The give and take of a relationship of an owner of a small business, and the small business itself is an interesting one.
A small business owner often has to balance their own life demands, along with the demands of the small business.
One of the most interesting things I recently heard on a HBR podcast (and I’m summarizing in my own words) was the CEO has all the really hard problems to solve, the ones no one else wants to solve. Their often isn’t the right answer to these problems, just the best answer. The small problems were already solved by the managers under the CEOs.
Add together the large decision making of a CEO, the small decision making of a manger, the brand development and advertising of a marketing specialist and all the other things (finance, HR, production/development, procurement, tech, etc. etc. etc.) and you can start to see the complication of operating a small business.
Then add in life’s moments and pressures – older generations you may be helping, children and all the activities they do, moments of illness, or when a you can’t work etc etc etc. And don’t forget about your spouse.
The balance behind the scenes isn’t so much a balance as it is a “tread water as quick as you can so you don’t drown.” And so, inevitably the business owner has to create a boundary and decide, “Do I give myself an extra hour and close an hour earlier so I can see my kids before bed?”, “Do I answer calls, texts, emails after hours or stay present in the moment with my spouse?”, “Can I close on a weekend so that I can help my mom?”
The one that always gets me internally is “When can I clean my house?!”
Either way, know that a business owner is always torn. The tug-of-war of running the business, and being a real person at home.