Parentpreneur Advice: Entrepreneurs Share How to Balance Parenting and Business

Parent entrepreneurs provide practical advice on how to make parenting and entrepreneurship a winning combination.

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9. Schedule activities around quality family time.

“The hours outside of your work day to spend with family are precious and few. Just as certain work related tasks can wait or be delegated, your children’s extra-curricular activities should be kept to a minimum to ensure quality family time and opportunities to rest.”

– Stephanie Ciccarelli, Chief Marketing Officer of Voices.com: @voicesdotcom

10. Create a parentpreneur calendar.

“This calendar is a twelve-month dry-erase or digital calendar that first lists all of your family commitments like school vacations, birthday parties, and doctor’s appointments.  Then list all of your business’s major dates and deadlines, such as marketing plan deliverables, monthly meetings, product launches, and client appointments.  A Parentpreneur Calendar will single-handedly prioritize your life, reminding you your family is your top priority by blocking [off] time for them first, and [keeping] your business on-track by forcing you to put a plan in place a year in advance to meet all those critical business goals and deadlines …”

– Tara K. Wilson, General Counsel of Wilson, lf: @myfamilycounsel

11. Know when to unplug.

“Cut back the use of your (and your family’s) unnecessary electronics during the day to help create more time engaging with one another. By putting your phone or computer away for a few hours you’ll realize all of the extra time you have to do other productive things with your family! Plus, it may even lower your cell phone or monthly electric bill!”

– Jana Francis, Founder of STEALS.com: @Steals

12. Prevent chaotic mornings and evenings.

“Lay out clothes the night before and pre-pack lunches so no one is late for school or work. Staying ahead of the game will save you time in the end and spare you from chaotic mornings and hectic evenings so the time you do have together is more enjoyable. It’s also important to have quality childcare you trust so you can focus on work and have a sense of security that will ultimately boost your overall productivity when you’re on the job.”

– Joy Kosak, Co-Founder of Simple Wishes: @SimpleWishes_

13. Alternate parenting responsibilities with your spouse.

“My business allows me to have a flexible schedule and [to] work around my family’s schedule. With technology I am often able to check emails remotely and keep tabs on business throughout the day. My wife is self-employed as well, so we successfully juggle schedules around our two preschool-aged children and alternate responsibilities. It works for us.”

– Link Moser, Owner of New Hampshire Fine Homes: @nhfinehomes

14. Involve your family in business projects.

“Even if it is as simple as having them help with sealing envelopes or making decorations for the office while you work on a project, the more you can make it a family effort the easier it will be to have the best of both worlds. To perform the juggling act successfully also means setting realistic goals. The more manageable your goals and expectations, the more likely you will be to succeed; you can always add to your goal list as your children get older and family dynamics shift.”

– Kimberly Enderle, Owner, Editor, and Publisher of Peekaboo Publications, LLC: @peekaboonwa

15. Put your family first.

“To juggle the demands of my kids and my business, I adjust my work schedule according to how I need to accommodate the needs of my family. While I tend to work a lot more since I own my own business (putting in more than 90 hours a week at times), I am my own boss, thus I have much more flexibility. Even while I’m at the office, I can leave at any moment to pick up my kids from school or take them to karate, ballet, or swimming class. While I’m out, I’m still in touch with everything that’s happening for my business thanks to Skype and various smart phone apps which allow me to work while on the move.”

– Ian Aronovich, CEO of GovernmentAuctions.org: @govtauctions

16. Make family time, purposeful.

“As the founder of several small companies and father of six children, juggling the demands of being a parent and entrepreneur is by no means easy. A great entrepreneur and parent knows you have to make time for fulfilling both roles, but more than just making time for my children, I want to make our time purposeful. To ensure they understand the value of hard work, delayed gratification, and teamwork, one of our favorite activities is working together as a family to cultivate Damascus Vineyards, a small organic vineyard that produces Pinot Noir and Reisling vines in the Willamette Valley. During the time with my kids, it’s important for me to truly disconnect from being a business owner and really focus on them, which means no smartphone, no email, etc.”

– Isaac Toplin, Founder and CEO of Choose Growth: @choosegrowth

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Photo: Polo Ralph Lauren

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