The Balancing Act: Building a Business and Running a Family

By: Kris Jenner

Being a mother and a manager is a balancing act, but my love for my family will always tip the scale. The last decade has been a rollercoaster for our family, but what has kept us strong, both as a family unit, and as a successful brand, has been the understanding that family always comes first. This is the motto that I will live and die by, and one that I’ve instilled in my kids from day one. My kids know that I always have their best interests at heart, and will drop anything for them. It’s an unwritten rule that our business partners and associates know to respect, and it’s this loyalty and love that makes us relatable to so many. It’s what we pride ourselves on. It’s what makes us who we are.

Over the years I’ve received criticism from people who don’t understand our family dynamic, or fail to conceive that a mother could ever take on a “momager” role for her children without the relationship turning contentious or detached. I look at it this way: if your daughter is a young model, a singer, an actress, whatever her talent or passion is, at some point you have to hand over the reigns to a manager, who will not only take a portion of her income, but will likely have an impactful rule over her affairs, her money and evidently, her success. I’m not saying that “managers” are all immoral or opportunistic, or that every mother should take on a “momager” role, but for me and for my family, the shoe fit, and I never took it off. I didn’t want to hand over that level of control to an outsider. Perhaps that’s the control freak in me, but we all want what’s best for our kids, and I found a way to ensure that I knew what my kids were doing, that they were being fairly compensated, that they weren’t being taken advantage of and also that along the way they were learning the importance of integrity, responsibility and discipline.

"I think it’s really important for working mothers to remember that as parents of course we all love our children, but we shouldn’t feel guilty for also loving our work."

Like any working mother, I still face the struggle of separating business life from personal life, particularly when the two are so intrinsically connected. I’m blessed that I get to spend so much time with my family, but there are definitely times when I have to remind myself to take a step back from work and focus on just being mom. At the same time, I think it’s really important for working mothers to remember that as parents of course we all love our children, but we shouldn’t feel guilty for also loving our work. For many of us, we are equal parts moms as we are business women, professionals, doctors, lawyers… what we do is a part of who we are. By taking pride in your job, and expressing that joy to your kids, you’ll help instill that same work ethic in them. That’s something I’ve always tried to do with my kids and know they’ll continue to pass down to theirs. Their success really comes down to work ethic. I could spend my days securing deals for my kids, setting up promotional appearances, magazine covers and product endorsements, but if they aren’t willing to put in the work, it’s never going to happen.

As my kids get older, I take so much pride in watching them become successful entrepreneurs. They are passionate, self confident and strong-minded. But above all else, they always, always put family first, and it is this trait that makes me most proud.