This may sound rather formal but I can assure you that everyone in the family, young and older, will enjoy the experience. The first step is to just have everyone grab a scratch piece of paper and gather the family together and start asking them how they see themselves in the family and as a business partner. Yes a business partner. The juices will really start to flow when they realize the important role they play and how their behavior and skills can suddenly influence the family and business as a whole. Even if some of the ideas sound “corny” be sure not to dismiss them. Everyone needs to take some ownership in the process in order for the mission or plan to be honored.

Get a good feel about how everyone can be involved in the business, whether it is having quiet time in a certain part of the day. What could they be doing during that time? Or maybe they feel that they could form a study group while Mom or Dad works on the business? Or another family member is old enough they could learn to take an active part in the business with calls, typing, programming, and video, the list goes on.

Putting the mission statement on paper

This small document will become your family “proclamation” of shared values and ideas. This small statement will give each member direction and vision. Imagine it as your roadmap. After you bring all the information together you are probably looking at a fairly lengthy statement and this is good. It gives you the ability of better movement, a work in progress. As time goes by you will be able to add more or delete some things that may not be as important anymore. Either way you must be flexible.

Looking at all your ideas try to categorize them the best that you can. Try not to changing the wording of an idea to much. It could take away the importance of the statement for the one individual. Here is merely an example of how a mission statement could look. I really do hope that you will be putting more into yours and use the ideas of your family. Notice that I don’t have the personalization in mine that you will have in yours.

Who: We are a family devoted to supporting each other through displaying mutual respect of self, time, and business in the home and outside the home.
What: We are committed to continuing our education and outside activities and to embracing the growth of the business for the whole of the family.
Why: So that this family will be able to share in the opportunity of developing individual talents, grow in the home business, and to become a service to others.

Posting of the Mission Statement

Once the mission statement is drafted it needs to be posted for all to see and read daily. On the refrigerator, on the mirror, doors, inside lunch boxes, on the computer, etc. This small ‘proclamation’ is a very powerful tool because everyone has put something into it, they own it. As the family changes and grows or new issues develop it is just time for a new meeting and a new mission statement. This is work in progress but try to keep the main theme of the mission statement.

This is the cement for your business too. Knowing that the family is on board with the business and knowing that there will be challenges, you will be better able to react to any given situation.

With this you have become proactive not reactive. Same with any family situation that arises, you will be better able to handle the situation because your family has guidelines that need to be taken seriously. I hope that you will find this small but meaningful exercise helpful. Just remember to keep it simple and keep it fun. But most of all stress the importance of the mission statement. Lives, families and businesses all run smoother when they have a plan.

The subject of internet security is often overlooked by Personal Security Consultants. It’s true everyone knows that you need to protect your computer from viruses, but what about the threat of employees stealing your data, or your children talking to people via the many different instant messenger programmes or social networks?

Being content thinking that you know your employees wouldn’t steal your data or spend all day on the internet does nothing to protect you if that does happen. It’s the same just trusting your children to not talk to strangers online or visit adult related sites. The chances are they could be doing it already!

I recently attended a seminar where I got chatting to a very nice lady about the internet. On finding out that I worked in personal security, she told me that a family member had recently bought a laptop computer for her son who is 12. She went on to tell me that she had spoken to him regarding internet protocol for children and ensured that he only surfed the net when there was an adult present… then one night she found him chatting to people in secret on MSM and she had no idea who they were! This worried her and now she was asking me what she could do to change this.

Fortunately this is an area I have covered before with clients, so I recommended that she look at a product called Net Nanny, Security Software.

Net Nanny from Content Watch is simple to use, fully customizable software that you can install on any PC or Mac. You can use the simple set-up assistant to help you determine what online activities (Web sites, chat, gaming and social networks) are appropriate based on your family member’s age. What is also quite amazing is that the Net Nanny software also monitors IM (Internet Messenger) and can alert you via email if it deems something to be inappropriate.

There are many other features to this software so it’s definitely worth checking out. The company that produces this software has also moved with the times and have now released a version for mobile phones. You now never have to wonder about who your children are talking to again.

So that’s home covered. But what about protecting your business interests? Well you can also use similar software produced by Content Watch, the same company that makes Net Nanny. As with the home version, the software sits quietly in the background filtering content and increasing productivity while reducing liability.

The internet has changed our lives forever. It has become such a part of our lives that it is the first place people turn to when they need something. But what people often forget is that the internet is a semi-policed other world. You can find anything and everything there. You can be anyone you want to be and more worrying, people can be any age they want to be. It brings people together from every corner of the world and because we use the internet every day, we sometimes forget that bad things happen online as well

Balancing your family and your business can be a struggle to say the least. One or the other may demand more at times which makes the balance even more difficult. There are a number of ways to achieve balance with your family and your business like hiring a virtual asssitant.

The first thing you need to do is decide what you want and need out of your business. Do you do your business because you need the money? Maybe you work your business for the satisfaction that you get when you help people. Whatever the reason is, you need to write it down so you will always have it in front of you and in a place where you can see it at all times.

The next thing you need to do is set your business hours. Now this is something you must work into your family time and they need to be involved in this decision making process. Now if you work from home full time and your children go to school full time, then the decision is easy to make. You work while they are in school, however this may be a completely different story if you work full time outside the home or your children are little and spend their days with you. This is why it’s crucial that you sit down with your family and decide on a work schedule that works for everyone.

Once you have your hours set, you need to make sure you follow them. If your day is to end at 3 pm, then at 3 pm you turn off the computer and you don’t do another thing with your business until your day starts tomorrow. This will be hard to do at first, but you are working to achieve balance and this is the start.

One of the easiest ways to achieve balance between your family and your business is to outsource as much of your workload as you can. You may think this will be hard to do, but you can do it. Remember the reason behind this is balance and it won’t happen if you don’t figure out a way to make it work.

Outsourcing is where you pay someone to do the work for you. For instance, writing articles and submitting them to the article directories can be a timely task. But, if you outsource this to a Virtual Assistant, you won’t have to spend the time doing it and you will be able to work on things that can’t be outsourced.

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you work, there are things others can do to help you save time. Even direct sales people can outsource work. If you are in direct sales, you probably do online networking, advertising placement, article writing and submissions, and blog writing and posting. Those are all things that can be outsourced. If you run a coaching business, there are a number of things you can outsource as well. Look at your day to day tasks and see if you need to be directly involved in it. For example, you shouldn’t outsource your product presentations or coaching meetings. Those are tasks you should do yourself.

Another way to achieve balance is to organize yourself. Organization is key to accomplishing a lot in business. If you have your office organized and you use a daily planner, you will know what needs to be done, when you need to do it, and everything will be in place so you won’t have to search for anything. When you work your business this way, you will be able to complete so many more tasks than you ever thought would be possible.

These are two of the many ways to balance your family and your business. Remember to take a break every once in a while, spend time with the family, and go on vacation at least once a year. When you do these things, don’t bring your business with you. People will understand. Think about what it will take for you to win the balancing game in your life and go for it!

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