New Business - Family Stress

The daily tasks of an entrepreneur differ greatly from that of a salaried employee.  An employee works for a limited amount of hours, mostly from Monday to Friday.  A new business owner works most of the time.  This is especially true during the first few years of a new business start-up.

The salaried employee does his job, as it has always been done, very little change in routine, no change in hours, mostly the same thing every day.  Thank goodness I am not an employee, I would die of boredom.  No challenges, nothing to look forward to, money only goes so far………

However, if your family are used to having you home at a certain time, having a set salary every month, and you being available most of the time, they are in for a shock.

The dog starts barking when you pull into the driveway late at night. No, you are not having an affair, you have just finished work.  Tomorrow morning when you leave, the children are still sleeping and your wife is upset because you did not eat the special meal that she cooked for you.  It is still in the microwave.

So you assure her that it will only be for a little while, she must be patient, soon the money will roll in and then everything will return to normal.  She believes you, and you believe that to.  Everything is fine at home again.  Family forgotten, you start your working day and before you know it, its part 10 at night.

There is no such thing as a business that starts and manages itself.  You cannot expect to turn the ignition of the car and it will drive itself wherever you want it to go!  There is no business that can be started today and in 6 months time the business will run itself very profitably so that you can buy anything that your heart desires.  Anybody that tells you that is a liar!

Starting a business means dedication, long hours, your time, your dedication, most of the working day.  During at least the first year most of your time will be spend on your new business.

For this reason, anyone that starts a new business must make sure that all family members are briefed and informed properly.  They must be told that you will spend most of your time at work, that you will miss certain family affairs;  that money during the first few months is going to be an issue.

The family members of the entrepreneur must understand that the whole family will have to make sacrifices now to be able to enjoy the benefits of having an own business later.  If all family members do not understand this fully, they can become resentful towards the business and the entrepreneur.

Every entrepreneur will have lots of fights that they will have to fight alone.  It is difficult for others to understand the entrepreneurial journey if they do not make the journey as well.  Family members will not always know or understand what he is doing, and what the motifs behind his reasoning are.  They will not understand his triumphs, his frustrations, his excitement, or the highs and lows that he is going through. Because they are not personally going through the journey with him, others might think that he is not capable, or that his living in a dream world.

Family members could start resenting the fact that there is no set income and that they have to make do with less.  Family members experience the here and now, while the entrepreneur has a dream, a vision that they cannot see or touch.

It is very important that the family also commit 100% to the business.  If it is possible it would be a good idea for the wife and children to contribute something to the business so that the business becomes a family business. An example of this is that the children be given chores to do that will lessen the work load of the entrepreneur.  The wife might help with serving customers or keeping the books up to date.   If family members feel that they are part of the business, family stress will lessen by at least 50%.

After all is said and done, starting and running your own business might take a lot of sacrifices and hard work, but depending on whether the business will be successful or a failure, this will be the most exciting time of your life.  The big secret is:  There is no shame in failure.  Shame is when you do not get up and try again.  Many billionaires when bankrupt, got up, learnt from their mistakes, and started a business again, becoming very successful business people.  Did you know that Raymond Ackerman, the now retired owner of Pick and Pay, was fired from his job? He started a business and Pick and Pay became a household name. 

Click here to read about Employee Stress.