How to Grow a Business While Working Full or Part-Time (Part Four: Keep personal, work, and business separated)

Part Four:  Keep personal, work, and business separatedSeparate Home Office

Not only do I maintain that you should always keep a separate bank account for your business (seriously, this is extremely important for so many reasons, and has such low barriers in time and cost, so just do it!), but also keep your time scheduled separately.  I don’t know what it is about growing a business that seems to take over the rest of your brain.  You can be sitting at dinner with the family and suddenly feel the need to check your email.  Or jumping out of your chair at work every time your cell phone sends you a notification.  It is hard to set the business aside to focus on the current task, which can create tensions at home and at work.

Taking Action:  Each morning as you plan your day, review your schedule.  Take note of the scheduled blocks you have for each of your priorities in your life.  Remind yourself that these are the things you already determined are what you need to keep a balanced life.   Give that task your full focus for the time you scheduled.  While at work, give work your 100%.  When at dinner with the family, actively participate in a non-business related conversation with them.  On the flip side, during your time blocked out for business, give business your full-focus.  Communicate with family that this time is important, and only give them permission to interrupt if you’ve gone over your scheduled time.  If your scheduled business time happens while at home, you may find it extremely helpful to set aside a place that is sacred to your work.  Establish boundaries, and remind family members not to interrupt you on non-urgent items so you can best keep your flow.

My Experience:  I have a separate phone number for business related calls and activities.  When at work, I would keep that phone muted and out of sight.  I checked the phone during breaks and before or after work and always returned calls or emails within 24 hours.  My clients never seemed to expect me to pick up right away and appreciated the quick turn-around time for contacting them.  If a business idea popped in my head, I wrote it down in a little notepad I carried with me to get it out of my head, so I could refocus on my work tasks.  There was some small overlap in some areas, such as personal and professional development during workouts and commutes, but these were the few exceptions.  I explained to my family that when I was in my office at home, to not interrupt me since I was in work mode.  Although when on important calls or taking certification tests, I would often add a note on the door as additional security.

Return to Part Three: Look before you jump

Continue to Part Five: Be able to ask for help


About the AuthorChristina Young, Author & Owner of Lighthouse Ledgers

Christina Young is a professional bookkeeper based out of Seattle, WA.  Her business, Lighthouse Ledgers, is focused on helping small business owners spend less time on bookkeeping so they can spend more time on the things that matter in their lives.

Lighthouse Ledgers – Balanced Books, Balanced Life

Disclaimer: Articles are educational only and based on opinion, experience, and research.  This is not to be interpreted as legal, tax, or financial advice.  Please consult with the services of a professional tax advisor, financial advisor, or legal advisor before making important business decisions.