People often assume that entrepreneurship consumes every part of your life — leaving no room for family, which is a misconception that is starting to change. With flexible working environments becoming more accepted and common amidst the pandemic, this allows for “parentpreneurs” who are given the challenging yet rewarding task of nurturing a family and a business to thrive. While people assume that the parentprenuer lifestyle offers no work-life balance, there are certainly ways to go about it to relish two key foundations that can build up your life journey.
Be fully present with your children
A common piece of advice is to “set healthy boundaries”, and compartmentalize so that you have carved out time that is dedicated solely for work, and some solely just for family. This advice is reiterated for a reason — putting full attention and patience is essential in building a strong connection. A child’s emotional development with their caregiver at early stages can have an impact on their relationships with others in the future. The process of fine-tuning how you allocate your time requires discipline to reach your ideal timeframe.
Communicate your goals and journey with your family
Being open and transparent about why you are doing what you are doing can clear misunderstandings that your children and/or partner could allude to. Sharing your mission and dedication can prevent resentment that your child’s place in your life is a lesser priority than your work. More importantly, being clear shows that you want to strengthen understanding between one another which can create an encouraging rather than a hostile, hierarchical environment. While integrating your work with your family may not be smooth sailing all the time, it is important not to demean your children when your personal career frustrations get in the way.
Understand that the balance will not always be met
A big part of juggling two major aspects of your life would be to acknowledge that striking the perfect balance will not happen in an instant. Accepting that it is indeed a challenge that will take time to get a grasp of, but will alleviate the burden of expectation on your shoulders.
Surround yourself with a support network
Building up a community that you can rely on and are in a similar situation with you can give you reassurance and optimism to continue to take strides forward. Ensure that you are around people who offer you different perspectives on how they prioritize different things at different times to see how you can find what works for you.
Not just about time, but where your energy is directed
Not only do you have to master how you delegate your time, but also your energy efficiently so you don’t burn out. Remind yourself that time does not equate to productivity and output, but less sometimes could be more in terms of honing concentration when put to the task.
Don’t forget to look after yourself
While you are directing what seems like boundless energy towards others, remember that you have to replenish your own. It is more than okay to set aside time just for yourself — remind yourself that you are not neglecting responsibilities but simply focussing on taking care of yourself before you can take care of others.
Find out more about the entrepreneurship journey with us at https://foundation.hkcocoon.org/ and how you can inspire other parents or aspiring entrepreneurs to follow your footsteps without neglecting family values.