Your own business, job and family: how do you combine it? | NOW

Starting a business alongside a steady job is tough in itself. But what if you also run a family? Especially women who want to start a business sometimes doubt whether they can combine the three things. A budding entrepreneur and a coach for entrepreneurial mothers explain how to keep all the balls in the air.

Marlin Goethals has a family with two small children and works 32 hours a week as an account director at a PR and content marketing company. Recently, she has also become an independent sleep coach for babies and children.

“My son slept very badly. I was a mother for the first time and had no idea how to handle it all. Then I found a very nice method that helped my son a lot: the Dream Rhythm Method. I wanted to help other parents who had the same problem . have to deal with,” says Goethals.

She has recently passed an abbreviated HBO course for sleep coaches and now she wants to carefully expand her company De Slaapfee. For this, she reserves her children’s afternoon nap on her day off and a few evenings a week. “You go to sports in the evening or to Netflix, I like to work with my business.”

“Many women feel they are falling short if they are not fully there for their children.”

Carolien Vennema, entrepreneurial coach

As a coach for enterprising mothers, Carolien Vennema comes across many women who do not know whether they should go all out for their own business.

“They feel a great responsibility for the family. It’s an old-fashioned idea, and in many families the roles are equally divided, but many women feel that they fall short if they are not completely there for their children.”

Smart to keep his job on the side

Vennema knows what it’s like to start a business as a mother. She had her first child six years ago, but she also wanted to become an entrepreneur. “I wanted more freedom in my work, it didn’t suit a salaried job.” Gradually, Vennema learned more about entrepreneurship and discovered what works well for her. She decided to use that knowledge to help other mothers who want to become entrepreneurs.

You really don’t have to quit your job right away, according to Vennema. “Many entrepreneurial coaches always say that you have to go all the way, but I don’t believe that. It’s even better to keep your job on the side. That way you can save money and invest it in your business. a permanent job gives more security and room to make mistakes as a starting entrepreneur, because there is no financial pressure.”

You can also use your income to finance the first months as self-employed. Vennema: “Then at least you can pay yourself if you focus fully on your business.” You have to cut the knot at some point. Continuing to do business sideways does not bring satisfaction in the end. “If you feel you could make a living from your business, go for it.”

Talk to your partner, involve your children

But then the whole family has to stand behind it. Even before you start doing business, says Vennema. “Have a conversation with your partner, discuss the division of roles and see how you can ensure that you can work on your business a few nights a week.”

Involve your children too. Tell them why you are sitting in front of the computer in the evening or Saturday morning. “Explain that you are chasing your dream and that you will benefit from it in time. I have all the time for them now and I am a happy mother.”

Goethals also sees that the support of her partner and the rest of her family is indispensable. “My fiance gives it to me. But it’s not always easy for him either. He also works hard and has his sports nights. We really have to plan time together. The same goes for doing fun things with friends, but it had been necessary since the children.”

Goethals does not want to stop his job, so there will be more space for the time being. “First of all, because I still enjoy my work far too much. In addition, I want to get the basics of my business under control first, then we’ll see.”

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