If you have a business, and a family, you’ve no doubt asked a question about this before. Business/Family balance is an issue that faces us all.
And now that we have these thin little pieces of plastic in our hands all day long, it’s even easier than ever before to screw up the proper balance.
For this episode of “Ask A Protractor” Natalie Ganske from Knight Custom Homes has agreed to come on and help us get an answer to this all important question.
Inside you’ll learn:
- How Natalie and her husband have a meeting to talk about these things
- How the very thing we are trying to do for our kids could be what actually works against them
- The importance of setting boundaries in the home
- How to be truly present with your kids when the world is begging for your attention
- How to fight for those things truly worth fighting for
This is a great episode of honesty and transparency. Be prepared to feel conviction, inspiration, and motivation to live your life more on purpose. And to run your business, rather than have your business run you.
Listen to the show today, or read the entire transcript below…
Thank you for your ongoing support. If you love this show, please share it with a friend and leave us a review on iTunes. We great appreciate it.
—–Here is the entire transcript—–
Martin: All right. Today, I have Natalie on the show from Knight Custom Homes up in Canada. I’m excited to have her join us today. We’ve got a special topic we’re going to talk about that effects just about everyone of us who are in business for ourselves. It has to do with work life balance. Natalie, welcome to the show.
Natalie: Thank you, Martin.
Martin: Natalie, before we begin in the question, tell us real quick where you’re located and what it is that you do specifically, and how long you’ve been in business.
Natalie: Yeah, we are in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We focus on renovations currently. We would like to get into new builds down the road.
Martin: Yeah. How long have you been in business?
Natalie: We’ve been doing this for 10 years.
Martin: Nice. Awesome. In those 10 years, I’m sure you and your husband have seen quite a bit of change, even as your family has grown. That brings up our question today, which goes like this. What is the best way to balance business and family?
Natalie: Yeah. Like you said, 10 years. We started our business right before we got married actually. Lots of changes happened in that time. We now have three young kids. I think we found that as we added kids, our initial mistake was just assuming that balance would be something that maybe would happen on its own. It wasn’t necessarily something we had to be so intentional about. We have discovered now that it is something that we really have to assess in every season that we’re in as the business grows, as our family has grown. Your capacity changes. We try and make it a point to discuss every few months, or whenever we really need to, what is working for us, what’s not working for us. Just so that both of us aren’t feeling overwhelmed or burdened by what’s on our plates, but that we can handle what is expected of us on both sides.
Martin: How do you do that? Talk to us real briefly about this quarterly meeting, or whatever it is that you do.
Natalie: I don’t think we have it actually scheduled, but yeah. Whenever I think we really feel like we need to evaluate what it is that we’re doing. We just sit down whenever we have time and talk it out. And say what it is that maybe we need to drop. What we need to get off of our plates. What is not serving us or our family well. That kind of a thing.
Martin: Yeah. It’s amazing because we have our families, right, and our children and everything. A lot of times, that’s our why. It’s why we’re in business, is we want to leave a legacy or we want to raise up our children and everything. Then that very work can be what robs our children of their dad and mom or whatever. What is the right balance between business and family? Have you figured it out?
Natalie: I think it’s still something that we, again, you always have to assess. For us, one of the big things that we’ve found is setting boundaries. We live in a world where, because of our smart phones and this and that, people can just, they want to have access to us all the time. The phone calls are always going to be there, the homeowners, the trades. Everybody’s always going to want your attention whenever they want it. We’ve found it just really vital for us as a family to set boundaries and say what is important for us. Whether that is making sure that we always have supper together, or the phones are off in the evening. Or that we’re always both home for our kids’ bedtime routines, so that they get a good chunk of quality time with us every day. There are certain times that it’s easy to look at others and say that I should keep working tonight. There’s always work to be done, but at some point …
It’s the same thing with rest. Even if it’s not family time, it’s just healthy for you to set boundaries that at some point, you have to just stop and call it quits because the need is going to kill you. You have to stop. Setting those boundaries, I think, is something that we’ve found is really important. It give us just a release and a freedom to know that we can make decisions based on what’s best for our family and not necessarily out of fear of what’s going to happen if we don’t answer that phone call right now. Or if the work’s not going to be there tomorrow if I don’t respond to this email right now.
Martin: Yeah. Well, you know what’s crazy is we have our work, I mean the literal work. Then we have emails and like you said, phone calls. To me, that reminds me of 15, 20 years ago. A client might call you up on the landline, the phone, and you have to choose whether to answer it or let it go to the answering machine or not. Now our smart phones are connected to the entire world. We have this Instagram platform and Facebook and You Tube videos to watch. Just so much available right in our hands. It’s easy for me to walk around my house with my head buried in my phone. I’m at home. I’m with my family. I’m with my kids, but I’m not really there.
Martin: Talk about that a little bit, as far as boundaries.
Natalie: Yeah, I think a huge part of when you’re home with your kids is being present with them. Whether it’s your kids or anybody else with their smart phones, we know that if our attention is drawn somewhere else, that tells them what is important. If our attention is not there with our kids, then it’s giving them the message that they’re not important to us and that our time is not important. I think that a key part of that is that sometimes we need to just put our phones down. If you need to put it in another room or turn it off for an hour, the world is not going to end. Everything’s still going to be there when we pick it up later when they go to bed, if we have to, or whenever that is that we decide is best for us as a family. Again, I really think part of that is just being present. Being there, focusing on what you’re focusing on and not multi-tasking all the time, just because we are able to or we have that opportunity.
Martin: Yeah, I totally agree. That reminds me, I wrote a blog post a while back that was, I think the title was Why I Never Answer My Phone in a Meeting. Because one of my pet peeves is, let’s say you’re sitting one-on-one in a restaurant with a friend or a client, a prospect, maybe it’s a sales meeting, whatever. And that person answers their phone right in the middle of a meeting. It’s just a third person walked up and they turned their back on you and started talking to the third person.
Natalie: Yes, yeah.
Martin: Well, take that inside the home, inside the family. In a sense, that’s what we’re doing, even though it doesn’t really feel like it, because we can look up over our phone at a spouse or children, or whatever. Wow. That’s really good for me to hear and think about. I’m sure it is for everyone who’s listening. What else have you thought about on this subject of business family balance?
Natalie: I just think, lately I hear a lot of people giving advice to new business owners or young entrepreneurs and that kind of a thing. Lots of times it’s easy for us to just tell people that it’s really hard. We know it’s really hard. We need long hours to make it work and to get yourself off the ground. But there’s an extent to which we almost glorify working all the time. I just really think to myself that it is easy for us to justify and say that we can work all the time. If we want to run our lives that way, then that is fine, but I think we forget often how much it affects our spouses or our partners and our children and our relationship with them. That really we’re sacrificing, lots of times, our relationship with them in order to get to where we want to be. Yet we say that we do it for them, so what’s the point?
I just don’t see the point in doing it that way. I really think that a huge part of it is just being aware of it. We need to give our priority to our families. That’s the reason that we do it. That’s what’s just going to benefit us in the long run, right.
Martin: Right. Well, we’re soon going to come to the end here, where we can wrap this up. Is there anything else that you want to add or share with us on the subject of balancing business and family?
Natalie: Yeah. I think there is a quote that I posted a long time ago on the Instagram account. It said that there’s no such thing as a work-life balance. That everything worth fighting for unbalances your life. That just sunk with me for a long time. I think the fact is, is that we are always going to live with one thing unbalancing us all the time. The point is to constantly adjust our sails. As long as we’re aware of it, we’re going to do fine.
Martin: All right. Well, thank you so much for sharing that. This was only 10 minutes, but man. It’s been helpful for me just to revisit this and think about it. I remember years ago, I made it a practice of turning my work off at the end of the lane and saying, “Okay” … Hey, I hear your child. That’s awesome. Don’t worry about it. Anyway, I tried to turn my phone off and leave it at the end of the lane and say, “Okay, now I’m home.”
Martin: Where can people learn more about you and follow your journey online?
Natalie: We’re on Instagram, is probably where you focus our attention most of the time. Our handle there is just @KnightCustomHomes.
Martin: Okay. Knight Custom Homes. Hey, if you want to talk to Natalie about this, reach out to her, but be sure and go say hi.
All right, Natalie. Thanks so much for coming on. We’ll talk to you again soon.
Natalie: Thank you so much, Martin
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