of managing their business and their family; both take time and dedication in order to grow. Between networking, budget, business meetings, soccer games, PTO, band practice, rehearsals and plays, there arises the big question: How do I satisfy both? Since we can’t add a 25th hour to the day, consider these tips when attempting to balance your professional and personal responsibilities.

Prioritize and schedule

Identify non-negotiable priorities like family dinner, a set-aside time for each child, date night or a weekly outing. Now build a schedule around those priorities and stick to it. This will ensure that those essential family moments will never be missed!

Fix your focus

Limiting distractions will assist in accomplishing the task at hand. While at work, leave family issues at home and vice versa. For example, during movie night with the family, make sure to leave your phone on silent so that family time is not interrupted by that client who insists that they need you now! Most often, the crisis that the client has can wait. Realize that you cannot be 100 percent effective on a given project while attempting to multitask other tasks. Focusing on one project at a time ensures that you will do it … and do it well!

Build your business … build your family

Growing your business requires dedication. In those initial growth stages, there’s an ongoing battle between sacrificing time for the business and for the family. Why not merge the two? This presents an opportunity to share your world with your family. Take the family out on the weekend to help pass out flyers at events or nearby communities. Make it fun by turning it into a game; the person who passes out the most flyers gets to ride “shotgun” on the way home!

Ask for help

Asking for help can alleviate some of the pressures of managing both your business and your family. Finding ways to reduce your workload can open your schedule for more family and/or business activities. Try asking a family member to assist with household duties or establishing a carpool schedule to assist with transporting the children to school or sporting events. This simple trick can easily add one or two hours to your day.

Treat yourself

So you have figured out a way to satisfy both your business and your family. It’s time to pat yourself on the back! In order for your business or your family to succeed, they need you to be the best that you can be. This requires that you take some time to celebrate you! When setting your schedule make sure to include some rejuvenation time because neither your business nor your family can operate without you!

Chantell Barkum is director of Women’s Business Center at Climb Community Development Corporation, 1316 30th Avenue, Gulfport. Reach her at (228) 864-6677 or cbarkum@climbcdc.org.