In general, starting a business is an intimidating process and I never realized I had it in me to even start a business until I became a mother. As a mother, starting a business has its perks and its disadvantages but many millennial mothers are leaving their day jobs to pursue their own business ventures.
With this in mind, it took me a lot of time to get to the point where I confidently pursued starting a business and there are some challenges that I faced. As with any pursuit, there were certain challenges - some of which I expected and others I did not at all. Here are some of the roadblocks I faced and how I tackled them.
Business time vs. family time
The first challenge I faced was adequately distinguishing between my time to work and time to spend time with family. Working from home also meant that my children would often see and naturally want to spend time with me or ask me to prepare a snack.
This meant having to set clear boundaries, mainly for myself, and establish working hours in which I had to pretend I could not hear my child nagging the nanny for dessert instead of a meal. This taught me to leverage their time away at school and when they are younger and not in school - I encourage moms to use their nap time to get business tasks done.
I started my business with a lot of excitement. Finally, I was out of the 9 to 5 life and being able to see my kids. However, due to lack of planning, I would find myself working into the odd hours of the night and starting my days super early. Much like children, moms thrive on routine and the routine is to be respected.
Much like your own child, when you are out of routine - you become grumpy, tired all the time and unable to focus. Lack of focus does not look good on business. Furthermore, I considered myself the head of the business, the marketer, the accountant, etc. and soon learned the power of using tools like Insightly to assist in managing marketing my business online.
Even without staff to delegate tasks, too, I soon learned that there are various tools that assist in effectively managing a business.
Getting over distractions
Home is where the distraction is. I had to cultivate a great amount of discipline to firstly get up as early as I used to when I had a 9 to 5. I seemingly had more respect for my employer than myself and this bothered me deeply. As a mother, I always have a chore to complete around the house and these chores would be an excuse to break away from my work.
Sometimes, I’d claim to be multitasking and end up making a mistake because I thought I could cook while completing a job for a client. Here, I learned to treat my work as I would any other job. For certain hours, I am simply unavailable for choring away.
Motherhood is a challenging journey but it has made me a better person. And starting a business is an excellent way to actually show your children what it means to work for your money. As your children grow older, and more understanding - they also become immersed in what you do and perhaps find ways to assist you.
With more women pursuing their own business ventures, it is becoming more common to see mothers at coffee shops grinding away (or running away from the temptation to do chores). The best thing about having your own business, despite the challenges is being able to set your own hours and create a legacy for your children to one day inherit.