The busy mum’s guide to running a successful business
- Mums Tips
- Mumpreneurs & Mums at work
- Published on Wednesday, 23 February 2022 13:14
- Last Updated on 09 March 2023
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Being a mum is already a full-time job. Between preparing meals, helping your kids with their homework, taking care of household chores, and running errands, there’s barely any time left for you to breathe, let alone to run a business. And yet, there are so many amazing women out there who are both great mothers and successful business owners, and one can’t help but wonder how they do it.
The truth is, there’s no rule saying that if you’re a busy mum, you can’t be an accomplished entrepreneur as well, for example you could sell feet pics. There’s no denying that it’s extremely difficult and challenging to organise yourself and find time for everything when you have so many responsibilities on your plate. But as so many women have already proved, you can accomplish anything you want when you have passion and determination on your side.
So, here are some tips from mumpreneurs on how they manage to balance family life with running a successful business.
Make time for yourself
As a mum entrepreneur, you develop this ability to be there whenever someone needs you and take care of everyone around you, no matter how busy you are. But as you’re running around tending to other people’s needs, it’s easy to forget that you also have to find time to take care of your own.
So, one of the most important aspects to keep in mind is to take time for yourself even with a hectic schedule. You can do that by scheduling regular time off to focus on no one else but yourself. A lot of moms tend to feel guilty for doing so, thinking it’s something selfish, when in fact it’s a necessary act of self-care. Remember that if you don’t take good care of yourself, you’re not going to be able to care for others either.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help
The myth of super-mum instilled this toxic belief that mums can and should be able to do everything on their own, and if they can’t, it means they’ve failed. The reality is much different. No matter how much effort you put in and how much you struggle to stay on top of your business and focus on your family at the same time, you’ll never be able to do everything by yourself. There simply aren’t enough hours in a day to get all these things done, unless you have someone by your side who can help you out.
Whether it’s your spouse, your mother, other family members, or friends, you have to ask those around you for help whenever you need it instead of trying to control everything. This will allow you to spend your energy more wisely and focus more on the things that require your direct and undivided attention.
Set clear boundaries
Separating your personal life from your professional life is great advice for any business owner out there, but for busy mums putting this into practice can be a lot more challenging, for the mere fact that they don’t have the luxury to press pause whenever they feel like it. However, achieving a good work-life balance can be achieved by setting clear boundaries for work and family life.
Decide when it’s time to focus on the job and when it’s time to spend time with your loved ones and don’t mix the two together. If you’re going to be with your kids, refrain from checking your emails or doing any work-related activity. Your full attention should be on them. Similarly, when you’re working, try to keep family issues out of the picture.
Learn to delegate
As a business owner, you surely know how important it is to find the right people for the right job. Instead of being a control freak, you have to learn how to delegate, so you can save precious time and effort, and focus on what’s truly important. This means you have to build a team of people you can trust and be certain that they will follow through on their responsibilities.
Getting to know your employees’ strengths and weaknesses, establishing trust in the workplace, and ensuring a safe and comfortable work environment for everyone can help you achieve that. This will not only provide you with greater peace of mind, but it will also help you minimise risks, so you can avoid unpleasant situations such as employees claiming compensation for a broken wrist or other types of injuries, or high turnover rates.
You can plan your every action and organise all you want, but keep in mind that life doesn’t really care for your plans. You, one of your family members, or employees can get sick, a key executive might quit, leaving a major gap behind, natural disasters can happen, affecting your business operations, or you might deal with a scandal that threatens to ruin your company’s reputation.
The point is, you can never predict what’s going to happen in the future, be it on a personal or professional level. The best thing you could do is be flexible and prepare for the unexpected, so when a crisis or an emergency occurs, you can keep calm and make the right decision.
Be kind to yourself
The pressure and stress of running a business all while tending to your family’s needs can take a toll on your mental and physical health, as hard as you might try to keep it all together. It’s already hard enough to be a mother or an entrepreneur, so doing both can be downright overwhelming.
There will be times when you’re going to feel too exhausted to fulfil your duties at the highest standards, or times when you’re going to blame yourself for not being able to do more. When this happens, remember it’s normal to feel this way. Striving for perfection is only going to hold you back. You’re allowed to make mistakes and lose motivation, so be kind to yourself and others, and take the time you need to get back on your feet.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums