Like many stay at home mums, Melbourne-based author Natasa Denman decided to establish a consulting business from home during her family’s early years. She now runs four successful businesses, recently appointing her husband and mum to help manage the workload.
But as the business grew in size, Natasa learnt that blurring the lines of business with family can create communication problems. Knowing that other families experience similar situations, she has created a series of seven rules to ensure that her family stays connected:
1. Understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses
Once we are clear on each other’s desires and wants assigning roles based on these is very important. In my family, I am the entrepreneurial one and my husband is the nurturer. Is it traditional? No. Does it work? Absolutely. Until we understood this and stopped trying to change each other, things seemed forced. Now that we are both having our number one values fulfilled, his being family and mine being business, we are continuing to go from strength and strength.
2. Take 5 minutes every day to talk
We like to call this our tea-time. Phones are out of the room and computers are off. We sit facing each other and look at each other. It would amaze you little people look at each other when they talk these days. We talk about anything other than business. How we feel and what we would like from each other. It is a great way to connect and for men who have the biggest problem expressing their feeling, it is a perfect safe forum to do so in.
3. Keep date night alive
Life is busy hey? Finding the time to spend alone is hard but you know what, it is critical. Our schedules are crazy busy but you know what, we plan our ‘date nights’ at the start of the year before we plan anything else. Once it is on the diary, it happens no matter what. Get the kids a sitter. Take it in turns to design the date and enjoy the time to talk and relax in each other’s company.
4. Take regular holidays to recharge and reconnect
At the start of the year block out time in your diary for your holidays as well. We work hard and at a very intense level. Without regular holidays we would burn out and start to feel negative. The secret here is if you don’t allocate the time at the start of the year for your holidays, they simply won’t happen in an entrepreneurial life. Not only does having your holidays booked give you something to look forward to, it gives you experiences that bring you closer to your spouse and the memories that will last a lifetime.
5. Celebrate your successes
Nothing brings you closer together than celebrating with your spouse. Go out to an expensive restaurant or catch a show and book a night in a hotel. Take the time to appreciate the hard work and support that you have both given each other and spend some time deciding the next goal and what the next reward will be for achieving it.
6. Paying it forward with the children
Share you ‘WHY’ with your children from a young age as they need to understand that you are part of a different world. The entrepreneurial world. The more children are spoken to, in the correct way, the better the chances they will have of being great communicators themselves. Give them choices. Keep it simple and use the classic double bind, either this or this, will improve their decision-making. Encourage your children to ask as many questions as possible and communicate openly and honesty with them.
7. Choose a neutral place for any disagreements
There will be times when you have disagreements and when you do, it is important not to anchor these feelings in your home. If you know you need to have one of those tough conversations, take it outside or out of the house. That way, the negative feelings will not associated with your family home. Keep these conversations flowing as even though they are tough to have, the eliminate the ‘pressure build up’ of emotions and the eruptions that are very common in many high powered relationships.
The busier your lives, the greater the need for communication and connection. Make it a priority, and have that meaningful relationship that every will be the envy of all of your entrepreneurial friends.
What do you think of Natasa’s family rules?
Natasa Denman is the founder of Ultimate 48 Hour Author, a book writing mentorship program, as well as the author of four books – The 7 Ultimate Secrets to Weight Loss, Ninja Couch Marketing, You Can Live The Life Of Your Dreams and soon to be released latest, The Ultimate 48 Hour Author.