Work and Family... or Family and Work
Spring delivers (hopefully) appointments galore - almost daily, while the days are filled with starting work early and pacing through projects as quickly as possible. Add in new employees that just started in time for the season, and chaos is happily delivered all 7 days of the week. While the kids are off from school, summer is no different for this business owner, battling highly sunny days is the norm. The fall brings a mad rush to finish projects before the frost (or even between frosts) as well as attracting just a couple more projects.
And then comes winter. A time to take a deep breathe and relax (for the outdoor work anyway). If however the seasons prior haven't gone well, its a time to sulk. Either way, its finally a chance to connect with the family. We aren't going to ask is that enough, we know that its not. We know that 12-16 hour days almost all year don't provide anywhere near enough balance with family time.
While growing your business to the next million dollar range, changing your business model, or just starting off, it's easy to say that you'll work hard now and have more time with the family later. We hear it all the time. What we also hear is that it's detrimental; it's a constant cycle of "after doing this." There are and will always be many cycles of work that require a lot of attention to achieve X goal.
Now of course, families of home services business owners are usually supportive of the high work demands. If not, the tension will be enough to destroy the business within no time. But does a supportive family really mean that it's okay to postpone attending all the sports games, not scheduling summer family vacations, missing the toddler's bedtime, and skipping the school events? No one can ever do it all, but how impactful is the lack of balance with work and family?
Landscape architects are an example of the blend of family and work in this industry. They've traditionally blended the lines and included their family in the business or included the business into their family! We've heard so many stories of architectural designs made right in the living room with three kids running around. Or, kids and spouse involvement in the the business with formal or informal roles. Sure, LAs may not spend anywhere near the amount of time that landscape contractors do in the field - but as business owners, should that be a significant reason for the difference in work and family balance?
Whatever the reasons - there is a common message among home professionals - of wanting to spend more time with family while not sacrificing revenue or quality. We look forward to seeing the solutions to solve this need; maybe with trends in delegation and automation of some work (like marketing), it will happen soon.
Looking for opportunities to spend less time working? See if this free download can help.