You need to remember why you set up in business sometimes!

May 24, 2012 by

Yesterday I took the day off to accompany my daughter and her classmates on a school trip to Scarborough.  I had a great day with the children and it reminded me of one of the reasons I went self employed in the first place.  To be able to have the flexibility to have days like this, to attend sports day, to sit in the audience when my daughter has a flute recital, and to take as active a part in her education as I can.  Now whilst I have been doing these things for the last two and a half years I think I forgot that it was one of the reasons I went full time employed.

There seem to be so many requests from school to attend that some months I’m in there nearly every week for one reason or another, and this can play havoc with your working week.  If I’m not being invited in to school they seem to be on holiday or a teacher training day.

Over the last two and a half years I’ve fallen in love with my work so much I almost forgot this.  I suspect that I am not alone in this either.

I was sharply reminded towards the end of last year that life is short and we have to make the most of it, spend as much time as we can with our loved ones, and not to spend what time we do have doing a job we don’t love.

I wonder how many of my self employed colleagues gave work/life balance as one of the reasons for becoming self employed yet now find themselves working more hours than they did as an employee.

The key word for me was flexibility, to take an hour or so off to share these key moments in my daughters childhood, and yet to be able to still fulfil the demands placed on me as a business owner.

My business is something I take incredibly seriously, it’s not a hobby to me but my passion and something I love.  I also love my daughter.  I think that sometimes it’s too easy when you run your own business to forget what’s important, or to just step back and take advantage of the flexibility running your own business affords.

My business is supporting other business owners, people who have realised that being in business doesn’t mean doing it all yourself, working every hour available, but working smarter and making use of the resources available to you.

So, sit back and take stock of why you set up your business, and if one of the reasons was to spend more quality time with your loved ones make sure you’re actually doing it.

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  1. A timely reminder, Helen. I’ve been itching to get out in the garden now we’ve got some good weather, but have been at my desk all week, and missing all the sunshine. Made the decision today that all work and no play was making Carole a frustrated bunny, so tomorrow is a day off, to spend with the pots in the garden. There’s nothing scheduled that’s so important it can’t be done a bit later!

  2. Helen

    Great idea Carole, I know from experience that you really do need to allow yourself time off or you end up ill. We get few enough nice days now that when they do come we should make the most of them. I hope you enjoy your gardening.

  3. Work/life balance is a very hard thing to achieve, and I know I haven’t managed it just yet. Either family stuff takes precedence, then my work suffers or visa versa. So I am now making it a rule to get the important stuff out of the way first, either business or personal, by blocking out my diary.

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