Photo Credit: Bigfoot Digital.
It’s the dilemma all business owners face at some stage in their career and that’s how to balance family life with a growing business. There’s no doubt, family comes first, but when your business is responsible for the lives of others, your focus needs to be divided equally. While it can be tempting to give everything you’ve got to the growth of your business, what happens if your family is growing just as fast? You don’t want to miss out on spending precious time with your children.
Mark Woodcock, CEO of the top-ranking SEO company in London, Bigfoot Digital, experienced that exact dilemma. His company was growing faster by the day when his first daughter was born. “We had just dominated the rankings for SEO services in London and the enquiries were flooding in but life at home just got a whole lot busier too.”
In today’s post, Mark shares how he found a balance between his growing business and busy family life:
Family is fuel
It’s incredible how once you have children your energy levels are heightened. As an entrepreneur you are an adrenaline junkie constantly on to go, and that’s what it’s like to have children. Having that extra challenge at home gives me the momentum to keep going at work.
Cut out the commute
Travelling miles on the motorway doesn’t leave much time for family. When my children were born, I knew that we’d have to move closer to work. I live a short ten minutes away from Bigfoot Digital to ensure I get back in time to collect my children from nursery. As the business has grown, I have considered the possibility of opening new offices across the country, but in order to keep up with my responsibilities at home Bigfoot and home will never be far apart.
I couldn’t do it alone. My family are a constant support network that keep me going at work. Everything I do is to support them and to ensure they have the best possible life. My wife, Carmen Woodcock, is by my side at work and at home. We are equally responsible for the success of the business and offer guidance on how to manage the home and life balance.
No business at the dinner table
While I believe that you should never bring your work out during family time, I do work from home on occasion. This tends to be at times when the children are in bed and I can focus on what needs to be done. I don’t feel guilty because I’m not missing out on time with them. I can sacrifice some sleep, but not time away from my children.
Look after yourself
There’s no escaping it; running a business is hard work. It requires a lot of your time and energy to make sure things progress as they should. It’s easy for me to miss meals, eat on the go and order in food in favour of getting work done. Do this for long enough and you’ll start to feel drained, dizzy and incapable of focusing on anything. Instead, take time out to relax, go for a walk and take your mind away from your work. This is possibly the one time of the day you will escape from the stresses of family and working life – make the most of it.
For more information on how to juggle everyday life and family, see my previous post on the battle of work, life and family balance. I hope you have enjoyed this post and have taken some inspiration from Mark’s story – if you want to check out his business for yourself, visit www.bigfootdigital.co.uk
This article was produced in collaboration with digital agency, Bigfoot Digital.