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Few days ago, I overheard a saleslady talking to a colleague about how hard life has been as an employee and a mother at the same time. She planned to quit her work and start a small business. She believed that having a business means no more boss to report to and more importantly she will own her time.

The reality is that going into business is not easy, nor beautiful. Most startups are struggling to sustain the the business for the first 36 months. That’s why most startup businessmen do not leave their job while the business is still in the early phase. The most notable example to this is Daymond John, who had a day job at Red Lobster while he was still building FUBU into a very successful brand.

There is also a situation especially to married couples with small children wherein one of the spouses is having a full-time job while the other one is starting a business. This is ideal to couples who wanted to be hands-on in taking care of the children. Diving into this situation is a little bit intimidating — but it is possible. This is the same situation we have in our family — Marissa is the one working full-time at Author Solutions Philippines, Inc. while I started Sapong Enterprises ( in 2009 and at the same time looking after Carl and Candice. It’s not easy but we are always glad that our online grocery store is still operating while attending our obligations as parents. Our business is still far from our goal but I would like to share these 5 guiding points how we come this far.

1. Family First

With Marissa’s night shift work, balancing a new business and parenting is very challenging. We have bills to pay, a business plan to execute and children to drive to school. But to us, family must come first, or everything else won’t matter.

All business-related activities should be checked if it will not be in conflict with children’s school activities or wife’s special recognition in the office that require my presence. Our family have built a reputation with our friends as Team Sapong — which means as much as possible we should always go as a team; complete, the four of us.

We believe that having a happy family life would also benefit on how the business is being operated.

2. Smarter Time Management

A dedicated businessman who is a husband and a father also have the same 24-hours a day as the ordinary employee. Time must be use smart enough to efficiently meet all obligations in the office and at home. While bootstrapping and operating as solopreneur are common to new businessmen, we need to understand that we could accomplish more if we leverage our time by hiring assistants and service contractors. By doing so, I am sure to be able to find time for my family.

Effective time management also means you know when to turn off Netflix, logoff Facebook and Twitter and focus more in doing productive tasks.

3. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

More often, new businessmen tend to neglect their health while building their empire. We also need to remember that health is wealth too. Having a healthy lifestyle would spare you from the unnecessary expenses of medical bills.

It’s been more than two years that I started a Low Carb Diet and it really made me feel great losing more than 30kls. People started to notice the changes in me and it also boost my confidence in facing people. A healthy mind and a healthy body would make you accomplish more.

There are also times that no matter how careful we are in our body, we still get sick. It is also important to invest in HMO products or insurance packages that have hospitalization riders.

4. Build Relationships

There is no entrepreneur that locks himself in his office. We need to build a network of people with the same goal, share experiences, help and create a strong support system. The more you help, the more you expand your network. Joining business clubs and talking to everyone you meet would help you understand your community and would eventually bring the potentials of your business to be able to help in solving community problems.

5. Pray

It is too easy to be caught up in the negative aspects of doing business, especially if you’re too busy trying to balance family life and numerous business obligations. Praying means submitting everything to God — everything including our accomplishments and our challenges. Praying also is accepting that we are not perfect; that we need guidance from the Holy Spirit to be able to think what is good for the business, for the family, and for the community that our business is serving.

I have observed that people who are in business and at the same time prayerful are more likely to succeed in their endeavors.

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