Entrepreneur's Guide to Balancing Work and Family

Meg Cadoux Hirshberg reveals her survival guide for entrepreneurs with families.
4:37 | 02/29/12

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Transcript for Entrepreneur's Guide to Balancing Work and Family
I am sorry towns and this is -- work. Juggling work and family is no small feat but the stakes are higher wind -- the box. Business owners must grow their companies law also maintaining -- -- outside of work. And that's a familiar scenario to -- columnist and author. Meg can do her -- and she's here to share lots of her insights with us in a brand new book -- -- It's all right thanks for having me absolutely so -- -- for a better. Or for work is written from experience after. -- -- founder of stony field -- when the company was far from the success that. We all know today -- tell us some of the biggest challenges that you face. And why you were inspired to share them in the book. Well as you know -- -- is quite successful today at 370 million dollars is the largest manufacturer of organic yogurt in the world. But our first disaster plagued decade in business week we teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and it was it was a very very difficult time. This is what we're manufacturing actually at the farm before -- moved off into a bonafide facility. So during that time I would say my biggest problem and an -- and the challenge that faces many spouses of entrepreneurs is the issue of doubts. How do you. What if you doubt the business how do you prevent that from contaminating your relationship with the entrepreneur. Who after -- very identified with the business. So -- -- you have to prevent the entrepreneur from feeling that this is about him or hurt this is really about the business and that's that's a pretty ubiquitous challenge. As far as why decided to write the -- I it I started writing a column for -- several years ago and the response has just been amazing to the column I've gotten hundreds of letters from people. And that let me know that a book would really be helpful. In terms of providing the vocabulary that people need to discuss these ideas and also to let them know that they're not alone in their struggles. And and -- of those discussions. Each chapter of the book ends with. What you call -- conversation starter so a couple of examples perhaps someone of your favorites. Well one of my favorite tonight I recently wrote column about this actually is what. Information. Between -- Because -- for example after a few years of hearing nothing but bad news I just couldn't take it anymore. And so and Gary Knight came to a place where we decided well we'll just talk about plans for the future and ideas and new products. Because I just couldn't take -- are endlessly terrifying litany. Business was. Remember that the spouse doesn't really have much control in this situation if -- -- at all. And yet his or her -- is very much tied up with the business. There's no control act -- so conversation really is everything. Being able to communicate exactly openly. You also outlined what you called your Twain rules for keeping peace and went married. To an entrepreneur -- business owner shares some of those with us. Yes Elisa drew overtime. Well they divided into some rules are some advice for the entrepreneurs some for the spouse and some for the couple. One for the entrepreneur. Is to really treat your spouse like your most important client. Because entrepreneurs are very solicitous of their clients. They're mindful they're aware of and they try to anticipate their needs and solve their problems. And so my advice would be treat your spouse like -- most important client. Make sure she is in fact he or he is your number one light client. And make sure that he or she knows that you wanna keep their business to do so one gave -- advice for the salads. Is to act like an owner. In this is something that I did actually that was a mistake that I made was to try to build a wall between the business and the family between business and myself. And that and separately distancing you from the entrepreneur because you really need to even if you don't wanna sit through that. That list of of of financial -- necessarily unique to stay connected to the business in some way so for example you could work -- -- at a trade show. Or go on some business traveler even go to aboard meaning if you can bear to hear the financials. One. Rule for the Koppel. That I mentioned is to set the bar low let's send it somewhere and often entrepreneurs say well we can't I can't afford two weeks away I -- we can't that this is can't afford it we can afford it financially -- -- they don't do anything you know. Cultivate those small moments that can be so valuable so that's what I call setting the bar low is. Make sure you grab that cup of coffee with your spouse when you count or take a walk down the block. Very -- found that when we did those small things in a regular basis they really help to keep us connected. So it's not just that that the decisions but it's that team all things every single day at a little bits of conversation. Those small acknowledgment that really go a long way. Yeah they're easy to ignore. When year very distracted and it -- That's right. I -- -- books in -- make sure that we keep them top of mind that there's nothing to ignore the book and a column so. Thanks -- thanks for coming in talking to us. So thanks for having me and you can pick up a copy of meg spoke for better or for work. A survival guide for entrepreneurs and their families it's available wherever books --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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