The 8 Steps of Business Building
Do you think it’s impossible to run a business from home and raise a family? If so, I am here to tell you that you’re wrong and this is why!
If you have been following some of my posts for any length of time, you have probably realized that I have kids. I am a mom of three girls aged 12, 10 and 7 and run a business from home – I’m an Instagram Coach for female coaches who have a small audience. I live in the farmlands of southwestern Ontario, Canada so we are just coming out of our winter here and the weather is starting to almost make me hopeful!
If you are anything like I was a couple years ago, maybe you have wondered how on earth you can juggle kids and business, or whether that’s even possible. I used to think that it wasn’t possible. That mom-life was just WAY too busy to even think about running or starting a business. I figured I’d just have to wait for this season of life to pass.
I’m here to tell you today about how that isn’t the case at all, but it isn’t just going to happen by osmosis – it WILL take some planning and some work.
Wait a second, what is osmosis you may be wondering?
Osmosis is defined by Google dictionary as ‘the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc.’ Basically what that means is that you can’t just sit there and absorb the ability to suddenly become successful in business or in life. I will break down some ways that you can accomplish this later.
I am going to use the acronym MOMLIFE to summarize my main points about what you need to do to succeed at building a business while rocking mom life.
I am going to cover:
- Own your mistakes – and learn from them
- Mini Steps
- Leverage your time
- Idea capturing (even when you aren’t ‘working’)
- Family Needs
- Ease up on yourself
You have to stay motivated to enable you to get ish done every single day.
Now, this doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to ever take a break or a day off. Girl – you work for yourself and the whole point of that, at least for me, is that I have a more flexible schedule, so that I am more free to get away with the kids or friends for a day when I want.
But you do still need to treat it like a real job THAT YOU OWN and run yourself. You have a vested interest in this business so you really have to know that you want to build it.
Ways to stay motivated:
- Post some visuals that you see and remind yourself of every day. These can be inspirational quotes, verses, pictures, your WHY
- Take some time to journal every morning about what you are accomplishing that day and what you felt worked and didn’t, so you can see progress as you go along
- Set yourself time blocks based around specific things you want to work on and ONLY focus on those things during that time
Own your mistakes and learn from them
Running a business while raising a family is HARD and you are definitely going to make mistakes…and that’s okay!
The best way to improve your skills in BOTH areas, though, is to own your mistakes, admit your fault (especially to a client or your partner when necessary), and then learn from it.
Maybe you need to write about it in your journal or wherever you track this sort of thing, so you actively take ownership and realize what you can do differently in the future so that particular thing doesn’t happen again.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s also okay for your business not to be either. When you are building a business, it can be really hard to let go of all the things that you want to do all at once.
If you are a mom with little kids at home still, use time blocking in short spurts instead of longer ones. For example, use nap time, use an hour or two after bedtime, trade kid watching with another mom friend in the same situation…there is always a way to make this work!
Something I heard once from an awesome business mom (Abbi Perets of Successful Freelance Mom) is, if you only have one hour a day, break it up into two smaller blocks of half hour slots and get work done. The likelihood is that you DO have 30 minutes twice a day to do some focused work!
If you are a mom with kids in school, a bit more time opens up to you. I currently homeschool for a big part of the day, but I set aside two hours in the morning or throughout their breaks and then another two hours in the evening as well. If you don’t have a day job, you would be able to batch 2 to 4 hours at a time.
No matter how you fit work into your life, don’t get overwhelmed by all the things.
Leverage Your Time
As I stated, you can find some kind of time through the day to get things done.
Brain dump what you need to get done in the next week and then prioritize out what absolutely HAS to get done and what could wait. Use those priorities as your way to leverage the time you DO have and don’t stress about not getting everything done!
Never heard of brain dumping before? Here is a quick and easy way to do it.
Take out a blank sheet of paper and a pen. In quick list or bullet form just list out all the things that you know need to get done in business. You can do another one for your home as well.
Once you have that initial list done, go through it and segment it out into separate lists: Imminent (things that need to be done this week), Later (things that don’t need to be done today or this week), and Futuristic (things that are okay to leave until next month or just need to be done sometime this year but not this week).
This process will give you a quick and fast way to see what you absolutely need to do this week and what you actually need to leverage your time ON. That way, you aren’t wasting time you may not have this week on something that can actually wait until later.
A good way to know what time you even have to leverage is to keep a family and business calendar in one place. If you think of things when you are out, or when things come up, you can just add a note in your phone.
I personally use Google calendar and Trello to organize everything in my life – Trello is often where I brain dump and then move things around as needed on my weekly board. But absolutely EVERYTHING is in Google calendar.
I really like it because I can assign colours to each person, so when I take a quick look at my week or month, I can see where my colour is already committed before making plans or adding work time.
This is good for rocking mom life because then you see what each kid has going on too, as well as your partner, and you make sure you are where you need to be through your week and don’t over-commit and stress yourself out.
Idea Capturing (Even When You Aren’t Working)
I mentioned this briefly just a second ago, about making notes on the go. The really cool thing about utilizing digital tools is that there are usually phone apps you can have at your fingertips. This makes automating your life a LOT easier.
For Google Calendar and Trello, if something comes up while I am out, I can actually just jot it right in there and either set up an appointment with a few finger taps or add something to a specific board.
For example, I have a board for each of my older two girls that they are also on and have access to, so if something comes up education-wise or home life-wise, I can add a note right into Trello for them, OR set up an appointment right into Google.
I can’t talk about this without mentioning another really great tool for capturing ideas (and one of my favourites by far) especially when you are half asleep or falling asleep and something zings into your mind, but you really CANNOT get up and write a blog post or edit your website.
What is this magical tool you ask?
I really love this tool because my phone is always beside me and this is another thing that you can have as an app on your phone AND it saves it for you online.
So if you go onto your browser in the morning and log into Google and go to Docs, whatever you typed in there in the middle of the night will be there as well! Since I type all of my blog posts in Google Docs anyways, this gets my creative juices flowing.
This works just as well if you are out grocery shopping or at a kid’s school play and just need to jot down a quick thought! An option I really like, because I have times when I am out for the kid’s club they go to weekly, is the microphone.
Using speech to text when I don’t have a keyboard to type on and I want to get out a bunch of thoughts is really helpful for me. You can just talk into your document and have it type for you, while you are on your mobile, and then edit it later when you are able to get to your actual keyboard. Brilliant!
Obviously, this is the BIG one when talking about not only building a business but rocking your mom life.
It is so important that you create space in your mind and in your calendar JUST for your family and family time. This is really important for your relationship with your significant other, if you have one, but also for your kids as they are growing up. Especially if you tell yourself that you are doing this business so that you can do more things with your family, you want to honour that commitment.
Your kids really need to know that their mom cares about their lives and cares about carving out time for what they need.
A friend reminded me of a story I had told one night when I got on a call with her in the evening, the night before Valentine’s Day. I thought I would share it with you just to say that sometimes it isn’t going to look (or feel) easy, but it IS important to stick to what you commit to doing for your kids!
My oldest daughter, 10 at the time, had asked me leading up to Valentine’s Day to help her make cake pops for her class. I kept saying we would but time went on and suddenly it was the night before. I kept my word and we made cake pops before going out to shop and go to their kids club that night. We got back around 9 pm and I started whipping up the icing and icing them while the girls all filled out their Valentine’s for their friends.
I was about halfway through the, probably, 30 or so cake pops that needed to be iced when suddenly it dawned on me : ”Oh my gosh, I used almond milk in this icing”. My helpful daughter then said, “Mom, didn’t you use almond milk in the cake mix too?”
In our school here in Canada, we have a VERY strict nut-free policy because of some allergies and in her particular class, she has a fellow student that has a nut allergy. So while this was an overwhelming realization, I am certainly happy that I thought of it at this point and not after she took them to school!
I told her to just go to bed and I would take care of it, but it might be cookies instead. I ended up baking chocolate chip cookie pops (I used the same pan so they were more like tiny balls or squares) and they were a hit in her class, but it did require me to stay up past midnight making cookies and doing laundry.
But I had made her a promise and I knew it was important that I keep it, even if no one else understood why!
The great thing about having that Google calendar is that it makes it easy for everyone in your family to have an equal spot in there and for you to know when you are committed to a specific event for one of your kids or your partner – and to make that a priority instead of a training or a webinar you might want to attend.
Family first is definitely something that is important to me, and I know the same is true for a lot of other moms running businesses.
Ease Up on Yourself
My last point I felt was important to mention after talking about all the ways to schedule business, personal, and family time into your life.
Running a business and running a family is probably one of the hardest things you will do, and hopefully you have a good support system while you are doing it. But even if you don’t, I just wanted to encourage you with this point of not being too hard on yourself.
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, pick ONE attainable thing to knock out each week in business and celebrate that.
Be present with your kids and your significant other. Encourage them in what is happening in their life.
And if you feel like you have failed in some way, don’t beat yourself up – trust me, it will probably happen more than once at least for a while. It’s okay not to have every single area be a success all the time. In fact, they likely will never all be!
Give yourself some grace and space for improvement and get yourself up and try again.
Reach out to your community or tribe – friends in town, friends online, business friends – whoever your people are, reach out and encourage each other and connect. And then try again tomorrow, or next week.
Just to reiterate those points:
Own your mistakes – and learn from them
Leverage your time
Idea capturing (even when you aren’t ‘working’)
Ease up on yourself
What is one thing you could focus on accomplishing this week that will help you rock your mom-life even in your busiest week? Comment below or send me a message!
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