As I sit here feeding my mother her third bowl of soup, I can’t help but appreciate the blessings of working for myself for the last 9 years. It is through entrepreneurship that I have been able to spend the majority of the last two weeks with my mother after we placed her on hospice services. Since selling my technology services business two years ago, I have been able to create my own schedule while working from home and many times from my mother’s bedside.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are not the only beneficiaries of the flexibility of the policies and procedures driven corporate bureaucracies. Here are some of the few situations that the small business owners I work with have been able to support their team members through:

  • A consultant able to take 10 days leave after his mother passed away
  • A field service technician was able to spend time with his dying wife and work when he needed time away.
  • A senior engineer whose grandmother was on her death bed had generous flexibility in time away from work in the transition while his cousins struggled to get any time away
  • Another engineer had an accident before starting work on Day 1 and the owners paid his full PTO and are continuing to work around his medical restrictions even after PTO expired. (He is the only employee.)

These are just a few examples that I am aware from the last three months. While it may be easy to conclude that this post is just about allowing employees to take more time off, it’s not. It’s about business owners running their business on supportive relationships with their teams and according to their values.

If you want true work-life balance, you need to work for a small business owner, become your own boss, or become Thoughtfully Ruthless™. Contact me to see if one of these options fits you.