What does it take to be a Mom Entrepreneur? And, more importantly, what will creating success as a Mom Entrepreneur look like for you? Since we all have different situations and factors that make up our lives, the experience of being both a mom and a business owner is unique for each of us. There just isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan. But, by being really clear about who you are, what you want, and how you define success, you can begin to craft a sustainable plan that will get you on your way. We’ve worked with hundreds of women and have developed a customizable system that works.
Read this book and you’ll be on the path to fully owning both your business and your life.
Starting or growing a business is a huge undertaking, and if you are also a mom, your plate is likely already quite full. Being successful as both a mom and a business owner requires you to take a thorough look at both who you are and the circumstances that make up your life–there are just so many factors to consider. Moms Mean Business begins by helping you better understand the most important component of all: you. This chapter is all about you, your life, and what makes you tick.
Chapter Two is about envisioning your future success. This chapter gives you the chance to think about all that you want for yourself while you get clear on what success looks like to you. This is the “What am I willing to work toward?” and the “I’m so excited about the future!” part. We’ll lead you through a fun exercise to help you tap into your vision for your life. And, before you automatically start limiting yourself, we’d like to say: it’s not too late, you aren’t too old, it’s not too selfish, and you aren’t too busy. This exercise will position your business vision smack in the middle of the vision for your whole life–which, for a Mom Entrepreneur, is the only way to make it all work.
A Mom Entrepreneur’s biggest challenge is managing her time, and there just never seems to be enough. But, contrary to popular thinking (popular whining), you actually do have all the time you need. With so many roles and responsibilities, though, you’ll need to spend your time on the things that matter most to you and find a way to get everything else taken care of. You will finish this chapter with a clear understanding of how to schedule your time so you can make the best use of it going forward and end each day feeling productive.
Since this is a marathon and not a sprint, you’re going to need to take really good care of yourself along the way. This chapter is dedicated to just that. Making sure you don’t burn out is critical. We’ve seen some iteration of burn out with our clients time and again. You get into a productive zone and decide to work more hours so you can move toward what you want and get results more quickly. Soon, you begin to forego exercise, eat crappy food, or go to bed too late. Or you let emails pile up and the snail mail starts to accumulate, too. And, your family doesn’t even recognize you since they haven’t seen you in so long. We can all sustain this go, go, go lifestyle for a short time but guess what happens when you try to live like that for more than a few days? You burn out. You realize what a mess you’ve made and you retreat into a slump. Give it some time and you begin to emerge again. You get your life back on track, restore your equilibrium and then, rather than learn from past mistakes, you start the whole cycle (or a very similar one) again. We’ve all been there and done that. Moms Mean Business will help you stop this cycle and learn how best to take great care of yourself.
As a Mom Entrepreneur, you have many resources, some that you may not even realize, that can help you in your business. This chapter focuses on those resources; we call them your toolkit. You will identify and assess your strengths, skills, education, past work experience, volunteer experience, and any connections that you can use to your advantage as a business owner. Even if you have been in business for a while, it’s worth reassessing your toolkit from time to time. Since we’ve established that being both a mom and a business owner comes with its own set of challenges, the goal here is to use what you have to make things as easy on yourself as possible.
It’s time to take a close look at your business. A carefully crafted business plan is a critical success factor for all business owners. For a Mom Entrepreneur, it ensures that your actions are aligned with your business purpose, helps you monitor your progress, and lets you right yourself or change direction if things go awry. We’ll also have you think about how to incorporate your values, priorities and motivators from Chapter One into the plan. And, because we strongly believe that having a meaningful purpose for your work is crucial both in moving you toward your goals and in keeping you going when the going gets tough, we’ll make that a part of your planning, too. The vision exercise you did in Chapter Two will be really useful here.
You’ve gotten clear on who you are, you know what you want, you know how much time you have to spend on your business, and you’ve made a plan. Now it’s time to get moving. And let’s face it: being your own boss, while it definitely has its perks, has a downside, too. You are the one in charge of managing the vision and making sure that all of these great plans actually happen. And, where do you even start? This chapter introduces specific tools to help you as you begin to implement your grand vision.
No matter what your definition of success entails, focused action that leads to desired results equals fulfillment for all Mom Entrepreneurs. Having a plan to stay on track will go a long way toward achieving the outcome you desire. We’ll help you identify patterns in your productivity (or lack thereof) so you can better understand what will work for you and what won’t. We’ll also cover some common stumbling blocks and give you some unexpected solutions for them.