Can you really put family first when running a business?

Anyone that truly knows me knows that I am a family man above all else. I love my family and the concept of family so much that when I have friends I choose to relate to them as if they were my family. One of the more challenging things for me as an entrepreneur has been finding the right work life balance. This has been difficult for me and I have often got it wrong. When I first started Vitae London I was working 17 hour days trying to get this idea off the ground. My wife works 9-6pm (often longer) as an accountant so when I came home she was often asleep so should could be alert and ready for work the next day and when she woke up I had often left the house because I needed to contact manufacturers and suppliers in different time zones.

For a while it was really difficult and we were often at odds simply because we missed each other and this is where the first piece of advice comes in. You need to be released by your loved ones to be an entrepreneur or risk losing your business and/or your relationships. Released in that they support your dream of getting your business to be a viable one and work to encourage rather than discourage you from putting the extra work in. My wife did that and I am eternally grateful to her. Communicate with your loved ones and really listen to how they feel about your work life balance my wife was fine with me working hard and for long hours but she wanted me to be 100% with her when I was with her, she needed me to be intentional about spending quality time with her and when I committed to that our relationship improved 100-fold.

I am still a work in progress. I still get it wrong a lot and we’ve just had a beautiful baby girl. How am I going to be able to go to her ballet recital or basketball match when I am running a business that needs 24-hour attention? The answer is ‘I don’t know’ but I am going to work as hard on my family as I do on my business because of how important it is to me.