I started this business before we head kids. When the kids did come I noticed that it was much harder to run a business into parent then I realize. It took me many years of trial and error, But I’ve learned a few things along the way. I have also noticed that this is a big fear for others who want to run a business but don’t won’t want the business to run their lives. This is a very good fear to have. It means that you value and prioritize your family more than you do yourself. There are ways to help and to pursue your passion without sacrificing your family.
1. Boundaries: separate work from family.
I’m starting with the hardest! Boundaries are easily broken when you are on your own, here are a few things to help. I set work hours, which I am still am not perfect at keeping. There are some tasks I allow myself to do outside of “work hours” but for the most part I put everything away when it work time is done. I also gave myself space for work away from the living space. We have a space set aside from everything else just for business and nothing else. At the end of the day I close the computer and move on. I only open it when I know there are things I have allowed myself to do outside work hours. All this is much harder than it seems! It takes practice and I fail a lot.
2. Plan meals and chores
Sundays are my days to sit down with my planner and computer and meal plan while I order the groceries. I also plan out what I do around the house. It’s not perfect, but I know things will get done when they need to. It helps me set time aside to relax as well!
3. I was honest with myself.
I frequently get headaches and fatigue. To the point that my head is spinning and I cannot focus my eyes. The worst part is I never know when it will happen, and they happen many times on work days. I know that I cannot hustle everyday and give it 100%. When I try to control every situation I fail, because I am a limited person. Once I realized that, I was a much better business owner!
4. Pay for childcare.
As soon as you think you can afford to, pay for childcare. It was great working and parenting at the same time when they were tiny babies, but now they want a snack, drink, help with going potty, bored, whatever, every 5 minutes. It took me a long time to see that childcare was an investment worth pursuing. I first planned out what the perfect system would look like and then I made it happen. For me it was to have someone pick up Eli from Preschool and stay with him in our home until it was time to get Gracie off the bus twice a week. This gives me two full work days. I tried doing chunks of time throughout the week and I just needed longer than a few hours to focus. Figure out how you work best and write out your perfect system. Once you have worked it out and how much you can afford, try to make this happen. For some it’s a daycare, and for some it is a sitter in another home, whatever it is there is a way.
I cannot have it all and do it well. I knew I could not handle taking on 20+ weddings and still be the woman I want to be. If you want to fully book, then plan to work full time hours. Taking on less might not have been by my design, but I see now that the Lord was gracious in that and now I have time to lead a Bible study that I love. Our family doesn’t have to have my income. It certainly helps and we love it, but the bills do not rely on it, which frees me to take on less and give myself to other passions. I see the older women in my church and the amount of time they give to serving others. I want to be that and if I devote every spare moment to the business I will not grow to be one of those women.
Some of these things are outside my natural personality. I would never describe myself as type A. But because I was serious about running a business while not sacrificing the woman I wanted to be it forced me to become more organized and honestly, the better business owner.
If you are thinking about turning your passion into your job know that you are not alone with your fear of your future business running your life. You might not become the next greatest thing on the Internet, but there is a little money to be made for your family because you were given a talent to share, and that’s a great thing!
Here is the truth: It is hard, but I love it. It is pressure, but it is worth it! It is my passion and I get to make it bigger and better every day! Are you ready? If you are thinking about a photography business I would love to talk to you! I offer mentoring sessions for new photographers or just someone thinking about turning their love into a job. You can sign up for your mentoring session here! Please feel free to ask me questions! You can find my email at the bottom of this website! I love talking about this and even if you’re not sure what to ask and just need to talk about it I am here!