The fact a woman has ovaries and the ability to bear little people can make life very complicated when she has the desire to own a business. What can be even more challenging is all the advice people have for the entrepreneurial mom. After a while, hearing people talk about time management can feel like a 2am weight loss infomercial.
Here are some real tips from real moms who are … really entrepreneurial:
- You must establish boundaries. Give some realistic thought to what recurring moments during the day are important for you to be 100% present. Important moments with your children might be school drop off/pick up, dinner time and bed time. Important moments for your clients could be to get their concerns resolved first thing in the morning, lunchtime phone call returns, and end of day questions. Important moments to be 100% present for you are key, too. Make time for activities that help you recharge and stay positive. This boundary is critical to ensuring you have the energy and ability to give your best throughout the rest of the day.
- Schedule your phone interactions. The best way to do this is to block out time when you do answer the phone and return calls, and times when you don’t. Great blocks of time to be on the phone might be when you’re in the car after dropping the kids off at school or on the way to pick them up from sports/music/dance practice. A time to never answer the phone is when your children are having a meltdown or you’re completely frazzled. Take a moment, take care of your children and yourself, and call the customer back. One missed call will likely not sink your business. In most cases, returning the call within 15 minutes or so is considered acceptable.
- Establish as much routine as possible. Some people read this and immediately think they have to schedule out every minute of the day. An effective routine is less about scheduling and more about order. Just try to develop a pattern of events for your day. For example, get the children to school with lots of hugs and kisses and a special note in their lunchbox, and then off the gym, a block of time to meet with clients, lunch, project work, pick the children up from school, light project work that can accommodate interruptions, dinner, baths, bedtime, then finish up project work and plan for the next day.
- Work to your energy level. Take some time to intentionally observe your energy level during the day. Some entrepreneurial moms are extremely productive in the morning at 6am, while others might hit their energy peak in the afternoon or late at night. Observe when you seem to be at the top of your intellectual game and plan your routine to accommodate your toughest work during these times.
- Create an awesome work environment. Do you like a little clutter and get energized by all your folders in sight? Maybe you need a clean desk with one photo frame and only the current project open. Whatever your style, create an environment that inspires you and encourages you when the day gets hectic. When you sit at your desk, your work environment should evoke your best thought and forward thinking for your business.
Being a working mom is tough. Being an entrepreneurial mom can sometimes feel like the title “working mom” is the understatement of the year. At the end of the day, it’s important to pause long enough to remember all the great reasons why you decided to start your business and take time to enjoy your life and family.