Thursday, November 5, 2009

Business and Home Life: it’s a balancing act

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November Benefits Installment by Jim Moniz:

With the economic landscape still in a stall, many business owners find it necessary to put work first now more than ever, pushing family and their own financial needs to the back burner. The need to meet weekly payroll and be up to date with vendor payments often translates into long term financial needs not being met – business owners run the risk of focusing on the present and compromising into-the-future plans, especially when it come to their own households.

For example, recently I spoke with the owner of a service company who said he gave his wife $5,000 a month to pay bills, run the household, etc. He couldn’t understand why every other month she had to ask him for more money. I told him outright that it wasn’t fair for him to have $2 million a year flowing through the business and his wife didn’t have enough cash to go to Starbucks at the end of the month.

At the same time his wife didn't quite understand the need for investment in their business. At times she did not understand the dynamics that her husband had to deal with in running the business. She did not understand the time commitment, when he needed to deal with employees and the money that needed to be spent on marketing. She still looked at his income as coming from salary, his work nothing but a job.

He might be a savvy businessman but this gentleman couldn’t think past the month he was in – never mind the concept of buying another home sometime down the road or setting up college funds for his small children. Too much of “in the now” equates to an out of balance life. This same guy also had an almost non-existent business growth plan, relying again on in-the-moment “organic growth.” It’s too bad because this otherwise knowledgeable businessman is missing out on opportunities, both in his business and personal life.

I’m not saying that a business owner – veteran, fledgling or somewhere in between – should look at their business as “just a job.” We all recognize that it takes time, attention and diligence to create a successful business, but the same strengths that aided you in building a lucrative company should carry over into your personal finances and life. We need to work on our personal systems as we do our business systems. Our families must be as important to us as our business models.

In fact, the most successful entrepreneurial balancing acts can occur when you consider your business a part of the family. But in order for this mid set to work, everyone in your family must be on board with it. Business owners – and by extension their families – must realize that their workplace is not “just a job.” Its successes and failures have both short and long term effects on your entire family.

About our Benefits Installment Author:

James E. (Jim) Moniz, CEO of Northeast VisionLink, a Massachusetts firm that specializes in structuring executive compensation. James E. Moniz is a national speaker on the topic of wealth management and on executive compensation.

Jim Moniz will be presenting at this years SHRM conference in Phoenx, be sure to check out our presentation: “Creating and Sustaining a Competitive Advantage, The Role and Impact of Effective Compensation and Rewards Strategies”