I’m excited to introduce our guest, Jenn Aubert. Jenn is a Business Mindset Coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. She helps women entrepreneurs bust through their fears and self-doubts so they can start and grow their businesses. She is about to launch a year long writing adventure interviewing female entrepreneurs as part of her Role Models Wanted Project.
I asked Jenn to share her wisdom about ways to start and run a successful business, because of the impact that Kids Yoga Stories has had on my life. I started Kids Yoga Stories after our daughter was born, as a way to unleash my creativity and do something for myself after months of feeling low.
Enjoy Jenn’s wisdom! Giselle
10 Tips to Being a Successful Mompreneur
Being a mom is already a full time job and then some. However if you get that sudden overwhelming pull to start your own business, your days can end up looking like a new mom’s hair post labor.
Starting a business though can be just what the doctor ordered to help boost a woman’s self-esteem especially after having kids. When your focus has turned completely myopic and your kids take up every last effort of attention, your needs end up pretty far down the list. Maybe the days of leisurely lunches and days at the spa seem long gone. Dates with girlfriends, a double feature and sleeping in late sound distantly reminiscent of a life you once took for granted. Nonetheless, there comes a time in many women’s lives where they have to take back some of themselves … for themselves!
A business could be just that. It is a wonderful way to gain back some of your self and boost your self-esteem in the process. However since it does require a wee more of your attention, time, energy and resources, here are some key tips to keep you sane:
1. Clarity & knowing your “Why”
You need to be crystal clear on why you want to start a business. Is it because you have an idea you cannot wait to share, a product you want to have in the hands of others, a service you know people need? Making extra cash may be your ‘why’ but dig deeper why you really want the extra money. Is it to contribute to the household, to go on a week long yoga trip, to beef up savings, for additional childcare, or for your kid’s education? Money is rarely the ultimate goal; it is usually what the money can buy or afford you.
2. Get a Plan
Just like with vacations, it’s important to have a plan. If the notion of putting together a business plan sounds worse than having your teeth drilled at the dentist, there are options. Jennifer Lee’s book The Right-Brain Business Plan is an excellent resource for those who are more creatively focused. She will guide you through creating a business plan that is fun, engaging and surprisingly beautiful.
3. Self-care days (or hours)
It is important that when you take on the additional work of starting a business that you find pockets of time to take care of yourself. Perhaps it’s taking a walk for a half hour or soaking in the bathtub after the kids are tucked into bed. It is very easy to skip taking care of yourself when you’re juggling kids and trying to tweet out your latest blog content. However, self-care is essential in business and in life.
When working solo, it’s easy to let weeks or months go by without hitting some of your targets and goals. Finding another person who you can touch in with regularly (either phone, in person or over Skype) can dramatically keep you on track. Knowing you have to report weekly on what you’ve committed to is a sure fire way to keep you on track.
5. Blocking time
Since time can be tight when you have little ones to manage along with other responsibilities, you need to find blocks of time that you can effectively work without interruptions. It is amazing what you can get done within a dedicated hour of time. You will be surprised. When you have found those precious blocks guard them ferociously.
6. Saying “No”
Many moms and women in general have a tough time saying “no”. There are many reasons for this including the need to be accepted by our tribe, the desire to be helpful and to be liked or because we don’t want to come off as selfish or egotistical. Secret: Feelings of overwhelm often get the best of us when we have a lot on our ‘to do’ list that we’re not inspired by. Even if we put those items on your own list. Take a peak and say “no” to things, activities, and tasks you’d rather not do. Learning to say “no” leads nicely into the next tip…
For the activities and tasks that you just don’t want to do and you know drains you of energy and time, look for ways to outsource or delegate. For some it may be housework or childcare for others it may be web development, accounting or bookkeeping. For others it may be all of the above. If funds are tight because you’re just starting out look for ways to do a swap, trade or pool several moms to hire help.
8. Perfect doesn’t exist
Perfection doesn’t exist in motherhood nor does it exist in business. Don’t put off projects or launching your services or product because you want it perfect. Stand happily in the notion that imperfection is exactly how you will improve in all areas of your business and life. Embracing imperfection on the front end will take the pressure off of you and will enable you to adapt to the ever changing facets of your own business.
9. Find your tribe
Whether you call it a mastermind, a collective or a business circle, find others that you connect with who are also launching a business. Meet with them weekly and quarterly as well as whenever you need to share successes and struggles. Working alone can get lonely and since we are social creatures, women particularly, it’s important to feed ourselves with the regular connection of others. Also you can pool resources and test out your products and services with a friendly crowd.
Celebrate both small and large wins. It may be just that you figured out how to get your autoresponder to work with your site or you may have gotten your first round of funding. Either way, take a moment to cheers yourself all along the way. You deserve it.
Are you starting or thinking of starting a new business as a new mom? Email us at giselle (at) kidsyogastories (dot) com or jenn (at) jennaubert (dot) com if we can help along your journey as a mompreneur! Feel free to share these tips with your community.
May you find and live your passion …