In the world we live in today, often times people view being an Entrepreneur and a parent as an oxymoron. Some believe that the task of creating, owning, and running a successful business and having a family cannot seamlessly function effectively. In fact, it can sometime come across as though someone – either in your family, a client, or someone in your business – may get the short end of the stick and will not get as much attention. I am here to tell you as a wife and mother of a beautiful five-month-old daughter that it is in fact quite possible and rewarding at the same time.
Having an artistic craft has always been a gift in itself. When I got married and then gave birth to a child I felt an awaking towards my purpose for life. I believe and live that that it is the duty of an artist to create – honestly it is a MUST. It is your responsibility to fulfill the purpose you were given and create for the community around you, but fulfillment of purpose doesn’t end or pause when you gain a family it makes everything worthwhile.
My husband and I have been together for almost 10 years and married for one year. During those ten years we have remained supportive and understanding of one another because we are open to finding different ways to improve our relationship and marriage through open communication. Through this I have been able to build my company LST Designs. Over time I have developed many key points of how I have been able to be a successful entrepreneur parent and want to share them with you.
10 Key Steps to Being the Successful Entrepreneur Parent:
1. Share your gift with your family
Just as you are excited to share your gifts with the world, don’t forget to share it with them too. You’re an entrepreneur! Tell them about your new clients you got that week, about your excitement with a new project. You can share your thoughts and new ideas you may have in mind and sometimes get inspiration from them.
2. Support them as they support you
Support their dreams because it could be the turning point they need to pursue more happiness in their life. They could have more dreams than you could know and want to chase them and your support could be the key to unlocking their own success. Everyday they willingly support and love you so it should also be your goal to do the same for them and their aspirations.
3. Create with intentions of passing it down to your child(ren)
When you started your business it had the potential to be anything you could dream, as it should have been. Now that it is shaping into what you have planned, there’s time to mold it into something you could also hand down to your family. It’s one thing to own something, but to have the power to create more opportunities for your children is a great gift. I won’t be the parent to force my child into liking art or anything related to my business but if she takes interest it is my duty to teach, train, and prepare her for the gift if she so chooses to follow my steps.
4. Create boundaries for when & where you work
There will always be plenty of time to create. Often times we as creatives or entrepreneurs may get in the zone and forget other responsibilities and daily task, like eating and sleeping. One key thing to not forget though during your days is to have balance. It is something that can be learned and practiced. The same way you make time for your work, you have to make time for your family. Part of that is keeping the time and the place you spend doing them separate. When work is done then make sure to give the rest of your time to them.
5. Communicate what you need
It is easy to slowly put more time into your work and it in turn your family gets less. Usually it is because something important came up or you may need more time to complete a task. Instead of compromising the positive outlook your family has on your work, express to them the needs your company may have and arrange something that may work better instead.
6. Be open to feedback from your family
Often we spend time working and need to bounce ideas off of other creatives or business owners. Sometimes the best people to bounce an idea off is right under the same roof. I know it may seem like they can come across as unqualified in your eyes, but because they know you and sometimes they can either enhance your gifts or tell you when there is an error on your part. Having them there can be more of a bonus than you may know.
7. ALWAYS be aware and active with your family
Make sure to never put so much focus on work that you miss special moments. Being present for birthdays and holidays are easy because they are planned. It is the little moments when your child learns sit up on their own, begin to laugh more, your husband does something in your love language to show his affections. Try to always be aware of your family and their love, because in the end they are your life.
8. You ARE ALLOWED to love both
Some say you have to pick between work and family, however I do not believe this is true. You were given two gifts, your creative mind and your beautiful family. As long as you can create and establish balance then the two can coexist and blossom into a long happy life.
9. NEVER stop creating
There will be times when family has to come first not matter the project, task, client, or idea. You will have to compromise and they will need you more at times. That should never stop you from creating or building on your dreams and goals. Just because your family may need you at times more, you can always pick up where you left creatively. Discipline and resilience are requirements for the success of your dreams.
10. Say thank you
Your family knows you love them and appreciate them. It is their support and care that ultimately keeps you going and moving forward. They know at times you will need to work and take care of work tasks, but never forget to say thank you. Those words of affirmation that you “appreciate them for everything they do” builds more trust, understanding, and an unbreakable bond.
Above all remember you CAN be an entrepreneur and a parent, you just have to be willing to work towards it.
Love, faith, and creativity is the belief to go by when it comes to creating art.”And that belief has carried L’Oreal Henderson to where she is today. Born and raised in Chattanooga Tennessee, Henderson loves to use that belief to learn new things about life.