Many women are turning to entrepreneurship instead of traditional 9-to-5 jobs. They own their own businesses and leverage their corporate skills into lucrative opportunities. Most busy moms know that flexibility is like currency. Managing work-life balance and all the challenges of having multiple life roles (wife, mom, boss) is SO much more manageable when flexibility exists.
Many women say that the best reason to look for non-traditional work is the freedom to be independent. Others have the vision and dream to fill a niche and create a product or service that enriches lives and helps communities.
Enterprising mothers face unique challenges in finding the right balance between work life and home.
Here are some tips to help you overcome the challenges of work-life balances:
#1. Don’t Neglect the CEO
This gets out top spot because moms always put themselves last. Stop doing that. Both building your business or your family takes hard work. Do you find yourself doing little work or housework when you have some spare time? New motherhood and starting a business can be just as stressful as the death or divorce of a loved one.
Self-care is critical to improving your mental and emotional health. It can actually make a huge difference in your ability to avoid burnout and preserve your passion for your business and family.
While being a parent and running your business can be complex, organization, perspective, and balance can help you make it work. You can be both mom and CEO by understanding the business’ priorities and dedicating time to your family.
#2. Create a Priority-Based Routine
It can seem like everything is urgent when you’re growing your business and raising children. However, prioritizing your daily tasks can help you break down more complex tasks into smaller bites.
Take five minutes every morning to decide which tasks you need to complete. You can make a habit out of achieving the most urgent tasks first. This will help you ensure that your work and personal needs are met.
Think about all your life and work tasks; everything will fall into one of these basic 4 categories:
- Hate doing it, doesn’t need to get done
- Hate doing it, definitely must get done
- Like doing it, doesn’t need to get done
- Like doing it, definitely must get done
Stuff that’s on the hate doing it/not essential list can be dropped out of your mind.
Tasks on the hate doing it/essential list can be delegated or outsourced to others.
Things that you enjoy but aren’t essential might bring you joy and help refresh you, but they can also be saved for later.
The jobs you enjoy and are essential to complete should get the #1 priority in your day-to-day life. Even though you enjoy doing them, there may still be things that can and should be delegated to others from an efficiency standpoint. As I always say to my kids: “I’m not an octopus” I can’t do it all at once.
One creative idea is to include your kids in your business. Of course, this isn’t always possible. Still, in some situations (especially as kids get older), they can take on an important role and get paid for their work. Social media management comes to mind!
Try single-tasking: when I am working, I am working, and when I am with my family, I am with my family. Kids don’t want to see you on your phone during playtime. Clients expect your attention during work time. Be fully present in whichever role you’re in and maximize your effectiveness. Create a flow to your day that allows you to minimize the amount of time you feel pulled in multiple directions at once. Take your business hat off when you get home and put your mommy hat on. Mindfulness is a way to live each moment in the present. Mentally put aside business and engage in quality attentiveness with your child. Focus on the task at hand, and don’t forget to make it count. You can dedicate your full attention to the task at hand, whether it’s for work or for your family. You will find you’re a better parent, and your business is more profitable.
#4. Set Realistic Expectations
Your business might not make six figures within the first year. Entrepreneurial moms need to examine their market and consider how they can succeed. Entrepreneurs stress the importance of establishing a profitable business.
Be passionate. Stay inspired.
Create a roadmap detailing the milestones and how you plan on measuring success.
Adjust the expectations you have for yourself. When you delegate tasks and responsibilities, accept that they won’t be done the way you might do them yourself. Some women feel they are the only ones who can do something the right way. Change that mindset.
#5. Find Your People
Starting your own business requires networking and finding a market for your product. Many communities offer networking mixers through their Chamber of Commerce. They also host small-business seminars, lunches and outings. These events will help you meet other mompreneurs, giving you exposure to your market and valuable business connections.
You might be able to share babysitting duties if one of you has virtual client meetings or a deadline. Or, perhaps, the other person needs some peace and quiet to concentrate on their project. Sometimes, you will find someone who has a skill set that matches your business needs. For example, a freelance web developer or a graphic designer can work together to provide a complete package for new clients.
Social media communities are beneficial, and you can reach thousands of people going through exactly what you are.
#6. Roll With the Punches: Adaptability is Key
One thing that many moms-turned-entrepreneurs have learned is how to roll with life’s punches. Your business’s success depends on your ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances. This can be anything from a business meeting turning into a phone call due to a sick kid to answering emails at soccer practice. Adapting to changing circumstances can make it easier for you as a business owner.
Even the most flexible, organized, and mindful mom/business owner will have limitations. It can be challenging to know where to stop and when to let go of some of the pressure of starting a business. While many business owners know the importance of perseverance and that hard work can beat talent, the important thing is to take the time to enjoy the journey and the process.