Everyone knows that family time is extremely important, yet we seem to get ourselves stuck in situations where we get very limited amounts of family time.
It’s nothing to be ashamed about, we all are in the same boat, but there IS a solution.
Before you read any further, understand that NOTHING is easy.
You can make things easier, and you can have a lot of fun, but anything you do in life is going to take some work. By “some” I mean a LOT of work.
Before we get into the details, here’s a little background story so you can see that all of this is possible and it’s not just an online gimmick aimed at selling you something.
When I first met my husband, I was 18 and fresh off the farm. Yeah, I said that. A dairy farm to be exact. I really thought that all I had to do was make him happy and take care of him, and everything would work out. It’s being young awesome (she says sarcastically).
I’d love to say I quickly realized that I was kidding myself but the reality is it took me a few years to realize we were in trouble.
It’s not that he did a bad job of taking care of us, but we just never had …. enough…
- not enough time
- not enough money
We just wanted things to be a little bit better. We weren’t exactly unhappy, but something had to give.
So we started a Business with a partner. And well you know how that goes. Partners are great until they aren’t.
I worked in all kinds of different industries after that, from selling insurance to construction, and even car sales.
I ended up working for a local utility company, which was a solid job, but I kept wanting more.
No matter what I did, I never had enough time for my family, and never had enough money.
We were renting a mobile home, which wasn’t ideal, and my soul was slowly getting sucked away by my employer. Working for someone else was taking up all of my time and energy, and I knew my wage would never get high enough for me to be able to do the things I wanted to do.
On top of that, I didn’t have a lot of control over my schedule, my employer did.
Then we had our first of two incredibly feral children. We were both working full time and I hated every minute of feeling like someone else was raising my baby. Not to mention the fact that I really didn’t like my job.
But like my grandpa said you’ve got to put in your time, put money in your 401k, and get that retirement fund or you’ll be living in a cardboard box! So I did my best to suck it up.
That’s when the bottom fell out. Or so I thought. I was fired from my safe job. Corporate mergers are a *itch!
Turns out being fired was the best thing that ever happened to me. My great friend and mentor told me I should start my own business so I could stay at home and be with my baby. She knew what I’d be going through, feeling like a failure as a mom.
But I wasn’t that easily convinced. “What about insurance? What about my 401k?” I shot back. She looked me right in the face and said “why does someone else have to provide them for you? Why can’t you do it yourself?”
WOW. Mic Drop.
She was right!
Why had I let all my previous employers convince me that I needed them to survive? That was the moment when I decided to take back control of my career, my family, and my happiness.
I wasn’t exactly hyper-qualified to be an entrepreneur, and I wasn’t 100% sure I even knew what I was doing, but I just had to make a change.
So I did.
I started by being a freelance Virtual Assistant (VA) on Upwork, and slowly built my way up to earning 6 figures, and being the main breadwinner for my family.
At first, it was a lot of work, and I overdid it. But I was there every day when my daughter got home from school and I was feeling blessed.
And then came the shock of my lifetime, a second miracle baby. Not gonna lie, finding out at 42 that you’re five … yes that’s right five months pregnant … was a bit of a WTF moment, but dang she sure is cute!
As the kids grew so did my business and I was really refining who my target client was and getting heavily involved with marketing. My client list was growing too. That’s when my kids started complaining about never having family time with Mom, so I realized I needed to take a different approach.
How I Started Freeing Up Time For My Family
Honestly, it’s hard running your own business and finding a way to have free time.
Solopreneurs are notorious for working 16 hour days, with no days off, and that just doesn’t leave much time for family.
So you feel like you have to choose between family or paying the bills, and it’s a hard choice.
OR, you can work your life away for decades for someone else… and still not have enough family time… YAY!
Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice the lifestyle you want, you just have to change how you do things.
So what did I do?
There were 4 key steps I had to take to start freeing up time for my family:
- Became self-employed
- Adjusted my schedule to make my availability consistent with my kids’ school schedule. This meant not allowing appointments in the evenings or weekends.
- I started learning as much as I could about automation tools, so I didn’t have to spend so much of my time doing repetitive tasks. This eventually led to many more business opportunities because my clients were also interested in automating their businesses.
- I worked up the courage to hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) of my own which allowed me to spend my work time on tasks that would bring the most value, instead of spending them doing tedious, but necessary, tasks.
The reality of it is… you will most likely NEVER have the freedom to spend more time with your family UNLESS you either:
A.) Find a very high-paying job/be VERY frugal.
B.) Start working for yourself.
If you’re not already self-employed, you should seriously consider it. It’s hard work, but it’s completely doable. If I can do it, so can you!
If you’re already self-employed, and you’re doing the whole 16-hour day thing and want to fix your work-life balance, then I would highly recommend looking into automation with a tool like Keap.
Hiring a VA can also work wonders for your business, since delegation is similar to automation in the sense that it frees up your time to do other things.
Starting Your Own Business
It’s common for people to think “I don’t want to deal with starting a business. Why can’t I work a regular job and get all the things I want?”
I felt the same way, BUT… the reality is… that’s most likely NOT going to happen.
Employers aren’t there to make you happy or to make you money. They have their own interests and needs to fulfill. You’re merely a cog in their machine.
Explaining how to go about starting your own business is going to have to wait for another time, since it’s a huge topic, but the key things you need to know are:
- Being self-employed is COMPLETELY DOABLE
- Running a business is challenging, but it’s not any harder than being an employee
- It’s the BEST WAY to live the lifestyle you want
- There IS HELP AVAILABLE
If You Need Help With Your Business
If you’re completely new to the idea of entrepreneurship, everyone and their mother has a “Start your own business” online training course.
We have a course, called Practitioners Business Essentials, which is specifically aimed at people who are trying to become FDN certified health coaches, but we are working on training that is a bit more accessible to people with other interests.
If you already have a business of your own and you need help with automation or marketing, then you may want to consider scheduling a Creative Solutions call with me so we can figure out how to help you grow your business together.
Family Is What Matters Most
At the end of the day, it’s all about family.
Whether you’re trying to find a way to provide for your family, or trying to find ways to free up some family time, I hope this article was helpful.
Remember, things may seem impossible, but if I can do it… so can you, and your family will thank you for it.
Thanks, have a wonderful day!
About the Author,
Michelle Bell is a Marketing Automation Expert and Keap Certified Partner with a passion for creative solutions. She excels at identifying needs and resolving them, creative and genuine communication, understanding business process efficiency, simplifying the complicated, facilitating relationships, and being herself in all things. She began her career in finance, later moving into regulatory affairs for the local public utilities, before finding her passion for working with small businesses and coaches. Michelle is all about family and believes you build work around your life, not vice versa!