30 Jul 2019, 15:49 — 9 min read
As if being a new mom dealing with hourly feedings and hectic households is not enough, a mompreneur also has to make sure it’s business as usual at her shop or online store. Running a business as a new mom is indeed double the challenge, but if there’s anyone who could perform the seemingly impossible task of caring for a child and overseeing a business at the same time without one flourishing at the expense of the other, trust us: a mom is perfectly equipped to do it.
If you find yourself in a similar situation where the demands of running a household, raising a family, and trying to get a business idea off the ground are seemingly taking their toll on you, take heart. Consider these learnings from other mompreneurs as your ultimate survival guide for juggling parenting duties and business responsibilities.
Lesson # 1: Embark on the journey with clarity of purpose.
Having a business means additional income for the family. While it's an important goal for mompreneurs to earn profit, sometimes the reason for starting — and keeping — the business goes beyond financial gain. Mompreneur Lara Leal, 46, has always loved baking, which is what led her to build her own brand of organic, healthy snacks called BabyGoodPH (@babygoodph). “Aside from earning a little bit off it, it gives me a lot of joy. I know this is something I will continue to do until I’m old and gray,” Lara says.
Lesson # 2: Make your time count.
For mompreneur Joline Aldeguer, 43, who recently gave birth to a baby girl, following a schedule for the week is important. Joline and her husband own True Clothing (@trueclothing_manila), a local brand that retails ladies wear.
“I handle product development and online sales. [After feeding and bathing my baby in the morning], I try to squeeze in some work like taking photos of our products, conceptualizing designs for the next quarter, and finalizing job orders,” she shares. Mondays and Thursdays are for preparing the next day’s shipments. Her free time is spent with the baby or with her husband, with whom she brainstorms over coffee.
Lesson # 3: Strengthen your support system at home and at work.
The saying that it takes a village to raise a child couldn't ring any truer. For moms like Joline, the biggest challenge has been going back to work full-time for the business after having a baby. “Even if we hired a helper for the baby, I still want to be a hands-on mom. It really helps that I have a good support system, which includes my husband and my sister, whom I have asked to handle online sales. Of course, I have a reliable team who makes work easier and feasible,” Joline says.
Lesson # 4: Make full use of technology.
Mommy apps that allow mompreneurs to stay in touch with their family, customers, and staff are also important. Social media apps like Instagram and messaging apps like Viber allow Joline to run her mum business wherever she is. These are what she considers “wonders of technology,” especially now that she is on limited capacity when it comes to being involved in their physical stores’ day-to-day operations. Technology is especially helpful because as a first-time mom, Joline is also doing her best to be hands-on in caring for her baby.
Lesson # 5: Look into outsourcing some aspects of your business.
Today, businesses like Lara’s have the luxury of being able to tap third party service providers at affordable rates. “Delivery is such a breeze now. There are even services where someone can buy my ingredients for me, and I don’t need to step out of the house and lose time and energy in traffic,” shares Lara. Because of this, her mum business can continue operations even while she is homeschooling or spending quality time with her son.
Lesson # 6: Be clear about what you can and cannot give up.
For 33-year-old Ninna del Mundo, a licensed interior designer who decided to teach painting (@ninnadelmundoart) to focus on her kids, it’s very clear that family comes first, and work, only second. Starting a business for moms like Ninna is not easy, but strategizing goes a long way. “I mostly teach watercolor painting at home or near the house. I’m also homeschooling for the first time,” shares Ninna, so knowing that she has to give lessons to her five-year-old first makes it easier for her to schedule her classes.
Lesson # 7: Build up energy for the demanding tasks ahead.
Running a business and a household can take its toll on your body. Ninna realizes this, so she recently started exercising again, sleeping on time, and eating healthier. “My friends started a group called @fitmomsprojectph that holds community events for moms who want to get back into fitness. It really encouraged me because we all need to stay strong and healthy for our families,” adds Ninna.
Lesson # 8: Make time for you — and your husband.
Joline makes it a point to carve out some "me" time, which involves getting her nails done, or going for a facial. At least once a week, she unwinds with her husband by eating out, strolling at the mall, watching a movie, or getting a massage together. Joline says, “These are things that I need to do to de-stress and keep up with the daily demands of family and work.”
Lesson # 9: Step out of your comfort zone.
As an interior designer, Ninna would go on site visits that took up much of her time. This posed a challenge for the mompreneur especially after giving birth to her second child, who is now three years old. “My husband and I decided from the beginning that we wouldn't leave our kids at home or anywhere with just the helpers. They should be with at least any one relative,” relates Ninna. As she put her design work aside and studied other possible business ideas for moms like herself, the mompreneur discovered a love for painting and teaching others. “I also take art commissions for weddings and families. Thankfully, I found something else I love to do that helps with the household expenses but doesn’t take me away from the kids.”
Lesson # 10: Set your own limits.
When Lara’s business started picking up, she felt tempted to increase her production. But being a homeschool mom as well, she didn’t want to stretch herself too thin. Says mompreneur Lara, “I had to limit my bake days and put a cap on the number of orders I could serve. Despite these self-imposed limitations, I am fortunate to have very kind and understanding regular customers who don’t mind if they have to wait a while before I can bake for them again.”
Lesson # 11: Set your own measure for success.
The expectations are huge for mompreneurs like Lara. The pressure to succeed both at parenting and in business can weigh you down, that’s why defining what success means to you is important. “I’m committed to doing my best in my business, so I try to do things as excellently as I can. But it will always be secondary to the needs of my family. So if they are well and content, I’m happy with that,” Lara says.
Lesson # 12: Don't shut yourself out.
Reconnecting with other people was a challenge for Lara, but all it took was a little work. “The last few weeks of pregnancy up to the newborn stage, and the first year of your baby can be really isolating, even to your husband. So I had to be intentional with spending time with friends, inviting people over for game nights, and setting up playdates with mom friends. Going to church and praying helped me through those challenging times,” she says. Fortunately, too, that there are plenty of mom apps nowadays to let new moms like Lara stay in touch with family and friends without sacrificing her quality time with baby.
Lesson # 13: Have the confidence to be your own person.
As moms struggle to keep up with parenting duties and business responsibilities, Lara says it’s important to remain confident about who you are. “Don't compare yourself with others — just keep going and doing your best. Don't rely on other people's approval as your gauge for success because that's a sure way to be discouraged. Instead of constantly comparing yourself with others, support them and be the encouraging one,” Lara ends.
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