Balancing Acts: Entrepreneurship, Family, and Play

by ellis j. still

As an entrepreneur, there is a delicate balancing act between family, business, and play. As a newlywed of almost two years it can be especially challenging, since we are working through figuring “us” out, but then to also have to factor in the trials of starting a business as well. I put together some things to watch out for….

1.) Know when to shut it off. Although being an entrepreneur is very demanding, it is also very exciting as well. Learn how to temper your excitement. Your wife / husband does not need to hear about your every aspect of every success and failure during every waking moment. Yes – it is natural for spouses to talk about how one’s day went, but to talk about it for every waking moment just isn’t healthy for either one of you.

2.) Husbands – spend time with your wife. She understands that you are doing a great thing, yet by nature, she needs you to pay attention to her… to listen to her… to do all the cuddly things that she likes to do. Surprise her by using time that you would normally spend at the home office and take her out on a date. If the roles were reversed and she is the entrepreneur, it’s the same thing. Don’t assume that your spouse knows how much you care. Show how much you care.

3.) Wives – (written by my wife) Support his vision. Sometimes that means walking by his faith. Sometimes when God gives your husband a vision, it’s our job as wives to pray for vision, carry the vision and ultimately give birth to the vision with your husband. Habakkuk 2:3 says “For the revelation waits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Sometimes it may look like nothing is happening with the business, that’s when you have to hold on to the vision. Your husband will need your faith to keep going. Love him, support him, and encourage him. Nothing keeps a man going more than his wife telling him she believes in him.

4.) Loose the crackberry. This has been a challenging area for me. Wherever I am, my Blackberry is always somewhere nearby… ready to respond to any email that comes my way. I have gotten much better, but my wife bought us an I-Touch that she really enjoys, so now I think we’re even :- )

5.) Laugh a lot, and make a lot of Love.

6.) Recognize that pecking order:

a.) God first.

b.) Then family.

c.) Then business.

This is an area that often stresses and destroys marriages and/or businesses. People’s first thought tends to be putting the success of the business before family, not realizing that your family is your first ministry until it’s too late. Money comes and goes, but family will be there to support you no matter what. With God being the head of the family, there is nothing that can happen that will be successful at breaking it apart.

7.) Value your husband’s/wife’s opinion. My wife and I work in professional fields that could not be more opposite. She analyses. I create. Yet, we often find ourselves brainstorming some interesting and creative ideas – some of which we are actively working on now, and some will come to fruition sometime in the future. 

Question: what are you doing to balance your business, love, and play?


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