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Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work

ON your business rather than IN it.

Interview with guest Sarah O’Bryan, author of Baby & Business at Home

We’re very excited to be welcoming this week our guest, local author of Baby & Business at Home; Sarah O’Bryan. She’s here to chat to us about finding that elusive Work Life balance….

Welcome Sarah and thanks for being on the show!

Sarah, can you tell us a little about your background and the research process which led you to write this excellent book?

Part 1 – Ways to support your partner who is running their own business

 When I was researching for my book, I found one of the biggest obstacles for people running their own business was lack of support from their partner. So I think it’s two-fold, how to set things up so it’s easy for your partner to support you. Then knowing ways to offer support.

Before you start –

  • Have really open conversations about what it looks like
  • Discuss expectations on earning potential
  • The impact on time and space
  • Any potential pitfalls, and appropriate response plans
  • Make sure everyone is onboard, committed & enthusiastic about the idea at the beginning

Support comes in many forms –

  • Asking your partner about their day
  • Delivering a job
  • Helping to pack boxes when a big order comes in
  • Offering verbal encouragement
  • Taking the kids out for the day, if you need some space
  • Sometimes it’s as simple as pouring a wine or making a coffee when they’re slogging away to meet a deadline

 Part 2 – Tips on how to designate/mark out your territory

I talk about your work space in chapter 3 of Business & Baby at Home. It’s really important that you have a respected area that is your business space, and whilst this may look different for different people, the key word is ‘respect’. Not only do you the business owner need to respect it by making sure you have everything you need, no one has time to be searching for the power charger when there’s a deadline to be met! But also, and probably more importantly, that everyone else respects it to. It’s okay to get protective of your zone! If you need an office environment, a designated room is ideal, even better if it has a lock on the door. If you’re easily distracted, or like to listen to music while you work, away from the main living areas can help. Another important factor is whether you receive deliveries, or if customers or clients need to visit. A lot of people convert their garage, as there’s plenty of room, and it’s quite separate.

 Part 3 – What is Work/Life Balance and how do you achieve it?

 Work/life balance seems to be talked about everywhere at the moment. I read an interesting statement by Keith Urban recently, ‘Work life balance is never achieved, it’s only maintained’ and I tend to agree with him. It’s that constant shifting of time and focus. I think it’s hard to define, which is why it can be a bit elusive, because it looks different to different people. For some it may be about achieving work goals, while still going for a run every day. For others it may be having time to read the paper. Right at the start of the book there’s a list of questions you need to ask yourself before you start, including ‘Why do I want to run my own business’, this will help determine what work/life balance looks like to you.

There’s heaps of tips on this topic throughout, here’s a few –

  • Keep a work-in-progress – write down all of your jobs, or to-dos, so you’re not having to remember them, this helps you switch-off at the end of the day
  • Create reasonable lead times
  • Maintain a strong routine
  • Know when and what to outsource
  • Have designated ‘switch-off’ times
  • Write personal and professional goals

As always, if you’ve only just tuned in you can listen again or in touch via the Breakfast Boys Facebook page or my website – Boyd Office Management Services or with any questions, email me at

 Next Week

Next week we’re going to be taking you through how to put on a great launch party. Launch parties for businesses are a great way to introduce yourself to the local business communities, build referees and make great contacts. We’ve also got an exciting announcement for business owners in and around Hornsby … but you’ll have to listen out next week to hear this exciting news!

Homework time!!

I want our listeners to think about the worst party they went to and what made it so bad.