“I feel so guilty taking time away from my family.”
And the little boogers will do it. Mommy, mommy, MOMMY! Right when we sit down to work.
The other day I was chatting with Charlie about his blog and the problem is that he wants to be able to do it all. He wants to obviously keep his job, spend time with me, spend time with the girls. Oh yeah and turn his blog into a business. But something has to give. You can’t say yes to everything.
The struggle is real. How do we balance our businesses and our families. And how do we get our attention hungry family to give us some space so we can better the situation. We know the pay-off will be worth it, but obviously they don’t quite see it yet.
This is what we were going to talk about today. I’m going to share some real strategies to get your family on board with your business, while revealing some mistakes you might be making. This is a huge part of your sales journey, and it can’t be ignored. It’s not about “not wanting it bad enough” or “just try harder.” This is a real challenge just like having too many no sales or a low average order. The good thing is, you can attack this with those mad sales skills you are starting to develop. Disclaimer, these approaches will not work on infants.
When I started my business, the one you are listening to right now, I did so while I was working full-time and commuting an hour each way. So I was gone from 6am-5pm every day, with little energy left over. My kids were two and five at the time and we were already strapped for time. So let me share how I structured my time so I was able to get enough momentum to quit my job.
1. A very strict schedule. I stayed late at work one night per week, Monday. I didn’t see my kids. Was this hard? Not really, they had just nagged me for two straight days over the weekend! Monday was a great day to do this because it minimized the guilt since I had just spent a lot of time with them, and I started my week strong. I stayed at work until 8pm and was home after they went to sleep. So I was able to focus and jam, and they weren’t distracted by my divided attention. They just spent the evening with their dad. The first two weeks this was hard, but after a month it didn’t phase any of us. It just was what we did. I also woke up early Saturday morning, still at my normal 5:15 wake-up time. I jammed for 4 hours until Charlie had to go to work. I also worked on my lunch break at work. This allowed me to focus 100% on my family when I was home.
2. I got them bought into the vision. I sat down with Zoey, and I asked her how she would like it if when she started first grade, she didn’t go to daycare and she came home instead. She loved the idea. I told her that means until she starts first grade I need to do my business and work, so we would have less time together now, but first grade is going to be awesome. I gave her a reason to support my business. Since quitting my job and being in start-up mode, it’s affected our budget. So now we have a different goal. I have an income goal and when we reach it, I’ll take the kids to Legoland. I share with them when I make a sale, or sign a client and they understand it’s one step closer to THEIR goal: Legoland.
3. I stay super focused on the activities that will generate revenue for me, based on my skills. I don’t have anything optimized for SEO. I don’t chase every marketing strategy that comes along my way. I do the thing I know how to do, coach and train. And this helps me grow. I focus only on the essentials. So I make sales. Then I share them with my kids, who then tell me to put some money in the Legoland box. HA!
Here are some mistakes we make in balancing our business and our family, and what you can do instead.
1. We multi-task way too much. This is bad because we don’t give the work full attention, and we don’t give our family full attention. So basically we are half-@$$ing everything. It’s no wonder our business is not growing and our family is resentful.
What to do instead: Set a timer and give it to your kids. Tell them mommy is going to work for one hour, and come back when the timer goes off. Then you, hustle. When they return, honor the commitment. One hour of furious focus is better than 4 hours of multi-tasking. They will start to learn that your word is worth something. Let’s face it, when we say “one more thing” and then we work for two more hours we lose their trust. I do it too so I know how hard this is. But then they learn what we say means nothing and therefore to get what they want, they must bother us until we pay attention. And that’s just not going to work. Make a commitment and honor it.
2. We are afraid to set a goal, and therefore we don’t communicate our vision to our family.
What do to instead: Set a clear income goal. I will earn X in the next 3 months. Or 6 months, or a year. It doesn’t matter. When I reach that income goal, this is our family reward. Perhaps it’s just a full weekend with no work. Perhaps it’s an outing. Perhaps it’s some need in your family that has not been filled. By being brave enough to commit to a goal and making the goal something the whole family cares about, now the whole family will work together towards the goal.
Once you make the goal, time to make a plan. In order to reach that goal, break it all the way down into what you need to do each week in your schedule. You should be acquiring a customer, retaining a customer, or leading a team member. That’s it!
One of my clients has 4 kids and was having a really hard time with it. They love art so I suggested that they made a beautiful picture that represented a vacation or something. And each paycheck she receives, have her kids color in the amount of the goal that covers. She was really excited about this. And so were her kids. It forced her to commit powerfully to her goals, and garnered the support of those little stinkers. 🙂
3. We try to do everything in our life and in our business.
If you are taking time to start or run a business aside from your other job or child rearing responsibilities, now is the time to rely on the village to handle the other stuff. You cannot do it all. Stop trying. Do not let the fear of missing out kill your dream and burn you out. You do not have to volunteer at your kids school if you are working to run a sustainable business. You can take a season off from being PTA president and simply participate. It’s not about dropping the ball, it’s about putting one ball down so you can pick another up.
This also applies to your business. Set your goals in accordance with the pace you are committed to take and keep. Many of my clients do their business part time, and their goal is to do four 1-on-1s, four follow-up appointments, and two classes or parties PER MONTH. With that schedule, they are enrolling more people than when their goal was to host four classes or parties because they are full of energy, and focus. People are attracted to their team because they aren’t frazzled. And they and their family, can maintain that pace consistently. It’s ok to choose doing 1-on-1s over a trade show. One of my clients agreed a month ago to go to an event with me in our area. This past week I followed up and she sheepishly asked, “Tash, I need to use that time to focus on generating revenue, so instead of going with you, I’m going to schedule some 1-on-1s. Is that ok?” I gave her a huge grin and told her I am so proud of her.
Yes, it’s important to stay connected. Yes, it’s important to learn. But you cannot have your learning exceed your revenue generating activities! Stop spending an hour trolling FB for people that might need your product and pick up the phone and just ask for appointments. You will make more sales in the amount of time you have allotted. This means you will be able to reach those goals you have committed to.
Quick recap on your action items for this week: Set a goal with a family reward. Set a schedule and let our family hold you accountable. Your kids love you. Give them a look behind the curtain and let them support you. These wins are more fun together. You don’t need to carry this burden alone my friend.
I really hope you enjoyed this episode and got some actionable tips for you. If balancing your goals and your family is real pain point for you, I can help with that. Let’s chat about it. You can sign up for a complimentary coaching session at emergesalestraining.com/coachme and grab a time. If there is an opening in my schedule, I’d love to be using it to talk to you. There aren’t that many slots right now so grab one before they are gone. Thanks so much for listening this week, have a great week!