Last week, a friend of mine sent me a message, he wanted to invite me as a Speaker to his webinar to share my experience on being a Mompreneur. He asked me, ’Millie, I have many moms in my community and I get this question a lot – how do you juggle between being an Entrepreneur and being a Mom at the same time?’
This is a great question and I do get asked this quite often.
So I have finally decided to put this blog post together. It is my hope that my experience and my 5 strategies can help more Moms to fulfill their dreams of being both a Mom and an Entrepreneur. Ladies, you can have it all!
So, What Is A Mompreneur?
A Mompreneur is a woman who runs a business while also acting as the caretaker of her children.
If you have children, you would know that parenting on its own is a full-time commitment. If you are an Entrepreneur, you would also know that starting and running a business is also a full-time commitment.
So how could you effectively juggle both Entrepreneurship and Parenting, without going completely insane?
How I Became A Mompreneur…
Years ago, I was working in a Multi-National Corporation that has 54,000 employees. I worked extremely hard and within a few years, I was able to successfully climb the Corporate Ladder and became one of the youngest Senior Managers of the company. Income was great. I had satisfaction from my job and I learned a lot, but I was time-broke and stressed out. I worked there for almost 8 years.
When my older daughter Angeline was born in Year 2010, I wanted time for her. The thought of leaving her at a day care breaks my heart. I knew in my heart that something in me has changed – I no longer wanted to climb the Corporate Ladder and ‘Work’ was no longer my only priority.
I quitted my high-paying job and became a Stay-at-Home Mom.
Spending time and taking care of my little baby girl was a Gift. I had fun watching her grow every day – witnessing her first flip-over, first step, first time tasting baby food (I still remember the expression on her face to this day!). These are precious moments and I am forever grateful to have spent that time with her.
However, after being a Stay-at-Home Mom for about a year, I started to feel anxious.
I felt that I have lost my identity, I felt that I was not growing enough, I felt that I was isolated. I was stuck at home with the demanding routine of taking care a little baby and the never-ending housework. I became restless. I was not challenged intellectually enough – and I wanted to have more social life, I wanted to grow more, and I wanted to be more financially independent (instead of just asking my husband for money).
(Note to all the Stay-at-Home Moms out there, you are amazing!)
So, I started searching…
I knew that if I go back to a Corporate job, I would have the exact outcome – Time-broke and stressed out, with little time left for my children.
I was lost. I was struggling. I didn’t know what else I could do – ever since I graduated from University, I have been working as an Employee. I knew nothing about starting and running a business. I didn’t have any network. I didn’t have a lot of money. All I had was a burning desire to change my life.
I wanted something different – something that would allow me to grow, have fulfilment, add value to other people’s life, earn an income and still give me time for my children.
That’s when I stumbled across an idea in the Travel industry and started my own business in Year 2011.
That decision has completely changed our lives! It opened my eyes for a World I never knew existed – and I couldn’t be happier! It is truly the BEST of both Worlds!
In just 5 years, I gave birth to a 2nd child, my business has expanded internationally, generating an 8 figure USD revenue annually, we are now financially free, my architect husband is retired, we have been on more than 50 vacations in 5 years (check out my adventures here), met tons of amazing positive friends, spoke on international stages around the World ranging from a few hundred to more than 10,000+ people, published an international bestselling book and donated 2 schools. And I have raised two happy kids, who are little World travellers and love meeting people from different cultures.
So for all the Moms out there, if you were like me, I want YOU to know that YOU have what it takes too! It is possible to build an amazing business and raise beautiful children at the same time. You can do this, Sisters!
My 5 Strategies To Juggle Between Entrepreneurship and Parenting
In the past 5 years, I have coached many women and moms on how to build their businesses. Many of them have succeeded and are now running successful international businesses from their phones and their laptops.
So, let me share with you 5 strategies that helped me to juggle successfully between Entrepreneurship and Parenting. The 5 strategies are: Eliminate, Prioritise, Manage, Leverage and Integrate.
This is a BIG one!
The truth is – there isn’t enough hours in the day to do everything you want to do. And that is OK! You don’t have to do EVERYTHING! Your goal here is to look at your daily and weekly activities, and cut out everything that is irrelevant, unimportant, or un-actionable.
Watch less TV (or drop that altogether – I didn’t watch TV at all for the first 2 years while I was building my business). Let the laundry sit around for an extra day. You don’t have to clean the house every day. Order your grocery online and have it delivered to your house if you need to. Do auto-payment for your bills so you don’t have to run to the bank every time.
Don’t check your emails every hour – believe it or not, I used to do that, but now I only do it once or maximum twice a day to get things out of the way.
You don’t have to reply to every text message on your phone right away! If the messages are not life-threatening, let them wait! It is okay to reply them after your children go to bed. Let the phone calls go into your voice messaging if you are busy with your children – you don’t have to respond to the World that very minute.
Don’t get addicted to Social Media – there are endless videos on youtube, photos on Instagram, posts on Facebook. Don’t waste all your time there!
Be selectively ignorant. Ignorance may be bliss, but it is also practical. Learn to ignore or redirect all information and interruptions that don’t move you closer to your dreams.
Learn to say ’No’! Remember, every time you say ’Yes’, you are saying ’No’ to something else. Guard your time wisely.
(2) Prioritise & Schedule
After Eliminating some tasks, you should now see that you have more time to work on the things that are truly important for your business and your family.
For your business, prioritise on the the tasks that are important – your ’Income-Generating Activities’. Eliminate, leverage or outsource the rest (more on this later).
For your family, focus more time on your children and less time on the chaos around the house – because you can always hire someone to do the chaos (more on this later).
Prioritise your important tasks and schedule them on your To-Do-List or Calendar right away – and follow through!
Plan your daily and weekly tasks in advance – put in all your most important tasks first. I have a Daily and Weekly To-Do-List, so I know exactly what I need to do every day to move my business closer to my dreams.
(3) Manage – Time Management
When you are working, turn off the TV, shut the door and focus 100% on your work so you can be productive. At the same time, when you are with your children, put your phone down and your laptop away, and be present for your children 100%!
The key is to have ’quality’ time for your business as well as ’quality’ time for your children.
For your business, spend your most productive hours and your peak business hours doing things that matter the most – your Income-Generating Activities, like setting up appointments, meeting with potential clients, following up on potential clients, closing the sales, networking etc.
Do your less important tasks during non-peak hours – such as replying emails, posting on Social Media, making connections by email/text/social media, replying to non-urgent texts/queries, reading up on industry information/news and books etc.
If you exercise, download your personal development audios onto your phone, so you can listen to them while you exercise. Hit two birds with one stone.
Plan your schedule around your children’s schedule as much as you could – Work on your business early in the morning before your children wake up, while they are in school, taking naps or asleep at night.
Social Media is a great way to promote your business, build your brand and connect with friends and clients, but don’t let it control your life! You don’t have to read every single posts on your Facebook wall, manage your time wisely.
Learn to ask for HELP – You are NOT a Superwoman and you don’t need to be – it is OK to ask for help!
If you have a supportive spouse, partner, or family members, you can ask them to help you look after your children while you work on your business. That gives them quality time with the children, you know your children are in good hands and gives you uninterrupted time for your business.
Hire a baby sitter, a maid and/or a part-time cleaner if you can. The way I see it, if that gives you more time to build your business effectively, that may a good ’investment’! But make sure that you are using the time you freed up effectively on your ’income-generating’ activities.
I have a maid who helps me to take care of the chaos around my house – housework, laundry and cooking. That way when I am with my children, I spend 100% quality time with them – playing and interacting with them. (Note – It is very affordable to hire a maid in Asia. In North America, Europe and Australia, it may be less affordable. But do consider hiring a part-time cleaner to do your house chaos.)
Outsource your tasks if you need to. Hire an assistant (or a Virtual Assistant overseas) to complete some of your tasks. The rule is that if you can generate more business and income by outsourcing and freeing up your valuable time – you should consider that.
Organise your children to have ’play date’ at classmates and friend’s house from time to time – the kids LOVE that and that also gives you valuable time to work on your business or take a break.
If you know of other Mompreuneurs, liaison with them and take turns to look after each other’s children – I call that ’Time Swapping’! That way, the kids will have fun knowing and playing with other kids and all the Mompreneurs get to have some time to work on their businesses. I have many Mompreneurs in my team, and this is one of the strategies that help tremendously. Team work makes dream work!
Also, consider to leverage on Technology! If you really aren’t able to leave your house due to family commitments, consider scheduling your meetings online. That would save you time on your commutes and you can also meet with your clients and teams while you keep an eye on your children at home. I LOVE technology!
(5) Integrate – Work-Life Integration
’Instead of work-life balance, try work-life integration.’ – Tony Robbins, World’s # 1 Life and Business Strategist.
Get your children to participate in your business! For me, because my business is in the Travel industry, going on vacations is part of my ’job scope’. I get my children to select our family vacations together. They get to know what the trips are all about and they usually get really excited about them (can you imagine how excited they were when they found out they were going to Disneyland!). We want to create those amazing memories together!
Think of ways you can get your children involved in your business. If your business has marketing materials, could your children help you to print or fold anything. If you are doing home meetings, get your (older) children to host your events. It will create a fun and relaxing atmosphere for your guests and it will be fun for your children too.
If you need to bring your children to your meetings, bring a toy/a drawing pad/an iPad with cartoon videos so your children can keep themselves entertained while you attend to your clients.
Don’t sweat the small stuff! Don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself permission to be imperfect!
If you are on a call or a webinar and your kids are making noises at the back or try to jump on you (as my girls always do), just smile and chill – that’s part of the fun of being a Mompreneur running a home-based business! Many corporate Moms (or corporate Dads) would LOVE to be in your shoes! So just have fun with that!
So there you have it, my 5 strategies for juggling between Entrepreneurship and Parenting. I hope it has given you some tips and perhaps even sparked some new ideas for you.
There will be times when you feel overwhelmed. There will be times when you feel that it is impossible. But hang in there, Sisters and embrace your journey! It is worth it to make the short-term sacrifices in order to build an impactful business, leave a legacy and become a role model for your children.
If you have enjoyed this post, please ’like’ and ’share’ this with women you know, so more women can step out and become Mompreneurs too! Go after your dreams! Rock on, Sisters!
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With Lots of Love,