Family First: This is and will always be my priority. It’s why I started my business in the first place and I bet it’s part of why you began your business as well. Balancing a business and a family can be hard. I don’t even think I like the term balance because it means you’re always half in one area and half in another to make it all work. There are weeks it can feel really difficult to achieve this perfect “balance.” It can feel more like you’re failing all around as a spouse, a parent, a friend, and a business owner. I can’t say I’ve got it all figured out just yet, but I can tell you that I’m designing a business around my family, not a business that runs my family. I remember holding my newborn and reading articles about how the top entrepreneurs wake up earlier than everyone else and have a morning routine to kick off an insanely productive day. I thought, “How will I EVER be able to do that when I have little people that wake up at all hours of the night?” So, it was then that I decided that I will do things MY WAY and with the determination that I will be successful, no matter what. But, it will be on my terms and what is best for my family. I set out on this journey to design a business that puts my family first, prioritizes my clients and results in a prosperous income. You too, can create a business that works for your family and the season of life that you’re in. Today, I’m going to share with you what I believe it means to design a family first business.
It means making a schedule that benefits everyone.
I can only take calls or host webinars during certain hours of the day. At first it meant when the baby was napping and as they got a little older, it’s now when they are at preschool for a few hours. It also means having a family calendar where I always check my husbands schedule before I plan a big launch week for the academy, an interview, or an evening workshop. My husband is in grad school and I made the mistake once of scheduling a big launch right in the middle of finals week. Knowing that finals are a stressful time and my husband needs to be studying every waking hour, it wasn’t the brightest idea to schedule a launch where I would need to be putting in double the normal hours a well. I now schedule launches during weeks that I know he has a little more flexibility. That way, we don’t have two stressed out parents running around and if I need a little extra help with the kids, he is able and happy to swoop right in.
It means saying no.
I’ve had opportunities for interviews that would be during our dinner time and speaking engagements across the country. Sometimes I say YES and sometimes I say NO. If the interview works with our family schedule, then I’ll book it, if it doesn’t, I don’t. Last month, I had requests for interviews three nights in a row ALL at dinner time. While I’m super grateful to have the opportunity, I also know that I need to spread those out so it’s not so stressful on the fam. (Or I need to get better at crock pot dinners, and find a sound proof room in my house!) It doesn’t mean I have to say no all the time, it just means I need to be better at scheduling or re-scheduling events so that it makes the most sense for our family.
This also goes for traveling. I have two little ones right now so it REALLY has to be the perfect fit both from an ideal audience standpoint and financial standpoint for me to fly anywhere in order to speak. The whole reason I have this business is to spend MORE time with my family, not less. As a military family, we often spend a large majority of our time as single parents and without family or reliable help around. Because of that, I have to make sure that any traveling I do is truly beneficial to the business. I’ll be speaking in Dallas in October at the MilBloggers conference. We have family we’ve been wanting to go see in that area so this is perfect opportunity to do both!
It means designing the right product and service offerings.
When I made the switch from offering one-on-one services to digital products, a giant weight was lifted. Before I switched, I found myself on the phone all of the time. I was needed in constant conference calls and I had to answer the phone even when it was super inconvenient. This type of business was not sustainable with loud, little people running around. I knew I wanted things to be different when I began working with military spouses. I decided my product offering would be in the form of a digital e-course. That way, no matter where people are stationed, they can access my online learning center anytime, anywhere. It was A TON of work upfront. I spent months working on creating this product. But now that it’s complete, all I have to do is keep it updated. I have monthly calls that I schedule around our family and I have a VIP group where I can answer questions when the time is convenient for me. One day I may offer one-on-one private coaching again but for now, I love this model as it allows for optimal family time.
If you have a business where you’re constantly making your own products and services, you need to find a way to either outsource the creation, get more help, or re-design your offerings in a way that allows you to spend the majority of your time promoting and selling your products. This also goes for bloggers, if you’re spending all of your time blogging but you’re not making any money, you’ve got come up with way to monetize all of your efforts, now.
It means having something to sell.
If you have a business, then you’ve got to have something available to sell. You might be thinking, “DUH, Kayla.” I can’t tell you how many bloggers and business owners I talk to that are at their wits end because they’ve been working on their businesses for months, their spouses are wondering why there’s no money coming in, and everyone at home is stressed out because of it. You have to have something to sell. You must create a product if you don’t have one. If you’re a blogger, please do not rely your income just on sponsored posts and traffic. Your quickest way to profitability is going to be through creating your own products, becoming an affiliate for higher priced products, or getting sponsors for your site. For those of you that have products to sell, you must prioritize selling. At the end of the day, it’s a numbers game. The more people that know about your products and services, the more people will buy. Build your following, develop an email list, communicate often, add immense value, and then SELL, SELL, SELL.
It means setting up systems to take the stress out of your business.
I put a lot of time into setting up systems so that my business can run itself. Here are some of the systems I have in place:
- I have an automated email series that goes out when someone joins my email list. This email list is a sales funnel where people are given immense value and then I provide them an opportunity to work with me if they need more help.
- I schedule out my social media months in advance. First I lay out the content, then I make the images, and then I schedule them.
- I have sales pages built so that potential customers can buy my products at any time and get all of the information they need to purchase. If they have a question, there is a chat button that goes directly to me.
- I have Facebook ads running to fill up my workshops quickly and re-target those interested in my products and services.
It means prioritizing.
I prioritize my time wisely. I put the most emphasis on the tasks that are going to produce the most income. It honestly took me awhile to figure out which of those tasks are the most profitable. Right now, video and workshops are what’s working best in my business so I have a renewed emphasis in those areas. I use my time that I have to work on my business as wisely as possible so that I can free up my weekends to spend time more with my family. Some days I now get up an hour earlier BUT, only now is that possible since the baby is sleeping through the night. Before, I couldn’t imagine doing so. I realized that was just a season. Now both of my kiddos are sleeping peacefully through the night and I can wake up before they do.
We all go through seasons and so will your business. Maybe your spouse is deployed right now so you have a ton of time to work on your business. Or maybe your spouse is home now, or you’re on shore duty, and you want to soak up as much time as a family. Maybe you have a PCS coming up and the time you would normally spend blogging is now researching preschools or scheduling movers.
I completely understand. It takes recognizing the season that you’re in, knowing it won’t always be this way, and prioritizing the time you do have wisely.
Most importantly, when designing a family first business, it means communicating.
Communication is so important to making sure everyone is on the same page in your family. Be sure to let your spouse know what you’re working on and what your week is going to look like. You may even need to map it out on paper if they are a visual person or show them a spreadsheet with your financial goals if they are a numbers person.
You may be in a season where finding time is very difficult. Perhaps you have young ones that need you constantly. Or maybe, you’re working really hard, all the time, you’re not making any money yet and your spouse is wondering if all of this is going to be worth it.
Hang in there!
Communicate often, share your why, your mission, and use the time you do have wisely working on elements that will make the biggest impact. Forgive often, know when to push, and know when to be okay with steady growth. It may mean saying no to an opportunity right now that may help your business, but wouldn’t be good for your family.
If you’d like to know more about building a PCS Proof business, sign up for my free video training series here.
Tell me, are you designing a family first business? What strategies do you use to get your family on-board with your business?
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