So, you're a mom, and you're an entrepreneur, congratulations! You're now a mompreneur. And it's no easy job.
I often feel that the way our society is set up isn't really mom-friendly. It's virtually impossible to be a stay at home mom full time these days, because we really need two incomes to be able to afford a home and a comfortable lifestyle. So mom's don't have much of a choice but to go back to work, and put their little person in daycare. But I decided early after my son was born that I wasn't going to going to go back to work in the office just so that I could afford pay for someone else to raise my kid. It just didn't sit well with me, and financially it made no sense! I wanted to stay home with Hunter full time, and make a full time income. So, I decided to go ahead and start my own business when my son was only 4 months old. I thought...I've been sitting in my cubicle dreaming of starting my own business for years. It's time to do something about it. And while I was exhausted from having this kid on my boob 24/7, and trying to take care of 2 dogs, a husband and a house, I made time to start my business. It's like something inside me was like 'DO IT!!!!!! DO IT!!!' And I just had to start working. And it was no walk in the park. It's not easy to start a business and be a mom, especially when there's a baby crying, and dogs barking and groceries to get, and food to prepare, but somehow, us mamas manage! And I think that deserves a little respect, no!? (let alone the fact that we pushed out little humans...we all deserve giant gold medals for that one)
But if you're just starting your business, or you're pregnant and sitting in your cubicle, and wondering what the heck you're going to do with your life once that baby pops out, or you're not a mom, but you're an entrepreneur, I've got a few tips for you.
This seems obvious. But it's important to remember that you're going to want to LOVE what you do. Because you're going to be doing it A LOT. And when it is hard, you still need to find something to love about what you do. So do it with passion. And this also comes across to other people that you love what you do, and if you are passionate about it, other people are more likely to buy into your business, right?!
Making connections is SO important. Whether in person or on social media, you need to get out there and meet people, or somehow connect. Don't underestimate the power of social media. You need to like photos, comment, follow people you admire, and make yourself known! If you follow them but you never comment or like their photos, they will never know you exist. And don't be afraid to ask questions or for tips, or even reach out to peers for advice or to work together on collaborations, contests, etc. If you don't ask, and you don't reach out, you're not going to make it happen. Sure, sometimes someone will tell you no. But in my experience, people are really helpful and friendly. Some of my biggest sales and exposure have come from just reaching out to people, asking for help, and making connections.
LOOK FOR LOCAL RESOURCES
I'm lucky that where I live there are some amazing resources for small business owners. I was fortunate to participate in a government program that helps small startups both financially, and by providing training and guidance. This was SO helpful. So do some research and see if there is any help for small businesses in your town/country. You may be surprised what you find!
DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
When you're running a business, you end up having to do some things that aren't your forte, like accounting for example (this is my least favourite thing! I am not good with math) If you are creative like me, some of the administrative tasks can be daunting. But if you're not sure, ask someone! Reach out to other business owners, call an accountant, take a class, go to seminars. It can be scary to break out of your comfort zone, but trust me, you will not regret it! I asked a friend if she knew anyone in buying at the store I was hoping to sell too, and voila, she did! And now I sell to that store that I wasn't really sure I'd ever get into. So just ask!
DON'T GIVE UP
There have been times when I've thought that maybe I should just give up. It's not ever been easy. When I first launched my website, I thought sales would start to happen. NOPE. No sales, for a long time. I had invested money into product without knowing whether it could sell or not. I underestimated how hard selling could be (and wasted a considerable amount of money in the process). But I learned not to invest money into product before you have orders. I generally only order small quantities of product before I launch it, unless I have pre-existing orders. So learn from your mistakes, and know that there will be many, and that's okay. Just keep learning and pushing and you will succeed! And remember that you will always be learning and there will always be ups and downs, regardless of how successful you are, so just keep doing what you do.
A little hard work is never a bad idea. When I started my business, I would work from Hunters bed time until 2am, then get up at like 3 or 4am with either Hunter or the dogs, and then start the next day at like 7:30am the next day. I was exhausted, yes, but because I had passion for what I was doing, I didn't mind the late nights! I knew it was the only way that I'd get anything done. Now (luckily!) Hunter naps, so I work during nap time and at bedtime, but needless to say, the hustle is never ending. If you want to make your business work, you need to work work work and eventually something will happen (just remember that it can take some time to see results). You can do it!! Put all the motivational sayings on your wall, put on some pump up music and get to work, because you have it in you, you just have to hustle a bit! (or a lot).
So, to all you entrepreneurs and momtepreneurs out there - good luck!