Jason Shafton is the Founder & CEO of Winston Francois, a growth marketing firm.

Picture in your mind a circus act. An entrepreneur in top hat and tails. Sitting upright on a unicycle, holding a wobbly balance. Juggling two sets of balls, somehow keeping them in the air. All around, an audience watches on, expecting results.

Roll up, roll up! It’s the traveling circus of Entrepreneurship and Parenthood, featuring the deft balancing act of juggling babies and business. At times, it’s awe-inspiring. At others, it’s overwhelming. And it nearly always feels like a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants experience.

There is no training for this dual-focus challenge that places equal demands on our attention, our energy, and our responsibility. It’s why it might well be the most skilled balancing act of all balancing acts, minus any fanfare.

And that’s before we even factor in any talk of success. The mere necessity of balancing home life and work life often means getting through the day without dropping a ball. The need to execute both successfully — business and family — only adds extra weight to the pressure.

Everyone in the workplace knows the strain of these two competing worlds. But CEOs and founders are the moms and dads to businesses who birth an actual life while also birthing a vision. At that level, both worlds bring their own intensity.

Being both an entrepreneur and a parent doesn’t get any easier. Many times, it can feel too much. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find perspective and be kinder to ourselves along the way.

My wife, Alyssa, and I launched a podcast this year to explore how other couples grow together while pursuing success within the home-work balance. If chatting with other couples has taught us anything, it’s how easy it is to focus on, and magnify, our own challenges, struggles and low points. But talking to other people allows us to (a) zoom out and (b) realize everyone else goes through a similar wild ride yet in a different way.

Take the case of a co-founder couple who launched a business in the wellness space and had every life event happen all at once: Moving from Canada to NYC, having a baby, opening a store front, launching an app, then finding out the live-in nanny didn’t have the paperwork to travel to the U.S.—all this in the span of three months. Just listening to their experience was dizzying. How did they do it?

“You just figure it out,” they said. Figuring it out—finding a way, taking things day by day, keeping your eyes on the horizon—is what entrepreneurs do. I suspect it’s almost instinctual.

It doesn’t make it any less challenging, though. So I’ve put together some nuggets of advice based on conversations with a handful of different couples. I hope it’s helpful, especially for those times when everything’s happening all at once and you feel more overwhelmed than excited.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Having an entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t make us superhuman. We can’t have all the answers. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from people who have been there, done that.

One startup founder made it his goal to speak to three new people a week. He brought a curious mind to each conversation, eager to learn about how to scale, how to hire, how to issue equity, how to deal with conflict and so on.

Same goes for fatherhood and motherhood, an equally daunting, how-will-we-ever-cope experience. Ask for help. Seek out advice. Take the learnings.

Slow down, be present.

Simultaneously building a business and family can feel like being locked in a constant fight or flight mode. Everything seems to unfold at warp speed. So it’s important to step back, slow down and take a deliberate pause.

“I was so busy that I never felt present with my wife or kids” is a constant refrain from founders who’d do things differently second time around. You aren’t going to build Rome in a day. Carve out family time. Be present. Drop in. You’ll never regret it.

Focus your attention.

Being present means deliberately bringing your attention to any given moment, be it a person or a project. With so much going on, it’s easy to be in your head and not present. You’ll notice this more acutely at home when hanging out with the baby for, say, an hour, and all they seem to do is eat, poop and cry. It can feel like the most unproductive hour of your life, so the mind will wander to the to-do list, or start thinking about the emails and texts that need answering.

But it can all wait. Divert your mind to the glacial pace of the little human before you. It will nourish you as much as it nourishes them.

Be intentional.

Know what’s on your plate, at work and at home. Taking responsibility for what you’re responsible for means being intentional about what’s on you, how you’re going to approach it and the end result.

Whether you’re determining different roles between joint founders or your partner at home, knowing who’s doing what on any given day leads to better understanding and strong relationships. Be clear. Be intentional. And deliver the goods.

Stay flexible.

Entrepreneurship and parenthood require a ton of flexibility. You can be intentional, have plans and hold expectations, but the ability to stay flexible will lead to less suffering. This is all part of the “we just figure it out” mindset. Roll with it. Zoom out. Find perspective. It’s rarely the end of the world.

Speak kindly to yourself.

Lastly, the inner critic can be loud when life is stressful and things aren’t going to plan. So watch how much time you give to your overly critical inner commentary. Speak kindly to yourself. By that, I mean make sure your inner dialogue is positive, optimistic and compassionate. Remember, you’re riding that unicycle and juggling those balls the best you can.

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