Being a business owner is nothing new to be (My event management business made 3 years today! YAY!) I remember when I found out that I was pregnant and I could not have been happier! Moreso, I looked at my situation a lot differently than most young business owners. I didn't think my business would be neglected. I didn't feel that I wouldn't be able to focus on my goals anymore. In fact, I thought the complete opposite! I took this as my push to do more and go harder for my business. I was working FT at the time but was let go a couple months after I returned from maternity leave and event with that, I saw the light within that situation and took the leap of faith to become a FT entrepreneur and a stay at home mom. I just knew I'd have so much more time during my maternity leave to focus on my business. I'd be able to work while babygirl was sleeping and her father would be there in the afternoons so I could work even more. I wouldn't have to leave the house. There were no other obligations. The PERFECT setup right?!.....WRONG :) Motherhood, in general, is a full time job- You work 24/7, with no lunch breaks, no PTO, and no benefits! Now, don't get me wrong motherhood for me was A BLESSING! It lit the fire under my ass to go 100% for all of my goal but motherhood and entrepreneurship is one very stressful combination. However, with the right preparation and navigation, it can be done and will be very rewarding! Theres so much I wish I would have known before I took that leap of faith. Not that I would have decided to not go FT mompreneur BUT I definitely would have prepared differently. It's been a little over a year since I've been a mompreneur and I must say I am so super impressed and proud of how far myself, my daughter, and my business has progressed. So here are my tips and hacks on the mompreneur lifestyle. Whether your new to motherhood, entrepreneurship, mompreneurship, thinking of taking that leap or if you've already taken that leap but are finding a hard time balancing life- THIS BLOG IS FOR YOU! Here's everything I wish I would've known!
BEING A MOMPRENEUR IS HARD...VERY HARD!
As simple as that, it's HARD! Honestly, it doesn't get any easier. The more successful you and your business gets, the harder your job becomes. Everyone wants to be a mompreneur right?! The idea of being able to stay at home with your little ones while working sounds amazing but honey, do not believe the hype! (LOL) It. IS. HARD. You'll feel defeated, and that is ok. You'll be exhausted mentally, physically, & emotionally , and that is ok. You'll want to give up, and that is ok. The biggest way to handle the stress is to think about the amount of opportunities that are going to open for you. Your business is only successful as the work you put into it. BE HUNGRY. DON'T GIVE UP!
DON'T WORRY. YOUR BABY WILL BE OK
The mom guilt is REAL! Running you business is hard enough, don't cloud your mind with the guild trips! I used to constantly feel like I was neglecting my daughter all the time. I mean yes, she gets to see me all the time but am I REALLY spending time with her? Half the time she's sleeping or in her highchair while I'm nose deep in my phone or computer. I've got to be a horrible mom, right!? Then I barely have time to really cook so hotdogs, frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets have become her best friend. All the other moms are doing better than me aren't they?! Maybe they are. Maybe they aren't. Honestly, who gives a shit!? All our babies need is LOVE. She's well taken care of, she's fed, she'd played with, she sleeps. She's OK! Our babies are learning each and everyday by themselves. Not to mention, they're learning how to be a strong independent individual by watching how strong of a mama you are! You're setting a great example! You're a wonderful role model! You're a GREAT mother! & your babies are lucky to have to! Remember, everything we're doing is for them. They will live a great life because of you!
JUST FINISH IT. EVEN IF ITS NOT PERFECT
I'm such a perfectionist and let me tell you, there's no room for that with the day-to-day entrepreneur struggles! I've lost so many projects trying to make sure every single details is maintained. Now, this doesn't mean that you have to submit half-ass projects, please don't do that! However, there will be times where a simple project will take much longer to complete because you're trying to make everything as perfect as possible- mix that will your daily mom duties and a project that was only supposed to take a week is now taking the entire month. Now you're exhausted and discouraged. Don't let it happen! Just do it!...like Nike :) You will constantly have goals, new websites, new ideas, new everything and time will be your best friend and worst enemy. Execution is the key, and sometimes it’s okay to 75% finish it!
BUILD YOUR BRAND FIRST. CLIENTS WILL FOLLOW
This was probably my biggest mistake! I jumped right out the door looking for clients before I even decided on a service list. I knew what I wanted to do and I pitched it. Now, by the grace of GAWD I actually landed my first few clients early, however, this is not the typical situation. FOCUS ON YOUR BRAND FIRST! Establish who you are and how you differ from other brands. Build your social media. Gian a following THEN put out ads. Also, wait AS LONG A POSSIBLE before you start to hire people. I've had a few interns and event coordinators on payroll and let me just tell you- you think you're busy now!? Just wait until you have to create a to-do list for your staff AND make sure everyone is on task every day. WHEW! You have family and friends and honestly you probably even have some followers/supporters that would be delighted to help you. ASK! PLEASE do not be afraid to ask for help from those around you!
THE WOMAN WHO WEARS LOTS OF HATS...THAT IS YOU. YOU'RE "THE WOMAN"
Get ready. You're the owner, Manager, HR Rep, Payroll Manager, Recruiter, Insurance Rep, and so much more! Sometimes you'll have to rock two hats at once. Get ready to work on your multi taking skills, you'll need them!
IT COST MONEY TO MAKE MONEY
And alot of it! I've been a mompreneur for a little over a year BUT I've been a business owner for 3 years. I spent my first 1 and a half years doing ALOT of things for free in exchange for portfolio, experience, and references. I DID NOT MAKE A SINGLE DOLLAR UP FRONT! THIS, is the norm and something that many entrepreneurs don't talk about. This for me was CRUCIAL to know when choosing to be a entrepreneur because I had another mouth to feed. Plan your entrepreneur jump differently when you're a mom! SAVE UP FIRST! You're going to need it!
GIRL, GO TO SLEEP!
As simple as that! You'll pull a few necessary all nighters but always remember to get some shut eye at some point. I know you're feeling like super mom at times but even superwoman goes to sleep at night. Don't do too much!
YOUR TO-DO-LIST WILL BE ENDLESS
I can literally count on my hard the amount of days I had where I completed EVERYTHING on my to-do-list- it's almost impossible! Being a mom, business owner, house manager (lol)- there's enough on your plate mama! Try focusing on the things you CAN control. Instead of creating a list and trying to get to the bottom of the list, be realistic. What I do is created a weekly to-do-list then divide the tasks over the days- I know what I could complete on certain days depending on my schedule and my daughters schedule. For example, I do most of my emailing and phone calls while Aj is sleeping and do majority of my social media management while Aj is up as I know it doesn't require much of my attention.
DO WHAT WORKS FOR Y-O-U!
Above all, do what works for you! This is the end all be all list- it is just what I've found essential in my 1 years of mompreneurship. Everyone is different. Every business is different. Every child is different. The purpose of this post is to let you know that is can be done, you just have to want it. You will lose yourself for just a few months while you settle your life again, but, oh honey, you’ll come out stronger than you ever thought was possible! These are a few tips that have eased my transition and I hope it can at least give you a better insight to the mompreneur lifestyle! You can do it mama! I believe in you & so does your baby! Get out there and great mompreneur magic! Chao for now!