"Mompreneur" is the contemporary label given to a mom who goes after her dreams by starting a business. Increased cultural emphasis on work-life balance, the digital communication evolution, and work from home opportunities have all contributed to more women than ever finding their way to business ownership. If running a business is not hard enough, for women with kids--it's like taking on two or three full-time jobs. This difference in how many jobs you have depends on whether you are a single parent or married. I want to give it to you straight; Mompreneurs face a difficult balancing act. Here are a few tips and notes of encouragement to help you achieve the success you want at work and at home as a successful mompreneur!
Keep Your Eyes Wide Open
Despite past societal and cultural objections, working moms have become the new norm in the United States. The Pew Research Center recently reported that both parents work in just under half of two-parent homes. Depending on your business concept, you may not even have to leave home to start your company.
Just because being a mompreneur has become easier doesn't mean it is easy. Moms still take on a lot of household responsibilities, which means you need plenty of stamina and perseverance. In its survey of parents in two-income households, Pew found that moms are still central in planning and executing kids' schedules and caring for sick children. If your home is like those represented in the study, you also invest time and energy in discipline, playtime and general household chores.
Strategies That Create Success
I'm here to tell you that with grit, discipline and planning, you can be a success story as a mompreneur. The following are among the most important strategies to guide your journey:
Turn Passion Into Money: Starting a business for purely financial motives makes it difficult to sustain your passion and energy. Blend a smart business idea with something you have a great passion for to reduce the stress of work.
Emphasize Structure and Efficiency: You can't afford wasted time and effort when executing two demanding rules. Establish a structure for you and your family that outlines the expectations for each person. Find ways to complete necessary activities more efficiently to maximize your time. Include a few, fast, healthy meals in your weekly dinner routine, for instance.
Minimize Distractions: Minor distractions aren't a big deal as a mom or as a career woman. However, you can't afford constant disruptions when trying to execute both roles on a daily basis. Creating priority rules helps you separate your roles and improves focus. Rank your priorities and staying disciplined to keep your sanity. Develop rules at work and at home to set aside things that keep you from dedicating your energy to either role. As an example, commit to a certain amount of quality time with each kid at night.
Build a Support System: If you try to do everything alone as a mompreneur, you will likely burn out. Get help from the onset to find balance. As part of structuring your home life, figure out which duties you, your spouse and your kids will take on. Consider hiring a cleaning service to affordably unload some time-consuming chores. Find quality leaders in your company to entrust while you are away. Build an effective community support team as well, such as through networking groups or social clubs.
Pass the Buck: You can achieve balance and model the entrepreneurial spirit for your kids by allowing them to get involved. What adults view as work, kids often perceive as fun and rewarding. Identify the things your kids enjoy about your business and find age-appropriate tasks they can tackle.
Stay the Course
Remember your realistic expectations. If you expect to become a mompreneur success story overnight, a hard dose of reality awaits. I encourage you to stay positive and don't stress over minor details at home or work.
Look to other mompreneurs farther along in their journey. The best models for the success you want are other moms who have already traveled over the rough terrain. Ask questions and listen with interest to understand common mistakes so you can avoid them or minimize the damage.
The path to becoming a mompreneur has never been more wide open. Start your journey with realistic expectations so you take the right steps toward success. Regular communication with your spouse, children, and work stakeholders are essential as you establish structure in your three major jobs. A positive attitude and a healthy support system are tremendous allies.
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