The feds don't do much to help today's family make ends meet and find that elusive thing called work-life balance. But how much do we expect them to do? In my opinion, what we need to be working on is embracing the work-life merger anyway.
This morning, a Good Morning America segment reported that the Workforce Protections Subcommittee today takes up the topic of work-life balance, focusing on families where one or both parents have traditional jobs. I'm all for a federal policy on the issue but in the end, how much good will it do? Time will tell. In the meantime, why are so many depending on the feds to create their balance instead of doing it for themselves?
Whatever happened to family planning? Just like a business can be planned in advance of its launch, so can a family. Before starting a business, you determine whether there's enough money to give birth to the business. If there isn't, you either don't start the business or you delay the start until you can lay an economic foundation, or at least have a plan to do so.
- Yes, there are layoffs, serious illnesses, foreclosures and other life occurrences that can put families in positions they could not have anticipated.
- In my family, a sudden job loss in 2005 cost us 60% of our income in one fell swoop. At the time, we had two toddlers, aged 3 years and 16 months.
- A serious family illness came next, which sapped tens of thousands of dollars and nearly destroyed our family and our fledgling business.
- We might have spent time moaning about how unfair the layoff was or how the government wasn't doing enough to ensure that we had the kind of lifestyle we wanted.
- That seemed like a time waster, so we bootstrapped our business into the black, and today, we enjoy the perfect lifestyle for us.
Through my work here at the Indie Business Network, I personally know hundreds of men and women across the nation who launched home-based or close-to-home businesses before becoming parents or shortly thereafter so they didn't have to rely on a job or the government to create the kind of balance that suited them. There are no guaranteed subsidies, no meal tickets, no parental leave, no extra tax breaks, no sick days and no handouts.
Some say that entrepreneurship is not for everyone. That's like saying that high school is not for everyone. For today's American family, creating some kind of income stream apart from the government and a traditional job is not an option. Where entrepreneurship is concerned, there are two camps: those who wish they were entrepreneurs and those who are glad they became entrepreneurs.
Today, there is an Entrepreneurial Imperative and I'd like to see Congress hold hearings on how we can empower American families to become Indies, creating income and work-life balance on their own terms.
Entrepreneurship is for everyone, and the sooner we embrace it as a nation of parents and families, the better off we will all be.