Are you building a business while also juggling wee ones? Following are a few tips for keeping your sanity while balancing your family and your business:
Do the activities you are good at, learn as you go, and outsource everything else.
Absorb as much as you can from the resources around you. Be willing to learn but also be aware of what your limitations are. If you continue to bang your head against the wall, reassess the activity. Do not waste too much time and energy on something that can be done quickly, easily and economically by a professional. Know when to let it go.
Be gentle on yourself.
When you make a mistake, allow yourself to be wrong. We have all been wrong before and (hopefully) have learned important and valuable lessons from our mistakes. Do not waste time in Pity Parties–quick recovery time is key. Dust yourself off and move forward. Get used to making mistakes; just like parenting, it is a part of the process.
Be willing to put certain areas of your life on hold while you are building your business. You may children. An immaculate house is a luxury at this time; an income is a necessity. The sacrifices you make today will pay off tomorrow. Be patient and decide not to sweat the small stuff.
Do not be afraid to fail.
Take plenty of chances and risks; otherwise, you will not grow. This can be scary. Looking back, all of the turning points in my business were a result of my putting myself out there and taking risks. Some were lucrative–some were not. When in doubt, why not give it a shot? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Hire a coach or mentor.
Having accountability and someone to hold your vision for you is essential. When you experience moments of doubt, you will rely on the encouragement and motivation a coach/mentor provides. There was no way that I could have survived my first year in business without my first coach. If it is not within your budget, find an accountability partner you can connect with as you grow your business.
Take time away from your business occasionally.
Working from home can be almost fanatical. You never leave your office. Give your business brain a break by going to the theater or some other activity where you can be distracted enough to not think about your business. We all need to occasionally recharge.
Design your day.
Get a handle on your day before your day takes control of you. Determine which activities you can plunge into with your children around and which aspects of the business need to be done with a babysitter for your children. Be extremely mindful of the time you are not with the children and only focus on things you need to complete without them (i.e. you can do the laundry when the children are sleeping).
Ignore the Cynics.
There will be plenty of folks who think you are nuts for launching a business while you have a baby at home. Negative people poke holes in our confidence and cause us to question our goals. Ignore them and SHOW that you are serious about your business and moving forward regardless of their opinion.
You can do a lot in five minutes.
Take five minutes of focus. When you think you do not have ample time to accomplish something, you actually do. Squeeze in an email, a Facebook post, a thank you note in that five minute window. If you do not, you may find that the time is never available. Our To Do lists combine both family activities and business activities and can be quite long. Take advantage of that five minutes you have left until your child wakes up from the nap or your seven-year-old unboards the bus. There is time if you are organized and efficient.
Have a strong support network.
Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who believe in your mission and goals. Communicate the importance of your business to those directly affected by it so that they are aware of how much you appreciate their support and inspiration. Be mindful of their needs and reciprocate when necessary. Without the strong support of family and friends, your business could suffer when the cynics mouth off. This support is important to the success of your business. Do not be afraid to ask for it.
Trust your intuition.
The same instincts you rely on in parenting, is useful in your business. Your business is a lot like a baby. You are guiding it from the infant stages and helping it grow with love, attention and nourishment. Just like in parenting, we do not have all of the answers and often use our intuition to make significant decisions.
What can you share regarding the ups, the downs, the highs and the lows of building a business with a baby in the house?