I’ve made a habit of saying stuff that’s not popular. And this blog post is no different.If you're a mom in business, much of the business-building advice doesn't apply to you. Click To Tweet
As a mom, if you try to do business the way everyone else is doing, the way all the business gurus (who’re not moms) tell you to – woah! I feel for you!
Chances are you’ll be struggling, pulling your hair out, wondering what you’re doing wrong – because everyone else seems to be racing ahead of you and no matter how hard you try, how hard you push, how hard you hustle… it feels like you’re moving ahead well, slower than a snail.
As moms, as women, with constant demands on our time that we can’t deny (try saying No to a 2 year old who wants your attention NOW! )
We’re pulled in a hundred different directions (the delivery guy lands up, while you’re in the middle of a client Skype meeting and your 4 year old decides that’s the perfect time to barf… on your laptop!)
It’s NOT easy.
Let’s up and acknowledge that first. That big elephant in the room – the fact that moms have a fraction of the time or mindspace or energy that “regular” people do!
As a mother,
1. Your time is not yours.
Other than the few hours the kids are in school, they’re likely to be jumping around, demanding your attention – especially when you’re in the middle of a Skype business call.
And hey – kids come first. Whether it’s because they’re the apple of your eye, or they just figured out how to open the knife drawer.
You plan to work at night after they’ve gone to bed. But they have a way of knowing when an important project is due and choose that very night to stay up and help you. Yes, god bless them! They just want to help mumma!
2. Your time is fractured.
You get 15 minutes here, another 30 min there. While you’re waiting at the bus stop. Waiting for the kids to finish food. Waiting to pick them up from a play date. Or when they take that once-in-a-year daytime nap.
You can’t always predict when those pockets of time will pop up.
You can’t put them to ‘productive’ use even if you keep a hundred task lists and try to “pomodoro” the shiz out of them!
You can’t sit and write a a blog post or any marketing material “with ease” unless you become best friends with your smart phone and dictate blog posts to it while you’re driving to and fro the million activities you have chauffeur the kids to!
3. You’re sleep deprived and emotionally exhausted.
Even if no one around you sees it.
Even if you don’t even acknowledge it to yourself.
Those night time feedings and hugs come at a cost – the cost of your sleep and sanity.
There’s enough research that shows soldiers and other people who are sleep deprived for even one night don’t quite function normally. There’s even more research showing how prolonged sleep deprivation leads to PTSD like symptoms. But moms? Somehow the world’s researchers have ignored the extreme sleep deprivation most moms have to endure! Maybe because well, those researches were mostly men, or women without kids!
But when a full night’s sleep is rarer than a blue moon and you manage to get one oh, once every year – what’s the likely toll on your health and efficiency?
Let’s face it – It’s not easy being a mom in business. Trying to build and grow a business WHILE you’re the primary care giver for young kids, especially if you have no or little other support – is challenging.
Just this week I had a client write down her weekly schedule. She said just worked 15 hours a week as a tutor. The other time was ‘free’. So I had her track her schedule.
Close to 20 hours was homeschooling her son.
Another ~6 hours driving back and forth to students.
About 10 hours driving & waiting at both kids classes etc.
We didn’t count housework, or time for her to eat, shower etc (you know normal human tasks) and the total had already crossed 50 hours a week.
I felt really, really bad about telling her she needed to chalk out at least 5 hours each week to actually work on growing her business.
What kind of heartless monster would I be to tell a mom, who’s already ‘working’ like every minute of every day (whether that be on her business or other ‘mom duties’) that her business isn’t going to grow unless she takes some drastic steps to carve out a (measly?) 5 hours a week to actually work on her business?
We had to take a tough and hard look at her time and restructure things so that she could actually get some time to work on her dream business.
And that’s how it is for most moms. We juggle a million things on any given day.We HAVE to juggle a million things on any given day. We're moms! Click To Tweet
And general business or productivity advice just doesn’t work – rather, it goes flying out the door because you were too busy catching the pen that Kid1 aimed at Kid2’s right eye. Am I right?
And that’s why the work I do is ‘different’ as well. When I work with women, with moms, we don’t just talk business strategy and internet marketing. We also talk life, motherhood, parenting. We talk about how to INTEGRATE your business and life; how to make them work together, seamlessly.
What’s the use of a 6-figure business if you never see your kids and can’t be around for that first step or the first word or that first crush?
At the end of the day
You have to prioritize
You have to find your own path
You have to figure out what will work best for you.
For your family
For your family For your circumstances.
Instead of forcing yourself to follow someone else’s formula.
But if I were to try break down what worked for me, it would be summed up to :
Simplify! Systematize! Get Support!
1. Simplify things in your life. In your business.
Pare it down to the bare minimum. If that means wearing the same kinda clothes everyday like Steve Jobs did, so be it! That’s one less decision to be made!
How can you reduce or outsource the decision you have to make each day? Decisions around meal prep, decisions around social media, decisions around housekeeping… all decisions really1
How can you set things up so that you never had to do mundane, repeatable things the third time? If you find yourself doing something that doesn’t require decision making more than twice – take a step back and explore how can you set up a system around it?
Hate making the grocery list each week? Create a master list of everything you need around the house, stick it up on the fridge and when something gets over – just tick it on the list!
Hate coming up with menu ideas – make a weekly or fortnightly menu – and just stick to it! This massively simplifies grocery shopping as well! Too bad if the kids don’t eat what you cook! They’ll skip it once, they’ll skip it twice, but then they’re hungry – they will just eat it.
I know all of this is easier said than done.
But you gotta start doing it!
3. GET SUPPORT in your life, in your business
Get the spouse, your parents, your friends,to pitchin in with the housework, with the kids.
Hire househelp! This is A HUGE ONE!! Getting a cleaner for just an hour a week can ease your work load so much! And if the husband doesn’t want to shell out the $$ – tell him to chip in and actually DO the work!
Hate loading the dishwasher – get the husband or the older kids to do it – everyday. Bribe them if you have to!
In your biz, get a coach, get a VA to help you simplify, streamline and fast track your biz growth.
So then you have more money to outsource the cooking, the cleaning, and all the biz admin stuff you hate! ??
And perhaps some more left over to go on a all girls holiday with your besties, sipping champagne and getting massages at a private beach with turquoise waters and white sand somewhere!! ??
But joke apart, remember this
there is not one size fits all solution!
And its not a race!
Do what you can, when and how you can.
Go at your own pace.
And keep doing what you do best – hugging those kids hard!
The days are long, but the years are short.
Before you know it, those little humans will be as tall as you – or perhaps taller – and moving out on their own!
Are you ready to fast track your business?
Work smarter, not harder! 😉 Book in a free call to explore how best I can help you!