As we get older our business can sometimes lose relevance in our life.
By Andrew Griffiths, serial entrepreneur and author @AGauthor
I am all for people starting their own businesses. If you have a well-established business that can run with less input from you on a day-to-day basis, the freedom of being your own boss can really help on the family front. Perhaps you can be more flexible with your working hours or take the kids to work with you from time to time; and you may make more money working for yourself. At least you know the boss can’t complain about you spending time with the family or bringing the kids to work.
However, some businesses simply aren’t suited to raising a family. Either they take up too much time or keep you busy during the wrong times of the day, or they are simply too demanding and put unreasonable pressure on the owner and by association their family.
I have met many people who have been happily self-employed and whose only responsibility was to their business. Then they meet someone special, a relationship forms and gets serious, and then a family comes along. All of a sudden the business starts to struggle because the owner isn’t able to spend as much time or energy working to build it. As the business limps along finances get tight, stress levels increase, pressure builds and the situation becomes very difficult for all involved, often ending in tears.
Sometimes it is better to work for someone else rather than for yourself. Often it is about timing and what stage you are at in your business and your family. In particular, starting a new business when you have a young family is always going to be challenging. In fact, at any stage of your business’s life cycle, if your business and your family are out of alignment or at odds, the chances of having any kind of balance are really quite slim.
If you are currently in the situation where your business responsibilities are clashing with your family life and this is putting great stress and pressure on you, the best answer, as harsh as it may seem, is to change your business. There are always plenty of reasons not to sell your business or even close it down if it is only marginally profitable. However, in this instance selling or closing may ultimately be the most logical decision. It can be quite a relief not to have a business to look after on a daily basis.