Running your own business does have its challenges, but it seems like that’s the only thing people talk about. Statements like ‘You’re always on,’ ‘You can never get away,’ and ‘An entrepreneur never rests’ are very common to hear when discussing the lifestyle.
I’ve even had some despairing remarks about how running a company is a sacrifice for the whole family. I couldn’t disagree more.
Being a daddy to four kids aged 1, 3, 5 & 6, I have been both entrepreneur and employee. I can honestly tell you that the running my own business has helped me become a better dad for my kids and even husband to my wife. Here are my top 7 reasons why:
- The Time Between Time – I work hard from 8am-5pm, but as I run in & out of meetings, I get quick updates from my kids about their days. I used to go 9 hours without even seeing one little face, and now I’ll see them 3 or 4 times throughout the day. I don’t lose work time during these interactions, they are only mere minutes or seconds between tasks. These little time gaps help me feel more connected to their lives.
- Controlling My Schedule – I can control my schedule, meetings, locations and time away from home. I can turn down clients that may require too much travel and make decisions based on my families needs. I do travel for work, but I am never forced too. When I worked for another company one year I was in over 20 states in 9 months; not the ideal life of a family man.
- Being Happy – A happy dad is a fun to be around. I love what I do, and it shows on my face every night at the dinner table. Don’t get me wrong though, I have been happy working for other people too, but there is a certain satisfaction that comes along with building a company that very few jobs can offer. Every day, I work on making companies sweet online and tell my kids stories at dinner table. They love the stories and even cheer me on.
- Job Security – I am never worried about being fired. I may lose a client, but overall I am not going to be walked to the door to appease shareholders quarterly results. I remember growing up being worried if my dad was going to be canned at his job, which he was great at doing. Most people think that running a company is bad risk to take on, but at least it’s calculated risk that you can measure.
- Opening up Opportunities – I am currently in a position to create opportunity and jobs for others. I have been known to build jobs for people based on their skills and I may be able to do it for my kids one day. Not that they need to work for me, but I could start giving them jobs if they are interested. As I watch them grow up into their different talents and gifts, I often wonder about what kind of position they’d really love.
- Keeping Active – For me, business has always been my sport and hobby. It’s what I love to do, and launching into a new project / idea / campaign for me is like playing a round of golf for others. It keeps me active, engaged and excited about each new day. I remember dying of boredom in the corporate world and having to find fulfillment in my spare time outside of work. An active dad is a healthy dad!
- Passing on a Trade – I believe that starting & running companies is a trade. It’s also one that you can teach others to pick up. Last year my 4 & 5 year old daughters opened up their own lemonade stand and made $147 in two hours (in the pouring rain). I wrote down the famous 4 P’s on a piece of paper and they went to town. They came up with the idea, pricing, advertising, social media strategy and fulfillment plans all on their own. It is an incredible privilege to pass this trade onto my kids, and I hope they will benefit from it.
I’ve now lead my company Candybox Marketing for the past 6 years and have never regretted the decision to launch it for one day. My family is not paying for my decision; they are reaping the rewards.
Are you an entrepreneur parent? Have you found that it has improved your family life? Would love your thoughts in the comments.