Is there even an opportunity to adequately balance the demands of the new startup vs what your personal life and family are vying for?
I generally put personal and family time on my calendar and treat it like any other meeting on my calendar. It may seem unusual to have "bike riding" on my work calendar, but it works for me ...
Consider spending days solely with the family or solely working. I find a 4 working days and 3 family days being a good split. (2 work days, 1 family, 2 work, 2 family)
On days I work, I get up early, spend all day behind the computer, including diner. Go home, sleep, repeat.
On family days, I do not work at all. Instead it's all about quality time. Going to the zoo, the pool, etc.
Think of your life as being integrated rather than balance. It may sound like semantics, but your mindset is important here. Balancing inherently means your putting things at odds against one another. Your life, the startup and your family, needs to be integrated. What does this mean?
As others have mentioned, putting everything into a single calendar helps. You also need to prioritize and get help on the business end - don't try running a startup by yourself. Put family first though. Startups come and go and you can always walk away from the startup - the same can't be said of family.
I began in the startup world over 20 years ago and haven't look back. I love being involved with startups. During that time, I became a single father (lost wife to cancer), remarried, and now have 3 kids ... still doing startups :)
You can do it - just make sure family comes first.
In preparation for the book, " High Tech Start Up: The Complete Handbook For Creating Successful New High Tech Companies" author John L. Nesheim noticed a trend among the successful CEOs in that they obtained buy-in from each of their family members (spouse, kids, etc.) before ever committing to a startup and that their identities were grounded outside of them being CEOs ("I'm a father, gardener, and Saturday-morning runner."). These two components helped them (and their families) weather the many-hour weeks and extreme setbacks which can be par for the course in startups. Although the original book was written in 1992 these statistics left a deep impression on me and have helped me and my family not only survive but thrive for the most part during my startup.
However, I must add a personal note. As a parent who transitioned from staying at home with the kids to going back to work, I notice that I crave to be home for that hour or two when my kids get home from school in order to greet them, find out about their day, feed them a snack, and so on. I've also observed that I am unproductive at work during those same two hours in the afternoon (doesn't everyone get sleepy after lunch?). It has taken me a while to accept this unconventional routine and to come to peace with my need to be with my family but I find I am more productive if I can actually go home for those precious two hours. Usually my spouse, with the traditional job, is home by that time to switch off on childcare so that I can work again from home or head out for an evening networking event. Additionally, when I am heads down developing our product or when we are in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign, that can take a few solid focused weekends (and weekends are lighter on email distractions), but I can only do so many of those in a row before I really miss my family and friends.
Interested to hear how others find this balance for themselves.
There is always the opportunity to balance personal/work life. You can balance it however you want. The result that comes to fruition will depend on how you as a person handle things.
If you spend 90% of the time with family and 10% working on the startup it will take you 9 times longer to get something done than if you worked on your startup 90% of the time and spent 10% with family.
If you are the type of person who can grind day after day, with no support or encouragement from friends and family, eating at your desk from sunrise to sunset, and sleeping on the futon in the corner of the office every night...you could take even the worst idea to market. But most people can't do that and need to "unplug" every once in a while.
The less you need to "unplug" the faster the startup will get things done. The more you need to take a break, the slower things will go and increase the chances of you getting left behind or overtaken by a competitor.
It's your choice.
No. If your startup does not consume you then you have the wrong priorities. How you manage the personal life around it is delicate and important, but there is no balance.
Initially it started out as a trial by fire period, but after understanding what I can and cannot do, I have tried to schedule personal time with family in during the week as I've found it recharges me. All other times are fully dedicated toward the startup.
Life is a pie of 24 slides. It is depend on my assigment which slide for what. At the moment I had to meet my projects dead line, I taking 12 slides for work from cut off my kids/cooking and family time to one slide of each. I note it in my personal time account. I will pay back this debt with interest :) right after I submit my assignment. By taking 12+ slides for kids/ cooking and family and just work for 1 hours or less.
Same way as you balance work and family life. It's good to keep your priorities right and family should have highest priority in your life then anything else.
With regard to other stuff it should auto balance as long as you are reasonable in your planning, estimation and delegation.
First principle of success: although you should know how it's done but you can not do everything on your own.