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Business Information by Gladys Edmunds

Business Information by Gladys Edmunds
At age 15 Gladys developed a travel service that would prosper for more than 30 years. She is a national award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, author and columnist. Visit her at

Giving Kids Active Role in Your Business

Giving Kids Active Role in Your Business

Dear Gladys,

I am a soap maker and run my business from my home. I spend long hours with my business. I am either making product or marketing and selling online or preparing for weekend festival markets. I am married and we have three young kids. I make good money from my business and I get a sense of joy from my work. But, I also feel like I'm not spending enough time with my family and from time to time my kids let me know it. I am beginning to feel guilty. How do I balance my business and my family life and give each equal time?

Thanks — L.W.

Due to the busy work schedules that we are faced with today balancing business and family life does not mean equal time to each. Balancing today means learning how to pull these separate things together. There are many benefits to bringing your family closer to your business and allowing them to take an active role or at least feel like they have an active role.

My daughter participated in my business from the time she learned to walk. As a toddler her job was to put pens, pencils and paper clips into a box on my desk at the end of the workday. As years rolled by she learned about every aspect of running a business. On summer breaks during high school she was fully capable of managing the operations of the company. Today as an adult she continues to run a successful business.

Consider finding something your children can do that will allow them to feel like part of your production. Bringing your children closer into your business will help them to learn the various parts of running a business and can become good training for their future.

I don't know much about soap making but is it possible to name a couple of the soaps after your kids? It shouldn't be difficult to include their name into a soap that can give them a feeling of ownership. That can become the beginning of them feeling closer to both you and your business. For example Mint Julie can be the name for a mint soap named after a child named Julie. I'm sure you will come up with creative names if you decide to give this a try. I named my first company after my daughter. She loved hearing her name called every time the phone was answered.

Recently my friend Sandy sent me a video of her three-year old grandson and his nursery school friends making liquid soap in a small paper cup as a class project. She was thrilled with the project and so was he. You don't mention the ages of your kids but perhaps doing something like a school project could also be a good idea. It can give children a sense of pride to share these skills with their friends. It can also open new doors to new customers for you.

Don't hesitate to ask your family for business ideas and suggestions. The next time you are faced with a challenge bring it to the breakfast table and discuss it with the entire family. You might be surprised at some of the suggestions that can come from your family.

There is more than enough of you to go around if you seek balance by bringing your business life and family life closer together. You will be able to enjoy time spent with both. And feeling guilty will be a thing of the past.

Read other business articles by Gladys Edmunds

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