6 Strategies to Balance Motherhood and Entrepreneurship

When I started my own business, the intention was to have more freedom and flexibility so that I don’t have to go to a 9-to-5 J.O.B, pay a nanny (at the high Manhattan rate, which meant one-third of my paycheck!) and miss out on watching my son grow up (the math just doesn’t add up, does it??!) With that in mind, I designed for myself a BUSINESS THAT WORKS FOR MY LIFESTYLE, not the other way around.

Now, a mom of two kids (3 years and 3 months), I am thankful to say that I am able to have a business that balances my needs to serve others (yes, and make a comfortable living) with my needs to be present for my children while being able to take care of myself – I work 20-25-hour week, and I don’t start work until I have finished my morning workout/yoga.

I am passionate about spreading the word that THIS IS POSSIBLE – if you know what levers to pull so that you can be more efficient, productive in managing your time and leveraging your efforts. I work with coaching clients who are moms and looking for ways to be more efficient, productive and able to be present for their familias – here are a few tips that I find to be most helpful:

 Life (happens!)
  • Outsource and delegate. What can you outsource/delegate by paying less than $20 per hour? Make sure whenever you hire help,  you are really using the time to work on income-generating activities – this minimizes guilt too.
  • Self-care: what can you do to make yourself feel good without taking up all day? What can you do at home? Make a list – whenever you need a lift, whip it out and treat yourself.
  • Have a “minimally acceptable list” (e.g. food and nutrition, cleaning house, time spent with kid) – don’t beat yourself up if you meet the standard most of the time.
  • Get your spouse to buy-in and pitch in – you will need that support, and the positive energy in the household.

Time Allocation

  • How many hours do you have available to work on your business? Be realistic, plan tasks and set expectation accordingly. Not only will you not beat yourself up for not meeting certain expectations, but you will also be less stressed and more at ease because you are not setting yourself up to meet crazy deadlines (which seems to coincide with the kid’s sick days!)
  • Prioritize – what moves the needle most? – make them your first thing to do when you start your day. What are the lowest hanging fruits? – They are great when you have a few minutes here and there, and looking for something to do.
  • Create “a plan with no plan” – with as much leeway to absorb uncertainty as you can. Buffer your schedule.
  • Batch activities that need “in-person” “real-time” presence into 1-2 days. Ideally, if those times are dependent upon a nanny being available (she can be late, she can call in sick), or kids being in school (kids can get sick), make sure you have a back up plan – e.g. a support system or resource that can help with last minute childcare (maybe a few local college students who can babysit), or your spouse has the flexibility to work from home those days of the week.

Working From Home

  • Set up a laptop and WiFi… and allow yourself to do “half-ass parenting” once in a while. Sometimes your kid just needs you to sit there while he/she does his/her thing… so you can catch up with your emails.
  • Housework – save the tasks that can be done with your kids around to do when you have the kids. When you are alone, dedicate at much time as possible to work on your business.
  • Define your “business hours”, so you don’t get pulled to doing non-business chores during that time slot (besides emergency…) – and be adamant about keeping that boundary. You are at home working does not mean that you are on-call for “everything domestic”.

Efficiency

  • Do not reinvent the wheel – invest in programs and materials that will save you time and keep you from spinning the wheels.
  • Create system, weekly schedule, automation, whatever works for you – lather rinse and repeat.
  • Batch writing time, write ahead, a lot. Schedule your content so you don’t spend your time posting content every day. (e.g. Hootsuite, Facebook schedule post, WordPress schedule publishing)

Mindset

  • Release control, go with the flow.
  • What you learn about business building may or may not apply to your situation. e.g. we may not be able to go to in-person networking group as often to make it fruitful, but we have more time at home to build network using the internet. Do what works for you and your circumstances, and do it well.
  • Good is really good enough – no analysis-paralysis, no perfectionism!
  • Create a serious of “minimally viable products”, instead of one big program – eat the elephant one piece at a time.
  • Avoid the comparison trap – don’t compare yourself with what others are doing, or are able to achieve. You don’t know the story behind it – maybe they are single and work 60 hours a week, while you have 3 kids and only have 15 hours a week to work.
  • Get support from peers and give each other permission not to have to be perfect!

Business Model

  • Create a business that will allow you to operate virtually most of the time.
  • Find your purpose and your target market. The more focused you are, the easier marketing will come to you and you can do your work with more grace and ease. Priority list + inspired action = effectiveness.
  • Leverage the power of the internet – make sure your website is working hard for you, and build a loyal list that you communicate with regularly.
  • Use affiliate programs – both being affiliates and having affiliates promote for you.
  • Develop programs and products that are delivered digitally to minimize the need for your “real-time” presence.
  • Double up your mommy-duty to network. e.g. mommy-and-me classes, preschool… find opportunity to talk to people, offer discovery session, or do workshops at those venues.

Ready to take massive action – get the support and materials you need to DO IT? I invite you to join me for the Jumpstart Your Biz in 60 Days – the Ultimate NO EXCUSE Marketing and Business Activation Program.

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Comments

  1. You had me at “and allow yourself to do “half-ass parenting” once in a while.”
    You really hit home with that for me. Thanks for the tips. I look forward to seeing you in my inbox all the time, Ling.

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