As remote work continues to gain popularity because of the pandemic, one thing we all have more of is family time. Traditional mindsets might view that as an obstacle to your business given all the distractions at home, but the truth is, like most things in life, your biggest disadvantage can become your biggest advantage if leveraged properly.
Here are six ways to easily take advantage of the family time to help move your business forward.
1. Bounce ideas off of family members.
There's nothing else like your 7-year-old daughter telling you that your startup idea is the dumbest thing she has ever heard. The last thing any entrepreneur wants to be surrounded by is yes-men, and you can always count on family to be brutally honest and give you the hard truth to your face.
2. Derive inspiration from children.
I can tell you from my own experience that my children are some of the most creative people I know, and I know a lot of creative people. As we get older, we no longer dream like we used to as kids. For children, nothing is impossible and that should be the mentality of any entrepreneur. Talk to your kids. Ask them for some ideas. You never know what they'll come up with. It is important to mention that while we are talking about family time, don't forget that working from home also means you can get ideas and inspiration from friends and neighbors.
3. Take a breather and let the family time refresh your energy.
Sometimes you just need a breather and when you're in an office environment, a breather isn't really a breather. When you're at home and can play a quick game of cards with your kid or spend a half an hour watching an episode of Friends with your spouse, that might prove to be a very effective way to restart your systems and get your creative juices flowing again.
4. Apply your family values to your business model.
People speak of work-life balance, but the truth is the best businesses run more like families. If you could apply some of the many values you promote in your home and apply them to your business, you might be pleasantly surprised by the results. Values like respect and honesty, integrity, and appreciation. These are things you hopefully demonstrate to your kids. Consider adopting them and applying them to your team as well.
5. Practice your pitch on grandma.
I am not even kidding when I say that in my early years of blogging, I used to send my posts to family members to see if they understood them. If the answer was no, then I knew I needed to improve my writing. Now is a good opportunity to sharpen your communication abilities when you are not surrounded by other business executives who are familiar with your fancy business jargon. Practice on some younger or older family members and see if you are able to explain to grandma what cloud optimization means. If she gets it, you are golden.
6. Brainstorm with your spouse.
As I was preparing to write this article, my wife actually came up with the idea. How's that for putting my money where my mouth is? You have smart people all around you--why not tap into their wisdom and brainstorm ideas with your partner or children?
People often separate family and work but our current situation has blurred those lines, so you might as well take advantage of the situation and benefit from having your family around. If you give them the chance, they might be able to make a real impact on your business.
Crazier things have happened.