When you are a mom entrepreneur, you need a team of people supporting both your business and your home!
One of the key insights I have from being both a career mom, and an entrepreneur mom is the humility of knowing that I can not do either well – alone! My success at being able to manage all my parts and pieces is solely contingent upon the support team I have working to support the same goals.
I believe one of the biggest differences between moms who work at a career and moms who work from home, is that those who identify as career moms more often pay for things that support them or their lifestyle desires much more often than those who work from home.
Many career moms will justify things like help around the house, a cleaning person, child care, lawn care, mani/pedis, massages, and either going out for a meal or bringing in take-out food to simplify their life and make time for family. Whereas more often, self-employed/work-at-home moms do these things much less frequently.
Although sometimes the things listed above are seen as luxury items, many career moms realize that the delicate balance of running a business, running a career, and running a family requires help. The faster you come to that conclusion for yourself, the faster your able to get the support you may need to live your life according to your desires.
Teamwork is the best way to support your clients and your family when you are a mom entrepreneur. Teamwork can be provided by family members, neighbors, friends, or people you hire to take care of either business or home responsibilities. Many moms who are just starting out may have the excuse of having no income. It’s not uncommon for start up mom entrepreneurs to make good use of shared services or barter to get things done.
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Getting real help from team members
When you’ve got a team, it’s incredibly important to focus on being crystal clear with your expectations. When it comes to getting things done – through other people, communication is key.
Here are a few Communication tips for starting a project:
- Communicate your purpose – most team members will want the advantage of knowing the big picture before they dive into details. By sharing your purpose with other people on your team, many will go above and beyond to help you meet your goals even when you don’t ask them to take on specific responsibilities. Recently I was getting ready for a big family gathering at my home. Sharing the big picture and the party plans with the person who helps me clean my house was the best thing I could’ve done because not only did she help me clean, she helped me set up the drink station and swept the front porch and deck as an added bonus.
- Moms who are trying to achieve goals through others need to also share deadlines and milestones to stay on track. Recently I worked with a subcontractor who grossly underestimated the time it would take to complete a project for me. Although I shared my deadline and timelines with her (and a two week turnaround was expected), her inability to deliver on my deadline forced my project to be extended by six weeks. The problem was that her part of the project was a critical milestone that had to be hit before many of the other parts of the project could be completed. Working under the rush of tight deadlines, your team must share the responsibility to meet those deadlines too.
- One of the best things I ever learned about delegating to team members was the three-pronged approach to delegation. Most mom entrepreneurs only focus on the one leg of responsibility – the task you want to delegate. However, successful delegation is achieved if team members understand the other two legs as well. Accountability is defined as how you will measure if the task was completed successfully, and Authority defines the level of decision-making capability you’re leaving in your team member’s care. It also covers the types of things that should be escalated to you for a decision.
Where can you communicate?
What are the areas in your life and business where delegating could help you? Where can you communicate better right now with team members?
Your Sanity Assignment
New Help Now: Take a few moments and list the areas in your life and business that you can use help delegating. Identify some resources that might be able to help you and contact them today.
Reenergizing Existing Help: List the tasks that you currently have in others’ hands. Assess each task against the following questions to determine if it’s time to communicate with your team:
- Does your team member share and understand your purpose?
- Does your team member understand your deadlines and work to help you achieve them regularly?
- Does your team member understand how you will hold them accountable as well as their authority over the responsibilities that you’ve delegated?
Set aside some time to have an alignment conversation with your team members this week and touch base in all these areas for success!
What what tips can you share about delegating to team members? What have you learned that might help others? Please share your insights and comments below!