How Do You Balance Being a Founder and Father?

How Do You Balance Being a Founder and Father?

Being a founder and father of three young kids is a constant challenge.

How do you be fully present for your kids, without thinking about your business? How do you be fully present for your business, without missing key life moments for your kids?

I’m not convinced there is a right answer. But to discover how other founders balance fatherhood, I turned to Terkel for some insights.

How Do You Balance Being a Founder and Father?

From closing yourself off from work to being fully engaged during family time, here are six answers to the question, “How do you balance being a founder and a father?”

  • When I Close the Laptop, It Stays Closed
  • Be Deliberate With Your Time
  • Set Clear Priorities
  • Work Extra Hours Midweek and the Devote Weekend to Children
  • Use Flexible Working to Your Favour
  • It’s All About Being Present

When I Close the Laptop, It Stays Closed

As an entrepreneur and father, I have always been incredibly strict with my boundaries by closing my laptop for the day and not opening it back up once I’ve moved on to family time. There are no half-measures for this—you have to be fully engaged with work when you’re at work and fully engaged with your family when you’re with your family.

The temptation to check emails at 10 PM when we’re finishing a Disney movie or coming back from Grandma’s is always there, especially when you’ve been an entrepreneur for over a decade and know how quickly things can move, but I’ve set a rule for myself and I stick to it.

Dragos BadeaDragos Badea
CEO, Yarooms

Being Deliberate With Your Time

The only way to survive when building a newer company and having younger children in the house is to schedule your time ruthlessly and stick to it.

You can’t schedule time with your kids, especially young ones, like an appointment. Make sure you dedicate time just to them. When you finish work, disengage as best you can and focus on the other things in your life.

Therefore, scheduling is important. Keep consistent work hours so you can plan around it. I know a business can consume a ridiculous amount of your time, but if you have a consistent schedule, it lets you and your family plan around it.

Even if you don’t get to spend as much time as you’d like with your children, the time you spend together will be of higher quality.

Daniel NdukwuDaniel Ndukwu
CMO and Co-Founder, DoxFlowy

Set Clear Priorities

The key to successfully managing both roles is setting clear priorities. As a founder, you may have the tendency to prioritize your business over everything else, but as a father, it is important to manage your time and energy in a way that gives your family the attention it deserves. Having a good understanding of what is most important in each situation can help you make sure you are giving both roles the attention they need.

Martin SeeleyMartin Seeley
CEO, Mattress Next Day

Work Extra Hours Midweek and Devote the Weekend to Children

Balancing being a founder and a father can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. One approach is to work extra hours during the week and spend time with children on the weekends. This allows for focused work time during the week and quality time with family on the weekends.

It’s important to set boundaries and prioritize so that work and family life don’t interfere with each other. For example, setting specific work hours during the week and designating certain times for family activities on the weekends can help create a balance. It’s also important to communicate with your family and explain the importance of the work you’re doing and why you need to put in extra hours during the week.

Mark McShaneMark McShane
Marketing Director, Leeds First Aid Courses

Use Flexible Working to Your Favour

Everyone talks about how disruptive entrepreneurship can be for work-life balance. As the adage goes, “Entrepreneurs will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” However, no one talks about the upside, and that is flexibility.

As the founder, you decide the working arrangements, and this benefits you. Avoiding a long commute to the office goes a long way, tipping the work-life balance in your family’s favor. This is true when commuting by train, potentially saving hours per day.

My strategy is to use remote working on days reserved for family, opening my evenings considerably. It’s a beneficial situation since I’m not doing anything productive while commuting, so it’s an easy advantage for a business owner and family man.

Oliver SavillOliver Savill
CEO and Founder, AssessmentDay

It’s All About Being Present

I’m on my second business now. I started my first one when I was single with no kids. Now I’m married and have a 7-year-old, and I can attest that it’s much harder to be a founder and a father simultaneously. The one thing that helps me balance the two is staying present.

By that, I mean that when I spend time with my daughter, I’m fully present with her. I’m not doing work on my phone or even thinking about work. I’m 100% there with her in the room, physically and mentally.

Even though it may only be for 30 minutes here or 60 minutes there, the time is much more meaningful to both of us than if I were spending 3 hours with her but only partially there, and not present.

Brian NolanBrian Nolan
Co-Founder and CEO, BookOutdoors

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