Entrepreneurship can be surprisingly like parenthood. You have this fledgling idea you love. You try your best to set it up for success. Then you help it stumble around until it finds its footing and grows into a successful, fully-developed entity. Here are some tips on how to embrace your skills as a mom and work them into solid business foundations.
Set sharp boundaries
As a busy mom, it is imperative that you separate your household from your work. This is even more true if you’re launching a home-based business. The only way you can juggle entrepreneurship and family is if you can clearly differentiate between the two.
The goal is to establish a balance. If the lines get blurred, you won’t be able to properly devote yourself to either your business or your children. So, separate your work from your motherhood. When you work, all of your focus and passion goes to work. When you’re with kids, all of it goes to them and your bond.
Feel free to delegate
Being a mom, you already have a lot of your plate, so don’t be ashamed of portioning stuff. You can achieve better results when you rely on your support network. Turn to your spouse, parents, extended family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and (if they’re old enough) your kids.
All of them would certainly love to help you. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like a burden. In fact, we bet they would be quite proud to be part of your business efforts. Helping you with a task or two has little impact on them, but relieves a huge amount of stress from your shoulders.
Do you need to put up posters or distribute flyers to advertise? Who has time to run around town when you also need to think of your supplies, operations, finances, etc.? Entrust those minor tasks to your supporters so you can focus on the big stuff.
Work out the details
Be proactive about structuring your business. Think carefully about the impact it will have on you: your finances, your liability, corporate taxes, administrative requirements etc. Consider everything, from branding to staff.
Will your teenager run a Facebook page for you, or do you want to establish a personal domain for your site and hire someone to manage it? Will you work for yourself or have employees? How many people would you have on your payroll?
Research business incorporation laws in the state you plan to base your business in. Consider investing in a lawyer and a certified public accountant. The more of these technicalities you can resolve in advance, the less stressful your foray into business ownership will be.
Play to your own strengths
You don’t have to fit the mold of a business owner that the environment sets. The Internet especially has tons of articles about “the traits of successful CEOs” and such. They’re interesting reads, but if they don’t apply to your specific circumstances, bin them without guilt. Everyone has a different skill set.
You want to amplify your strengths and carve out your own niche. As a woman and mother, you have a unique perspective and collection of abilities to contribute. Embrace that individuality instead of trying to conform to traditional leadership molds.
Slow and steady wins the race
Whatever kind of business you’re launching, be prepared to start small. It might take significant time for the profit to start rolling. It could be years before your venture gets to the point you envisioned at the outset. Just remember to be patient and persistent.
As long as you have clear goals, you have a chance at reaching them. The catch is diligence. Don’t burn yourself out, but you do need to invest consistent work toward your vision. Spread out your efforts over a period of time. Overeagerness and early pushing for growth will result in a weak foundation, and your business might collapse before it even gets a chance.
The other big pitfall to avoid is getting discouraged. Lack of progress can be a real damper on your spirit, so catch yourself and don’t let it get to you. Just like marriage and family, business can be a rocky road. There will be hardships, high hurdles, and downright annoying setbacks.
You can get through all of them. Keep your goals in mind and apply the skills you learned as a mom. You possess an enviable arsenal of methods for navigating rough patches, resolving conflict, and finding creative breakthroughs when things hit a slump.
Becoming a business owner as a mom can be challenging. Focus on your own strengths and apply all the wisdom you gained from parenting. As long as you’re patient and consistent, you have a high chance of success.