Give your 100 per cent. Seek help and support. Remember why you started, advises Mohana Nair.
Photograph: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters*
The word 'mompreneur' has been aptly coined to describe the combination of a mother and an entrepreneur.
A multi-tasking mother who manages to balance both, the stresses of running a business or profession as an entrepreneur while at the same time efficiently performing the time-consuming duties of motherhood.
Being a mother or being an entrepreneur are tough tasks. To do both simultaneously and well, can be challenging, but not impossible.
As American educator George H Brimhall said, 'If you avoid difficult things, great things will avoid you.'
For all those aspiring mompreneurs who are looking for inspiration to start up, here are some tips that will help you:
1. Be 100 per cent mentally and physically present
Your attention is a precious asset only you have full control on.
Whether you are with your kids or working in your business, be present with your full attention.
Multi-tasking isn’t always effective for your success.
If you aren’t focused on your family or your kids in particular they’ll know it and fight for your attention. On the other hand, your business also deserves your full focus.
Create a schedule and stick with it to ensure that no one gets the short end of the stick.
I remember when I was struggling to set up my law practice and my children were quite young, the only way I could manage was if I thought of the tasks ahead of me in my office.
I'd do that when I got into my car to go to work.
Similarly, on my way back home, I'd think about the duties and responsibilities I had for my family so I could finish them on time.
2. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice
Some mompreneurs make all their decisions based on intuition.
They have a great idea and simply run with it, relying only on their own instincts.
Even while handling your business or profession, though many business leaders advise following your gut with the big decisions, there's a lot to be said for taking the time to listen.
To be a successful mompreneur, you must discuss your ideas and plans with your family too, as without their help and support, you may struggle to go focus and move further.
3. Involve your kids
You can always take help from your kids as they grow up.
You can ask them to help you with simple jobs like stamping or stuffing envelopes, doing little chores together. This will save time, keep them occupied and help develop a bond.
You can add a trip to the park, bake cookies or some other fun activity as an incentive if they perform well.
Eventually as they get older, this small activity will help you and your kids in their life and careers.
It will make them independent and when you are hard pressed for time, you can count on them to help you finish a task.
Don't forget to take them into confidence if you are having problems at work.
All kids are intuitive enough to know that you are worried and upset about something.
If you do not tell them that it is just some problem at work, they are going to worry that the problem is closer to home or that they are the cause of your tensions.
4. Remember why you started
Remember the real reason you are in business is personal.
Everything you do, any business you create, all the money you make, is inspired solely by your personal desires and needs.
So if it gets tough you must consider the advantage you have of being your on own.
Your decisions are influential and so is your inspiration to stay put or quit.
5. Find a constant support
Because you can't do it all, the only way to succeed is to have a solid network of trusted individuals or a particular trusted individual to take over when you can't be available.
It could be your spouse, a family member or a trusted nanny who can manage your kids at home.
It really helps having a great manager at the office. Remember you need to have a person or a team who can share some of the weight.
6. Consult your spouse
Yes it is your business and it is ultimately your decision what you take up. But at some point, you will need your spouse's support.
Before taking a decision, discuss the pros and cons to understand how it may affect your family.
You will need support especially in the initial stages when your business is struggling to take off.
You will need to discuss finances, consider investments and expenditure to be prepared even if you drain or make a profit.
My husband had accepted that I would barely earn enough to take care of my travel in the early years of my practice.
His patience and low expectations helped as my practice picked up. My clients and fees multiplied as our children grew up. They became equally understanding of their mother's long working hours.
7. You must do what works for you
No two people are the same.
A plan to success that worked for your friend may not necessarily work for you.
You have to try and find what works for you and your family. There may be some trials and errors, but once you find that sweet spot, go for it full throttle.
What works for you may also change as your business and family grows. But what matters is that your way of doing things should be in tandem with the needs and demands of your business and family.
Only then can you find happiness and success.
Lead image published for representational purposes only.
Mohana Nair is president, IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ladies Wing.