Balancing Work and Family Life

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achieve-balanceWork, love and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being.-Orison Swett Marden

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.-Thomas Merton

Many people start a business with their families in mind.  They believe self-employment will provide them with more flexibility, income and free time to spend with those closest to them.  In the beginning however, and much longer if they’re not careful, this is not the case.  And those who run their businesses in addition to working full-time jobs often find their lives become more, not less, hectic.  If you want your accounting practice to improve your livelihood rather than tap it, you must achieve balance in your personal and professional lives. Here are five things to consider:

1. Set boundaries

No business can run 24/7 without the help of a significant support staff.  If the demand requires it, consider hiring a business manager; that just might save your health, your family, and even your business. While you may think you’re doing your business a favor by working long hours, you’re actually setting yourself up for an acute case of burnout.  With or without a support staff, you must set reasonable boundaries that enable you to spend time doing those things you most enjoy.

Just as any business has to establish business hours, so must you.  Ensure that you dedicate time to both your business and your family.  Of course there will be emergencies when you will be required to work long hours in order to fulfill obligations with clients, but that’s the exception, not the rule.  It’s up to you to ensure that you honor these “office hours.”  You may be surprised at how much more you accomplish once you set these boundaries.  You may also be surprised at how much more you enjoy your down time.

2. Practice two-way flexibility

In order for entrepreneurs to experience success, they must be flexible.  This means that you may spend a late night or early morning working for a client when you could be spending time with your family.  But to be truly balanced you must be willing to exercise that same flexibility for your family’s sake; in fact, this is one of the benefits of self-employment.  This two-way flexibility may require you to take a child to the doctor or visit with a teacher when you would otherwise be working.  The trick is in knowing your priorities and being able to juggle both your business and family responsibilities well.

3. De-stress and decompress

Owning your own accounting practice can be a stressful venture.  In order to function at your best, you must take measures to de-stress and decompress.  This means taking time everyday to do something that makes you feel good, like jogging, meditating, or reading something non-work related.  When you give yourself the opportunity to unwind and release tension, you can work at an optimum level, giving your business and your family the best that you can.

4. When possible, involve your family

A good way to spend more quality time with your family is to involve them in your business.  Consider hiring your teenager or enlisting the help of your spouse; this can be a win-win situation for everyone.  Your teenager learns responsibility, you get help with tedious tasks, and you all spend more time together.

5. Enjoy the fruit of your labors

What good is it to work hard for additional income if you don’t occasionally enjoy it?  In order to truly refresh yourself and spend quality time with your family, you need to take a regular vacation and enjoy one another’s company.  Whether you cruise the Caribbean or go camping, it’s important that you spend dedicated time away from work.  In fact, a good time to plan for that vacation is right now before you’ve scheduled your summer away.

It’s important to acknowledge the intricate balance between work and family.  Focusing all your time and attention on the business may help it to grow, but sadly your family will grow as well, only you’ll miss it.  Make a commitment to do what’s necessary to achieve balance in your personal and business lives.  Most likely it will make your business more profitable in the long run.

Financing a Small Business

In order to achieve that desired balance, often we must find ways to make our work hours more profitable.  Becoming a financial consultant can help you achieve that. Our manual, Financing a Small Business, is packed with clear-cut instructions and terrific resource materials that will simplify the creation of a loan application package.  Using the sample loan package included as a model, you can easily help clients apply for a valuable business loan.  Within hours you can begin offering your services as a financial consultant.  Increase your value and achieve balance.  Order your copy now!

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