If you run your own business, you work long hours and put all your creative, mental & physical energy into your work – it makes it hard when you also have to give so much to your kids when you get home. Especially if your partner doesn’t work, you coming home is their respite, so it’s important for them and the development of your kids that you’re always on.
Most Dads who run their own business can sustain this for a year, maybe two, but by year 3 they start to really burn out and the mental exhaustion kicks in. So what’s the game plan? Here are 8 hacks to help you crush it.
1. Make yourself redundant at work
This is just good business whether you are a dad or not. Spend a few hours writing down everything you do in your work. Ask yourself, can someone else in my business do this? Can I outsource it? If the answer is no to any of those tasks – write it on a white board and start developing a plan to ensure your business doesn’t rely on you to do it forever.
If you don’t make yourself redundant, you’ll never be financially free or be able to sell your business one day.
Your business is worth nothing if the whole success of your company depends on you day to day.
The huge advantage of self-redundancy if you’re a dad, is that not only will you have a better business but suddenly you’ll have more time to spend with your kids.
However here’s a reality check for you if you think what I’m saying is unrealistic. Even if you think you have the most important job in the world (you don’t) and your Mrs should be handling 99% of kids upbringing while you work (that’s is harmful to your kids) you need to plan for unforeseeable.
You need to have the piece of mind that if tragedy hits your family, you can give your family all the time they need and your business won’t go down the toilet.
Again, it’s good business, and good for your kids.
2. Sacrifice either your early mornings or afternoons at work, not both, not neither
You don’t need to do it all, just do some of it.
If your kids are still at daycare, take over the pickups or the drop-offs. This will mean if you can either start work as early as you like, or work back as late as you like and you’ll still have over an hour with your kids every day.
Ask your partner what they would prefer, then take that option. It will be a big adjustment at first, but as you fall into a routine you’ll realise how freeing it is.
3. Lock in 4-5 hours of time with just your kids so your Mrs can have some “me time”
Here’s the thing. If you can’t find at least 4 hours of solo time with your kids most weeks you’re either lying to yourself or you’re terrible at time management.
So go and take a time management course or read a book about it, because your business probably won’t succeed if you can’t get that basic skill right.
That 4-5 hours each week will do the world of difference for your relationship with your kids and it will give your Mrs much needed “me time”.
4. If you travel for work, make sure you have a travel agent
I started my business in Jan 2017 and for the first 9 months, my EA was the one booking flights and travel related nonsense. What a waste of time that was for her.
We signed up to Flight Centre Business Travel and haven’t looked back. It’s so easy and no one in your business needs to spend any time on such a trivial, yet crucial task.
5. Apply for the Flight Centre Business Travel Grant
So this is a bit time sensitive but jump on this. A $15,000 travel grant is awesome if you’re a dad or not!
Here’s what you get;
- $10k Virgin Australia Travel Grant
- $2k IHG Accomodation Credit
- $500 Get Picked Up Transfers
- 2x Virgin Australia Gold Memberships
- Premium LinkedIn Membership
- Annual Covermore Business Policy
- Samsonite Luggage
6. Play a team sport
“Use it or lose it”, i.e. use your body or lose your mind.
Playing a team sport is the best way to tick 3 boxes at once;
- Regular exercise: So you are fit enough to get your job done + be an energetic dad
- Me time: Allows you to have time to yourself outside of work and kids
- Social time: This is why I think it’s critical for dads to do team sports, not just join a gym. You get to do all the activity as well as get a huge social dimension to your week.
I know for some dads selling a team sport to the Mrs might be tough, but I can guarantee you if she gets enough “me time” herself + you do everything you can to make sure she’s sleeping right, it won’t be such a big ask.
credit: Betoota Advocate
7. Make sure your Mrs gets as much sleep and “me time” as she can
This was mentioned a few times above but it deserves its own point. The biggest stress in your family will come from one of you being burnt out and feeling less human. It’s your job to make sure the person that doesn’t burn out in your family is your Mrs.
Stay on top it, have a plan to give her sleep-ins, naps and me time. It really is the key to everything.
8. Time with your kids is good for business
Time with your kids is crucial for their brain development, not TV or YouTube, but YOU.
However here’s something that gets overlooked by a lot of business owners. Parents are all mostly hanging on by a thread and are very time poor. What can your business do to help parents in any way? If you can answer this question effectively you will see you profits climb on either an existing or new revenue line on your P&L.
Your kids are the perfect source of experience and market research.