When I first started working from home I was a newlywed not quite out of college. Time wasn’t an issue and my only motivation was a little extra spending money. Now that I’m a mom, running a new business (not to mention starting a new one) is quite the time juggle.
Between homeschool, cleaning (or lack thereof, given that the dust bunnies in my house have been here so long that they’ve all raised families of their own), being a good wife and moth, pretending to be helpful on the farm; and what am I forgetting? Oh, yes, my three businesses: The Write Shadow, Golden Wheat Literary, and Scentsy.
Starting a business takes time, running a business takes time, and, well, time is not something a lot of mom’s have a lot of. So, how to make it all work?
Know Your Motivation
Is my current pace maintainable? No. This is a temporary balancing act with a firm plan in place to make sure that it all balances out within the next couple of years. Years. You caught that, right?
Working from home for someone else is crazy enough for moms, but building a business while you’re building your family? That requires a whole new level of insane. Luckily enough, I have a lot more time management and organizational skills than I do sanity, so I’m set for success! Of course, I obviously checked out of reality a long time ago, so what reality check could I be talking about, then?
Your motivation. What is going to motivate you to keep going when your eyes are practically bleeding and your back aches and your little girl is begging for her “real mommy”–the one who actually spends time with her. You can’t blame the hours on your boss, because, buddy, that boss is you.
Do you want to be rich? Do you want fame and acknowledgement for being Super Modern Mom who does it all and still manages to go to all her kids’ soccer games, even if she does have to buzz of mysteriously from time to time to answer “a call from a client”? What is your ultimate motivation?
For me, it’s sustainability of balance. I love work. I mean, I’m really weird, and I mean that. I love to work. Love, love, love it. I also love God and my family–quite a bit more than I love work, and I think I made it pretty clear there just how much I love work. I want to be at home where if I suddenly get the urge to pick up His Word and read, no one can stop me or tell me to wait until I’m “off for the day.” I want my family close. All the time. I don’t need distance to make my heart grow fonder. I want to help provide for my family, but I also feel like a mom should be at home with her children. I need a lot of balance–balance that being my own boss (in every sense of the word) can afford me.
Working from home and running my own business lets me set my own hours, be only a door away from what makes my heart beat, bring in an income, and provides me an opportunity to help people every day. This has to work, because the alternative reality is not one I’m willing to accept.
Be Willing to Put the Time In
Creating a successful business doesn’t happen over night. In fact, you really shouldn’t judge your business until you’ve been at it for three years. By “at it,” I don’t mean just saying, “Hey, I have a website with a business name,” either. I mean, three years of nose to the grindstone, going at it like you have everything to lose, but even more to gain.
It’s not easy, though, and pushing yourself to work at home while missing out on social engagements with a tongue-in-cheek, “I’m sorry, but the boss lady won’t let me miss my deadline” will be tough. Unbelievably tough some times, but on those days, you have to remember that unbelievable or believable–your success is determined by you when you decide to start your own business. Being a mompreneur is as simple as that and harder than most people ever imagine.
That being said, women are natural caregivers and we rock at commitment, and you’re going to need both of those skills. You’ll need to care for your business like a little growing member of your family and commit to all the ups, downs, and dirty diapers that come with it.
So, tell me, in an ideal world, what is your business?