So as of late, I’ve had a plethora of calls from moms looking to start new businesses and trying to figure out if they can manage the ever so famous “work-home balance”. I’m thinking a post here might motivate a few on the edge so here goes… As women, we map out our entire lives probably sometime at around age 6. We have our weddings planned to prince charming, we know we will have beautiful and healthy children and we will be successful career women. Then life happens. It’s not always the fairy tale that we imagined. Prince charming might take his sweet time finding us and we might have to kiss many frogs along the way while we bide our time waiting for the perfect guy to show up. Then he arrives, sweeps us off our feet and low and behold you’re engaged! Wedding plans, white dresses, bridesmaids, gifts…it’s all to good to be true! A day all about you! I really and truly believe that this is the last day that is all about you. As women, we nurture. Some (like my husband) might call it nagging but I’m going to use nurture because it makes me feel less like my mother (who I love very much in case your reading this mom). As nurturers, we want to take care of our husbands so the emphasis moves from us to them. We mother them as if they are children until we have the role of mothering down before we’ve even had children. Some might say getting married is good practice for being a mom. Then we have kids. Now you might as well forget that you ever existed. All you want to do in life is take care of those amazing bundles of joy. You never imagine how much love you have to give until they come along. But what about you? At what point between your wedding day and having kids did you forget that you need to look after you?! The reason I give this long preemptive story is because all of the moms who have called seeking advice who were once powerful and motivated business women, now all feel that they have nothing to give but their abilities as multi-tasking diaper changers and feeding machines. So where does the advice come in? Here it is …Are you ready? You can do it. Nike is so very right! Anything you set your mind too, you can do. Snap out of it, you are not just a mom or wife. You are a woman who has her whole life ahead of her and can re-invent herself as many times as she wants. Let me give you my personal example or rather biography. In the last 12 years I have gone from being an unemployable University graduate who wanted nothing more in life than to be an events coordinator, to an Wireless Internet Entrepreneur fixing antennas on rooftops at 2am in snow storms, to one of Profit Magazines recipients of Canada’s Hottest Startup award, to a Director at a Telecommunications company, to a manufacturer of a baby towel, to a Marketing machine at Parent Tested Parent Approved (www.ptpamedia.com) that loves to promote the latest and greatest in parenting products. Oh yeah, I have sat on the Board of Israel Cancer Research Fund and started with my mom an annual luncheon that now raises in excess of $300,000.00 per year for Cancer Research. I’m tired just thinking of all of the things I have managed to do in that period of time. Oh yeah, in there somewhere I got married and had two children 15 months apart (my greatest achievement by far). Am I trying to toot my own horn? No although now that I read my accomplishments I certainly feel a lot better about myself than I did when I woke up this morning. I know what I’ve done and what I’ve managed to accomplish and you could likely Google me and learn the same things about me but if you ask my husband, he’ll tell you that I am my own worst critic. He likes to laugh when I tell him that I don’t think that I have the skill set to do something. Let me assure you, he laughs at me quite often. We as women underestimate ourselves constantly. There is always an excuse. My day is too full, I have to do carpool, doctors appointments, groceries and I need to pick up birthday gifts…the excuses are endless. What is not endless is your potential. Try the following:
- Sit down when you have about 20 childless minutes.
- Make a list of all of the business ideas that you have had over the last couple of years.
- Talk to friends and family about these ideas and try to figure out which gets the best reaction. These will be the people that will motivate you along the way.
- Make an action plan. This can include what the top 10 things you need to do in order to get a foundation for your business product or service.
- Try to schedule in an hour a day to further this action plan. If possible, two hours would be great as you are most motivated at the beginning.
- Make yourself motivating little notes and tape them all over the house. Especially on your master bathroom mirror so it’s the first thing you see in the morning.
- Find a group of networking moms and talk to them about your ideas. Other moms are incredibly motivating! Use them as a sounding board!
- Look on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for different mom groups to and ask questions of.
Am I guaranteeing that this will give you a successful business? Absolutely not. It really does take blood sweat and tears. That expression does not exist for nothing. Will it help you get started on your plan to start your business and focus on you a little? Definitely. Will you be able to stay motivated the whole way through? That all depends on you and your support system. Tell your husband and friends to make sure when you are down about your business idea (and you will definitely have times when you are down), to make sure that they motivate you and inspire you. We can all use all of the help we can get. If you like business books, pick up an inspirational biography. that always gets me motivated (although I never get past the third page as I always get so excited with new ideas that I drop the book and go back to working on my company). Will all of this guarantee success? Nope. Will it get your mind thinking and get you motivated to do more with your life? I’m guessing yes. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a mom.