Moms—whether they are stay-at-home parents, self-employed, business owners, or corporate executives—are entrepreneurs by nature. From chef to chauffer and storyteller to nurse, moms must wear many hats and fill many roles on a daily basis. Mompreneurs, or mothers who are startup or small business owners, frequently build upon their strengths as parents to successfully run their businesses. But sometimes being a parent and an entrepreneur is hectic, stressful, and taxing. These tips can help entrepreneurial moms stay focused, productive, and energetic.
1. Utilize your free time. On a Monday morning while the kids are at school or on a Saturday afternoon when they’re at a friend’s house, use this free time to help you prepare for the week ahead. Whether this means preparing household meals for the week or catching up on unanswered emails, utilizing your free time will help you stay on track and get ahead. But don’t forget to give yourself a break now and then. Entrepreneurial burnout is very real and can cause you physical, mental, and business problems down the line.
2. Set boundaries. Being an entrepreneur and a mom means having to set boundaries, especially when you work from home. Dedicate a space in your apartment or house to act as a home office. When you are in your office, make sure you have limited contact with household distractions. Hire childcare to look after your children and make sure pets are in another room to keep interruptions at a minimum. If need be, work outside of your home in a coworking space, which offers affordable workspace alternatives in addition to networking and other perks.
3. Hire a virtual assistant. If you don’t feel like paying for full-time help, you can hire a reputable virtual assistant to delegate projects to who you only pay for the hours they do work for you. Your virtual assistant can help with everything from ordering dinner to be delivered to your house after a long day to researching pre-schools and child care options. You can also hire a virtual assistant to help with aspects of your business. Many VAs are administrative support pros and can perform a wide variety of administrative tasks such as data entry, payroll, document creation, event planning, scheduling, sending you reminders, and more. If your business requires an employee with a specific skillset, you can find a virtual assistant for that too. Many remote assistants specialize in a variety of skills including marketing, social media, graphic design, and paralegal work.
4. Don’t strive for perfection. While perfectionism is often a highly revered aspect of work, it isn’t always most productive. In many cases, both in work and in parenting, “done” is better than “perfect.” Reaching towards perfection will only slow you down, cause you to second guess yourself, and make you feel guilty when you don’t hit impossibly high standards. In many cases, trying to reach perfection all on your own can also cause you to miss out on opportunities to collaborate with others, share in ideas, and learn and grow as an entrepreneur.
5. Get the kids involved. While instilling boundaries is critical to getting work done as a mompreneur, involving your children in smaller aspects of your business can not only be a fun learning experience for them, but an opportunity to bond as well. Having your children help with certain aspects of your business—like putting stamps on packages that need to be mailed out for young ones, or data entry tasks for teenagers and college students—can teach them problem solving skills, patience, decision-making abilities, and how to learn from failure; which are all important skills to have as an adult.
Being a mom and an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to choose one of the other. Mompreneurs, while busy, can find a healthy work-life balance between being a parent and running a business.