Mom Entrepreneurs: I See You and I Know You
This article is being re-published in celebration of Mother's Day. Here's to all the amazing Moms in every role of life who devote so much to their families.
Entrepreneurs usually start with a, “Why?” You know what it is - the reason why you started this whole enterprise. Was it freedom, flexibility, the need to create something and leave a legacy? Maybe it was all of the above. Women entrepreneurs, particularly mothers, are a unique group among the entrepreneurial landscape.
This blog title aside, I don’t believe in Mom labels. I think they’re wrong and they perpetuate negative attitudes. We have roles, but we are not labels. Wife, Single Mom, Chef, Hairdresser, Chauffeur, Oracle of All Questions, these are roles we step into as mothers.
So, let me say this really loud…
All Moms have jobs, we all work hard, and we all want the best for our families!
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’m writing about this because entrepreneurs who are also mothers face unique challenges and often have different drives and “whys.” Some do not become entrepreneurs until after they become mothers. Motherhood is often the very reason that propels women into entrepreneurship. It offers the flexibility to be present for family obligations while forging a career path on their terms. While there are many advantages, it is by no means an easy road.
As I celebrate the one-year anniversary of my solopreneurship, here’s what I’ve learned so far.
Invest in Yourself and Your Business
As mothers we often struggle with giving back to ourselves. We tend to put the needs of our family before our own. Every single investment of time and money that I’ve made in my business has paid me back ten-fold. Remember that any tool that can help you grow your business and your revenue will keep you invested in your goals and on track to success.
Ask For What You’re Worth
When you’re responsible for your own income production, asking for what you deserve is important. Don’t ask for too little just because you want the business. You’ll regret it. It also devalues your work and your time, which are valuable to both your business and your family.
Saying “No” is Okay
Someone once told me, “No is a complete sentence.” And really it is. Saying, “No,” to one thing can mean saying, “Yes,” to something more important. Sometimes we have to say, "No" to our kids, our business, unnecessary obligations, non-income producing activities. If you have to think about it too much, it’s probably best to just say, “No.”
Guilt is a Sin
I used to live in a perpetual cycle of guilt. I still do, but I’m getting better. You can’t feel guilty that you can’t be everywhere at once, you can’t feel guilty that you’re investing time in your family, and you can’t feel guilty that you’re investing time in your business. Do what you need to do and move on. Leave your guilt at the door.
Be Present In What You’re Doing
I know this one is hard. This is actually one of my 2016 New Year resolutions. Multi-tasking is a slippery slope. If you’re with your family at the dentist, the movies, a dance rehearsal, or a soccer game – be there. If you’re meeting a prospect, closing a deal, and working on your business – be there too. Nothing will happen that can’t wait and unless it’s a true emergency, it can wait.
What are the challenges you face as a mom and an entrepreneur? What helped you move forward? What do you struggle with the most? Sound off in the comments.