Running your own business while being a full-time parent makes those dancing mama TikTok videos look easy. Many parents have been working from home due to safe distancing COVID-19 restrictions for more than a year. Prior to these safety precautions, mompreneurs and dadpreneurs were already providing full-time care for their children while also running a business. The traditionally accepted definition of a mompreneur is that of a “mother who has started her own business.”* The same has been assumed for a dadpreneur as well. This terminology implies a sort of balance that exists between the time spent working on a business and that allotted to childcare.
As a mom who has her own business as well, I can tell you that the work/life balance ideal is not always achievable. For that reason alone, it’s time to evolve this definition and put more of the mom back in mompreneur.
Building a Business
Each day has its own challenges. From getting your children up, dressed, fed and into play or schoolwork to answering emails, checking in on social media and taking time to eat, there’s never a dull moment. As parents look toward investing in their businesses, one of the best ways to boost your business’ profile is to inject authenticity into each system and process. That means adding more of you into the equation.
More mom and more dad, to be exact. Juggling the many aspects of being a working mom or dad can be even more challenging when that work is for your own company. The end result, good or bad, is yours and yours alone. Getting down to the nitty gritty in your business requires a good set of auditing skills. Similar to the skill a parent learns in knowing the difference in a baby’s cry for food vs. a diaper change, the skills you need to assess your business must be fine-tuned and practiced.
Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
A quote that was relayed to me once was that “Perfect practice makes perfect.” While we can’t always be perfect, business owners can practice ways to identify deficiencies and ways to address them. Putting more of yourself into each and every aspect of your business is one way to engage across social platforms online.
Practicing the self-care you need is important to keep yourself in the best mental and physical shape to show up not only for your children, but for your business as well. Having the time to do it all doesn’t always sound possible. This mindset may be one reason why business growth has or hasn’t flourished for you. Shift your thought process to ideate better ways to become more effective and task-oriented in your business.
To be more productive in your business, the ultimate focus for mompreneurs and dadpreneurs is on you and your family’s happiness. That’s probably one of the reasons that you started your own business in the first place. It’s always tough to feel like your work may bleed over into playtime, or your work piles up because instead of finishing it, you’re showing up for your children to help with a hard homework assignment. Here are a few productivity tips that might cut down on the stress and keep your business running like a well-oiled machine.
- For each workday, map out the best times where you can be the most productive.
- Block schedule your children’s play, snack, meal and nap/sleep times.
- Pre-plan and meal prep for the week’s meals.
- Assess your workstyle and if you require complete quiet, if a mild interruption hinders task completion and identify the sound decibel that can be tolerated while working.
- Utilize your parenting superpowers to clearly lay out your workspace with your children.
- Navigate the business requirements in your industry and communicate your best working hours to your business vendors and partners.
- Adjust your internet speed higher to get the most out of your service provider so you aren’t waiting for connection or increased streaming signals.
- Optimize or automate tasks or task lists with software such as Asana, Trello or Monday.com.
- Provide scheduling tools to clients to remove back-and-forth emails with software such as Acuity and Calendly.
When you started your family, you instantly gained the title of parent. Your senses heightened and your stress level rose every time you saw a sharp edge on a table or a crayon heading for your child’s mouth. When you started your business, you became a mompreneur or dadpreneur. As you move forward and implement subtle changes to infuse more of you into your business, refine yourself in the details of each system and process. Use your insight gained through parenting to filter and fulfill the goals you have set out for yourself. Practice and proceed with a sense of excitement and an organized sense of self.
Dr. Sandra Colton-Medici is a digital strategist and a business coach in Los Angeles. She assists business owners in building their brands online and is the founder of CollegeOfStyle.com. She’s a former pro dancer who has been seen on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, as a backup dancer for Rihanna, backup singer for Paulina Rubio, and has appeared in films, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Bring It On: All or Nothing, and in music videos for Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, Raphael Saadiq, Cascada and more.