Being a dad is the greatest full-time job any man can have.
With the economy and uncertainty in our world, there are a lot of dads who are looking to take the path of entrepreneurship. Many are doing so to add extra income streams or to break away from the 9-5 grind and pave their own path. Regardless of the reason, almost everyone who starts a business has to go through the early stages which will require sacrifice of family time.
The reason why I keep starting businesses is because I enjoy the early stages where money and success are still uncertain. I also went through many years where I needed to sacrifice valuable time with my family. I’m now in a place where that amount of sacrifice is no longer required.
Navigating this family dynamic has required a lot of trial and error. I want to share with you the main strategies I’ve adopted that have helped me and my spouse work together while I have built my businesses.
Partnership with Your Spouse
This is of the utmost importance. Starting a business requires time and energy, both of which can affect family dynamics. As a dad and an entrepreneur, having a strong partnership with your spouse becomes even more crucial. Open communication, shared goals, and mutual understanding of the sacrifices that come with entrepreneurship set the foundation for balancing business and family life.
For example, your spouse may need to be okay with fully taking over the dinner and bedtime routine most nights of the week while you’re on calls or away on business. This needs to be clearly communicated and mutually agreed on.
Include Your Kids in Your ‘Why’
Involving your children in your entrepreneurial journey is an excellent way to help them understand your commitments and the reason behind your occasional absence. Explain your dreams, show them your passion, and let them see your hard work and dedication. Your entrepreneurial journey could inspire them and create their own spirit of ambition and resilience.
At the end of the day, you’re still their hero. Make sure they know how much you love them by being fully present during the moments you have with them.
Sacrifice Time Now for More Time Later
Entrepreneurship often requires sacrificing family time in the short-term for long-term gains. Yes, you might miss some family dinners or bedtime stories now, but remember that you’re working toward a future where you have more flexibility and control over your time. This is the current reality that I have created for myself and my family. It’s a tough trade-off, but one that can reap big rewards in the end.
Overcoming FOMO as a Father
It’s normal to feel like you’re missing out on precious moments with your family when you’re buried in your work. But remember, entrepreneurship is not about missing out, but about creating opportunities. Embrace the journey, with its ups and downs. Keep in mind that you’re building a legacy for your children.
Quality Time Over Quantity
As mentioned earlier, having less time with your family does not mean the quality of your connection has to suffer. It’s about making the most of the time you do have. Be fully present in the moments you can share – from a quick game of catch to a bedtime story. It’s these moments of connection that your children will remember, not the quantity of time spent.
Struggling Financially is a Learning Opportunity
Financial hardships are often part and parcel of the entrepreneurial journey. But there’s value in letting your kids see you and your spouse experience and overcome these struggles. It teaches them valuable lessons about resilience, determination, and the realities of life and money. You’re not just building a business, you’re modeling qualities that will prepare your children for their own life journeys.
As a dad and an entrepreneur, it is possible to navigate the early stages of starting your business while still being the dad your kids deserve. If you’re in the thick of it right now, know that I’ve been there. Every successful entrepreneur has.
You got this!