11 Things Successful Work at Home Mompreneurs Know (& Do)

by in Inspiration, Productivity Tips, WAHM Issues

Successful Mompreneurs

Ever find yourself looking around at other successful mom entrepreneurs and wonder, “how do they manage to get it all done?” Luckily, it's not rocket science, and it comes from basic principles anyone can employ and master.

1. Don't think small

You have a business, not a hobby. You need to both think in that vein and act in it. If you plan to make a full-time income vs. “a little extra money,” you're more likely to do the things required to make that happen.

2. Make people respect your boundaries

“Since you're home, can you…” It's common for people to assume you have tons of free time since you're “home all day.” Fair or not, it's up to you to remind them that your office is at home, but that you are at work. Set clear boundaries and learn to say no. If you don't take your time and business seriously, no one else is going to either. One of the things it takes us the longest to learn – myself included – is that “No.” is a complete sentence and doesn't require additional explanation.

3. Don't surround yourself with negative people

If you find you have someone in your life who can't (or more accurately won't) respect your boundaries, you might want to reconsider their level of importance in your life. The same goes for anyone who spends more time convincing you that you have a big shot of failing vs. pushing you to succeed. There's a quote by Jim Rohn that says, “you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Straight. Truth. Spend your time with people who believe in and push themselves – and who will believe in and push you.

4. Set all the goals

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” And he was right. You must have goals – both short-term (like daily to-do lists) and long-term (how much do you want to be doing in sales two years from now?). But it's more important to have a plan in place to make sure your short-term goals are the right tasks to be performing to achieve your long-term goals. Coming up with a plan doesn't mean you need a full-fledged business plan, but you do need a plan (and a flexible one).

Pro tip? Your local SCORE office provides FREE counseling to business owners – provided by veteran entrepreneurs – and can help you both formulate your long-term goals and the short-term actions you need to perform to get you there. All you have to do? Is make and attend the appointment.

5. Never make (or allow yourself to use your kids as) excuses

One of the biggest misconceptions mompreneurs face is that we're not serious about our businesses. Do not contribute to furthering that stereotype. Never, ever use your kids as excuses – either internally or externally. Entrepreneurs, in general, shouldn't make excuses. Everyone in life has things they can use as an excuse for not going after and obtaining their dreams. Success comes from never allowing yourself to utilize them. When you fail, fail fast, learn a lot, and get back up and come back for more.

6. Take care of yourself

You can't take over the business world if you're falling apart at the seams. Make time to eat right. Carve out time to work out a few times a week (I promise you, you have the time – remember, no excuses). For me, that's doing Yoga. And for those working from home? Get showered and dressed. Every. Single. Day. No excuses. In my experience, you're far more likely to procrastinate while in your sweatpants than after you've gotten yourself ready for the day.

7. Learn to delegate

Contrary to some opinions, being Mom doesn't mean we have to do it all. Learn to delegate in both your personal life and your business. Find another mom from your kid's soccer team to drive him to practice in return for you driving her son home. Delegate some of the household chores to other members of the family (and then accept that the dishwasher will not explode if they don't load it as you do.)

Figure out what you do best and where you bring the most return on investment in your business and stay focused on that and hire out what distracts you from that. If the hourly rate for the things you're best at is higher than what someone would charge to do what distracts you from that, you can hire it out.

Me? I have a love-hate relationship with CSS. I can do it, but it takes me 5x the time that it does a developer to do the same implementation. Meanwhile, it distracts me from doing the things that bring in 5x more revenue than hiring someone to do that development costs. So I hire it out and focus on doing the things that bring the most value to my business when I'm the one doing them.

8. Organization is a must

The essentialness of organization was probably the hardest one for me to really “get” personally. I always told myself I simply wasn't an organized person. See number five – make no excuses. And if we're honest, it's a crappy excuse even if we were going to be making excuses.

Calendar everything. My mantra these days is “if it's not in my calendar, it doesn't exist.” The school calendar, my work calendar, my husband's calendar, business calls, all sports, all activities – needing to bring in paper plates for the school fair – everything. We create so many stressful situations for ourselves that are entirely avoidable with some organization. Whether it's an online calendar or a day planner – whatever works for you – use it. I have a ton of alarms for everyday happenings set in my phone as well. I fully admit that I can forget the bus is coming at 4:15 if my alarm for it doesn't go off at 4:10.

For business, there are a ton of organization systems available. Trello is free. Teamwork is paid, but fantastic for more robust organizational needs. Bloggers would likely find a lot of use in the WP Project Manager Pro plugin – which lets you utilize a project management system right in your WordPress backend.

Whatever organization technique works best for you – get it in place. It's a key component to success.

9. Sleep is not an “option”

All the articles you've ever read about how entrepreneurs sleep five hours a night? Forget them. It's not only unhealthy physically; it means we don't get the recharge we need every day mentally. Personally, I get up around five every day – but that means I'm also typically in bed before ten. Yes, I occasionally pull a late night, but in general, I feel better – and my family likes me more – when I get a full night of sleep on the regular.

10. Don't be penny wise & pound foolish

Starting a business often means a shoestring budget – but understand it does mean you need a budget. Building a website on a free subdomain like Blogger is a common example. Saving $12 on a domain name and $4 a month on shared hosting seems like you're saving cash, until you realize that it's going to cost you months or years of branding, promotion and search engine optimization efforts should you ever decide to move off of it. Anything that is essential to your long-term goals is worth spending money on.

11. Remember why you're doing it all

There are going to be a lot of exhausting days. You're going to get frustrated, overwhelmed, and feel pulled in ten directions at times. But remember why you started it all, and never forget what your initial motivation was. My goal was to give my kids a better life than I could afford to before I started my business – a goal I achieved. Yes, there was a lot of stress, several failures, and a lot of work involved from there to here. But it was all worth it.

That said, never get too busy to remember (and show with your actions) that your kids are the greatest success stories you'll ever have the opportunity to build.

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About the Author - Rae Dolan

Rae (Hoffman) Dolan aka "Sugarrae" is the CEO of PushFire, an online marketing agency specializing in SEO audit services and search engine optimized web design. A veteran affiliate marketer, some of her current projects include Custom Comet (a promotional products company) and Audrey Micah Investments.


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