Today’s post is brought to you by Teresa Ceniccola who serves as a mentor to moms who are running a business. As president and founder of the International Christian Mompreneur Network, Teresa empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace.
You can join the International Christian Mompreneur Network for free and receive the Ten Commandments of a Mompreneur toolkit!
If you join in our discussions this week, you’ll also be entered to win the Hearts at Home book Balance That Works When Life Doesn’t by Susie Larson.
Being a “mompreneur” is not a part time job. It’s two full time jobs. As a mom, you’re on the job 24/7 –no matter how many loads of laundry you folded or tears you wiped away today, there will be more tomorrow. If you think being a business owner is any less demanding, I have news for you – your work is never finished in the office either!
That’s because entrepreneurs have ridiculously creative minds that work faster than their fingers. They have no less than a dozen ideas at any given time. They don’t need help getting started on a new project (even when they are in the middle of three other activities). But they do need help balancing it all.
Here are five tips for balancing motherhood and business with grace and ease:
Surrender to the Schedule: If you’ve had the same six things on your To-Do list for a month, it’s time to stop squeezing in time for your business and start creating a schedule. Sometimes moms resist a schedule because we want to put family first, only working during naptime or in the wee hours of the night. But flexibility often comes at the expense of productivity (and profits!).
Establishing a work schedule will help you set a routine that leaves ample room for business and family. Even if you can only devote one hour a day to your business, schedule that time in your calendar. When you structure your time and prioritize your tasks, you move throughout your day with a sense of purpose. And you know exactly what you need to do next.
Set Boundaries: One of the benefits of being an entrepreneur is the ability to work when, where and how I choose. At first, this freedom was liberating – I would go to the gym in the middle of the day and work late into the evening. As long as I made time for my husband, I worked whenever I wanted. But as my family grew, so did my need for setting boundaries.
I quickly realized that I needed dedicated space for work. Having a separate office (or even a corner of a room) is a great way to establish boundaries. Children learn to recognize that when mom is in her office, she is working and cannot be disturbed. One of my clients who doesn’t have a physical space developed a system in which she wears a special hat to indicate that she’s working. The kids think it’s fun and they have learned to honor it.
Say No: The key to preventing overwhelm is to spend your time doing ONLY the things that are in alignment with your priorities. That means saying no to anything that steals your time, your joy and your heart away from following God’s plan for you.
I urge you to be ruthless with your responses to requests and invitations. Just because you’ve been asked or invited to do something, doesn’t mean you are required to say yes! Take an honest look at how you spend your time and find five things you are doing out of guilt, habit or obligation. Is it possible that somebody else could step up and fill that spot? What would happen if it just didn’t get done at all?
Spend Time Alone: Moms need to have time alone for self-care. Time to pray, reflect, meditate, journal or simply bask in the silence of our own thoughts. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay-at-home mom, working mom or mompreneur – this time of solitude is required. It’s not a luxury. If we don’t leave space in our day to listen for God, how will we know if we’re on the right path?
What activities replenish your mind, body and soul? Daily devotions, exercise, nature walks, bubble bath? Don’t just dream about it – schedule time for it in your calendar.
Seek Support: Running a solo home-based business can leave you feeling isolated and overwhelmed. If you’re wondering where the reward is for the one-woman-show you’ve been performing, I’m sorry to tell you there’s no shiny trophy at the end of this race. Only resentment and frustration. The solution is to rely on the support of others.
I know what you’re thinking…sometimes it’s easier to just do everything yourself than find someone else to help. They won’t do a good job. You don’t have time to explain it. It costs too much money….Blah, blah, blah. I get it. I’ve used all the same excuses. But the truth is, God blessed me with a talent – not an entire array of skills that include everything from bookkeeping to gardening. So I’ve learned to rely on others whose gifts complement mine. Together, we make a pretty impressive Superhero family.
What about you? Are you a mompreneur? Do you work out of your home? What other tips do you have to share about balancing motherhood and business?