Blending Business with Mom Life
Well, I think this post could really be an entire book. Which is, in fact, why so many have written books on this subject. But if you're like me, you know that each person's experience is different and you love reading about how others are tackling the same challenges you're either facing (or hope/plan/want to be facing soon)!
So... here goes... mom life + entrepreneurship. Grab some strong coffee now. I'm condensing this behemoth of a subject into a one simple thing.
Motherhood puts everything into crystal clear perspective. As I shared earlier this year, it's so much easier now to kick the small stuff to the curb and focus on the things that matter. I've found that this ability can be such an asset as a business owner because it allows precision focus and that can really boost productivity and effectiveness.
When I'm at home with my daughter, I'm at home with my daughter. When I'm at work, I'm at work. There's no time to dilly-dally at work because I want to be able to focus on my daughter when I'm home.
I have to admit though, that this is still hard as a business owner, and even more so as a creative designer. It's hard for me to shut off my brain or switch gears and I have to work pretty hard at it. I have to work to find ways to really maximize my productivity. Here are a few entrepreneur/mom tricks:
1. Naptime is go-time.
This may seem obvious, but once my little one drifts off to sleep, I pop my macbook open and get.things.done. One important caveat: the time that I'm home with my daughter is still off-limits for client time. I'm home with her on Mondays and our studio is closed Mondays anyway. I'm also home with her on Wednesday afternoons. I don't schedule any client calls during that time, but I do use her naptime to tackle creative design projects, business "housekeeping", or drafting emails. This little bit of time helps me stay on top of deadlines and keep my workload to a manageable level. I can also effectively delegate things that end up in my inbox but really should be handled by another member of our team.
2. Podcasts are the bee's knees.
If you're a small business owner and haven't yet caught up with Jenna Kutcher's Goal Digger podcast... do it. I can have a podcast playing while I watch Piper play with her toys, and sometimes we drive around in the car and listen to one. She loves the movement and watching the trees go by out the window - and she'll often nap in her car seat. She also loves when I have the radio on. She has zero clue what a podcast is, but I predict she'll grow up to be a very knowledgeable, intelligent business woman if she ever starts retaining the content I'm listening to. Ha! In all seriousness, a good podcast can produce a thousand good ideas.
3. Give yourself grace.
You're not alone, moms. Like you, I've heard so many moms (or women who aren't moms) preach that we should shut everything done every night. That work needs to be done between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm, and that you should focus on yourself/family/kiddos once the workday is done. That sounds so nice, doesn't it?! And yet... how utterly and completely unrealistic for some of us to do that every day. I honestly do believe that there are some creative business owners that can do this. I do. I don't realistically think that every event planner/designer can do this. And then we feel like gigantic-mom-failures if we can't keep our business within the confines of business hours like the super-moms of the world tell us we should. Let me be clear: I'm not suggesting that any of us should work into the wee hours every night. That just isn't healthy. But it is true that in our industry, deadlines matter. I am constantly mindful of print production deadlines, product sourcing deadlines, and production timelines. Sometimes I need to either work late at night after my daughter goes to bed, and/or get up very early in the morning to head to work because I need that extra time to get things done and meet deadlines. And you know what? I've realized I need to give myself some grace in those moments, and that's okay.
"Wherever you are, be all there." That means prioritizing, focusing, and guarding against distraction. It's a constant challenge. But it's one I'll take on any day of the week, and I know you can too!