Being an entrepreneur is becoming an increasingly popular career choice for parents who are looking for a balance between a fulfilling career and being able to spend time with their family. Whether you’re a ‘mumpreneur’ or a ‘dadpreneur’, parenting and running a business can work for you. Last week we explored some of the benefits of being a ‘mumpreneur’ and this week we’re exploring the highs and lows of being a ‘dadpreneur’.
Working dads, does this sound familiar?… You’ve just worked a 9-5 day, had a tiring 1 hour commute home and the minute you walk through the door your partner hands you a crying baby and disappears. Whilst you were undoubtedly looking forward to seeing your family when you got home, this wasn’t quite what you had in mind. Trying to squeeze in an hour before bedtime with a tired cranky baby isn’t always easy or fulfilling and relegates most dads to mainly weekend parents only. There is a difference between spending time with your family and spending quality time with your family and this is one of the main motivations for ‘dadpreneurs’.
Being self-employed allows you to spend more quality time with your children as you are no longer restricted to traditional working hours. With some dedication, organisation and forward-planning, you can achieve a much better balance between working life and family life.
Dads often feel the pressure to be the breadwinner whilst mom is on maternity leave especially and this can sometimes discourage dads from leaving their employment. Becoming a father, however, could be the perfect excuse for you to break free from full-time paid employment and pursue something which you are passionate about. Not only will it mean you get to experience many of baby’s first milestones, it will also allow you to save on childcare costs.
Creating a budget may help you realise that whilst you may not be earning as much initially, your daily expenses such as travel, lunches out etc. will also have reduced. Chances are mom will also be grateful for the extra time to focus on herself or her own career and this opportunity could also allow her to supplement any drop in household income should this be a concern.
For fathers with older children, this could even be a shared passion with your family. #XFSuccess entrepreneur, ex Staff Sergeant Darren Smith of Curbside Gaming set up a mobile gaming business as gaming was a passion of both his and his son’s. Curbside Gaming is a mobile gaming business which caters for parties and events and is run as a true family business:
It was important to me that it was family-run; having my wife and son as business partners is fantastic.’
We also speak to many dadpreneurs who decide to stay in their respective field but set up on their own, especially those offering a service such as carpentry or working as an accountant. Many dadpreneurs also find inspiration for their new business from their children, for example, X-Forces Ambassador and Navy Veteran Kevin Bath of Jim Jam Spreads created a range of alternative healthier chocolate spreads and jams alongside his children as they were concerned with the amount of sugar in existing spreads.
1.Planning ahead can help take away a lot of the uncertainties of entering into this unchartered territory as it means you are more likely to feel in control and more able to prioritise your workload. Each night take 10 minutes or so to review what you have accomplished today and what tasks are important for the next day.
2. Have a dedicated workspace – somewhere which is just for you to work. It doesn’t need to be a big space – a desk in a closed room will do. But having your own working space will allow you to focus on your work without other distractions and will allow you to maintain a working mindset.
3. Make use of the support network around you. If you are able to take on staff, even on a part time basis then try not to micromanage as much as trust that they are able to deliver. Family and friends can also be invaluable for babysitting if you have work to catch up on or important planning, and should you need some urgent time to yourself you could always take the children to a crèche or stay and play for a few hours.
If you’ve read this and thought Entrepreneurship could be the route for me and you have a business idea which fills you with passion then get in touch with our team and we’d love to help you get started.
XFE offer business advice, low-interest government-backed start-up funding, access to workshops and networking events, as well as ongoing mentoring for the Armed Forces and Emergency Services communities. We do not charge you for our help. To find out more, send us a message and one of our team will give you a call back.