A family is usually the most important support group that a person has in life and the one that is with us longer than any other set of friends or associates. Family members are usually loyal and sacrificing, especially when it comes to the ventures and goals that each person treasures. If someone from outside the family unit criticizes or shows disrespect, family can be depended upon to defend and support each other.
Often people become so wrapped up in starting or building a business that they begin to ignore their family. Over time this can really begin to hurt the business in a number of ways:
1. You lose the respect of the family - At first you might be missed but if you continually skip important celebrations or break promises because you have given the business your first priority, the time will come when your absence is the norm. Your partner and children will get used do doing things without you and not depend on you to make or fulfill commitments.
2. You lose the support that you previously had from family - A time may come when your immediate family loses interest in the things that interest you. They may become tired of trying to make conversation with you, thinking that all you want to talk about is the business. Perhaps their disappointments might even turn into anger or jealousy. Rather than being proud of the business, they may actually resent it and withdraw their support of you continuing with it because it steals the time and attention that they so desperately want.
3. You may even lose the family - Often separation and divorce are products of relationships that are neglected. When the business is so consuming that you ignore your family, there will be consequences and even though you may have been motivated in the beginning by the hope that you could build a business for your family, that goal may actually turn into the very thing that destroys your family.
4. You may lose your self-respect - Unfortunately, we often do not see what we are losing until they are gone. When people invest everything they have in time and energy into a business and, at the same time, neglect or ignore their family, they often end up as lonely older people who have many, many regrets.
It is very important that, as a business person, you assess and remember the things that are most important to you. Give your partner and children what can never be replaced by anything else in the world. What they really want is your time and attention.
It's all about balance! Building a business and building a family at the same time.