Ok, so you’re a mum and it’s beautiful. You adore your little cherubs and the fact that you’ve been trusted by the Lord to nurture and raise them is truly an honour. Your children bring you so much love and joy that now you can’t even imagine your life without them.
However, you have a penchant for business. Whilst you’re staying at home, looking after the children you cannot escape the inner draw you feel towards starting to build your own empire. Maybe you’ve already taken the plunge and are well on the way to gaining “mumtreprenuer” status.
Truth is, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been going for a little while, managing a business and being a full-time housewife is no easy feat! I’ve been there. I know what its like to feel as though your brain hasn’t had a moment to collect itself. To feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. To feel like no-one is going to take you seriously whilst you have children hanging off your ankles. To feel like you just don’t have the time, resources or even energy to make this dream work.
Well, guess what, you can! It’s not going to be easy but it’s absolutely doable. And, dependent on what age your children are, it should get a little easier as they get older. The important thing is not to let limitations stop you from stepping out into the world of business. You’ll be surprised at what you can actually achieve from your kitchen table or bedroom!
I’ve put together a few tips that I learnt from my experience of setting up and running a business from home whilst looking after my 3 boys to help you get started and juggle the balls a little better.
1. Set your timetable
Even 3 hours a day can be powerful if used well. I cant express to you how much setting myself a timetable and schedule helped me to feel like I could actually get something done aside from cleaning, feeding or changing nappies.
Prior to setting my timetable, my days were like a blur — rolling into each other without any form of structure. I felt myself feeling overwhelmed a lot of the time and completely out of control of my life. Everyone and everything else controlled it as I responded to each need whenever they requested me. Set up and run a business in the midst of that chaos? No chance!
Having a real good look at my days, my responsibilities and the things I regularly had to get done made me realise that with a little bit of planning, discipline and a consistent routine, I could actually achieve all the things I needed to in a structured manner and find a good few hours during the day to work my business. Revelation!
Take some time out to consider the make-up of your day. The more structured your day, the better. What time are you going to get up? What are you going to do with your morning hours? What time is breakfast, lunch and dinner? What are the children’s routine? What house chores do you have to get out of the way? What time can you have to work on you business? Plan you day/week so that everything has its space and time.
It will be tempting to group all your business working hours together. But actually it might be better to have a couples of hours during the day an extra hour or two in the evening. Either way is fine as long as you give your days some structure. Key words here are consistency and focus.
Check out this amazing set of planners designed to help you get on top of your game and get organised in all areas:
2. Get the children into a routine
No point getting yourself into a structured routine if your children are not part of the plan. Getting your children into a daily routine will not only be great for them but will also give you a really good sense of what time you will have during the day for your business. What’s the childcare, nursery and schooling timetable for your children? Do they have any other activities during the day?
I remember that when my children were very young, I introduced afternoon naps at a particular time of the day. This was great for the children but also gave me a clear hour that I could use as I liked. Structure into their timetable tv watching time, play time, etc. When you’re consistent, they will respond positively to the routine, which will make it easier for your to plan your work around them.
You may find this helpful: FAMILY PLANNER
3. Wake up early, before the rest of your house
As long as you’re going into business you have to be prepared for a lot of hard work and less sleep! Its the nature of the beast unfortunately. But hopefully you’ll be so excited about your business that getting up a few hours early to get ahead of the game will not be so difficult for you. Whether that be getting some of the house chores done nice and early so that you have the rest of the day to focus on your business or using those quiet hours to respond to emails and get some business work done before the rest of the house gets up, waking up early is always a great idea.
I typically wake up at 5am which gives me about 2 hours before the house starts getting busy. I can fit in my time with the Lord, a bit of exercise and either do some work on a blog, respond to emails or some other business related activity.
There’s something about starting your day early that gives you the feeling of being ahead and better prepared for the day. And don’t worry, as you stay consistent with it, you’ll find that your body quickly adjusts to its new sleep routine and you’ll be springing out of bed early in the morning feeling chirpy and ready for the day.
4. Start With What You Have
A lot of the times we can stop ourselves from moving forward with an idea because we’re quick to list all the reason why we can’t do it and all the things that we don’t have or don’t know. My continual advice to people is “start with what you have.”
You don’t have any office – use your kitchen or bedroom. You don’t have a website – use Facebook. You don’t have all the equipment you need to start at the scale that you have dreamt of – scale it right back and consider what you CAN start with. The great thing about business is that often times it is organic. It starts as a small concept, manageable and achievable from the position you’re in now and as time goes on, you gain more experience, build a customer base and some capital behind you, you can grow. But it’s important to remember that every business started somewhere! Many started in the back bedroom like mine with little or no money but looking at my current position and considering what I could do to start now.
5. Ask For Help
You don’t have to be superwoman. Ask for as much help as you can. If you have friends and family that can help out with the children for a couple of hours a week take advantage of that. I was lucky in that department and reached out to family as much as possible so that I could get to networking events and meetings.
Another great idea is to work out a childcare routine with a friend where you take it in turns to have each others children. That way you know you have at least on day completely free of children a week, dependant on how you work it out.
5. Social Media Is Your Friend
I hear a lot of women talk themselves out of starting their business based on little or no money for marketing and advertising. To be honest with you, thanks to social media you really cannot use that as an excuse anymore. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram give you the opportunity to get your message out to thousands of people and build a brand for free! You’ll have to put some work into building your audience, and ensuring that they are well targeted and engaged. But once you get that engine moving, you can use social media as your sole or main marketing activity – especially in the early days when you’re trying to build up your cash reserves.
So if you haven’t already, embrace social media from a business point of view and get promoting to your audience. 10 things you should be doing now on social media to grow your business
6. Get Dressed And Go To Work
You’ve got to approach your new venture as you would any job. Get up, get dressed and go to work. You’ll be amazed at how preparing for a day of business impacts your mental approach. You psyche yourself up for a day of productivity and remind yourself that this isn’t just a little thing you’re trying out but you are serious about your serious business. So yes, do your hair, put your make up on and get to work motivated and ready for action.
7. Don’t feel sorry for yourself
The fact is, you’re not the only women with a bosom full of children and a home to manage. It would be very easy to feel sorry for yourself as you watch everyone else seemingly moving ahead with their lives whilst you stay at home changing your fifth nappy of the day. Being a mother is a blessed and rewarding job, and one that we should never undermine. However, if you have dreams of building an empire, then its easy to feel like time is passing you by and that your confidence is diminishing.
My advice to you would be to stop feeling sorry for yourself. We’ve all been there and know how it feels. But when it comes down to it, you have to create your world. You have the ability to make things happen if you really want to. You need to rebuke every negative thought, pray for inspiration of the Holy Spirit and then get busy! Make things happen. Put these tips into action and start to slowly develop your ideas. Once you decide within yourself that somehow someway, with the grace of God you are going to start to build your business, you’ll begin to see things shift into alignment. So get your mind right.
I hope you find this helpful. Lave a comment below and let me know what stage your at with your business.