Last Thursday, I was blessed to stay the night with my oldest daughter while she had a twenty-four hour sleep study. Why Libby is having so many tests done of late is a topic for another post, but my day with my daughter really got me thinking about life, my schedule, and why entrepreneurs have the absolute best scheduling system in the world. I will tell you, Libby is a brave rock star, and we know that she’s going to be A-OK. In today’s post, I’ll share about our trip and why I’m so grateful for the ability to build my own schedule.
The Entrepreneur’s Traffic Schedule
Central Florida is busy and growing. Orlando continues to expand and I4 has become one big “road work ahead” sign. I hate driving I4 and avoid it as much as possible. Sarah and I live in a smaller town, right between Orlando and Daytona Beach. Everything we need is right here! However, Libby’s appointment was on the far side of Orlando, about an hour from our home. We packed up our girl and headed over for the 24 hour stay, giving us a little over an hour and a half for the drive.
Between the roadwork, road raged drivers, honking horns, and heavy traffic, I began to feel almost sick to my stomach. Truly, I felt bad for the people who have to commute through that crazy traffic. It got me thinking about my commute and made me extremely grateful for my schedule. Even when I drive into the office, it is only 3.5 miles away from my house. When I do have to get on I4 to visit one of our local marketing clients, we schedule the meeting for 10:00am so I can miss the rush hour traffic. Avoiding traffic is something I take for granted as an entrepreneur, but something people who are forced to work W2 jobs face every day.
The Entrepreneur’s Family Schedule
When I heard of Libby’s test, I knew immediately that there was no way I was going to miss it. She’s eight years old and we’ve been trying to figure out why she’s having trouble learning certain things. She told my wife Sarah that she wanted Dad to stay the night. I moved some things around on my schedule and worked until 10pm on Wednesday so I could be there. Running any business takes work. My business is no exception. The balance of work and family is in the schedule of the entrepreneur. This year has been especially busy at work. We revamped our entire training and licensing program. A ton of time went into it and I had to work some pretty long hours during the final push. Some people saw me working like a dog through that period and thought I was crazy.
Obviously, anyone who starts a business is a little crazy, but I worked hard because I knew something that they didn’t know. I knew that in November, I’d be taking some time off to visit family over Thanksgiving. I also knew that I’d be taking a couple more weeks off in December to be with my family over the holidays. As entrepreneurs, we’re not bound by the time clock. For the most part, we love to work because we’re working on our businesses. The blessing of entrepreneurship is that we have the ability to put in extra effort for a certain period and then back off when our families need us. While I’m still not caught up just yet, I was able to work harder on Wednesday of last week so that I could spend Thursday and Friday with my little girl.
The Entrepreneurial Balancing Act
Entrepreneurs have a very tough balancing act to manage. On one hand, we have our business. It is our baby. It pays our bills and provides the life we desire. If we neglect it, it could die. On the other hand, we have other incredibly important things in our lives. We have our health, children, a spouse, and hobbies. If we neglect these areas, we could lose the things that make life worth living and the business will no longer matter. Entrepreneurs and their families know that the two will give and take at different times. Sometimes, the family will give up mom or dad because an important project must be completed. Other times, the business will give up the boss so he can have family time and some much needed rest. It is give and take.
Yes, there will always be a struggle. You’ll look at your business and see several things you can improve. You’ll have financial pressure to make it work and see success. You’ll also have the desire to be there for your family and to become a better parent or spouse. The truth is, the lines are blurred. Entrepreneurs will never have a normal 9-5 schedule. However, if they continue to grow their businesses and leverage good leadership and innovation, they can build an amazing schedule which gives them what they truly desire… FREEDOM! It is the power to choose what is important.
What’s your schedule? Why are you pushing for entrepreneurship? I’d love to hear your comments.