Help SmallBizlady: How do you Find Time to Start a Business if you are a Wife, Mother and Full-time Worker?

It takes teamwork to make the dream workIn order for a working mother to be successful in business they have to have a great support team behind them, particularly if the children are under 5 years old.  It takes teamwork to make the dream work is not a cliché, it’s really the truth.

The team should start with your spouse. You need to have a spouse who does their fair share or a housekeeper who does what your spouse won’t do. Then you need to line up babysitting support. You need daytime and nighttime daycare support, because many networking events are in the evening, and since you are still working your full-time job, your opportunity to network will really only be evening, unless your job is really flexible.

In fact, most businesses being started these days can be done in the evenings and on weekends. This is the right strategy too, because it takes 18-36 months on average for a small business to break even, let alone replace your corporate salary, so I strongly suggest becoming a sidehustler first. Your dayhustle is your job and your sidehustle is your small business.

Try to negotiate with your job to work from home. If you have flexible work hours you can get out to breakfast or lunch networking events and handle some important client meetings, too. Being able to get out there and meet people will be critical in the first few years of your business.

Now about your spouse; you need to make time for him. This is especially important as he’s going to be doing more for the family since your focus will now be on the new business. Try to carve out one night a week to date your husband, that’s one of the reasons why you need a nighttime babysitter. Try to keep your spouse involved in the business, too; share your plans and any successes with him so that he can share in the victories.

If you are married to a risk-averse skeptic, then only come at him with data, not ideas. Treat him like the bank. Only share your finished business plan and give him the financials. Most importantly, give him a realistic timeline for how long you will pursue this business.  Be careful not to give yourself a tight deadline, add an additional six months to whatever you were thinking.

Hopefully you are married to someone who supports your dreams, but if not just put him on a need to know basis, and that may mean he doesn’t need to know what you are working on just yet.

Do you have any advice to share for working moms who want to go into business?

For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog

Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is America’s #1 small business experts. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. She writes a weekly column on social media for The New York Times. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog Melinda is also the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works

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  1. says

    Having a team and the support of family, spouse/partner and your employer is key to starting a business as a mompreneur. I would also encourage you to connect with other mompreneurs who can share strategies for how they manage everything as well as seeking out mentors who can help you think through a clear strategy for how to grow the business.

    In addition, it’s easy to start a company and it turn into just another thing on your “to do list”. So I recommend be passionate about it, be willing to do your research to see where there is a customer need and be patient for the 18-36 months time frame as Melinda suggested above – because it will take time!

    Happy entrepreneuring!

  2. says


    It’s as if you read my mind with this post! I absolutely love your blog and your work! I hope you know that I’m truly one of your biggest supporters!


    • says

      Andrew FashionJuly 26, 2011Hope it helps. Pathetic sad reason, the emnoyjent of life and money, and wanting so bad to just be a business owner. Managing companies, traveling, and enjoying life. If you haven’t realized, programmers spend their life coding for other people or themselves in front of the computer 24/7. I do miss it though. But I only enjoyed building big projects and the feeling of completing a project, but now I’m just way to far behind, and too much other stuff to focus on

  3. says

    I started my own business 7 months ago. As part of that, I actually have carved out more time for my kids (10 and 12) and I’m still cranking away. That’s part of our deal, and it makes me (and him) feel really good about this decision, that it was more than just about dollars!

  4. says

    There’s a bit of a myth out there that you have to make a clean break with full-time employment to “really” be an entrepreneur. The research I’ve done shows different – my favorite example is Sarah Blakely (the youngest woman added to Forbes’ self-made billionaire list) who launched Spanx while working full-time.

    Launching While Working is a great way to fund your life and side hustle. It also allows you to model the value of pursuing your passion and purpose for your children.

  5. says

    Great post! As a small biz owner, wife and mother I can relate to this question. My advice: Before looking for the time, look into your heart and mind. Do you know in your heart that this is the right direction for your life to take? Are you CERTAIN that you can overcome any self-limiting beliefs you may have that could get in the way of your success? Many people allow the little voice in their head to convince them that there’s NOT enough time to do it all. Believe that there IS enough time and you will find it. Believe in yourself!

  6. says

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I am hoping to present something again and help others such as you helped me.

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