Although it's hard not to think about business when you come home to your family, you'd better figure out a way to focus on the people you careabout when you're around them--or they might stop trying to connect with you at all.
"Many years ago, I was sitting at the dinner table with my wife and three children--something I didn't do often," says Bill Deimling, president ofDeimling/jeliho, a plastic-injection-molding company, in Amelia, Ohio. "My oldest daughter was busy telling me about something that had happened in schoolthat day. I didn't hear a word she said. When she finished, I started talking to my wife about my day without so much as a comment about my daughter's.She left the table, and I never even noticed until she was already walking away." Deimling then asked her about school. She replied, "Dad, I already told you,but I knew you didn't hear. Nothing counts but the business."
From that night on, Deimling resolved to change, to "stop being a provider and start being a father." He took up coaching his kids' soccer and softball teams,made school events a priority, and decided, with his wife, to try not to talk about business at home, especially at the dinner table. "The business took care ofitself quite nicely without me for those short periods of time when my children needed to know that they were more important than the business," saysDeimling.