The Summer Entrepreneur: Finding Balance When Your Kids are Home and it’s Beautiful Out
The sun is shining, the days are longer, and the kids are… home. It's summertime, and for small business owners, that can often mean a delicate balancing act. We caught up with our CEO, Kim Gans, to learn some of her strategies she uses to find that balance between home and work.
Setting the Tone for Summer Success
Summer has a unique rhythm that sets it apart from other seasons. It's a time when some businesses experience a bit of a slowdown, providing an opportunity for entrepreneurs to refocus and strategize. One of the crucial steps to navigating the summer months is to set expectations with your team. Here's how you can do it:
Shift Your Focus: Use this time to work on growth strategies and explore opportunities for enhancing the overall business experience. Unlike the holidays, where the primary focus is on execution, summer invites you to brainstorm, innovate, and plan for the months ahead.
Encourage Time Off: Embrace the slower pace of summer by encouraging your team to take vacations and leave early when possible. Remind them that self-care and family time are essential, especially as the fall months bring increased workloads.
Navigating Work Hours: While summer hours might have been a viable option in the past, this year's challenges could make them less feasible. However, you can still lean into the concept of flexible work hours. Acknowledge that people might need a bit more flexibility during this season and embrace the idea of accommodating their needs.
Personal Balance for the Summer Entrepreneur
As an entrepreneur, your personal and professional lives often intertwine, and this becomes particularly evident when summer rolls around. Your kids are home, the weather is inviting, and your schedule might not be as predictable. To make the most of this season while keeping your business afloat, consider adopting the following strategies:
Working from Home: Position yourself as available for work even when you're at home with your kids. Let your team know that you're accessible for calls and meetings, ensuring that your entrepreneurial responsibilities don't take a back seat.
Working Away from Home: If you find yourself working from a different location, acknowledge the potential unpredictability of your schedule. Encourage your team to reach out if they have critical matters to discuss and indicate this urgency in the subject line or through a text message.
Unplugged Family Time: Prioritize quality family time by designating a few "off the grid" days. Communicate to your team that you'll be less reachable during these times unless it's a matter of utmost importance. This step ensures that you strike a balance between entrepreneurship and personal rejuvenation.
Adapting to Your Circumstances
The key to a successful summer as an entrepreneur lies in adaptability. Understand that no two summers will be the same, and your approach may need to change based on your circumstances. Some years, summer hours might be feasible; other years, you might need to be more available due to unexpected challenges. The key is to find a balance that suits both your professional and personal needs.