Balancing Being an Estate Sale Business Owner and a Person
One of the things I learned the most about when running my own business was how to not always just run my business. The years go by fast, for 8 years, I worked to build something I loved.
You have to have times where the best thing to do is to put your devices on hold and really spend time with your family and friends. It can be so tempting to be at the park for an hour thinking you are spending time with your kids when really you are on the phone or texting people about work. When I first started, I would do a sale and then take a vacation with my kid to visit family. As my family grew and as my business grew, this ideal situation became harder and harder.
Here is what worked for me: I tried to do key things for my business at home before my kids woke up and after they went to sleep, I had to work on my business all day, but the main items that would take a lot of focus without interruption were best done when my family was doing something else.
I always tried to make dinner a family event every night, sitting at the dinner table is a great part of the day and it helped make that transition from business to family time.
You have to set boundaries, if you are self-employed your business can quickly become a 24/7 headache. You will have to have a team to help you so that you are not constantly dealing with every problem alone.
Your business is in your social media feed, on your cell phone, and in your inbox – so disconnect for a set time everyday so that you can connect with the people you love and give them your full attention.
I had to remember that my husband does come ahead of my clients. He is quiet and patient but the clients often were eager and wanted immediate attention. So when I got up and started my day, I started a habit of thinking about what things my family needed and wanted from me first each day. Once I had a plan in place for getting their things done, I moved onto my business chores after I knew I had the family tasks under control.
A weekly family planning session helped as well so that everyone was on the same page. As an estate seller, weekends usually did not work well for a planning session. We opted for Mondays.
I need to do certain things for my business and also for my family. All working parents face this issue. Hire the help you need as you can. Get a cleaning person. Find good estate sale helpers.
Instead of trying to squeeze in my family at the end of a busy day, be present when you are with your family and if someone you're setting up a sale for calls at 7am feel free to tell them, "I am taking my kids to school right now, I will call you back at 9:30."
An estate sale business allows for lots of flexibility - schedule certain weekends off for real away time. Plan a fun summer vacation. Sit down and decide what you want - one weekend off a month? Two? Plan it and find a way to make that happen.
You can book sales around a family vacation or visitors. Just tell your clients, I have that week blocked off for family time, that is my only week off all year.
As a wife and mom, I couldn’t take it for granted that my husband and kids would not miss me if I was gone for too many hours in a day. I learned to let my capable team do work that I once thought only I could do, I eventually let them know to call me if there is an emergency but only if it really is an emergency. It worked but it took dedication.