Subscribe to Inc. magazine

Balancing Acts: Minding the Kids

Meg Cadoux Hirshberg talks about about the impact of the family business on children.
VIDEO  •  BALANCING ACTS

Meg Cadoux Hirshberg

Advertisement

Video Transcript

00:13 Meg Hirshberg: One sensitive topic for entrepreneurs is children. And that is for a number of reasons. Most working parents have some amount of guilt about their children and not spending enough time with them. Entrepreneurs have added burdens because first of all they're putting their, often putting their family at some financial risk. So the roof over their kids' heads, and toys, and baseball bats is put at risk often. And also, usually at least in a startup mode which can and extending often beyond that there's a lot of travel involved in building a business usually.

00:55 Hirshberg: So those things put together plus the inevitable distractions that entrepreneurs have, nights and weekends. There aren't really borders and boundaries to the work day as there are for a lot of other people. And so consequently, they feel very guilty about their children that they're not there to celebrate their third birthday or they're not there when the child gets the assist in the soccer game. And I hear a lot about this as I speak with entrepreneurs and I certainly understand it. I mean in our case I was essentially a single parent for a lot of my children's upbringing. Gary came home when he could, he coached all their games, I mean he really did everything that he could to be present. But inevitably he was gone most of the time when they were young.

01:45 Hirshberg: And so, which of course leads to other issues with the spouse, but we won't get into that right now. But in terms of the children, I think it's important to remember that while there is validity to some of that guilt and it's certainly understandable. It's also important to remember that children can really benefit from being part of an entrepreneurial family. And the way that they can benefit, they benefit in numerous ways, first of all they're usually very proud of the business, and they identify with the business. Like we're making this, you know mom and dad or one of them makes this thing or does this thing. And they're proud of it. Also, they often have their first jobs in the business so it gives them a kind of an entrée into the working world. They also, they understand how products are conceived of and how they're made, so they get an early education in the world of business which I think is really invaluable. So, I just want to say to all the entrepreneur's out there, try to suppress your guilt a little bit. You're obviously doing the best you can and certainly spending the amount of time you are able with your child. And understand that they're really benefiting from watching you live a life where you're going for it. You're living an engaged and passionate existence. And that conveys more to a child than anything.

Last updated: May 12, 2011




Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Livestream events | Comments
EMAIL
PASSWORD
EMAIL
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
PASSWORD

Or sign up using: