I founded Gilvah.com to help people, like busy parents, who are ready to create the life that they want to live and for professional experts to guide and assist them on this journey.
You can be a great mum and build a successful business, but you’ll reach your destination a lot quicker if you don’t do it alone.
The internet and modern technology has taken the concept of flexible working to a new level. And this shift is especially good news for entrepreneurial woman with children.
With more and more women seeking to take control over the terms of their work/life balance, there are now over 1.5 million self-employed women in the UK (of which at least 300,000 are also mums).
There are challenges
It would be wrong of me to sit here and tell you how easy it is to create a work/life balance. We both know that’s simply not true. If it was, there would be no need to have this conversation!
The fact is as a mum (and a businesswoman) you need to manage two very strong forces. Imagine a carriage drawn by two horses, if you don’t keep them in balance, you can’t go forward in the direction of your choosing. It’s the same struggle that countless entrepreneurial mothers face on a daily basis.
Stop being so hard on yourself! Stop comparing yourself to what other people do and instead, give yourself permission to create a work/life balance on YOUR terms. And the very first step is to get clarity on your WHY.
1. Know your WHY
One of the reasons many women set up their own businesses either before or after children, is because of the flexibility it allows them to enjoy. No longer are you constrained by working hours, instead you can create a work schedule that suits you and allows you to be flexible with your other commitments.
One of the challenges is this ideal of working in a balanced way, often goes out the window. There are countless reasons for this. Perhaps you underestimate how long a job takes, you don’t charge enough for your services, or you’re just firefighting rather than planning ahead.
Ask yourself what you REALLY want from your life.
Many mums have business ambitions because of the lifestyle and opportunities they wish to create for their kids. Don’t lose sight of this. Remember, your business is there to be an enabler for all the things you want to do. Once you’re clear on why you’re putting in the hours and compromising the quantity of time you spend with your children, you can get perspective.
2. Outline your ideal working week
It’s easy to forget that as a business owner, YOU are in control of what happens in your business on a day-to-day basis.
As a result, you can decide what happens during your working week. For example, you could choose to only work in the evenings, or school hours. You could decide to use childcare and work 9-5 pm. The secret here is to make your business work for you.
Write down how a typical week would look if you could wave a magic wand and create the perfect life. When you complete this activity I encourage you to push any doubts aside. Don’t approach it from the angle “I can’t do that because…” Instead start off with your ideal – your dream week. Because once you have that on paper, you can start planning to make it happen.
3. Plan for quality family time
I’m pretty sure that you’ve written a number of things down which relate to spending quality time with your children.
So how can you achieve that in practice? Because let’s be honest, as an entrepreneurial mum, you will inevitably feel guilty at some point. That’s because there will be occasions when you will have to decide to focus on your business, rather than spend time with your children.
If you also have a business to take care of, it follows that your children cannot have 100% of your time. Think about it, which is the better parent?
- The one who’s around all day, but rarely interacts?
- Or the busy, entrepreneurial mum who ensures their child has quality, uninterrupted time, and attention?
Fact is, simply being present won’t make you a good parent… but proactively engaging with your child will.
4. Don’t do it alone
As an entrepreneurial mum, you can feel the weight of a huge number of responsibilities and commitments. If you try to do it all yourself, not only will your stress (and guilt) levels rise, but you clearly can’t be as effective as you would be, when you approach your responsibilities in a calm, focused way.
If you want to make this a reality, there are two things you can do.
- Make better use of your time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day – it’s what you do with them that count. So look at ways to increase your productivity.
- Set goals. Proactively mapping out what you need to achieve in order to deliver your aspirations, can be an incredibly powerful activity in which to engage.
I’ve found that many entrepreneurial mums try to do far too much by themselves. There’s often a fear of spending money getting someone else to do something, which you could do yourself, but this is actually a false economy. You see if you paid someone else to do aspects of your work, you would free up time.
Whether you need help with your business strategy, a hand with your marketing, or some assistance finding the right staff, there are many ‘experts’ out there who can make it easier to achieve the success you desire. (See the database of vetted experts at Gilvah.com).
What do you need?
Let’s spend some time looking at what you do in your business right now:
- Write down all the jobs and tasks that are dependent on you
- Then make a list of all the things, which only you can do (let’s call these your core skills)
- Next, identify the things, which you could delegate to someone else
- Finally, identify the stuff that you don’t need to do at all
This simple activity can give you FOCUS. If you concentrate more of your time on your core work, it follows that your business will be more successful. After all, this core work should be the stuff that brings in the money.
5. Join Gilvah
If you’re serious about creating a work/life balance that’s right for you, don’t attempt to do everything yourself. Instead join the Gilvah.com community for women – it’s free. As well as discovering useful blogs and other online articles to help you create a beautiful life, you’ll also be able to connect with experts.
To get started, visit www.gilvah.com now.