4 Ways to Structure Your Career Around Your Family


I’ve been a part of a few mastermind groups over the past few years. It never seems to fail that each time we get together something is said or done that is super beneficial. This week it was a quote that has just been messing with me since I heard it.

The quote was actually shared at the previous week’s mastermind, but it was brought up again this week because it had such a profound impact on everyone in the group. It challenged me, my mastermind group, and will challenge you as well.

“Set your schedule not by what you want to get done, but by what you want to become.”

Let that sink in for a minute (I’ll wait). Powerful isn’t it! For someone who is big on creating and living by routines and systems and getting things done. This resonates with me, and, as I said earlier, just messes with me.

What is the purpose of your daily schedule?

Every single day I wake up and I plan my day using Nozbe. Each week I try to do a weekly review to reflect on the past week and look ahead to the coming week. I do the same monthly and annually. I think setting a schedule, an agenda, or having a plan is important.

But what is the purpose of it? My purpose has been to get things done. But this quote just messed me all up and challenged me to not focus on to-dos, but “to-becomes.” So, I had to ask myself what do I want to be?

  • I want to be a husband who loves my wife in a sacrificial way.
  • I want to be a father who leads my kids by being present, active, and engaged with them.
  • I want to be a son who honors my mother and father at all times.
  • I want to be a friend who gives more than he receives.
  • I want to be someone who contributes my gifts to help others around me become better and get what they most desire in life.
  • I want to be someone whose love of, and hope in Christ shows in everything I do.

The next question I had to ask was…does how I schedule my day reflect that? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t yes, all the time. I can say, however, yes some of the time, but many times I miss the mark.

Checking and measuring how well you’re doing

One of the best measurements of how well we are doing in this area is how our careers impact our family time. Most of us have demanding careers, even if not by nature, we internally make them demanding by trying to be the best at them and get the most out of our careers as we can.

Over the past several years I’ve been able to structure my career around my family, but not without plenty of errors and failures in this arena. No matter what your career or family structure is I believe you can do this.

Here are 3 things you can do to accomplish this.

  1. Don’t draw a line between the two. I don’t like when I hear the phrase, “it’s not personal, it’s just business.” Our business is personal because it involves people. It goes the same with our families. Our families are involved in our business because they are directly impacted by the work we do. Involve your family in your work, even if it’s only so they know what you do every day when you walk out the door.
  2. Set boundaries. This is where I’ve learned a lot. I’m still learning. I work from home and my kids are homeschooled by my wife. Work, school, family time, and everything else can easily bleed into one jumbled up mess. Without boundaries I can easily be doing work while watching a movie with the kids, or while I’m supposed to be winding down with my wife. Set and honor boundaries for dedicated work time, dedicated family time, and dedicated spouse time.
  3. Surround yourself with people who are like-minded. I meet regularly with my mastermind groups and while each and every one of us works hard and are very focused on having successful careers, all of us are focused on family first. We also hold one another accountable when someone seems to drift or lose that focus. The company you keep will play a big part in who you become in the future.
  4. Find or create work that provides flexibility. This has been a big one for me. I’ve worked in corporate America and it was challenging to structure my career around my family. I’ve also owned businesses in the past, and while that seems like complete freedom it can be no different than corporate America if I don’t practice the first three things. Today, even in corporate America, and with technology, your work can be flexible enough to structure it around your family. Or you can choose to create work, through entrepreneurship, that gives you more control over your career.

My career as a blogger, author, and speaker allows me to structure my career around my family, but it’s not always easy. Part of the reason is I can become task oriented versus focusing on who I really want to become and taking action accordingly.

Special event today

Today I’ll be hosting a special webinar on how I’ve been able to build a career around my family. I’ll share what has worked for me and what hasn’t worked for me. I’ll focus specifically on doing this by building on online platform as I have done.

I believe anyone who wants to build something significant online to help others, without sacrificing their family, should be on this webinar.

There will be two times. The first webinar is today at 2:00pm EST, and the second is 8:30pm EST.  Click here to reserve your spot for the webinar.

I hope you’ll join me today. Regardless, I want you to take steps to becoming who you want to become versus tasks you want to complete. And if becoming a great husband and father is part of that, then take steps to structure your career around your family, not the other way around.

[reminder]What would happen if you intentionally structured your career around your family?[/reminder]

Apr 30, 2015