5 Tips to Be The Best Par-entrepreneur (Parent Entrepreneur) Being a parent is like having a second full-time job. Here are five tips to successfully navigate parenting while being an entrepreneur.
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Often as par-entrepreneurs (parent entrepreneurs), we bring our work home with us, which can interfere with our home life and time with kids. This takes the fun out of the home and makes it stressful for everyone under the roof.
Make parenting fun
I try to bring some fun back into my home and parenting by doing things that boost the fun aspects of life.
- The Great Outdoors. Head out for hiking, biking, swimming and outdoor activities. We try to do something fun on the weekends together as a family, from skiing in the winter to biking, swimming, camping or traveling the rest of the year.
- Challenge Your Kids. Put games and challenges into the fun stuff you plan. Often as kids get older into the teen years, they become a little more "attitudy," so we put little challenges into our fun times.
- Jokes. Yes! Dad jokes are the best. Each day I work some memes, jokes or puns to get that "UGH" (think teenage eye roll sigh with the sound) response into our day. This makes my day, and I know they secretly love it even though they act annoyed. Well, at least that is what I tell myself.
Schedule self-care time within reason
I structure my day, so I get time for myself, my wife and the kids. We have more time than we think we do in a day. We often fill it with mindless TV, social media and chatter that takes time away from the essential things, like "annoying" our kids.
Allocating an hour for yourself to optimize your health is necessary for peace of mind and planning family time during the day is just as imperative. I make sure that I spend additional time on myself at the gym and time afterward for family time.
It's about discipline and scheduling. My work time is set each day and I allocate about an hour outside for what needs to be done (i.e., what fire needs to be extinguished today), usually 30 minutes before the day and 30 minutes after work hours, then it's home or to the gym.
Be the best role model you can be
Children will copy what you do every day! I tend to believe I have a unique sense of humor. I genuinely find humor in most situations and can spin the conversation to a humorous point, much to the chagrin of my wife and kids. We need to model ourselves to how we want our kids to be.
If we discuss and implement success in day-to-day life, our children will mimic it. The teen years are challenging, and often they fight you day in and day out, but you will hear them say the things you say to their friends, attempting to improve the lives around them. That's when you know you have done well for them!
The key to organization is daily structure and discipline. When the time is up for an activity, the time is up. Get back to it tomorrow. Years ago, I was in full-time practice, running the business, and decided to return to graduate school and get a master's degree full-time. I added in training for a full ironman at the same time. I did this all while married and having two young kids at home.
It came to time management and priorities. I was on the bike or in the pool by 5 a.m. daily. Then home before anyone got up to make breakfast and lunch and get everyone and myself ready for the day. While I rode the bike on the trainer, I would work on my studies. I would go to work and then home to spend time with my family. While they watched some videos or learning channels, I would do some more work or play with them while they watched.
If you don't structure your day with the discipline to keep to it, you will lose it and fall apart. There is plenty of time. Those that say they don't have the time are fooling themselves and lack the discipline to attain what they want.
Stay present with your kids and with your work
If you are not present with your kids, something or someone else will be. Who they spend their time with will show up in their attitude, work ethic and goals. You are their leader, their mentor, their coach and their life. Without you, they will find someone else to take that spot over.
The same goes for being present at work. When I walk through the door to see a patient, I breathe and ground myself to the task at hand: my patient. I drop everything else. I focus on them and their needs. They can sense when you are not there for them. We hear it all the time from them about their appointments with their other doctors. "They don't listen. They didn't even look at me. They just stared at the computer". Make sure your clients are heard, helped and taught to heal themselves. The best compliments we get are from clients that feel heard and feel that they finally have a doctor that listens.
To me, it is not tough to listen. Most of the time, clients want to be heard and understood. Then we run some simple tests to find the underlying root of their health issues. Then they get to do a program to learn to fix themselves!
I take my advice: I do my best to time-manage my days so I get the most out of them for myself, my clients and my family. If I am not at my peak level of performance, I cannot be there for anyone else.