Isn't This The Real Reason Why We Start Our Own Business?

posted 14 Oct 2013, 06:31 by Dean Allan   [ updated 14 Oct 2013, 06:33 ]

I had a wonderful day today that reminded me of why I started my own business back in 2006. 

My eleven year old son had the day off school today (a "pupil free" day for the teachers - on the first day back from school holidays - this confuses me a bit, but I digress!!!) and I was working from home all day so we made a deal that he would keep himself occupied in the morning while I caught up on some work and around lunch time we would go and have a "quick 9 holes" at a golf course near where we live. 

Both of us were really looking forward to a round of golf together, as this was something that we did quite regularly earlier this year but we have not played for months as I have been very busy working on a project that has taken up much of my free time.

Anyway, as promised, I "downed tools" just before midday, dusted off our golf clubs and off we went for a quick round!!

What a delightful time we had and it was a harsh reminder to me of the time you "lose" with your children when you become totally engrossed in running your own business. 

He chatted about what he likes (and dislikes) most about school, computer games he likes, why he loves playing tennis and how he is really enjoying his judo lessons because soon he will be able to "whoop" me!!!!! 8=)

We wandered around the course, chatting about "Dad & Son stuff", no idea of the time and without a care in the world!!!

About half way around the course we started laughing because we realised that we had forgotten to keep our scores - we had a quick vote and the "who cares" won by a majority, because this had nothing to do with the game - it was simply a chance for father and son to be together.

A couple of hours - and numerous lost golf balls later - we left the golf course happy and relaxed and as we unpacked our clubs at home my son looked up and said "Thank you, my Dad" and gave me a big hug before heading in to make himself some lunch.

I remember vividly that a big part of the reason I started my own business back in 2006 was to allow me to spend more time with my (then) five year old son. 

The problem is that it is very easy to end up spending less time with your family as you deal with the dynamics of driving your business forward, particularly in its early days.

After today's experience I will be making sure that more time is spent doing the things I love with the ones I love - and if this means work has to be "placed on hold" for a couple of hours every now and then, so be it. 

What promises did you make to yourself and your family when you started your own business and are you keeping them?