Well, being an entrepreneur is hard, being a mom is harder, but being a mom that's an entrepreneur can feel impossible. As Entrepreneurs and independent business owners there are so many things that we have been doing and as a mom again infinite things are on our to-do list. Things as waking up your 2 years old baby in the morning, preparing and feeding her milk/breakfast, getting her ready for preschool, dropping her, picking up her, managing her doctor visits, planning her diet chart, shopping for her toys clothes every 3 months and yet your baby wants all your attention after working hours.
At work, things as networking, staying in touch with clients, reaching out to potential clients, updating the website, building up your online social media communities, developing new products, creating strategic alliances, delivering on products and services, getting feedback from clients, planning for the future, handling administrative tasks, improving your processes… and on and on and on. This seems like a never ending to-do list. Actually never ever ending! Still we have a constant feeling of "lagging behind" that there are so many ideas we need to implement sooner rather than later to the business.
Ahh, that feels good to say that we can multitask and earn our living, and at the same time it may sound completely stuck up. I'm not saying I've figured out how to make everything work in my business nor do I know the secret to becoming a millionaire. However, I've learned some pretty harsh lessons in last 6 months.
1. Seek help for things which you can outsource:
Try to arrange cab with the help other parents for picking up and dropping off your baby to and from playschool/daycare with a nanny. Take help from your employees by utilizing their spare bandwidth in managing datasheets for operations and prospect/client lists for sales. Remember you have to prioritize things for you, you can't do everything. Hand over all the less prior things to people who can help you. Unless you ask for it, you won't get it!
2. Get a Board of Advisors from various industries:
I was told to do this in grad school when I started my NYU and I think it is critical. Find 3-4 business consultants and business owners that you know and trust and who can speak to you about specific areas of your business. These will be the people you go to for advice when you need a lifeline. It gives you buy-in from trusted, smart people, and it takes the pressure off your friends to come up with the answers for you. Consider them your business therapists.
3. Celebrate every small Milestone:
This is hard to remember to do when you are so busy moving forward. Yet, finding time to think about what you've done both right and wrong will help you move forward more effectively. And the celebrating, well, that's just the big pat-on-the-back that you must remember to give yourself and your staff to keep everyone motivated! Who else is going to do it?
4. Take time off for yourself:
Compile everything at the end of every week. Go for spa or shopping or for a drink with a friend or for a diner with a family. Perhaps going for a walk or meditating thrice a week would help you generating more fresh ideas for your business; it also keeps you fresh and healthy. The day when I don't go for small walk or meditate, I feel heavy and crazily occupied with stuff. Meditating helps me moving.
5. Not Every client is worth continuing and not every prospect is your client:
In other words, don't get greedy for that client that you're certain is going to make you a millionaire. They probably won't.. so know that going in and vet them like you would anyone else. Taking your stand and sticking to the processes always helps you. There are many more clients after this so concentrate on this one as if it's the first of many to come. Your services and actions in this experience will pay off with your next interaction. I have been taking risks, screwed up, getting taken advantage of, and found out that not all people are good and every prospect can't be or is not your client.
6. Transitioning Roles:
Being a Mompreneur, you definitely need an effective transition between a Mom and an Entrepreneur. However, story doesn't end here! You need major transitions in your business as well - with your prospects, clients, employees and vendors. You may have to talk in local tongue with vendors and local marketers. You have to be a mentor and coach for your staff, and you have to show customer service and be very humble with your long term clients. Changing roles is one important phenomenon that every Mompreneur should master!
Last but not the least- I believe that EXECUTION is everything. I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs spend months and years prepping their product or service launch, post-launch, that no one is interested in buying it later. I have become very much a dive-in-first-and-then-plan kind of person, and since it's worked for me three times, I'm confident it's going to work for someone else, too.
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