Motivation for Mums in Business – The Mum Entrepreneur is the fastest growing type of small business in Australia. With small businesses having a high failure rate in the first two years, this also comes with a significant impact on the family and on women’s self-esteem. Some women start their own business for some extra income and for others their business is the primary income earner, this puts even more stress on start-up businesses. With women also being the primary care-givers in the home, running a business at the same time can lead to inordinate amounts of stress and feelings of guilt and overwhelm. Here are 17 tips for women already in business or for anyone thinking of starting a business:
Values – Values are the things and people who are most important to you. They shape your life and your decisions. When you build a business which is based on your values your life will be easier, you will have less stress and you will attract clients and team members who share similar values to you. You don’t have to do business the way other people do business, do what works for you.
Purpose – Your purpose is your ‘why’. Why you started a business in the first place. For some women it is freedom, for others it is to earn an income. Other women have very personal reasons for starting a business, they want to make a change in the world because of something they have experienced or observed. Whatever your why, keep it in mind when you have those really tough days in business – it will keep you motivated.
Vision – Having a vision is so important in your life and in your business. Your vision is your big picture. Where do you see your business and your life in 3 to 5 year’s time? Having a vision gives you direction and clarity and it helps with decision making. Sit down and take some time to imagine what your business and life would look like in 3 year’s time, think big and really use your imagination. Write down everything that comes to mind. This is the start of you creating what you want in your life.
Goals – Once you have a vision, you can then set down some realistic goals to work towards. Taking what you have included in your vision write down what steps you need to take to make your vision come true. Keep it fairly high level at this stage, ideally you will be setting some 12 month goals to keep you focussed. Create both business and life goals.
Action plan – Now that you have your vision and 12 months goals, then next step is to take some action. Nothing happens without action. The ideal time for Action Plans is 90days. What do you need to do in the next 90days which will get your closer to your 12 month goal, which is in line with your vision? See how it all works together? Once you have a 90 day Action Plan, and then break this down to smaller monthly, weekly or daily tasks.
Time management – Time seems to be a business owner and Mum’s biggest enemy, there never seems to be enough of it. But you have exactly the same amount of time every day that everyone else has, it’s how you use it. If you are doing something that isn’t in line with your values, vision or goals then stop doing it! Quite often women do things because they think they ‘should’ not because they want to. Drop the ”shoulds”, “have to” and “need to” and do what you truly want to, do what lights you up.
Learn to say NO – No seems to be one of the hardest words for women to say (whether they are in business or not) but if you are a Mum and a business owner you must learn to say no, otherwise you will burn yourself out. This follows on from the previous step, only do what is important to you, to your family and your business let everything else go unless you have time. A great way to say no without saying no – “let me get back to you on that”
Ditch the guilt – Guilt is a highly wasted emotion and does not serve anyone, least of all you. Have you ever noticed that your children will do what they want, when they want without ever feeling guilty about how you feel? Guilt often happens when we think we aren’t doing a good enough job of being a Mum, a business owner, a partner, a friend etc. You are doing the best job that you know how, there is never any reason for feeling guilty about doing what you love, your children don’t!
Patience – It takes patience to build a successful business. In the start it will appear that you have more failures than you have wins. If you keep going you will notice a shift, when there are more wins than disappointments. Despite what you see over the internet, overnight successes are very rare in business. You need to be patient if you want to build a successful business, know that it will take time (and money) but if you have a strong enough purpose and you are in alignment with your values you will be successful.
Persistence – Persistence goes along with patience. Keep moving towards your vision and goals. It can be tempting to try one marketing technique and when you don’t get immediate results swap over to something else. Give each new idea at least 3 months, if it isn’t working after 3 months then do something different. Many people try something once and if they don’t get immediate results they switch to something else, and then they say nothing works. Don’t give up too soon.
Delegate – Running a business and a household is hard work. Look at everything that you do on a regular basis, work out what you love to do and what is a real drag for you. I know that you are quite capable of doing it all, but if it drains you delegate it to someone else. Spend your time doing things that you love and will bring you in an income. Get your family to help you more or pay someone to do the job for you, it works out cheaper and you free up your time for what you love.
Have fun – So many Mums in business are so busy building a business and being a Mum that they forget to have fun. Do you have any time that you spend doing the fun things that you enjoy? Give yourself one hour every week to do something just for you. Take yourself on a ‘date’, and enjoy yourself, no one else is allowed to come on your date with you it is time for you. Your date doesn’t need to cost you money but it is something that you enjoy doing.
Networking – Getting out and meeting other business owners is essential for your business and your sanity, especially if you run your business from home. There are many different types of networking groups around, some are for Mums in business, some are women only and others have a mixed membership. Go to a few meetings with different groups and find 2 to 3 groups that you are comfortable with. Being a member of more than 1 networking group means that you will have more opportunities for possible business partnerships or collaborations in the future.
Get a coach – No one can build a successful business on their own. To be successful you will need help from someone who isn’t emotionally involved with your business (or your family). Working with a coach is a great way to keep focussed and moving forward. A coach will keep you accountable and help you look at your business from a different perspective. Even if you think you can’t afford a coach, find one to work with and you if you follow their advice you will soon have more than enough income to pay for them.
Eat well – It is so important to your family and your business that you are healthy and vital. If you are sick, stressed and run down you will be no use to anyone. The first step in looking after you is eating well. Food is your body’s fuel source, it is important that you feed your body the type of fuel it needs. Eating a diet based on real food, not manufactured and processed foods, will give your body the fuel it needs to function at an optimal level.
Live well – Many women in business neglect themselves. They don’t have time to exercise; they work until really late at night, they maybe drink too much alcohol. In short they don’t make the best lifestyle choices for themselves. With heart disease being the biggest killer of women in our society it is important to reduce stress and to look after your health.
Believe in yourself – This is the most important tip that I can give any Mum in business – believe in yourself. There will be days that you have doubts, days that you feel afraid, days that you think you aren’t good enough. These feelings are normal. If you have a strong purpose, you are living your values and you have a big picture vision for your life and business, then you are doing exactly what you are meant to be doing. You are making a difference in the world and you are the best Mum that you kids can have. Believe in yourself.
- Written by Angela Counsel author of the book Secret Mums Business and Business Lifestyle Coach. Angela works with Mums in businesses who are struggling with work life balance. She uses a combination of health, business and mindset coaching to re-connect women to their business, their life and most importantly themselves. To find out more visit www.angelacounsel.com