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Madison Heights

February 22, 2013

Next E-Lounge helps business owners find balance in life

Juggling work, personal obligations a challenge for entrepreneurs

By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer

MADISON HEIGHTS — Starting a business can be time-consuming, whether you’re filling out paperwork, balancing the books, contacting clientele, building your brand or troubleshooting various problems that arise during day-to-day operations.

With so many things to keep track of, it can be easy for entrepreneurs to neglect their personal obligations as they try to keep the revenue flowing and the lights turned on.

The next E-Lounge — at Biggby Coffee, 31055 John R, from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 — is all about finding that delicate balance. The informal, city-sponsored dialogue — the “E” is for “entrepreneur” — is for anyone with an interest in starting a business. As always, coffee is on the house.

“It’s centered around finding balance between your love, life and livelihood,” said Linda Williams, economic development coordinator for Madison Heights. “We’re aiming for panelists reflecting a variety of lifestyles, including single people and couples.”

The guest speakers will be business owners — some newer, some more established — who have experience juggling life’s different demands while running a company.

Whether it’s making time for one’s significant other, children, friends or even themselves, the workload that comes with a business will compete for time.

Mike Grosvenor, a member of the E-Lounge Committee, and the founder of Grove Marketing and Media, knows how hard it can be. His wife was patient when he got wrapped up in business, but he still made a point to not leave her out of his life. 

“It could be scheduling a date night each week, some time away from the business,” Grosvenor said. “You could even make a point to talk about how work is going, so long as you’re giving your significant other your undivided attention.”

He likened starting a business to being a “one-man band,” establishing the structure, handling his own marketing and so on. The time investment can quickly add up.

“Also, in this age of the social web, where everyone has a cellphone on them and email accounts going to their phone, we have 24/7 access, and the days of going home and tuning out of work are long gone,” Grosvenor said. “You are almost expected to be available 24/7, so you have to really make sure you prioritize, scheduling time for your business — say, working on this project from 1 to 2, or returning calls at this time — and for your family, as well, like going out with them on Fridays from 5 to 9.

“It’s easy to have your time stolen when you don’t schedule and prioritize,” he said. “And once you have a business on any level, there’s no letup. Even when you’re working with a client, you’re already thinking down the road about where you’ll get business next. It’s a machine that never lets up.

“Unless you actively practice time management, it can be hard to keep,” Grosvenor said. “The next thing you know, you haven’t found time for your personal life or family, and people might feel neglected. It’s important to be aware of this and to make the time.”

E-Lounge admission is free. For more information, call (248) 588-1180.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at akozlowski@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1104.