Take action now to prevent the crisis that's sure to come otherwise
This week's letter comes from an entrepreneur who's in business with her husband and finds that the workload is crushing her. She's desperate for time to enjoy life and her family. It's a problem many of you have written about and one I'll explore further in the coming months.
Our dot-com business is right on the edge of exploding. It has consumed our family. The company uses some freelancers, but it's hard to say when we might be able to afford additional help. I start work at 4 a.m., and my husband does baby care all morning. Then I take over from him and go to bed by 9 p.m., which doesn't leave us much time to be together. There are no weekends when you're an entrepreneur. A college student watches our 16-month old a couple of days a week, but I wouldn't feel comfortable using more child care. How can I get enough work done, take care of my child, and have time for my husband?
-- S.E., Lambertsville, Penn.
This is a picture of a life out of control -- a whirlpool of duties draining your spirit. The danger, caution the several experts whom I consulted, is that a major crisis (a heart attack, infidelity, a suffering child) could be brewing, which no one has the perspective to see coming or the strength to stop. Many people wait to examine and repair their lives until the crisis hits. You're wise to take action before such a catalyst forces you to.
TOUGH ON WOMEN. It's extremely difficult to raise young children and start a company at the same time. Both make such huge demands on your time and psyche. Without good, full-time child care, the two are almost irreconcilable. The combination is especially tough on women. Research shows that women entrepreneurs invest far more time in child care and domestic life than male entrepreneurs with similar responsibilities.