I was having a morning tea a few days ago with some of my team. It’s always good to get together with a few at a time to enjoy a cuppa and cake, and a good old-fashioned chat face-to-face. We all have families at different stages of life and it’s fun to share ideas and compare how we manage things.
My kids are older than that of the ladies that were there that day so I was able to talk about things that took place during their teen years, as my business was developing and opportunities arose. We talked about developing niche areas for our businesses and the opportunities that come along and how important it is to recognise an opportunity and grab hold of it.
I was fortunate in being able to do some work with a couple of well known TV personalities a few years ago and it meant my own children also benefitted from those working relationships. I know at times the kids feel like ‘we’re always working’ but if you can seek to show your children some of the benefits they wouldn’t have if you weren’t running a business at home, they are quick to appreciate it – even if they don’t always show that immediately.
For me it was access to equipment they normally wouldn’t have for school projects and homework (photocopier, binder, laminator, etc) and then when some interesting clients came along like those of the TV personalities it meant my girls were able to ask them questions direct and discuss with them their lifestyles. In both cases these people are comedians and I have a couple of daughters who have a particular interest in comedy. You can’t imagine what that does for young teenagers to be able to ask direct questions and not have to compete with a screaming crowd to be heard.
And now my girls are old enough to look back they do tell me how good it was to know that I was home, how much they appreciated being in their own home and their own beds when they needed to. How much they appreciated that I was there for them when xx happened, or be at their school when they were doing something special. To be available to run them to places and in one daughter’s case that meant driving her up to the country once a week for a year so she could do a horse course. That wouldn’t have been possible if I were in a corporate job and today my daughter works in the thoroughbred industry doing something she really loves.
When the children are young we need to explain to them at their level of understanding, some of the benefits of mum being home in exchange for the time we need to commit to our businesses. And we need to make sure if we promise to take them somewhere, do something together, or experience something, that we follow through with this so that the children really do experience and see the benefits of our working at home. Otherwise it just seems like we’re in another job to them, even if they can see us on a daily basis. KMT