Child Proof Your Small Biz ProfitsFor the past two days my Kindergartner has been at home unexpectedly. The polar vortex has struck again in Minnesota, with temperatures nearing -20 degrees and wind chills dipping down to -37!

Snow storms, illness (projectile vomiting is the worst), or problems with your childcare provider – every entrepreneur with children has faced these issues.

The challenge is how to keep these bumps in the road from becoming profit potholes.

5 Easy Ways to Kidproof Your Small Biz Profits

This post is part of the Word Carnival, a monthly small biz expert extravaganza. Read all the entries for this month on the topic Parentpreneurs: What Being a Parent Can Teach You About Business

Dump the Guilt

This one is tough.

My daughter is still at an age where she wants to always be playing with Mom or Dad.

When I hear, “Mommy when will you be done working?” or “You never play with me!” it hits home. Even though intellectually I know it isn’t true, emotionally I feel guilt.

Guilt won’t help you or your kids. It certainly won’t put food on the table or a roof over your head. Now when my daughter asks I tell her Mommy is working so we can have spaghetti tonight (a favorite). Or remind her of a favorite toy.

Remember too you are serving as a role model for your child(ren). Being successful in business and finding time for them gives a template they can strive for when they are adults.

Leverage Their Outlook

Another round of Arial, Cinderella and Barbie taking the Enterprise to Saturn? Or an interlude of clearing the house of enemies with our lightsabers? (Star Trek, Star Wars, Disney mashups are always entertaining)

Let go of your fear frustration. This is a great chance to unlock your creativity and view things from a new perspective.

I love working some type of problem into our play and seeing how my daughter solves it. While the recent marathon of Star Wars: Clone Wars has led to many examples of “using the Force”, her ideas often surprise me.

Harness Their Energy

I confess at 7 a.m. I’m really not interested in running around the house. I want a fresh cup of coffee and some intellectual activity.

Kindergartners think 7 a.m. is time to rush around, laugh wildly, and play.

There are two ways you can harness this excess energy. The first is to join in. Physical activity is good for your mental fitness. Simply set a time limit for the bouncing, chasing, and carousing – let your kiddo know when that’s over it’s time to settle down. Both of you will be better for it.

The other way is to harness this energy is direct towards things you need done. It never ceases to amaze me how much my daughter enjoys helping clean! In the winter I can bring her and our dog outside while shoveling. She gets to play in the snow while I get a necessary chore done.

Budget for Bribes Activities

Don’t judge me.

I confess there are times I’ll “inspire” cooperation by offering a reward. Being stuck inside for practically a week due to the cold is really hard on a young kid (or me for that matter!). Sometimes a little extra incentive is needed to overcome the aggravation.

I look to find something that is viewed by her as a reward, yet also offers some educational benefit. Right now that means Leapster games. Its a handheld gaming device designed for kids. While some offerings are just for fun, many incorporate learning into the games. Win Win!

Let Them Be Your Compass

Since having a child I’ve found myself asking the following two questions:

1. Would I be proud to tell my daughter about this? No? Then pass.
2. Is this project worth giving up my weekend / nights? I still will work nights and weekends, but only on things that truly align with my business and move it forward.

Final Thoughts

While having a business and a 5 year old can be challenging, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What are some obstacles you’ve faced? Solutions you’ve used?