Transitioning to being a mompreneur was a definite adjustment for me. Coming from 4 years of corporate work and another four in family business, there were tons of bloopers and frustrations on the way to becoming a full-fledged mompreneur.
I’d like to share some of the many mistakes I’ve made and how I got past them.
Mompreneur Mistake #1: Trying to Do EVERYTHING all at once!
When I was a first-time mom and developing a new product, I tried to “do it all” by playing with my 6-month old son while doing mental costing calculations. I would stop after reading an animal book aloud and jot down notes on paper.
It didn’t take long for me to realize I really didn’t do a great job in either. My animal sounds weren’t at their best, and Mati wasn’t able to enjoy the book at his leisure. Looking down on my hastily-written notes, I wasn’t also totally sure if my computations were 100% correct either. Talk about a lose-lose situation!
As mompreneurs, we wear so many hats all at the same time. There’s this incredible pressure from society (and from ourselves) that we often feel either or both — that 24 hours a day is too exhausting and we just can’t wait to get to bed and put our weary feet down, and/or that each day is too short because there’s still too much left to be done!
What’s a mom to do?
As a newbie mompreneur,I would give myself irrational deadlines, write to-do lists stretching to 20 items per day, feel terrible that I was so slow and “failing” in my business, and feel extra worse that I wasn’t the “perfect mom” spending all day with my son. Sound familiar?
Multi-tasking mompreneurs are a no-no!
Multi-tasking has been my go-to work ethic since I got my own laptop when I was 18. Dial-up internet back then was painstakingly slow that I would do other things while waiting for a measly 2mb file to be uploaded.
There was a time I pursued so many ideas but ended up not getting traction on anything. Why? Not because the business models were too hard, but because I tried to do everything at the same time.
If I just chose one and had a laser focus, I would have accomplished more in less time.
I learned the hard way that multi-tasking is neither healthy or productive.
Mompreneurs, listen up!
Multi-tasking is scientifically proven to be ineffective. It may seem cool, having so many gadgets laid out but really, all it’s good for is flatlays. True, there’s a feeling of being “busy-important” with so many tabs opened in our laptop, but we end up rushed, disorganized, and not really accomplishing much.
Here’s a productivity hack you might want to try when it’s time to work… Work! I’ve tried the Pomodoro method recently and it’s a great way to keep focus.
Basically, we just set our phone or kitchen timers to 25 minutes and work undistracted. No checking e-mail, Facebook or Instagram in between. Then after those 5 minutes are up, we take a short break. That way we get 30 quality minutes of work and rest. The only catch is we can only do four straight pomodoros. Which is perfect, because that’s pretty much the time when my kids wake up from our naps. It’s amazing how focusing on a single task can make a mompreneur much more productive and relaxed!
Focus, focus, and focus some more!
Focusing has allowed me to feel at peace and enjoy being productive. It would be a lie to say that I never felt tempted to multi-task again. But now there’s a tether of reality and a peace inside that reminds me “Chill!!”.
Practically speaking, there is no perfect mompreneur formula. When my son is napping, that’s when I get my laptop and mobile phone out. When I just choose to do and be present at one activity at a time, I making better business decisions and finish my tasks quicker and more confidently. Recently, I wrote an entire book outline in an hour and finished it in a week’s time. Focus!
I used to envy moms who looked like they had it all (dang you social media!). But I’ve learned to enjoy and appreciate my life as my own and stop comparing. Those thoughts of “not fulfilling my potential” are exchanged with enjoying the privilege of enjoying motherhood. Instead of compulsively looking at my phone, I now look forward to having magic moments with my kids.
That’s the joy and blessing of being a mompreneur. At the end of the day, you still have time and energy to be with the family you work so hard for.