How to be a parent and an entrepreneur (without losing your mind)
Jamie is a father to a one-year-old and it was great to hear his views on how being a parent has helped his work life balance. Jamie told us that while his previous job did allow for quite a lot of flexibility, being self-employed gives him more freedom, and managing his own business allows him to better provide for his family. Jamie’s business partners are not parents themselves but this hasn’t been an issue. The panel and the audience felt that generally people are more understanding of family commitments than they used to be.
Emma runs Big Bear Creative Studios with her husband Dave and they have their own ‘little bear.’ For Emma, owning her own business means she can manage her work/life balance on her own terms. Being a husband and wife team, Emma and Dave find it easy to organise their workload so that they still have plenty of family time. Their business is growing so they’ve taken the decision to expand their team rather than sacrifice more of their own time.
Most people felt that being an entrepreneur or self-employed allows you more control over your time than being an employee, which is a great advantage as a parent. We also agreed that being a parent means you have to be more organised, and the empathy that comes with being a parent improves the way that we do business and interact with others. There is in fact a big skills overlap between being a parent and being an entrepreneur. Time management, multi-tasking and staying calm under pressure are all essential skills of both jobs, so balancing the two is not as hard as you might think. Also, deadlines like picking your child up from nursery or school are immovable so you become better at prioritising and making the most of your available time.
Thanks to our panellists and to those who came and took part in a great discussion.