“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit … and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.” —Brian Dyson (former CEO Coca Cola)
I am always interested in how businesses start. How do entrepreneurs persevere while having families to provide for. It’s especially interesting to read about single moms juggling responsibility with starting a business (which requires as much attention as children can demand). Like this article in huffington post: there’s lack of sleep, 1000 % attention, and costly, among some of the examples they provide. And somehow women like Mary Kay Ash is a favorite story, she launched Mary Kay Cosmetics in her 40’s and has seen its growing success to this day.
And many times, the balance seems to work out. I remember growing up, my mom had 3 kids, my dad traveling as a consultant for IBM, and my mom was starting her own business. It was definitely not easy, but it’s a process that is a right of passage for any business owner, learning the balance between family and business. I remember when I was 10 years old, I would answer the phone at my moms office, it was a really simple job, but it was a fun one.
Family can be as much a painful part of owning a business as it can be a supportive role. Obviously, I opt for the supportive role. But what can you do when it’s the opposite? When the family is not supportive? (hypothetical question) It’s lonely, and it takes time to learn how to find the balance.