Finding a Rhythm as an Entrepreneur With a Family

Several weeks ago a young professional that wants to be an entrepreneur approached me for advice about being an entrepreneur and having a family. He had just had his first child and was looking for ideas. Having spent time thinking through this I offered up a fews ideas:

  • Write down a set of rules and guidelines and share them with your spouse (getting everyone on the same page is critical)
  • No more than one early breakfast meeting and evening meeting per week (e.g. networking event or professional meeting)
  • Have dinner with the kid(s) at least five nights per week
  • No more than five business days of travel per quarter (some jobs make this difficult to achieve)
  • One week of vacation for the entire family per quarter (must go out of town)
  • Hold a weekly date night and leave the kid(s) with a babysitter

Developing a rhythm like this results in clear expectations and helps with the work/life blend. Every family is different but this process has worked well for ours.

What else? What are some other thoughts on finding a rhythm as an entrepreneur with a family?

3 thoughts on “Finding a Rhythm as an Entrepreneur With a Family

  1. I love that you shared this topic. I was in the midst of writing on female entrepreneurs. Always remember YOU are your own Tboss so don’t schedule meetings/calls during times you have committed for other things. This means creating a schedule and identifying time which is off limits. You mentioned this in your article and I also suggest you don’t forget about the school luncheon or the baseball game/recital (Busy on your calendar). Because you are a business owner, run it as such and stand firm on prices and services. You want to make your business a financial success and not a financial burden/drain. Set aside time for NO business! A family day or weekend.

  2. Get Meg Hirschberg’s book – For Better of For Work. The spouse really needs to know what to expect. Take spouse to networking events.
    I love a lot of your suggestions but they require more finances than most startup families have. We do not expect daddy for dinners during the week. He does breakfast. Keep the spouse in the look of what is going on. If possible find a group for the spouse.

  3. Great post here. As a father (7 year old) and husband (11 years), I’ve battled this for some time. I love the idea of a schedule. It helps. Still, I believe the bigger challenge for entrepreneurs is finding ‘mindspace’ for the family. How can I be with them ‘mentally’? Entrepreneurs are constantly thinking about their business — next steps, challenges, etc.

    I’ve tried a few things that have helped:
    1) Activities — I generally spend 1-2 nights per week with the family (less than 5 for sure)…but, we do an activity together — something that requires mental energy and focus. I often try to coach his team b/c it sets the structure.
    2) Phone Off — Very difficult but wife makes it mandatory. Helps to not check email every few minutes
    3) Skype — sounds crazy but, at times, I will Skype with my son while he’s doing homework….I will generally do work stuff that doesn’t take much thinking (updating Quickbooks, scheduling, etc.)

    Finding ‘mindspace’ has been very challenging (especially in the first few years) but it gets easier as the business and family evolve.

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