Running a successful business requires a lot of sacrifices. It demands so much of your time and energy that, often, entrepreneurs find their business taking over their entire lives. Their friendships, prospects of romance, hobbies, and interests become less of a priority.
It is, therefore, harder as a single parent.
In the United States, less than half of all American children live in a two-parent household. Over a quarter (26%) of the young generation are growing with either a mom or a dad in the house.
It is not uncommon to become a single parent nowadays, but it does create new challenges for those who are trying to juggle career and child care. There is no one to share the responsibilities with. Being a parent also demands so much of your time and energy.
How do you balance being a parent and an entrepreneur? Here are a few helpful tips.
Seek a Helping Hand
Face it: no one can do it all. The people who manage to become successful entrepreneurs and seemingly perfect parents get all the help available to them.
You are not expected to be with your child 24/7. Allow yourself to hire a babysitter or drop your toddler at a nearby preschool. Pre-school franchise businesses are becoming more and more accessible as more and more parents seek professionals to look after their offspring while they spend their day at work.
If the budget permits, single parents should also hire cleaners to tidy the house and do the laundry. Chores are time-consuming and are very tiring. If you do have the opportunity to clean up, you are better off using it to rest or spend time with your child.
Entrepreneurs delegate tasks to the right people. The best ones do not try to do everything on their own. This also applies at home. If you need help, hire skilled individuals to do the job on your behalf. They will be more efficient at it than you.
Trust Your Team
The same should apply at work. You likely have a staff who you hired because of their skills and experience to aid you with the goal of growing the business. Success can only be achieved with team effort.
Delegation is not just handing people work to do. The work has to be delegated to the person who is most capable of effectively handling it. This involves really knowing your team. You need to be aware of their individual strengths and weaknesses.
Even the tasks that you really want to do, if it is not part of your role, should be delegated to someone else.
Moreover, trust that your staff is skilled workers who you hired to do their tasks effectively. You do not have to always monitor that they are giving it their best. Still, it is necessary to, every once in a while, verify that everyone is on track to achieving a common goal.
Organize Your Life
Playing the role of entrepreneur and parent at the same time will take up all of your time. If you do not have a schedule or a plan to complete all of your tasks at home and at work within the day, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. It will help to have a structure within your day-to-day because it will create a routine that, eventually, will make switching hats more seamless.
It is also important that you get a calendar and mark important events or meetings. Your brain will forget a birthday or a client call because your mind is busy taking in as much information as it can.
Make Time for Relaxation
There are plenty of things to do but are they really urgent? Do you have to be present for it?
Make sure that, out of your busy schedule, you also get the time to pause and relax. Being both a parent and an entrepreneur 24/7 is physically and mentally exhausting. You will only end up burned out and unable to fulfill either responsibility.
Mark your calendar and give yourself a break, even for one day. Leave your child at your parents’ and let an assistant run the business for a while. You can go home to get a much-needed nap or go out to catch a movie. Whatever you need to reduce the stress that you feel on a daily basis.
The journey will be difficult. Becoming a parent and an entrepreneur are two full-time jobs. However, it can be done. You can be successful in both. All you need to do is ask for help when you need to, trust the people around you, organize your life and schedule, and allow yourself a break every once in a while.