Being a mum is a constant juggle but I truly believe owning a business has been a huge factor in what has helped me thrive in motherhood. It can feel overwhelming at times, managing the logistics as well as the emotions that come with the rollercoaster of both small business and life with children. These are my tried-and-tested tips for not only surviving but thriving and finding success as a mum in business.
6 tips for success as a mum in business
1. Surround yourself with like minded women.
Find your people.
Here’s a tip – don’t expect the people closest to you to be your biggest supporters. Sure, they want you to be happy but their feelings of wanting you to be happy can often be mixed with feelings of concern, disbelief or jealousy. This then manifests as them giving you unsolicited advice or advising you away from your dreams. It’s okay if they don’t get it, don’t take their comments personally.
I highly recommend finding a group of supportive women in business – especially those going through the same things as you. I met some of my biz soul sisters at Fusion Biz Co. I joined Fusion back when it was just 12 women meeting for coffee and I still remember that first meetup – I felt seen, heard and held by these women because they were walking a very similar path to me.
I met other mums, FIFO partners and women on the same page as me – these are the women I continue to surround myself with today and have become more than just biz friends – now I consider them my true friends, too.
2. Focus on your zone of genius.
Start small, start simple and build from there.
Being really clear on your target market and ideal customer makes it so much easier to craft your products and services. You won’t feel like you’re trying to please everyone, which makes your marketing easier because who you serve is crystal clear.
Focusing on your zone of genius also applies to your craft. If you are a fabulous artist but you are spending all your time bogged down in admin such as invoicing, bookkeeping or content marketing, try to find ways to automate or outsource what you can.
For example – if a customer commissions a piece of art, you can automate the ordering process with emails and invoicing, so you’re not spending all of your time with correspondence back and forth.
Automation and outsourcing doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. It could be as simple as scheduling your social media posts, having an email welcome sequence setup, or using accounting software that automatically imports your bank transactions, making reconciliation much easier.
3. Have a morning routine.
I know, I know, I roll my eyes at some of the routines people say they begin their day with, but hear me out… As a mum, an hour of yoga followed by reading a book and journaling after a green juice is just not realistic every day. I learnt this early on – especially with a husband that works away. I knew I needed to find a way to set up my day for success, without being able to spend very long on it. My morning routine is done in under 10 minutes and helps me feel focused and clear before I go about my day, whatever that involves.
My morning routine looks like this:
- Pour myself a cuppa (I’m having a real moment with ceremonial cacao right now).
- Light incense – you could have a nice scented candle. Scent is important here, because our brain begins to link the smell with the feelings we evoke in the moment.
- Journal for a few minutes. This can be some bullet points, a paragraph or two – sometimes it’s even a to-do list for the day.
- Pull a tarot/oracle/affirmation card. This helps with setting intention for the day. I ask the question: “What do I need to hear today?” And see what comes from it. Sometimes I jot these down in my journal, too.
4. Learn to manage feelings of mum guilt and shame.
This is the most important work you will do when it comes to being a mum in business, or being a mum in general, really. In a survey I conducted, 9 out of 10 women felt that mum guilt is one of the biggest roadblocks in the day-today running of their biz.
Newsflash – mum guilt is often shame.
This notion is something I continue to work on every day and probably will forever. Knowing the difference between guilt and shame is a good starting point. In a nutshell, guilt is the feeling we have when we have done something wrong and we want to make amends. Shame is the feeling that we are a bad person along with feeling bad when we have done something wrong.
Resources for helping move through and manage feelings of shame in motherhood include:
5. Stick to boundaries and Time-Blocking
As mums we place a lot of responsibility on our shoulders to do ALL THE THINGS, all the time (which is where this whole concept of ‘mum guilt’, which I hate, comes from). We feel inclined to volunteer for the school P&C, classroom help, netball coach. We want to make meals from scratch, have everyone’s kids over for playdates or make sure the house is sparkling from top to bottom.
Learning to say no is important. This means not always heading to coffee catch ups with the school mums, as well as allowing the house to be messy if need be.
Allocating and sticking to ‘work time’ ensures you can continue to be consistent with moving towards your goals.
There is mindset work involved here. We are often afraid to admit that we run our own business, or minimise things by using words like ‘just our business/our little biz’. Step into your power and own the work you are doing and the waves you are making in the world, matters.
6. Keep going (and be gentle with yourself).
If nothing else, mums are resilient AF. If you’re reading this, it means you’ve survived 100% of your hardest days so far. Things will feel challenging, uncomfortable and some days will be a total write off but none of these things mean you should give up.
Learn to take pause when you need to. Acquaint yourself with the things that you know will fill your cup – and do more of these when called.
We are in a world full of instant gratification, don’t lose sight of the long term wins in favour of a short-term dopamine hit.
A wonderful book on this is Atomic Habits by James Clear. There are so many valuable takeaways from this book but I’ll leave you with this quote to ponder “Success is the product of daily habits – not once-in-a-lifetime transformations”.
Stick to the bigger plan and the rest will sort itself out…
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