Being a mom and an entrepreneur (mompreneur) has some definite challenges. There are so many times I’ve had to bump my head and give myself some very real talk in the midst of trying to grow. In honor of my son’s 12th birthday today, I’m going to share 12 truths and lessons I’ve had to learn so far as a mompreneur. I’m sure many of you can relate and hopefully be inspired by the end of this post.
1. My son is watching my every move.
I chose this first because it’s the thing I keep in mind as I maneuver through day to day life. Whether I’m on a business call or in the grocery store, my son is watching me. I have to be mindful of the example I’m setting and the decisions I make.
2. Balance is critical.
One mistake I made when I started my business, was I gave 150% effort toward building my business, and sorta neglected my family’s needs. Being that I was a stay-at-home mom before this business, it was a hard transition for them to see me gone a lot and not available to them like I used to be. But instead of helping in this transition, I was selfish and just decided to put me and me only at the front of my mind. Such a terrible mistake that could’ve costed me my family, had I not got my head on straight. Thankfully, I found some sense somewhere and got my act together. I found balance between my family and my businesses. Now they are both thriving.
3. People’s opinions don’t really matter.
People will have you thinking all kinds of ways about yourself and your choice to become an entrepreneur. There are some people who feel like, as a mom, your one and ONLY priority should be your children. There are other people who feel like, you should never take a trip without your whole family; that’s just selfish. And there are even people who feel like, you are not a real mom unless you are burned out and tired from devoting all of your attention and affection toward your children. I tried to take all of these people’s opinions to my landlord, my bank and my bill collectors to see how much I could cash them in for. Nobody accepted those deposits. So neither should you.
You’re the one that has to live your life and live with the choices you make. Your family are the most important people affected by your choices. Sit down and have a conversation with those VIPs and explain your dreams, your passions, your goals and how you want to pursue them. Ask for their support. They are the people whose voices matter in your life decisions; not everybody else.
4. It gets easier with time.
Or maybe you just get better and stronger because this transition didn’t kill you. Either way, things start to flow better with ease once you and your family find a rhythm that works. It can be challenging at times, but as long as you’re working together to achieve success for the whole family, you’ll find your way through to success.
5. It’s okay not to be perfect.
Perfection is a mythical creature that society created, much like Big Foot. Please stop looking for it. You’re not going to find it. You will make mistakes. You will bump your head sometimes. You will fall short. You are human. The sooner you accept that reality, the sooner you can embrace all that comes with the building process.
6. Keep your business and personal lives separate.
I’m sure there are tons of debates on this. But as for me, I’m an advocate for keeping things separate. Keep your money, your tasks, your time, your planner books, etc. separate. Let your business be your business, and your personal be your personal. When you’re working, give 100% of your attention to working. When you’re with your family, give 100% of your attention to your family.
7. Stay true to yourself.
We live in a “monkey see, monkey do” society. But you can’t conduct business or live life from a “one size fits all” mindset. What works for someone else may not work for you, and vice versa. Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to the next mompreneur; do you. Live and work with the integrity of being yourself at all times.
8. It’s okay to ask for help.
While building a business and still trying to function in your other life roles, now is not the time to be prideful! If you need a sitter so that you can go to an important meeting, ask someone for help or hire a sitter. If you need your partner to stand in for you at an event so that you can go to your child’s ball game, ask your partner to do you that solid. Delegate when necessary, even to the kids at times, when you need help in general areas. Work with your support system like they are your dream team.
9. Plan ahead.
I can’t stress this one enough. Things don’t always go as planned, but most times, if you plan ahead, you have more chances of being successful with whatever the task may be, business or personal. Planning ahead also gives you time to consider alternative options if Plan A doesn’t work. Be efficient with your time; it’s limited.
10. Take care of you too.
You have the family to care for. You have clients and customers to care for. But nobody can be taken care of, if you don’t also take care of you. As moms, we are naturally sacrificial. But that will be your biggest downfall if you are neglecting your own health and wellness. You’ll experience more setbacks in life and business, the less you take care of your own needs. Don’t forget about you, in all that you’re doing for everyone else.
11. Grant yourself grace.
Don’t be so crazy hard on yourself. We’ve already established that perfection doesn’t exist. So when you have those moments of imperfection in your business or with the family, quickly remind yourself that, “sh*t happens.” This way, you can move on and fix the problem, instead of wallowing in misery and self pity. Show yourself love, even when you don’t perform at your best. Learn from mistakes, and they’ll never be considered failures.
12. My son is proud of me.
There are times when I question whether or not I’m doing my best or doing all that I should be doing to be successful. I wonder if my son sees just how much I’m trying to be all that I can, in large part for him and his future. And then, he’ll do something like ask for my help with marketing his own new business idea. Or he’ll say, “It’s so cool having a famous mom!” Granted, I’m nowhere near famous. But in his mind, working for myself and having followers on social media equate to fame. These are just small reminders that he gives me, without even knowing, that he’s proud of me and the work I’ve accomplished.
I’m not a perfect mom. I’m not always at the top of my game. But my little man means the world to me. Becoming a mom at 18 years old wasn’t easy. The fact that he made it to 12 says I’m doing something right! And just for his presence and existence, I am eternally grateful.
My son love… my sonshine… my sonnamon roll… Thank you for letting me be who I am and for being patient with me as I become a mompreneur. Thank you for being the coolest, smartest, most lovable son a mom could hope for. I love you to the moon and back. You mean more to me than all the baby sharks, pineapple pens and Popular MMO videos in the world.