Babies in diapers. Toddlers in car seats. Your schedule consists of wiping banana puree off the high chair, doing nonstop loads of laundry, navigating through a maze of toys on the floor, running on nonexistent sleep, and just hanging onto sanity.
Life moves at breakneck speed when you’re a new mom. It can often feel like you’re losing sight of yourself in all the hectic demands and expectations.
But somewhere, deep inside, lives a desire to maintain your identity and pursue an ambition outside the scope of motherhood. You adore the kids who call you “Mom,” but at the same time, you feel drawn to your career-oriented goals. You wonder if these two different worlds could coexist, and can’t seem to shake the feeling that it’s worth trying.
If you’re a mom with an entrepreneurial drive, these four strategies can help you turn that passion into a legitimate business venture as you tackle nurturing children and growing a startup—all within a 24-hour routine.
1. Manage your time and organize your space
Creating a healthy work-life balance is important for any business owner, but it’s critical when your focus is divided between raising a family, managing a household and operating a company. As a working mom, these responsibilities can’t always be separated—often they mesh together and compete for your attention. So to prepare for this inevitable occurrence, you need to compartmentalize.
If you’re running the business out of your home, designate an office space, then make sure it’s organized and decluttered to promote a stress-free work environment. Next, arrange your schedule to ensure that professional and personal demands aren’t conflicting with each other. Decide in advance blocks of time you want to dedicate towards working and the times you want to focus on running errands, cleaning the house, or interacting with the kids.
2. Build a network of support around yourself
You might be an expert at multi-tasking, but even the most functional, efficient and well-caffeinated moms need to surround themselves with people who assist, encourage and support them. So don’t hesitate to seek out your tribe and enlist their strengths to help get your business off the ground. Find people who reinforce your vision for the company, share your entrepreneurial interests and possess skills that are beneficial.
Outsourcing, delegating, and partnering with others can make the enormity of launching a business seem manageable instead of overwhelming. There’s a reason the word “networking” is a popular buzzword in today’s startup culture—because companies are sustained through relationships. The connections you build along the way impact the brand recognition, customer base and overall expansion of your business, so don’t forge ahead alone. Invite other people to take an active role in your new enterprise too.
3. Find creative ways to get your kids involved
There will be times when your kids need every single ounce of your care, focus, and energy, and you’ll need to put your startup business on the backburner for a bit. But other times, you can turn growing a business into a family affair and include your children along the way. Treat them like valued, integral participants in this venture by assigning them age-appropriate roles within the company.
Take them along to business meetings, so they can see how negotiations, partnerships, and customer relationships are created and maintained. Let them help out with basic administrative tasks like stuffing envelopes or filing documents. Take them to your office and encourage them to participate in quiet, non-distracting activities next to your workspace. Having them close by will help them feel connected to you and involved in what you’re doing while making it possible for you to juggle both demands simultaneously.
4. Push through your fears of being inadequate
Even if you didn’t earn a degree in business management or have zero experience in the logistics of running a business, passion can often take you further than expertise ever could. So remember not to disqualify all the untapped potential inside you just because there aren’t enough credentials on your resume. The world of startups might be unfamiliar territory, but you have the talent, motivation, and persistence to take on the challenge.
Next time your inner critic draws attention to those perceived inadequacies, don’t allow the fear of failure to deter you from making an effort. Instead, give yourself permission to follow that spark of ambition wherever it leads. Research the market, determine your niche, create a business model, identify the target customer, and refine your branding elements. These are factors of owning a business that you can teach yourself. Harness your passion and commit to the process.
As a new mom with an entrepreneurial streak, you don’t have to choose between your babies or a business. With the right amount of diligence, tenacity, and support from your network, you can balance motherhood without deferring your professional ambitions. You can be present for your children and advance your career. You don’t need to be superwoman to achieve both—your power lies in being a mom.
Purusha Rivera is the founder and president of My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear. She has poured her heart into creating pregnancy keepsakes that bring happiness and comfort to families across the globe. Her innovative heartbeat kits have blossomed into gender reveal kits, recordable picture frames and beautiful cards as well.