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Family Life/ Balance

I am a first time entrepreneur who was motivated to start my own business partly because of a newborn, and a wife.
I hear that is very common. However, whenever I listen to interviews, or read blogs about a Founder's day, and their morning routine, or schedule, they never talk about spending time with their kids, getting them ready for school, making them breakfast, wiping their butt after they poop. They all talk about mediating, or exercising.
My morning is being woken up by my child, to making her breakfast, AND lunch for the day, picking out her clothes, feeding the dog, and making myself a cup of coffee. In there I get to check emails that came in overnight, or from the east coast, and reply to some as well. Finally, I take her to school, then walk the dog. After all that, I officially start my work day.
But I feel like I'm slacking on the work! But, there are other things in life that need to get done, right? Am I the only one in this boat? Can't find time to work out, or meditate. I feel fine mentally and physically though, so not missing it, but feel that I could benefit from it.
Anyone with advice on this one? Thanks :-)

7 Replies

Shanique Crum
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Shanique Crum Entrepreneur
CEO at Fun&Fit Gym
I am also a beginner as an entrepreneur who do believe sometimes time managing can be very difficult in our lives. But I am here to share a little of what I have learned about making time for other things in our lives and that's planning ahead. Give yourself a week notice about what you should be accomplishing for the upcoming week and that can also mean the time it will take to finish up on those assignments. By doing so this could help develop extra time to do the things you love.
Ariel McNichol
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Ariel McNichol Entrepreneur
Creative Director/UI/UX Leader
i'm in the same boat and your morning sounds a lot like mine.
i'm determined to make this work - and i had a start-up pre-kids, and one when my first son was born.
birth and start-ups didn't work for me. but, young children and start-ups do. i feel far more productive these days than i did pre-kids. i execute much faster and am far more efficient because i am constantly in fear of running out of time. i think the 'no kids' start-up stuff is said by inefficient people who are in denial about the hours per day they spend checking sports scores, dating, clothes shopping (etc.) which parents with young kids just don't do. So, in the end i think we end up working the same amount. but, we can be there for our kids.
Kirsten Minshall
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Founder of UVD and CTO at Limpid Markets
Hi Jordan, I don't think you're alone in your anxiety in feeling that others are 'out working' you. Part of this problem is that the tech community, or at least the way it appears in the media is portrayed as a caricature of itself: long hours, 'all nighters', unsustainable work/life balance, dominated by young (predominantly male) employees constantly writing about 5am starts, meditation, working 18 hour shifts, partying hard etc.

This isn't reality, at least it's not for the majority of those involved in the industry - it's just the way it's portrayed in the media.

Never lose sight of that there's only one thing you can't get back in your life and that's seeing and experiencing your own children grow up.

You learn so many skills having a family that are invaluable in business. Turn it into a positive, you have a competitive advantage in many ways: having a family is the ultimate challenge in building a team and making the most of the individuals in that team, encouraging learning, conflict resolution, negotiation skills, being able to deal with stressful moments and come out the other end without blowing up, expectation management, planning, time management, goal setting and discovery! Think of the things that you do as part of your family life as skills that are transferable to business and suddenly you'll realise that whilst you're not 'working' you are 'learning' and what you're learning is every bit as valuable in work as at home.

I for one would say I've become much better at what I do for being a father. I sometimes wish I could be with them more but I have learned to adapt my work life to make sure I don't regret anything when I'm 50.
Jordan Plosky
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Jordan Plosky Entrepreneur
Co-Founder and CEO at ComicBlitz LLC
Kirsten, geez, did you hit the nail on the head! You're absolutely right about everything you've said. And although I think I subconsciously knew all of that, reading it from a fellow entrepreneur really brought it to the forefront and made it stick. Very valuable lessons learned, indeed from being a father. And yes, I have caught those tools slipping into my management skills!
Hah! Thank you. Your reply really means a lot to me. Truly helped change my mindset! Much appreciated to you, and all the other replies as well!
Kristann Orton
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Kristann Orton Entrepreneur • Advisor
Helping clients design at the intersection of business goals and technology needs | Innovation Catalyst
I agree with Ariel that the trick is to be ultra focused and productive. I have worked out of my home since my first daughter was born 13 years ago - now I juggle 3 daughters. For me, being productive means I need to find time to meditate and work out, even if it is running while they are in an activity or meditating while my coffee brews. One of the hardest things for me is that I may be focused on a project and almost complete .... when I have to drop everything to attend to one of the kids. Part of staying productive is having a system for tracking my work so that it is easy to pick things up after these interrupts or while waiting at the playground, at pickup, etc (I love Trello for this).
But even when I was young and single, I found my weeks were more productive if I went and played on the weekend. So I don't believe all the crap out there about people sleeping at work - these are not the ones we want to model!
Kirsten Minshall
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Founder of UVD and CTO at Limpid Markets
Jordan, glad I could be of some help! :-)
Karl Schulmeisters
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Karl Schulmeisters Entrepreneur
CTO ClearRoadmap

My CEO has two young daughters. She sleeps about 4 hrs a night. Its the only way she can get the work done for the startup and still have time with her kids.

There is a reason why it is twice as likely that a high growth startup is launched by those over 55 than by those under 30 http://idealog.co.nz/venture/2014/11/average-startup-founders-age-creeping-so-average-age-nobel-prize-winners-why-age-and-wisdom-still-matter

It is because work life balance sucks. I'm lucky, my youngest is 25 now.Its not that I didn't have ideas for startups while they were teens and pre-teens, but the risk and work life balance pretty much precluded that. I had worked in a startup in my early 20s and I really did not have much time beyond work and weekend recreation.

You can be ultra-focused and productive. And you are also putting your marriage and your relationship with your kids at risk. That's just the reality of it. There are exceptions who can make it work. But be careful about the Lake Woebegone syndrome (where all children are above average)

There is a reason why twice as many high growth startup CEOs are at the age when kids are launched. you CAN beat the statistics, but recognize that you are working against the statistical trend

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