Family · Mommy CEO

CEO Mommy: Work-Life Balance from a Small Business Owner

*This post is part of a monthly series called CEO Mommy which will be guest written by a few amazing ladies in my personal and professional network. This month’s post is by Susan Rescigno, President of Rescigno’s Marketing Connections who I actually met professionally a few months ago back, found out we have mutual family/friends and now I’m happy to call her my friend too!

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Running your own small business and balancing your life is like the teeter-totter on the playground.   Sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down; and when everything aligns, you’re balanced.  The problem seems to be in learning how to balance. Remember when you were little and your friend would jump off the other end and you would go flying down? Well, that’s exactly what happens if you don’t set yourself up for a balanced life.

Now, you’re probably wondering how do I maintain that balance? I thought maybe, after 24 years of experience, I would share with you some things that have worked for me:

  • Prioritize what is most important to you. My priority was always my family so I set things up accordingly.  I scheduled my work day so I could pick the kids up from school and be home when they were home.  This doesn’t mean that I left the office unattended or that when there were issues I didn’t go back.  It just means that the majority of the time, I was able to pick my kids up and take them home and put on my Mom hat.
  • Create a support system for the family of my husband, my mother, and my mother-in-law that I relied on for all things family.
  • Create a support system at the office of three key employees that could always handle things when I wasn’t there. My rule was if they made a decision in my absence, I would always support them.  If I had a different idea of how the situation should have been handled, we would discuss it privately, just so they would learn how I would have handled it.
  • Make time for family and friends. I find it to be very helpful to get out with my friends and laugh.  Sometimes you just don’t want to make plans for the weekend because you need the down time, but it’s very important to get your mind off of the business and relax.
  • Make time for vacations. When we first started the business the only way the family could take a vacation together was if we closed down for a week.  I realized that we were very slow the week of July 4th so, from the very beginning, we have closed that week.  This has continued to this day and fortunately, I have developed a staff that can run the business in my absence.  I take at least 3- 4 weeks of vacation a year.   I have to add that I always do my best thinking when I am away from the business.  It really clears my head and enables me to see the forest through the trees.
  • Get involved in other things. Join boards, volunteer, take classes or join associations.  All of these things will help you stay balanced and fulfilled.  They may even get you more clients.
  • Stay involved in your church and keep the faith.

As we all know, balancing is never easy and life is never going to be perfectly balanced all the time, but if you set a few things in place your life will be more balanced and fulfilled.  Remember a teeter totter never stays level unless you are riding it.  You need to be in control.


Susan Rescigno has been in the Direct Marketing and Fundraising field for over 30 years. In 1992, she started her business in her garage and, to date, she has helped over 800 clients with counsel, planning, design, print and direct mail. She works with her team to help clients bring their annual fund programs to the next level. She has doubled and tripled annual fund programs in 2 – 3 years. Her philosophy is doing the fundamentals consistently well.  She believes in sharing the knowledge that she has gained over the years to help organizations bring in much needed annual donations.  Sue also manages the daily operations of her staff and helps generate new business, as well as managing existing business through a variety of proven fundraising and marketing strategies and tactics.  Sue’s passion is living life to the fullest, enjoying what she does and pushing herself to be all that she can be!

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