Business Family Finance

4 tips for balancing building your start-up and family

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

From inventing time to sharing work with the kids, one dad tells us how to balance business and family to perfection.

Alec Dobbie co-founded a successful business after becoming a dad. Here, he gives us four killer tips for any dads looking launch their own start-up but not sure how to fit it in around their family.

Don’t worry about mixing work and personal time

The ability to run your own business will mean you might have to take calls occasionally on your holidays, but it can also mean you can walk your kids to school every day – I do both. 

Having hard and fast times for each can be counterproductive, however do make the time to put your phone down.

At the start, you will likely have to sacrifice your hobbies

There are only so many hours in the day, so for me kickboxing had to go. I rescued six hours a week from this. In the early days of balancing your business and your family, time is your most precious commodity. 

If you want the business to work and to see your family, quit the hobby. You can always come back to it once you are more settled.

‘Invent time’ 

Alec Dobbie

When starting FanFinders, I used to get up at 5am to start work on the business before my family got up. I would then work 9-5 to get paid, spend early evenings with family, then get back to it after 8pm. 

It’s tough because quite frankly, it’s tough. It’s not for everybody. I also started working the day job from home so I didn’t need to commute an hour each way. More of us are working from home now, so capture that 10 hours a week for your start-up. That’s a solid week of effort per month by not driving to work.

If possible, share your work with your kids

This is obviously easier as they get older. I find the more I tell them about what I’m doing the more interested they become. 

My kids like the tech side of my business and I show them various websites and talk a bit about how they work; they especially like the idea of how our sites will be powered by Artificial Intelligence – I’m convinced it all sounds a bit Harry Potter to them!

Alec Dobbie is CEO and co-founder of FanFinders.

FanFinders operates Your Baby Club, the fastest growing mums network in the UK.

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