EO Provides Support & Structure for Women Entrepreneurs
Successful women entrepreneurs who are also moms often face a struggle when their business (or businesses) start to transform from simple ideas to profit-generating new ventures. While you tackle the ins and outs of daily parental duties, you also have to focus on nurturing yet another being: your business! At times, it can be just as demanding as a newborn.
As women entrepreneurs, completing our to-dos and staying sane is often a challenge some days. On others, it’s nearly impossible. During those days, it can be hard to not feel like you’ve failed at meeting the needs of one or all of your babies, your business included.
And what if, like me, you are a mom to young children? As a mother to a 6-year-old and 6-month-old [at the time this was written], it becomes especially difficult to be the model mom while giving your all to something else. It’s hard for women entrepreneurs because you know your business has the potential to impact many people in the same way you impact your children. You constantly strive for perfection in both roles because you haven’t yet grappled with the fact that perfection doesn’t exist. I understand because I’ve been there.
How Women Entrepreneurs Can Overcome the Need for Perfection
For me, the keys to success as a full-time parent and entrepreneur require that I understand and embrace three key insights.
1) There is no such thing as balance
On any particular day, one thing is going to take priority over everything else. One goal or need will have to be met at the expense of another. This is life and has to be expected when we take on the workloads of both family and business. We must settle into the fact that most days we won’t be able to address every love in our lives, and we have to be okay with settling in this way!
2) Accept the help you are offered
This is true for any part of life. As women entrepreneurs, we sometimes operate under the assumption that accepting help is weak or taking the easy way out. Relying on others for assistance when it’s offered is one of the most valuable pieces of advice you get when you bring a new life into the world. I advise you to take it!
This advice is even more applicable if you have a workload that includes two full-time jobs. Take the help offered by family and friends and listen to the wisdom of those who tell you to hire help if you can’t easily find it for free. Most importantly, don’t let that idea of perfection get in the way. You are the only one who can do things the way you do. But you are not the only one who can do these things. If you can be successful, and your staff and children can be successful and happy, then the help is more than worthwhile.
3) Understand, reference and apply your value system
I find that this helps prioritize those things that are screaming for your attention daily. Women entrepreneurs often find that their to-do lists are filled with items that aren’t actually priorities that require their attention. When you’ve shortened your list or delegated it to someone else, you will find you are both unapologetic and much happier for prioritizing and concentrating on the things that help you express your innermost aspirations.
It’s easy to accomplish small tasks that make you feel productive, but don’t leave “you time” to focus on the big picture. I find it more productive to remove these smaller tasks from my list so that I can find the time to make the biggest impact on the few things that remained.
Finding the Support of Other Women Entrepreneurs
Women entrepreneurs are driven to create, develop, expand and share. These goals don’t go away when it’s time to go back into motherhood mode, but we have to understand how to best channel this energy. Ultimately, we all want to achieve our own version of success, both at home and in business. We can’t accomplish this if we’re burnt out and struggling, which is why it’s so important to prioritize ourselves and invest in groups, like EO, who understand what we’re going through.
This article was originally written by EO Detroit member April Clarke, Co-Founder Xpress NEMT, Inc., and published in 2016 at https://blog.eonetwork.org/2016/09/business-motherhood-2/.