Running a business with small children

>>I’ve decided to start a small business, selling ….  I know you have a small business as well, and I was wondering if you could write about homeschooling and children and owning a small business? :-)  I’d appreciate any insight –  I’m kind of scared of doing this with a toddler and a baby. <<

I don’t know what your specific question about running a business and having young children is, but I’ll share my general thoughts with you.  First of all, make sure it’s something that you love.  Even a small business can take up a lot more time and energy than you would ever expect, and it can easily drain you.  If you love it, you’ll still have the motivation to continue when you’re feeling worn out. 

Don’t overextend yourself.  Know yourself and your limitations.  When I started thinking about a home biz, I had six kids, and the youngest was over 3.  Things were running in a very smooth groove, and I felt very up to taking on a bigger project, though I didn’t actually start my business until six months later, when my seventh was a month old.  Having the head space for something is what makes the big difference between feeling motivated or feeling overwhelmed.  At this point, I don’t want any extra things that I’m not passionate about taking up my time.  So I wouldn’t have started the biz at this point in my life, because getting started is pretty intense and takes a lot of energy.  So that’s just to say that something can be great at one stage of life and not so great at another stage. 

Practically speaking, I clearly delineated time that I would and wouldn’t spend on the business.  Initially it was between 4 – 6 pm (not two full hours, just some point in between that time slot), when I was working together with the kids on it.  Other things I did in the evenings after they went to sleep (and I stayed up way too late way too often).  I chose an online business because I didn’t want the pressure of answering phones and needing to be available during the day hours when my priority was to be with my children. 

Do you feel you’re at the stage that you have enough quiet time for yourself that you can spare some of it for working on a business?  Would working on the business be stimulating for you, something you would look forward to spending time on, or one more thing to feel pressured by?   Keep your initial outlay small enough that if you change your mind at some point, you don’t feel like you have to continue because of the money you’re already put into it.  You don’t want to buy yourself an obligation by starting a business. 

If this is an idea that you’re excited about, and you can visualize how to fit it into your life in a way structure that will give you a meaningful outlet for your time and energy, without adding excessive stress or tension to your life, then go for it! 


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