For small business owners with families, everyone pays a price
As Tim Askew sat down for dinner, his mind was still on his business, Corporate Rain International, a New York-based provider of sales-outsourcing services. A former Broadway actor, he put on his best performance and tried to smile and participate with his wife and daughter. But they saw right through him.
“Daddy, you have on your business face. I can’t talk to you when you’re looking like that,” his daughter would say. His not-fully-being-there status wasn’t limited to meals. He also traveled frequently for work, and on the rare occasions he’d take his family on vacations, he was glued to his phone. He admitted to making decisions for the family without consulting his wife, and he often forgot her friends’ names at gatherings. “She said I’d get this faraway look in my eyes, and it embarrassed her,” he recalled.
Askew is far from alone. A recent survey by TSheets revealed half of small business owners admit to working weekends at least once a month. One in 3 miss family or social occasions with the same frequency, while 33 percent acknowledge how their family has had to make sacrifices for the business.
But that’s not to say business and family can’t work and succeed together. Rather, it’s recognizing the role families play in the success of an entrepreneur or a small business owner.
Justin Kulla, founder and CEO of BusinessBlocks.com, shared how his parents ran a business and a family together for 40 years. Kulla observed how they operated on three key practices, on a daily basis. They always appreciated one another, they never made disagreements personal, and they carved out individual working spaces to prevent unnecessary frustration and friction.
So as we celebrate National Small Business Week, let us not forget how every success story is never a solo effort but one supported and fortified by a network of kin and clan.