Running a business at home with kids around can be quite the juggling act.
I know I have done it for 5 years.
Not only is it a juggling act but the pressure involved to have everything done beautifully can be exhausting. I mean not only do we have to create beautiful products & sell them to the world, there is a mountain of preparation behind the scenes just to promote one single item. Multiple that by 20 or more, plus kids, we could almost feel like giving up, crying, throwing it in the air, watch trash TV & just eat chocolate.
There is hope for us creative business owners, we can do this!!! With some organisation & being really clear on your goals & priorities.
But firstly I want to say before I enter any further discussion….CONGRATULATIONS……I think it is admirable & amazing you still want to chase your dreams, contribute to your livelihood, become a role model to your children,& pursue all of this with them around. What a wonderful journey you’re already on, or about to embark.
They say women can have it all, & it’s true, but it’s hard work, tiring, can brings us to tears & it creates our very own bubble of pressure.
Both of my kids have entered primary school this years so I have made it through, & looking back now at the crazy business woman I was. Do I regret it? Hell no!!
I believe with some organisation we can achieve this. Every woman has their own level of pressure they can handle. Some of us are so serious & determined to reach success, & others may just be happy pursuing their business on a smaller scale & growing it as their time frees up. It’s all about your choice.
Organisation & running a small business take a little bit of discipline & being clear on your priorities.
Here are 6 tips I believe can help along the way:
1. First & foremost think about whats most important to you.
What is best for your family while pursuing your dreams.
Every answer is different as we are all unique. The level you pursue is completely up to you, never feel pressured by anyone, or other business women.
Mine was always making sure my kids were happy, & that I didn’t take too much time away from them. Starting my business was something deep within me I wanted to pursue. I didnt want to be a 100% stay at home parent, & there is nothing wrong with that, but that wasn’t for me. So I chose to work around them, to me that was the best of both worlds. So I had to find way to make it work. I was very clear about this with my husband & he was happy & 100% supportive also.
I swear by lists.
Write your lists of business actions that need to be achieved every day. From quicks tasks, to bigger tasks. Those bigger tasks break them down to smaller tasks so they don’t overwhelm you. Make your list reasonable, & don’t add anything that isn’t going to contribute towards what you want to achieve.
From experience, I used to write so much down each night I started to feel overwhelmed & anxious. It made me feel like I would never achieve this in the amount of time I had, so I had to scale it back a bit. You have to remember your business is an extension of you, something that makes you happy. I understand there will be times when there is more to do than others times, & yes we can feel a little anxious or stressed, but don’t allow it to pressure you to the point you feel unhappy about working.
3. Take into account the kids routines.
Nobody else can answer this except for you. You know those little people more than anybody. Think about when they sleep, are there opportunities in there where you can have a complete hour or 2 of solid focus?
This is where the size of your list comes in, when those eyes are closed jump in there & focus, work, grab your favourite coloured highlighter & mark your to do actions off your list.
4. Get productive in blocks of time.
Depending what your art or craft is this will depend on what you do here. Creating in blocks of time really helped me get done what I wanted to achieve.
Is there one day your can plan & design, you can make your samples, you can photograph them, make your orders, write your web store listings, & where you plan out your blog posts?
Again everyone’s routine is different but this worked for me. I woke a good hour before my kids so I could answer emails, write a blog post, & schedule any social media. When they went for their sleep at lunch/afternoon I knew I had a good hour or 2 so I would work on my list.
5. Leave perfectionism at the door.
I really mean this. I believe there is a lot of unnecessary perfectionism out there on social media, adding the pressure of certain expectations. Having the perfect house or the perfect life. Lets be real, it doesn’t exist & we all need to really understand this. My creative dreams were more important, & still are than having a house that looks like it’s style ready for the cover of Real Living magazine. It’s always clean, & tidy but I don’t obsess about anything else. For me to achieve this I knew I would have to give up hours of my passion & the creative dreams I had set out to achieve. I would rather focus on good product photography & design, than how the vases in my house are styled. This was a realistic choice for me. Instead invest your perfectionism towards your work, & give your passion your all. Remember you will have more time eventually.
6. Ask for help.
It’s Ok to do this, really I believe you should. If you know that you have a friend, relative, great neighbour or mother who are willing to take the babies for a couple of hours a week for you to work, DO IT!!!!
If you have this opportunity take it as a gift & use the precious time given to you to work hard at your goals & creative business. Not only will it free some time up for you, but I am happy to say that time away from the kids is healthy from us is healthy for everyone. Everyone wins, & it makes it so much more exciting when they some home.
As mentioned above I love making lists, it keep me on track & accountable. I love to see a week in advance, it helps me plan for the day & the week. It helps me to see whats pending & allows me to fit in the time needed to achieve. I hope this list planner helps you.
Download it HERE
Working with kids is a juggling act & there is no one fits all solution but I do help some of the above ideas can help you in some way work towards you running a successful business around your most precious gifts.
P.S. Thank you Kylie for the great advice! If you enjoyed reading this post, visit Kylie’s Blog for more great reads.