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Being a mompreneur is one of the hardest yet most fulfilling jobs to have. It’s not perfect and it has its ups and downs. Working from home allows us to be closer to our loved ones and available in times of need like when one of our kids is sick or to chaperone a field trip. But it can also be stressful and overwhelming at times. Learning to balance work and life is challenging. After working from home for the past eight months, I’ve definitely learned a thing or two and I’d like to share them so that you too can make your way off the mompreneur struggle buss.
1. Plan your life away
We’ve all heard the common saying “fail to plan, plan to fail.” It might sound cliche, but it is a golden rule when it comes to being organized and staying on task as both a mom and business owner. Between household chores, work, errands, and school activities, the life of a mompreneur can be both tiresome and overwhelming. Planning out your day, week, and the month ahead can save you from so much headache.
Break down your day into blocks of time for different tasks to complete. It can also be easier to choose certain days of the week to focus on one specific task. For example, Monday can be your day to strictly focus on editing blog content and Tuesday can be your day to clean out your emails and respond to those emails that ended up in the weeds. Doing it this way will help you to focus on one task at a time rather than being overwhelmed by the struggle of taking it all on at once.
2. Don’t cry over spilled milk
Although you may plan out your entire day consistently, there may be times when you just don’t get things done and that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up if that planned meal turns out to be pizza because you forgot to thaw out the chicken. Maybe you didn’t have the time to fold clothes or meet the deadline for that blog post. Whatever the case, you did what you could and that’s what matters most. Tomorrow is always another day. We’re not perfect people and we have to be okay with that. Twenty four hours can pass by pretty fast and there may seem like there are more things to do than the actual time to complete them. Don’t stress over things that will ultimately be there for you when you get back to them.
3. Sleep on it
“Team No Sleep” is not a team I’d want to be a part of, amiright? I tried it out and honestly, I was no good to anyone. My kids were late to school every day and I couldn’t stay awake long enough to tackle my goals for the day. Besides, bags under my eyes just don’t look appealing. So, let’s just throw away the whole team no sleep concept. In order to function properly as not only a business owner, but a mom, and wife, we have to ensure that were taking care of ourselves. A huge part of self-care and actually getting those zzz’s in. Make sure you get to bed early so you can start your day off bright and early. You’d be amazed at the amount of tasks you can accomplish just by waking up an hour or two earlier than you normally would.
4. Involve your children
Try to find small tasks for your children to do so that they feel involved rather than feeling in the way. Explain to them what it is you’re doing and why along with how it benefits them. I my children know that their opinions are needed and valid rather than leaving them left out when it comes to my business ventures. My oldest helps me create shipping labels and prepare packages to go out. The kids even come with me when I travel to events and the cute faces are always a plus when gaining sales or engaging with potential customers. I also let my children know why we have a business and that they are a very important part of it. My daughters are always providing suggestions for our business being that one of my businesses is for children.
5. Set office hours
You may not physically have an office and that’s totally okay. If you’re anything like me, your office can easily go from being your bed, to the kitchen table or even a local coffee shop. Wherever you decide to get work done, be sure to create hours for yourself to break free from the keyboard and live life. It can become very easy to allow yourself to get lost in a rabbit hole in the World Wide Web. It can also be easy for others to take advantage of your time. You need to be able to establish boundaries between yourself and your clients or potential clients.
Choose certain days of the week when you consider yourself “closed” to be able to spend time with family without checking emails or responding to DMs. Ensure that there is a specific hour of the day that you cut off work so you’re not still communicating with clients in the middle of the night. No one will respect your time if you don’t. You can easily become burned out and overwhelmed if you’re constantly working around the clock. It can be detrimental to not only yourself, but you family as well.
It’s not perfect, but it’s worth it!
Working from home has been a great part of the bonding experience with my children and I’m grateful for the time that we have together, even if it is while sitting behind computer screen. I’ve learned to create a flexible schedule for myself when enjoying the freedom of being my own boss. Is it easy being a mompreneur? Nope! Not at all, but there’s no other way I’d rather make a living.
Do you work for yourself? What tips and tricks can you share for mastering the mompreneur life?
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Everyone knows someone is real estate. There’s a very low barrier to entry and when done correctly, it’s such a profitable business. In Georgia, you take a 75 hour course either in person or online; take a test; find a broker. I completed the entire process in six weeks and paid less than $1,000. Competing with thousands of other agents who were much more experienced than I was intimidating but back in 2013, I was single and without a child so taking a chance on myself was a no brainer. Two months after decided to go full time as an agent, I found out I was expecting and the inconsistency I was working my business was not an asset to my young family so I put my dream career on hold.
Saying Yes in Business is Uncomfortable
Fast forward four years, I received a call from a potential client looking to buy a home within a month. He asked if I could represent him and I said yes without hesitation even though I was not as prepared to take on the work as I appeared to be. At the time, my bank account said he was a God-sent…it was also saying you do NOT have the funds to reactivate your license and pay brokerage fees.
As small business owners, this is the daily management see-saw we ride. We are constantly determined the best use for limited resources. As a mompreneur, there’s an additional Maslow’s Hierarchy effect. Family always comes first because they are at the base; the basic needs that need to be met. Launching or expanding the business may be viewed as a “self-fulfillment need” or an afterthought. What do you think would happen if you said yes to you this one time before saying yes to your family?
Saying Yes Is Rewarding
For me, saying yes to my client and my business equated to a $4,000 commission check. I could have held on to that $200 I used to reactive my license and spent it on about ten different things for my daughter but look at the greater opportunity I would have missed. Sure my story had a happy ending but doing this transaction also provided valuable lessons to represent future clients. We were all placed on this earth with dreams, talents and ambitions. It’s Small Business Week and a time to celebrate who you are and all that you could be in your business. I challenge you to say yes to one thing this week you have be deferring. Invest in you, invest in your business. I truly believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Are you a Small Business owner? What are you “Saying Yes” to?
This post is sponsored by Delta Children. All opinions are my own.
Hey boos! So it’s official–maternity leave is over and mama is back in the swing of things (obviously). I’ve been slowly adjusting to life with 3 kids home and boy has that adjustment been a big one. Big and final. Now that we’re in a groove, it’s time for me to pick things back up work wise and get the party back started.
Goodbye Maternity Leave
This is my final maternity leave. It sounds so sad, right? Well, it isn’t. BC is the final addition. He’s the last one to send our family into a transitional tizzy of sorts. And I’m happy. Happy to have him and happy to get into what our normal life will be–and I say normal loosely.
Maternity leave has been everything. No, I didn’t sit down the entire time and just relax but I did listen to my body. When I needed to relax, I did. When I was in pain, I took something. When I was tired, I slept. I’ve been nursing on demand and bonding with BC while baby wearing when we’re out and about at all the homeschool events.
But now it’s time to get back to work.
Being a WAHM While Homeschooling
I would be lying if I didn’t say how hard it was to balance the roles of mom, teacher, and entrepreneur but it’s worth it in my opinion–on most days anyways. So what do I do, right? How do I make it happen–especially with a newborn? These are both questions that people ask me and that I ask myself, ha! Here’s what has been working for me:
Waking Up Before The Children
I’m really blessed that the earliest any of the children wakes up is at 8:15ish. Abc gets up at that time. BC normally sleeps till about 9:30ish and Mini wakes up around then too. While I would love to wake up at 5:30am, it’s really not necessary. I used to be stuck on this 5:30am because they used to wake up earlier. Now They sleep later so I’m able to get up around 6am and have some time to get myself together, have coffee in peace and get started on my work before anyone else stirs.
Planning Out Our Days
Homeschooling isn’t just sitting at home doing school. We are pretty much always on the go and if I don’t plan properly, then something gets missed with either a deadline or something around the house. Because I’m truly determined to be successful, I can’t let this happen! Having a plan in place–even if it’s not followed–helps me to keep things together.
Putting The Baby Down
I know, who wants to put the baby down, right? During our quiet hour during the day I’m able to knock out emails, pattern cutting, and more. The kids go to separate spaces and are just silent. The baby is in my office with me and I have him in the Beautyrest® Deluxe 3-in-1 Activity Rocker, Feeder and Sleeper For Newborns so that I can keep an eye on him as he naps. And by me keeping an eye on him I really mean so that he can keep me in view which seems to be calming for him. I love that when he’s not in here I can easily fold it up and move it out of the way so I don’t trip over it!
Setting Up Boundaries
I love my work. I love it so much that it’s not even work for me. If I could, I would sit and write all day while networking and consulting with others on how to make their businesses flourish. I thrive in this. But work is not the only aspect of my life. Once I leave my office, I leave work–unless there’s something that has to be done right away.
Yes, apps. Everything I need to work on the go is within an app. I love that because there are many days we’re out at parks or other places and I actually NEED to work. I don’t have to choose giving my kids memories and hands on learning or working. My apps make it so I have more “and” versus “or” moments and I love that.
My maternity leave is officially over for the last time and while I’m a little sad that it’s my last one, I’m excited to be able to hop back into doing the work that I love!
Two weeks into the New Year and I’m finally getting around to writing my first post. For someone who was writing for an hour a day on a daily basis, this is so disappointing to me. As my fellow bloggers are writing about their focus words for the new year, I was sitting and reading in an almost catatonic state frozen by stress, anxiety, and all the overwhelming feelings that accompany those things.
Farewell to 2016
Last year was an incredible year. I don’t mean that in the “OMG EVERYTHING WAS SO AWESOME!!!” type of incredible. I mean that in the my eyes have never been more open to life and I’ve received so many lessons type of incredible. I celebrated being an entrepreneur for one year exactly and our bank accounts hit rock bottom in the most literal sense. But it was also in that moment that I remembered a pep talk that my best friend Terrence gave me when I was single and pregnant. He reminded me of the legacy of women that came before me in my family and that with this lineage success was my only option. My brother shared with me the tough lesson that successful entrepreneurs aren’t successful because they don’t fail, rather, they fail harder and faster than anyone else. But they make the necessary adjustments and keep moving.
And that was my 2016 in a nutshell. I failed a lot. I learned a lot. I made a lot of adjustments.
Adjusting For Success
I’m an entrepreneur, wife and mother so there were adjustments that had to be made to be more successful in all these areas.
As A Wife
I’m blessed that my husband and I were able to make our marriage stronger as we dealt with financial struggles but that’s not something that we wanted to continue with. We made the decision to uproot our family and move somewhere that would save us way more money monthly. No one wants to be stretching checks so we’ve stopped that.
As A Mother
My kids weren’t flourishing in their schools so now I’m homeschooling both of them. Yes, both. Crazy, right? But since abc has been home with me, her vocabulary has drastically improved, she’s learned her colors, and her shapes. She’s been with me for a month. And mini has matured so much that she’s taking a lot of her learning into her own hands. But we’re also closer to the city and closer to more culture so we’ve been experiencing a lot more as well.
As An Entrepreneur
When I worked in banking one of my clients told me that the key to wealth is having multiple streams of income. Some will always be active and some will be passive but having more than one is key. When I left corporate, I wanted my site to be my main stream of income and my store to be just some additional money. When that’s not how my money was made, I was discouraged but had to understand that business is also cyclic in nature. In 2015, my store made me the most money but there were some things I didn’t like. I thought my sewing technique needed to be fine tuned. In 2016, I put my store on vacay and have been working diligently on my sewing skills. Which means that the bulk of my income was my site. And Amazon. I started to work from home for Amazon which was pretty cool–except that I became stressed out.
This is the area that I paid no attention to in 2016 which is why by the time the end of the year came, I was a mess. No self-care rituals. All work. No dates. No fun. Nothing. This is my major shift for 2017.
Being Epic In 2017
I had these HUGE plans for taking 2017 by storm. My editorial calendar for the YEAR was completed. Yes, year! I determined that my theme was going to be “Do Epic Shit”–no half-assing around these parts. But guys, I have been epic at resting and that’s about it. I want to beat myself up and yell harsh words at myself but I can’t. I needed a break. In the last month of 2016, I was working 80+ hours/week while looking for a place to live, traveling for work, figuring out our new life in our new area, unpacking, and trying to shake the unshakeable fatigue that had fallen over me.
I’m not going to say that’s over now and I’m back to being a workhorse because I may need more rest and I may not but either way, I’m still committed to being epic–even if that means being an epic napper! But seriously, this year I’m focusing on being the best version of myself, giving myself more grace, and focusing on my happy. I really want to take this year and focus on living an epic life.
I’m excited for this year and implementing the lessons I gained from last year.
Do you have a focus word? Phrase? What are you looking forward to in this new year?
Now I may not be able to remember my first day of school but I do remember how much I loved school. My mom kept me home with her for a couple years and then sent me part-time to a local preschool and I loved it. I still have vague memories of eating Playdoh (praises that it was non-toxic even then), playing dress-up and making a friend that I still keep in touch with today. I’ve always loved learning and have been committed to making myself the best version of Aaronica that I can be which is why I’m really excited about all the opportunities to continue my learning with online courses.
Back To School With Concordia University
Not that I have all the time in the world, but I chose to enroll in a course with Concordia University this year. Although I already have an M.B.A., I chose Concordia University because I liked the format of their courses. I’ve tried others and it was a little too much to keep up with. There were all these discussion boards, three million pages to read, and then participate in chats. I just don’t have time for that!
Classes Structured With Me In Mind
I’m a mom of 2, wife, domestic engineer and I’m building multiple businesses while I work with clients. Time is not something that I have a whole lot of but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want continue to better myself. I love how the format of the classes feel like they’ve kept the busy person in mind.
The classes for the courses are delivered to your email and have everything that you need right there. There’s no searching a site for the course, the week of class you’re in and the corresponding material. This works for me now and I love it.
Each class has an accompanying video with it. The best part is that although it’s a video, it’s not something you necessarily have to watch. I’ve had my videos playing while I’ve been typing or just plugged into my ears as I’ve been in a waiting room. It’s compatible with computers, tablets and phones so the videos are accessible everywhere.
This might be my favorite part. The worksheets essentially tell you what you’re looking to gain from each of the classes. I love that because I’m listening to the videos with purpose. And this helps me learn. I see, hear and write down the information and that really seals the deal for me.
How To Create Your Personal Space
I’m currently enrolled in a course titled “How To Create Your Personal Space”. After reading the following goals and course outline, I knew I had to enroll now:
- Why having a personal place is needed
- How to teach yourself to professionally grow
- The importance of connecting
- How to succeed with encouragement
2017 is going to be a big year for me—I’m claiming it now—and I want to be as prepared as possible. While I understand that balance is something that I can achieve over time, I want to set myself up for success when it comes to making sure that my personal is ready for the success of my profession.
I know that it’s hard to balance work and personal life and that it’s not just me who wants to see success in this area of life. As you’re setting yourself up for the awesomeness that awaits you in 2017, I want to encourage you to look into different ways to push yourself to the next level. For me, it’s been taking the time to learn for the sake of bettering myself for me. If this is you, check out what Concordia University has to offer. But take the time to better yourself—you’re worth it.
Have a question about…anything? Shoot me a message or leave me a comment!