How do we nail motherhood and business success at the same time?
It so often feels like we have to make the choice as a mum – it’s either our career/business or our kids.
Men don’t often have to make the same choice. This is in part due to the fact they don’t actually get knocked up and have to birth/recover/feed a baby.
Something that I am very conscious of though, is not to get too caught up in this story. The story that we have to choose. That men don’t have to choose, or that there has to be a choice at all, really.
First and foremost, you get to decide how you want to live your life. If you have the desire and the passion to pursue a particular career or start your own business. You can do it. The only person who is ever going to truly hold you back, is yourself.
Sure, people will challenge you (spouses are often the worst for this) but you are the one who has the power to change your life. Not them.
Phew! Glad we got that out of the way. Let’s move on to the how.
You get to decide how you want to live your life…
Balance is elusive – not only in running a business as a mum, but in life.
I love mum-of-5 and business owner, Emma Isaacs analogy in her book Winging It where she talks about the responsibilities of life being much like the burners on a stove. Sometimes they are all roaring, pots overflowing. Other times, there’s just one going and it has your undivided attention.
Striving for perfection is unhealthy because it’s virtually impossible. You will forever be disappointed in yourself.
Accepting and surrendering to the ebb and flow of life is the first step in nailing the mum-in-business thing. I mean, I think it’s the first step in finding true happiness in life too, really.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others.
How Mary/Susan/Trish parents her kids is entirely her responsibility.
Don’t get caught up scrolling social media and seeing all the other mums in business who are totally nailing it. I can guarantee you that for most of them, they are dealing with the same shit-show behind the scenes that you are.
Check-in with how you are feeling when you are looking at other people’s content about their lives and businesses. If it’s making you feel crap – stop doing it!
Unfollow people on social media. Stop catching up with people that make you feel like poo. Stay in your own lane and concentrate on your own stuff.
You’re in a much better position if you’re being proactive rather than reactive. ie use the energy you would be putting into worrying about what other people are doing, into growing and developing yourself and your own business.
3. Find your people.
I’ve already written a blog about why networking is so good for small businesses so I won’t rehash the whole thing here.
But basically, if you aren’t feeling good talking to your current circle about your business (or your life), then maybe it’s time to find another circle.
I’m not suggesting you ditch all your mates, but diversify so you have other people you can bounce off that make you feel supported and accepted about that area of your life.
For example, I don’t talk to my best friends that much about my business because they don’t have their own businesses and I felt like sometimes that don’t ‘get it’. I save those conversations from my friends I met in Fusion Biz Co.
4. Get accountable to someone.
Along the same lines of networking to find your people, find other people in business that you can be accountable to.
Join a mastermind. Use it to drive inspiration when you’re feeling low, to set short and long term goals and to chew the fat about everything you need to in you business.
If you have someone to answer to, it is incredibly motivating. It also means you have a sounding board for those days/weeks/months where you are feel disenchanted or uninspired
5. Do the things.
We’ve all heard of the big hairy audacious goal (BHAG) right?
BHAG’s are great but what we forget is all the little teeny tiny goals that are necessary to achieve the BHAG.
These tiny goals sometimes don’t even appear as goals. They might be as simple as typing out a blog draft, creating a social media post or finally joining a group to start getting accountable and taking action.
Stop overthinking all the things you have to do and start doing the things. If you feel like the tasks are too big then break them down into smaller, bite-sized jobs.
For example: you want to create an email list to start your email marketing campaign but it feels like you don’t know where to start. Break the big goal down:
- Write out your email topics/sequence.
- Type out your copy for your first email.
- Type copy for second email.
- Third email etc…
- Create graphics to include in email 1, 2, 3 etc.
- Design your opt-in page.
- Create social media post to share your opt-in.
- Include link to your email opt-in on your website, social media etc.
Breaking down the goals like this makes it so much easier to get your head around and suddenly, you’re ticking things off, you’re making progress! Look at you go!
You can let your situation dictate your life, or you can make the decision to live your life for you.