How to Beat Mompreneur Overwhelm!

Mompreneur overwhelm is a real thing! Over the years I’ve learned (and am still learning) how to set reasonable expectations for my life as both a mom and an entrepreneur so that I can wear both hats.  Or as I like to say: fill both shoes.  The slippers and the heels, that is.

How do I keep balance?  Honestly, sometimes I don’t.  But, here’s what I’m learning.

(If you’re a visual here’s a video for you!)

How I beat mompreneur overwhelm

Set small and realistic goals.

It’s so important that as mompreneurs we ensure our values and priorities in line.  Family and spirituality is first. Everything is else is second.

I do mean this. In my life, if I have to choose between spending a week digging into a project that will make me a nice income for the month but I must choose to ignore my family for the week…I’m going to choose my family first. It’s okay if you would choose to dig in for a week and catch up with your family later.  I just choose to run by a different beat and the thread of family life is the fabric of my life right now.  I must…no, I need to have the kind of balance in my life that allows for flexibility to be a mom and a wife.  Seasons are important, and in this season I am a mom.

So, in order to beat mompreneur overwhelm I set my goals small and try to remain realistic.  I have three blogs currently, with a fourth in the works. I also run two podcasts with a third in the works.  For many of you this might seem unrealistic.  For me, this is the bread and butter of what keeps sponsors and clients coming my way and is part of my marketing goals.

That said, I must set realistic goals if I expect to be successful at any or all of these blogs.  In my blogging life, this means that I don’t blog every day at each blog.  I don’t even blog several times per week, or even weekly on some of my blogs. On all but one of my blogs I post every few weeks with a podcast or tutorial and try to remain active on my Facebook groups.  If I tried blogging every day, posting to my social media accounts every day I would drive myself nuts.  So I don’t do it.  Which leads me to the next tip…

Don’t over schedule.

Why pack in so much at once when you have a lifetime to grow and achieve in your business? I’ve been there, done that when it comes to over scheduling and it just doesn’t feel worth it and the end of the day. Beat mompreneur overwhelm by not overscheduling.

Granted, there are those times when you’re just having a really busy week in business.  But as I mentioned in the video, if you’re attempting to launch your website and a membership site all in a month and post to all your social media 8 times per day all while developing your product line- things can get a wee bit crazy.  You’re stepping into a spin zone.

Don’t over schedule.  Take your life and your business at stride.  It will grow with you. You don’t have to do everything at once.

Embrace your season.

As mompreneurs we want to love the season of motherhood we’re in because it won’t last forever.  Our kids will grow up and we’ll have plenty of time to work and throw ourselves into our passions.

Life with littles can make working business a bit tricky.  You’ll have to find ways to work around the kids’ routines and schedules.  Maybe nap times work out best for you.  Maybe you work late in the evenings or early mornings.  But the kids do grow up eventually, so…embrace your season. Being a mom is truly special.  Enjoy it!

Check out my interview with Stephanie who is raising four children while running a business.  And Andrea’s been able to figure out her sweet spot in balancing life with kids and blogging.  I hope these moms are able to encourage you.

And hey, I just started up a Facebook group for homeschool mompreneurs.  If that’s you, I invite you to come join my group!

 

 

MIH 044:Mompreneur Spotlight: Andrea Thorpe

This was one of my favorite interviews because Andrea and I share something in common as mompreneurs: we both homeschool!

andrea thorpe

Who is Andrea Thorpe?

Why she began her blog

  • She began her blog because  it was only natural to write about her current lifestyle of homeschooling
  • She was having a hard time finding homeschool materials and resources specifically for African American students and wanted to reach out to other moms who were looking for similar resources
  • It started with 12 moms and grew to over 2,000 people in just a few years

What she enjoys most about her blog

  • She loves being able to help and encourage people with topics on marriage, parenting, and homeschooling.  She feels it is important to give back to others and provide assistance to her audience in taking some of the guess work out of the research they are doing on homeschooling.
  • She also enjoys networking: meeting people and developing in-real-life friendships through her Facebook group.

About Andrea’s kids and a snapshot in her life as a mompreneur

  • Andrea has 3 girls: ages 12, 10, and 5.  She will be homeschooling 8th grade, 5th grade and 1st grade during her upcoming school year.
  • Her oldest daughter is an athlete and plays soccer and also plays piano.  Her middle daughter is artistic and enjoys sewing, art, and dance.  Her youngest stays busy!
  • In order to balance her day, she starts planning the night before with a decent bedtime. She strives for an earlier wake-up time and each morning she starts the day with prayer, devotions, and planning time.  Her next goal is to plan for her blog posts and graphics.
  • On a good day she can accomplish about 2 hours of private work time before the kids arise.  This is the time that most of her work is accomplished.
  • She also garners the support of her husband during his early day off from work to help with the children while she gets a bit of work done.

Additional advice for mompreneurs and work at home moms:

  • Write things down and look at your schedule. Be realistic about when you can really work.
  • Fit your blogging and work life around your kids’ schedule.
  • Keep your family priorities aligned.
  • Exercise discipline and stick to the schedule.
  • Limit your distractions from the computer. Keep social media and email for a separate time.

Ways to reach Andrea

EmbracingHim.com

AfricanAmericanHomeschoolMoms.com

African American Homeschool Moms Facebook Group

Instagram: andrea.thorpe

 

I enjoyed this chat with Andrea Thorpe- this week’s Spotlight Mompreneur!  What are some of your takeaways from this podcast?  

Avoiding Procrastination as a Mompreneur

There is so much going on in our lives between parenting responsibilities and our social lives, and of course, work.  It’s easy to procrastinate and put work on the back burner when you’re an entrepreneur.

How do we avoid procrastination?

Have a plan

Every business needs a roadmap. Ask yourself questions like:

How do you plan to make money?

How do you plan to network and grow your network?

How do you plan to market your business?

Who do you plan to collaborate with to help you accomplish your goals?

Most mompreneurs and creatives don’t have it all figured out.  But the reason we’re getting where we’re going is because we have an idea of where we want to be.  I like to use reverse engineering to figure out where I want to end up and plan the details backward.

Whether you have details or not, though, the main thing is to have an overall vision and plan and then start moving.  Which leads me to my next point…

Take Action

Once you have a plan you need to take action.  No use sitting on your idea, meditating on it, wondering if it will work, and feeling paralyzed.  My husband calls this “paralysis by analysis”.

If it’s a website you need, take action by finding a great designer.

If you need a business coach, hire someone you trust.

Whatever your needs are, remember that it all starts with today.  The moment you take action you realize that it’s easier to continue the process once it’s begun. Nothing will begin magically.  You really have to press for the things you want out of life.

This means you just have got to take action.

Forget perfection

Remember it’s not about being perfect or finding the perfect people to support you on your journey.  Entrepreneurship is a messy journey, and there will be days you want to give up.  There will be days you will hear crickets and won’t see results right away.

The thing is, nobody and no situation is ever perfect.  Your journey may start off pretty rocky and you won’t have all the pieces in place at first- and that’s okay.

You don’t have to be perfect to be successful.  Start where you are and make strides from there.

Has this post helped you?  Did you enjoy the video? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

MIH 043:Why you should quit undercharging in your business

Over the years, I’ve learned why it’s so important to quit undercharging in my business.  Many of you who’ve followed me over the years have seen my prices fluctuate.  I’ll be honest with you, the prices change right along with my self-view.  I’ve found that my confidence level is directly correlated to my pricing strategy.I’ve learned that when I quit undercharging, and I charge premium prices, I get the results I’m looking for in business.  I want to help mompreneurs understand how important it is to change your mindset and allow yourself the option of charging more. Here are three steps to help you…

undercharging in your business

Honor your offerings and stop undercharging.

Others will treat you the way you treat yourself. Be sure to value yourself- your services and products. Believe that what you offer is valuable and needed.  If you don’t believe in what you offer, neither will your clients. What this means is that if your prices are too low, now’s the time to stop undercharging.  Whatever your pricing model was six months ago, consider raising those prices. Recently my husband challenged me to seriously consider my bottom line when I had planned to help a few folks with tech consulting services for either free or extremely discounted.  I don’t do pro bono often, but on occasion I will pitch in and help someone out who just needs the service and can’t afford it.  This habit, however, has trained me in some way to let down my guard and be more willing to give a “yes” to discounted services- even when the client could actually afford to pay full price.  I think what my husband wanted to protect me from is the habit of helping and giving and pouring out so much that I lose focus on why I started my business in the first place: to make money. It’s important to have boundaries in business, and we start forming boundaries by respecting our offerings and insisting that clients honor them as well.

Discounts don’t necessarily mean business.

If there’s anything I’ve learned is that you don’t always get the best business just because you’re offering a sale.   For example, when I run extremely steep discounts on my tech services, I often end up attracting clients that are either unclear on their goals or don’t respect the results of their coaching with me.  What this results in is an end product that isn’t worth my time.  In cases like this, sometimes the customer will completely discount the project altogether, backing out off before a project is complete (in which case you would need clear stipulations in place about what happens in situations like these). It’s worth evaluating whether or not you want to risk a steep discount if you’re unsure whether your time and energy will be compensated properly.  Remember, this all goes back to honoring your offerings. Also, this also just goes to prove that it’s equally important to know your boundaries and to keep it in writing.

Attract premium clients

If you want to sustain a profitable service-based business that you actually enjoy working every day, then attracting premium clients should be at the top of your to-do list.  You’ll want to make sure that your business attracts those who are able to afford your fees and are willing to have a conversation about your services without freaking out over your pricing model. Premium clients will not only pay what you charge, but they’re your best clients because they respect your work, are committed to taking action and seeing results on their actions, they usually pay on time, and will be happy to refer you to others. We can safely conclude that undercharging gets you nowhere in business, and attracting premium clients will give you the business success you’re going after.  So, I encourage you to start charging what you believe you’re worth!

Eliminating guilt in work life balance

Don’t you just get tired of the mompreneur guilt?  I talk about this topic so often because it’s completely relevant and something that I know a LOT of mompreneurs are going through.

We really need balance.  How do we find work-life balance?  I try to cover just a portion of this massive subject in my Facebook live video- and I truly hope you find it helpful.

Make family your priority.

Being grounded in your faith and spirituality and oneness within yourself.  Next to this is making family priority.

In my life, family is number 1 and spending quality time with my kids is of highest priority.  After taking care of my spiritual wellness, my physical health, loving my husband and my kids, business comes next in the line of priorities.

It’s so important to make sure you have your own system of priorities that defines who you are so that you can balance your life better. I know it’s not an easy feat (I’m right there with you in the throes of family life), but it is possible.

Don’t feel guilty for being busy.

Entrepreneurship, as I’ve learned, is full of twists and turns.  It’s not a one straight shot to your next destination so it can be a rather tricky journey.  There will be seasons when you’ll be extra busy with client work and you’ll need to stay later for meetings or leave your kids with a sitter a bit more often.

As your work load increases and your business expands you may find the need to call in extra support for your children, but that’s okay. It’s all part of your journey.  So long as the new obligations you have don’t impede on your joyful journey or make you feel  out of balance or completely out of sync with your family, it’s just a hiccup and you’ll get through it fine. In order to build a business you may just have to make some sacrifices.  Prep your family for what to expect during the busy seasons.

Of course, if you feel that you are getting totally out of balance, then you’ll need to re-think your schedule and responsibilities and perhaps take some things off your plate. I’m always re-evaluating my life to see what needs to be eliminated if I feel like I’m out of balance.

Spend time with your family as much as possible.

When you’re together with your kids, really make it count. Let them know you’re available for them to talk and connect, or do activities they enjoy most.

If you spend quality time with your kids daily, likely a good 98% of your guilt will dissipate because of your connection with them.  Whether it looks like 30 minutes or 2 hours, any amount of time with them is better than none at all.

Give extra affection.

Have reward systems in place so that the kids have something to look forward ton (for example, a mall outing with a teen daughter or a trip to Chuck E Cheese with younger kids).  You can take them for ice cream or go for a special treat that they would really like.

This extra affection gives your kids the confidence that although you’re working hard all week and need some space and time to work uninterrupted, you understand their sacrifice as well by giving up some time with you, and you’re willing to reward them with some extra special fun at the end of the week as a result.

I truly believe that you can have your work life and home life combined and live without the burden of guilt.

What are your thoughts on this topic? 

3 Ways Mompreneurs Can Manage Time

I admit, it’s not easy balancing that one important commodity we have as mompreneurs: time.  How can we manage time effectively- serving both customer and family?

A few weeks ago I recorded a live Facebook video on this very topic in hopes to assist you in finding the simple tricks that work for your lifestyle for finding time.  Time management can be tricky, but if you look at all the places where you can grab a few minutes here and there, I’m convinced you’ll be able to find the time you need to accomplish your goals.

Ways to manage time

Change your wake/sleep cycle

I know I talk about this all the time- but it is seriously a life saver.  If you simply change your wake/sleep cycle, sometimes this is the only thing you’ll need to do in order to find yourself gaining traction in business.

Get up earlier or go to bed later- you get to choose. You’ll get more done and feel more productive.

Determine your routine flow

I don’t keep a schedule really, but I love routines.  I talked about this on my homeschool blog recently- that keeping a tight schedule just doesn’t work for our family.  I really don’t think it works for most families, but I know some for whom an hourly and minute-by-minute schedule is their saving grace.  This doesn’t work for me, though.

I like to keep my routine flows very loose.  There are days that generally I’m up at a 6 a.m. and I get started with my work for the day right away.  Other days we have doctor appointments and some mornings I might go to the gym.  If I go workout, I’ll stop by Starbucks and work for a few hours before I come home.  If my husband is working from home, I have even more time to stay at a coffee shop.  Other mornings I’m up early and focusing on the kids’ homeschool routines before I touch my client work.  It depends on the morning, the week, and my mood.

Determine what your daily routine flow might generally look like, then work your life around it.  It’s really up to you, and you get to call the shots.  It’s your work life, your schedule, your day.

Keep a checklist

I’m a type A personality and love to see my accomplishments in front of me.  A running checklist keeps me motivated to keep going and gives me that pat on the back I need to feel good about what I’ve been able to accomplish.

It also keeps me organized because all of my tasks are listed right in front of me- both on my Google calendar and docs in Google drive.

Make sure you have an off switch.

As moms we tend to go, and keep going.  We want to accomplish so much in a short amount of time- plus we’re dividing our limited time amongst family, friends, activities and volunteering in addition to business.

There are moments, though, that we’ll simply need to turn that “go” switch off and get into relaxation mode.  We need to learn to enjoy life and relax.  Life is to be enjoyed not creating a burnout situation for ourselves.

Have these tips been helpful?  Are you creating doable routines for yourself?  Let me know your thoughts and if you’d simply like someone to chat with about all of this, book me for an appointment and let’s talk.

 

 

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