Are you tired of busting your butt to make ends meet?
And you either just shouted “Obviously!” or rolled your eyes at me.
I get it. It’s a completely stupid question.
Everyone is looking for ways to make life simpler. Nobody wants to work their hands to the bone for peanuts. But in the middle of juggling a hundred things, you never seem to catch your breath.
I don’t know how or why you became a mompreneur. Frankly, it’s not that important at this point. Right now, finding a way to make your life work is much more important.
So you want to hear the secret to less stress while making more money?
Stop spending all your time putting out fires. Start preventing them.
And maybe you’re rolling your eyes at me again. That’s okay. I can take it! But here me out first before you call me crazy.
Here’s some basic mompreneurs facts:
- Your family is your priority – always
- You have to work around your family’s schedule
- You don’t want to work 60 hours a week
- You have to make money to survive
- Sometimes emergencies happen
If you feel like all you do is REACT to situations around you, this is your problem. Here’s the first principle to successful mompreneurship:
Principle #1: Something crazy is ALWAYS happening. It will ALWAYS happen. There is nothing you can do to change that. It’s called life.
You can’t change Principle #1. It’s like gravity or wrinkles. Some things you just can’t control.
Stop the Reaction Cycle
Once you realize that all you’ve been doing is reacting to every situation, you can begin to see how your life is only designed to put out fires.
Situation #1: The Emergency
You have an extremely important client meeting on Tuesday. If you convince them to be your client, you won’t have to worry about money for the next three months. One-fourth of your business could be built on this one client alone!
Monday night your youngest gets sick with a fever. You can’t send a sick kid to school – they’ll just send him home. Day cares out, for the same reason.
What do you do?
At this point, you're stressed beyond belief. You need to be at that meeting!
If you had created a contingency plan for this type of emergency, you would have at least five people to call that could watch your sick kid for a few hours.
Situation #2: You Need Money – Now!
You have a huge bill to pay (repair your leaking roof, you need a new computer or maybe your car just broke down). You recently did some work for a client, but they’re 2 months late paying your invoice.
If you just had the money that is rightfully yours, you wouldn’t be in this mess.
What do you do?
If you had a stronger payment policy this would never happen. You would NEVER do work before getting paid at least half. Or if this was a client that did this all the time, you would drop that client. Your time is better spent on paying customers or trying to get new customers than trying to collect money from someone that doesn’t want to pay on time.
Situation #3: You have NO time
You’re trying to create a new marketing strategy. You want to update your website, logo and business cards. Plus, you’ve started making some great contacts on Twitter. You’ve got some great feedback and you know you COULD BE moving in the right direction!
If you only had the time to do it!
You’re trying to work around your family’s schedule but it’s just not working. You don’t seem to have one free hour a day. And if you want your business to grow, you need to find more time!
What do you do?
If you need more time for your business, you have to make it a priority. Yes, that’s easier said than done. But if you need an extra 10 hours a week, you’re going to have to make some choices. Maybe you partner with another mom and watch each others kids for a few hours. Maybe you send them to daycare. Maybe you work while they are asleep. Or pay your neighbors teenager to watch them after school. Do what you need to do to get the extra time for your business.
How to Start Preventing Fires Today
When you start thinking about all the times you’ve been in “Reaction Mode” it’s easy to see a pattern. You’ve been running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off!
So here’s a few tips to creating your own contingency plans:
Emergency Situations – Not Preventable
- Understand that emergencies happen
- Ask yourself the following questions:
- How would my business be impacted if I couldn’t be there tomorrow?
- Who could I call to help or who would need to be informed? (write down names & numbers)
- What resources would I need to get through an emergency?
- Write the contingency plans down and share them with whoever needs a copy (husband, business partner, etc.). I suggest printing out everything and keeping your plans in a binder.
Standard Business Stress – Preventable
- Choose the top five challenging situations in your life/business
- Brainstorm 3 ways to prevent each situation from happening
- Brainstorm 3 contingency plans for each situation
- Implement the best contingency plans
Choose the most challenging situations. The kind of situation you're ALWAYS dealing with. I have no idea what your exact challenges are – that’s unique to each business. But the formula for prevention is always the same:
The 3 I’s
- Identify problem
- Identify solution
- Implement solution
Some situations will always come up – like kids getting sick. You may not be able to prevent that from happening, but you can have a plan in place. A plan you don’t have to think about. When the worst happens (and it will!) you won’t have to worry about how to handle it.
Work Less & Make More Money
Once you move out of the “reaction mode” you’ll start having more time to spend growing your business. And that means focusing your time on making more money.
You’ll start seeing that you need to streamline your systems, find new marketing angles, or add new profit streams. You won’t spend the bulk of your time feeling like you have no control over your life. You’ll start making plans and seeing your business’s possibilities.
Remember the #1 Mompreneur principle. You’re always going to have a crazy life – sorry it’s true!
So don’t try to control a hurricane. Just prepare for one.
Liesha Petrovich is the creator of Micro Business Essentials, a blog dedicated to helping women balance their business and their crazy life. In her free time, she’s working on a Doctorate in Entrepreneurship. Grab a copy of Preventing Business Fires – a Mompreneur's Workbook and follow her on Twitter
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