During my initial conversation with a business owner, I will always ask:
“Why did you go into business in the first place?”
A common response is they went into business to have greater flexibility with their working hours to enable them to spend more time with their families.
During a conversation with a business owner where this question was asked, the business owner asked me for an example of where someone had prioritsed family ahead of work.
The example I used was a personal one, which occurred when I was employed with a professional services firm about 25 years ago.
I applied for an internal promotion but was not successful.
About six months later, the person appointed to the role was not performing as expected and was let go. I was approached to take on the role.
In the conversation with the managing partner about the role, I indicated I was happy to take on the role with one major rider. The rider being that if my school age children were required to attend events, such as parent/teacher interviews/birthday parties/sporting events, during work hours I will attend those events without asking for permission.
The managing partner went quiet for what seemed an eternity before answering “…and that is probably why I am on my second marriage!”
To this day, I still live my life by chosing to put my family ahead of my business life.