Running a business from home while trying to maintain some semblance of normality around family life can sometimes feel a bit like cheating.
You can find yourself sneaking around, trying to hide your workload from your better half, hoping she doesn’t see all those emails and text messages…
Take tonight, for example. It’s Angie’s birthday, and instead of us going out to dinner and a movie together, she’s spending the evening with friends while I’m at home with the girls.
Has our business, established because of our shared love of board games, driven us to this?
Me staying at home with the kids so Angie can have a child-free night with her girlfriends is one way of treating her on her special day. Any parents of young’uns who are 3 years and younger can probably appreciate the magnitude of this moment.
But balancing the business and its impact on the family is an ongoing focus.
When we started SeriouslyBoard in June 2009, Angie and I had no children. (And presumably a lot of free time, going by our current schedule!) Now we have two gorgeous expansions, Caitlin (3 and a half) and Olivia (4 months) which naturally means our priorities have shifted.
Anyone who has put in the hard yards and long hours of building a business from the ground up will appreciate that sacrifices inevitably get made, and it’s important for us to ensure it doesn’t take over our lives. After all, being an online business means we have customers at every – and I do mean every – hour of the day and night, so SeriouslyBoard never switches off – and that means we have to make a conscious effort to switch off ourselves.
Angie and I have been together for more than 12 years, and our self-made third wheel has been on the scene for almost a third of that time.
It has been hard work, but after almost 5 years, the business that was once a mistress is now more like an old friend who is learning to accept being put in her place.
Angie and I both prefer it this way. It means I have more time for family, and she has more time to destroy me at games.
Angie doing what she does best: schooling me at Lost Cities.