Having it all is difficult when it comes to entrepreneurship. It takes a lot of energy, a lot of time, and a lot of your personal life to succeed in a meaningful way. But as long as you can delegate and prioritize when the time comes, balancing entrepreneurship and parenthood isn't impossible.
The key to any success in the entrepreneurial world is asking for advice. There are many successful business owners and startup founders that have kids. You just have to find out who they are and pick their brains to get the information you need.
Meeting Your Full Potential
Balancing parenthood and entrepreneurship is more than just deciding between your two loves. It's about finding a way to be as productive as possible in both facets without losing out on any of the important moments.
“How do you spend your time so that you reach your full potential both as a mother and as a professional?” asked Shaza Anderson, the CEO of WashingtonFirst Bankshares Inc. and WashingtonFirst Bank, which she founded as a young mother.
Your Most Important Job
When it comes to running a business as a parent, choosing between the two becomes a regular occurrence. Whether it's making it to that investors meeting on time or being at your little one's piano recital, there is a constant back-and-forth between the two. And prioritizing is the only way to keep the balance.
“In the end, being parents…being mindful, quality, present, caring parents…is the most important ‘work’ we can do,” said Topher Wilkins, CEO of Opportunity Collaboration. “All else pales in comparison, no matter how much we think our professional efforts are changing the world.”
Planning Will Set You Free
The perfect balance between parenthood and running a business is not just going to fall into your lap. You're going to need to make sure you are not only prioritizing your work and parenting duties, but also planning out a manageable schedule to give both the time they deserve.
“My husband and I are both planners,” said Shaza. “When raising our children, we had a calendar we consistently managed together to ensure that we scheduled our work and family commitments accordingly. We truly are partners and share child rearing responsibilities.”
You Have to Delegate
If you want to have it all, you can't do it on your own. Having a team, a partner, or even an assistant that is capable enough to manage your work at the office, while having a trusting parent at home, can go a long way in creating the perfect family/business combination that you've been looking for.
“At the office, I surround myself with competent people who I trust and I delegate meaningful work to,” said Shaza. “At home, my husband may tell you that I delegate to him a lot! No one can move a mountain by themselves and sometimes all the demands in life feel like a mountain. Success is a team effort.”