This blog post is inspired by a Sanity 911 post by colleague – Kelly Schaefer from Task Complete!
As an expert in mompreneurship, how many hours a week do you think is reasonable and encouraged to achieve the necessary steps needed to make our businesses successful? Because of course we have many home/family obligations..
What a question!
It is a BIG ONE!
Most mompreneurs I know are struggling with this very question… Just HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WORK to make my business successful?
and, the answer is contingent upon a few critical things:
What is your definition of success?
So many of us get caught up in comparing success to how much money we make and start chasing money at all costs. Of course, the time you’re willing to work in your business has a lot to do with how much time you will devote to your business. And MANY times, in the start up phases of business development, there are so many tasks, so much to do, and it is so consuming, that we lose sight of the reasons we went into business to begin with…
When you do this, you’ll feel it…The typical occurrences and responses are:
- You may not be spending enough time with your kids when they are around – and you may feel guilty…
- You may be over scheduled and your life may feel as if it’s spinning out of control…
- Your friends and family will notice before you do, and they may start making snarky comments about your absence…
- You’ll tend to forget things and the details will begin to fall through the cracks…
- You may be putting yourself last on a long list of to dos, in which case you’ll likely start to feel resentful…
If you’re hitting the proverbial wall…
What I find with moms who’ve made their businesses successful is that they have hit “the wall” somewhere within their first three years of business. Many moms come to a crossroads where they start to feel overwhelmed with all the compromises they’ve made, and they begin to REALLY feel how hard they’ve been working… and this leads to the proverbial wake up call of some kind.
It’s during this stage that I believe you must actively DECIDE what you’re going to do. Stay in it? Or drop it for something better.
If you decide to stay in, you need to begin running your business a little differently. Which is a nice way of telling you that you need a little help.
It’s important for each mompreneur to really prioritize tasks and activities that have to do with what will bring in revenue (which is the fancy word for income), activities that will help you strategically run your business, and those that are just ‘nice to have’. If you can differentiate between these types of tasks, you can usually identify the areas with which you need some HELP…
This is also the critical crossroads, where you can either decide to get help to make your business FIT into your life, or – continue to struggle along day by day. This struggle may cause you to become distracted and burned out. This is also the stage that most mompreneurs throw in the towel and say – “The heck with it! I’m just going to get a job.” And they sell out, close up their dream business because they just don’t have the support they need for success!
I believe that NOW is the time for you to get more clear about how much time you want to devote to your business.
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Find your clarity…
Take baby steps.
Find your roots.
Find out what you hate by listening to your emotions. Use those instances as evidence of what you DO NOT want, and find someone who LOVES it. (Yep, there really are people who do!)
Then put a plan together
Get help on the high priority tasks that help to generate income.
Allow the other non-essential tasks to be completed in the shadows or on the sidelines by others.
Here’s a path you can follow.
Consider your critical factors:
- the age(s) of your kids,
- the size of your business,
- the amount of hours you are WILLING to work,
- and the skilled resources that will help enable your success,
Begin to work with your puzzle pieces based on your own definitions of your:
- IDEAL day,
- IDEAL week,
- IDEAL month,
- and look for all characteristics, qualities and ways to identify and define your IDEAL client.
No one can tell YOU what a ‘reasonable’ day is in terms of time on task…
Only YOU can define this critical piece, by how you feel.
Also, consider that your business is an investment.. and like any investment – it grows over time.
Instant results are generally half-truths or in many cases not true at all.
Work on your messaging, marketing and identifying what is working and not working….
Remember, Patience is NOT a strong suit of most entrepreneurs. So – all that said….
How many hours do you WANT to work?
Identify that – figure out how to make what you want in those hours, and off load the other stuff to your support team… Does that help?
Wow… That’s a lot to think about… But if I said I really want this… Then what is a real number of hours per day that seems fitting to serve my needs…?
I realize everyone’s needs and wants and lessons are different of course. But do you think an eight hour day will do it? Would a three hour day be more appropriate? I’ve often heard successful entrepreneurs say they only work a few hours a day… and others have expressed about the “long hrs” they put in…but what does that mean?
Here’s what I do…
I work (lately too much) but I generally put in 9 hour days. This includes breaks and I start early and my kids are not home till dinner time. When they come home, I’ve learned to STOP working and take time with them, make dinner – perhaps work out, help with homework etc, and then if I have deadlines or programs or special events coming up, I may work on them late in the evenings. My kids go to bed late though – so there are nights when we’re all doing ‘homework’. One thing that does take my time that is NOT directly revenue-generating is the volunteer work I do with NAPO. I put about 50 hours/month into that responsibility, and that is OFTEN the work I do in the evenings… I am realizing the limitations to my schedule however and have been minimizing my volunteer responsibilities recently… I’ve been overcommitted for awhile and am hoping to create more me time as a result!
I also have three Virtual Assistants that help me with my social media, follow up, website, campaigns etc.
I did NOT start with this level though.
I split my week into client days, networking days and business development days now, and my home routines are pretty set.
I also have someone come in and clean every other week, my family members share chores and home maintenance tasks, and I’m enjoying being a part of a bi-monthly organic produce co-op that delivers fresh produce to my neighborhood twice monthly. I also try to do at home grocery shopping through a local grocery store and Amazon Prime is one of my best friends… All of these things help me keep my business in control.
What techniques and tips work for you?
What do you do to manage your work day in the time you want to devote to your business? Please share in the comment box below.
Images courtesy of Ambro /FreeDigitalPhotos.net