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Being a creative mompreneur is rewarding, but it is filled with life lessons as we learn to juggle the full-time demands of motherhood and running a business.
For the busy, creative mompreneur there never seem to be enough hours in the day. I can speak on this subject with authority, because my own art career developed between loads of laundry, during my kids’ naptimes, and often into the wee hours of the night.
Definition of ‘Mompreneur’: A slang term describing women who run their own businesses while also acting as a full time parent. Mompreneurs are more likely to run a business out of the home than out of a commercial building. Because of family obligations, mompreneurs have to balance the requirements of running a business with the demands of their children, and may do the bulk of their work during the time when their children do not require as much attention.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to share my 10 lessons I’ve learned from years of being a creative mompreneur.
1. Self-discipline: I often get asked, “Lori, how do you manage to get so much done in a day?” After years of managing a family, and a fulltime art career I have sharpened an important skill – it’s called self-discipline.
Self-discipline keeps me on task, and helps me accomplish my goals.
It is the most important quality for any creative mompreneur. Without self-discipline, moms struggle and the lines get blurred between the two jobs. Happily, self-discipline is its own reward of greater work ethics, better self-esteem, positive mental health, and success. It is a skill and habit that can be learned.
2. Work in Small Increments: Efficient, creative mompreneurs know how to make the best of spare moments. Have you ever told yourself, ‘I’ve only got five minutes’ and then been impressed by just how much you were able to accomplish in those five minutes?
When you are limited for creative time, try working on a task for ‘just five minutes’. Believe me, I have built my art business, social media business, and writing business in ‘just five minutes’.
3. Build Clear Boundaries: Working from home sounds easy, but when the workplace is just a few steps away from the family space, boundary issues may arise. For the mompreneur it is especially important to build clear boundaries.
Do your best to set work hours for ‘creativity’ and stick with them.
For moms with young children, take advantage of your ‘free time’ that might be limited to your child’s nap-time or playpen time.
If working everyday is overwhelming, take the pressure off and pick one or two days a week. Once children are school age, your schedule will allow for more work time.
Be sure to surround yourself with people who honor your boundaries and support your dreams.
4. Limit Distractions: Now you’ve got your boundaries set, but you won’t get much done unless you limit distractions. For the mompreneur with a home-based office, this is easier said than done.
Keep this in mind, distractions cause attention to spread, and increase inattention to detail, which will negatively impact work performance.
Distractions may include, phone calls, television, Internet, household tasks, social media (oops), and even spouses, partners and children.
5. Set Goals: Another lesson I have learned is the importance of goal setting. As a self-employed artist, setting goals for myself helped me focus, and kept me motivated. The mompreneur should set specific and clear goals. This will help lead to greater output and better performance. Measurable, attainable, and clear goals with a deadline for completion are best.
6. Be Organized: Once your goals in place, and since work time is limited, it is imperative to stay organized.
One important lesson practice is to clean up at the end of each work session. It feels great to return to a clean workstation.
Organize your projects so you are ready to work, and not messing around wasting time. Productivity will increase and stress will lessen.
According to The Longevity Project, the strongest personality predictor of a long life is conscientiousness – that means, being sensible, persistent, and well organized.
7. Stop Multitasking: One important lesson I have learned recently is to stop multitasking, for in the past I have proudly proclaimed myself a multitasker.
Multitasking is a popular buzzword that we hear a lot about these days. According to studies, people who believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously at once are multitasking.
The best multitasker may appear to be handling more than one task at the same time. But,now we know that productivity drops with multitasking because the brain cannot fully focus. Mompreneurs who multitask actually take longer to complete tasks and are more predisposed to error. Experimental psychologists studied people who talk on cell phones while driving. The drivers must withdraw their attention from the road in order to formulate responses because the brain is unable to focus on two sources of input at one time. Driving, talking, and listening distract the brain and increase the likelihood of accidents.
The lesson? Do your best to focus on one task at a time.
8.Work Sequentially: To help you gain control over multitasking, it is best to work sequentially – in other words, in an ordered sequence. Concentrating on one task at a time allows the brain to restart and refocus.
9. Make ‘Me Time’: Being a creative mompreneur is a rewarding, but an exhausting experience. Making room for ‘me time’ is a very important lesson that I have learned. Every mom to replenish her energy levels and the best way is to create some alone time, or ‘me time’.
Oftentimes devoted mothers have a tough time with this. Feelings of guilt might creep into our minds. But rest assured, taking care of yourself will make you a better mom and businesswoman. Be kind to yourself and develop simple habits to find balance, which will fend off exhaustion and multitasking.
10. Every Day is a Mother’s Day…but, I hope all you mompreneurs have any extra special day on Sunday 😉 ~Lori xo