As a full-time business owner and full-time mom, they have more in common than you think.

My son, a smart and spunky two-year-old loves bologna. And when I say loves, I mean he is passionate about it.

Just ask him what he ate for lunch today and he will say, “boney and cheese”. And no, that’s probably not what he had — he just wants it to be. This kid would eat bologna for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and also in between.

I’m convinced he goes to bed thinking about bologna and wakes up thinking about bologna.

I should mention that he doesn’t eat bologna as much as he would like. After all, the kid does need some nutrients. And you know what the moral of this story is? He does enjoy so many things other than bologna, no matter how much it clouds his thinking.

Bologna and business both start with “b”, but that’s only the beginning. The other day, after I asked my son what he wanted for breakfast, I had a revelation.

My business could be my bologna.

How many of us that own a small business, or large enterprise for that matter, wake up with business on the brain? How many of us answer emails or swipe through our social media accounts during our lunch break? And how many of us are guilty of sitting down at family dinner with business still in the back of our minds?

You can be honest with me because I’m going to be honest with you.

I am passionate about what I do. Sometimes, I can’t believe that this is what I get to do to provide for my family. But throughout this journey, I have realized that a passion for one thing can quickly consume the passion for another if we’re not careful.

I am passionate about my business, but I am also passionate about that little boy who loves bologna so much. He always comes first. But sometimes, it can be hard to not answer that email in the evenings when we’re playing, ya know? It can be hard to not think about those tasks you need to accomplish during bath time.

How do we make the shift? How do we focus? Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Stick to your guns. Pick a time in the day when you are done with business and be done. Don’t schedule phone calls after this time. Don’t answer emails after this time. It can wait.
  • Focus and be present. You don’t quite believe them when they say childhood goes by fast. It goes even faster than that. Time marches on at the same speed, with or without business.
  • It’s okay to say ‘no’. Yes, it truly is and I still struggle with it. It’s okay to say no to extra projects that you just can’t handle. It’s okay to say no to things that interfere with your family time.
  • Manage your time. If you work from home like I do, it can be hard to do business while staring at the dust in the corner. But, it is critical that you manage your tasks during the day so you can shut your computer off when it’s time.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of bologna. But, at the end of the day, when I’m thinking about everything I am grateful for, I will remember the happiness on my son’s face more times than I will remember my computer screen. Always remember your priorities.

Business that comes first? That’s bologna.