Jul 232013

Balancing business and family can be fun

For the past several years I’ve had the opportunity to work with lots of women in direct sales and I love it.  As part of a four-generation direct-selling family, the challenges in this type of work make sense to me.  And it doesn’t hurt that I admire people who achieve success in what can be a very difficult type of work.

Many people choose to work from home so they can earn money while creating a better work-life balance.  I’ve noticed  they sometimes struggle with creating the right boundaries: How do you figure out what’s flexible enough for “home” but professional enough for business?

Too many people apologize for their home-based business, talking to others in a way that lacks confidence.    Did you know that home-based business contribute more than $500 billion a year to the US economy?  Why anyone apologize for being part of that?  And, you started a business for reasons that were important to you, right?  To set your own schedule, to make more money, to have more freedom?  But when things don’t ‘work’ as quickly as we’d like solo-preneurs sometimes abandon about those reasons.

And when being near the kids is a high priority, setting limits about office hours can really push that “guilty parent button.”

As you can see from the picture (my friend Lisa Wilber and her daughter) growing up in a family business can be a great way for kids to learn about  confidence, creativity, keeping  positive attitude and problem-solving. Direct sellers who take what they do seriously enough to get the support they need — and run the business like a business — pass along those lessons every single day.

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Jul 012013
English: illustration clip art of house with d...

House with dollar sign to portray a home based business (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Attitudes and behaviors can be contagious and that is true both at home and on the job.  As part of a four-generation direct-selling family I know the line between the two can sometimes get a little blurred.

In addition to being a great source of additional income many people choose a home-based business opportunity to find a better balance between work and home.  Sometimes, there’s a struggle to create boundaries that serve both: how do you decide what’s flexible enough for “home” but professional enough for business?

When coaching direct sellers I often hear that “others” don’t take the business seriously, making  difficult to keep a schedule and achieve goals.  In addition, lots of parents seem to feel apologetic toward their families for the “time away” from them instead of focusing on the flexibility, ability to grow the business and, in many cases, the lack of a commute!

Perhaps there’s something else at play.  It’s easy for people working from home to become isolated and start believing their own thoughts.  They may question their choices and  struggle with confidence.  With no obvious place to share those worries it can become easier to say “other people don’t take my business seriously” than “I’m letting self-doubt  (aka “my inner critic”) undermine me professionally.”

You  chose to start a business for your own reasons — often to give more options to the people you love.  In the tough times it can be easier to focus on the things that are difficult rather than everything that works.  But kids learn from what we do even more than what we say.

Children of entrepreneurs can learn lessons about choices, empowerment, problem-solving and choosing an attitude. Everyone needs support and our family members cannot be expected to read minds.  When focused on the benefits of working from home it becomes easier to be specific about ways the entire family can be involved… with both the work and the rewards.

Some say that summer is a “bad time” in the direct sales world.  I’m not convinced there’s ever a bad time to work on ways to enhance your family’s freedom.



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