Founding my own business has proven to be a very fulfilling venture, but it’s also very time-intensive. Balancing my professional duties with the responsibilities of a father and partner actually is a challenge every day.
Over the years, I had many opportunities to experience how much the support of my family means to me. That’s why I follow Gary V’s advice in “Crush It” (which, by the way, did immensely influence me) and chose “Family First” as my rule number one.
Now, how do I put this rule into practice? The article “Manifesto for a Freelancer with a Family” on FreelanceFolder has a great answer with which I agree wholeheartedly! Author Brian McDaniel makes the following declarations, adding to each some concrete guidelines:
- My Family Will Always Come First
- I Will Keep My Marriage Healthy
- I Will Pour Myself into My Children
- I Will Keep Myself Healthy and Sane
I think having these principles really helps in making the right decisions and achieving something like “work/family balance” (I don’t like the term “work/life balance” since I regard my work an essential part of my life). That’s why I copied the Manifesto into my “Important Notes” folder and reread it from time to time.
I have to admit that there are still some points I’m struggling with, for example with “Be present. Not just physically, but completely present, even when I’m working.” because it seems to conflict with my very focused working style.
Since I know from experience that working as an employee can be as taxing on your family life as is working for your own business, I recommend reading Brians article to every professional that has (or intends to found) a family.