As a mompreneur trying to manage a startup company and family all at once, can be tricky. The digital age has enhanced your abilities to juggle, but you really do need to become a master multi-tasker. Here’s are few tips and encouragement on how to excel at your business and still have a good family life.
You are not alone
You don’t have to choose between being a mom and running your own business. A recent study by the Pew Research Center revealed that both parents are in the work force in nearly half of all two-parent households. In fact, digital technology enables many moms and dads to work from home or run a business right out of their back bedroom.
Keep in mind that in a typical U.S. household, moms don’t get a break on parenting responsibilities, even if you are running your business. According to the Pew survey respondents from two-income households, moms are still mostly in charge of planning and coordinating children’s schedules and in caring for them when they are sick. Moms at least share in responsibilities of disciplining kids, playing with them and completing household chores in many homes as well.
Keys to Success
With effective planning and discipline, you can thrive in your roles as mom and business owner. Here are a few key strategies that contribute to success:
- Get Your Spouse Bought In: It is very difficult to start a business without spousal support. If you know that you are married to someone highly risk adverse, but sure to approach them with fact and figures, and a specific timeline for how long you’ll need to make the business work. An unsupportive spouse can kill a business faster than a bad marketing plan.
- Structure and Streamline: With three very demanding roles, you need structure. Create a schedule and work with your spouse to clearly define roles and especially any new responsibilities they’ll need to take on. Streamline activities when possible. For instance, cooking weekly meals in advance and delegating age-appropriate chores to children can give you more concentrated work time or relationship time.
- Prioritize: Ranking your priorities each day and staying disciplined to them keeps a good mompreneur sane. Designate work time, family time and a little personal time in your schedule. Create rules for family members, staff and customers on which types of disruptions are reasonable outside of the typical schedule.
- Get Help: When you start feeling like you need to “do it all,” STOP Yourself! It is natural as an entrepreneur to feel like no one can do it like you, but don’t fool yourself. Get help as soon as you can so that you can focus on revenue generating activities. You’ll need a daytime and nighttime babysitter, for those evenings when your spouse has something else to do. Ask your spouse and kids to pitch in as necessary at home. Identify back people in your business. Work hard to maintain your relationships with your friends, you’ll need them when times get tough.
- Get the Family Involved: When possible, involve your family in your business. Home-based entrepreneurs have an especially powerful opportunity here. Kids are often able to pack boxes, organize files, stuff envelopes and complete other basic tasks. In fact, making a game of it and rewarding their efforts with a couple of bucks can really make it fun. This approach allows you to combine work and family time, and teach your children about what you do.
Being a mompreneur is not easy, but I encourage you to give yourself a break. Don’t sweat the small stuff at work or at home. Perhaps you and your spouse can outsource time-consuming chores like house cleaning, once the money starts rolling in.
Get yourself a kitchen cabinet of advisors, which is team of mentors invested in your success. One person should be an existing entrepreneur, a potential customer, a mentor, a lawyer and a accountant. Be sure to expand your mompreneur community expands all the time. Find successful business women in your area and ask them how they find balance. Learning from the mistakes and accomplishments of others will help you minimize your expensive learned lessons.
Making it as a mompreneur is very doable. You just have to get family buy-in, line-up your support systems, and come up with a clear strategy for your business. Communicate with your spouse early on to set expectations for your family and work responsibilities. Remember to treat your family like your #1 customer, prioritize your daily task list, stay disciplined and take advantage of the resources at your disposal.
For more great tips that make sense for a mompreneur, get the Become Your Own Boss Workbook! It is filled with valuable insights that can make your adventure successful and worth every ounce of energy you put into it.