Can I share something with you? I need a vacation like yesterday. It’s the truth and I’m sticking to it. Like most people, I jumped into the new year with all of my ambitions and goals tied to both feet. I hit the ground running in my ghostwriting and copywriting business. And let’s just say it’s all catching up to me…lol!
If you’re an entrepreneur and working mom you can understand this post. My kids are my light source and my business is the fuel to my engine. Sometimes those wires cross and I’m left feeling like two split ends. Anyone who tells you that working from home with kids is easy is lying and you should unfollow them immediately. Growing your business from the ground up is demanding, time-consuming, and challenging to say the least. Every other day in my business I’m putting out little fires. Following up with clients, sending invoices, responding to emails, creating content, cold emailing, writing ( my books ) and working on my clients’ books. Add on a moody hungry teenager and a curious and adorable kid under ten and you’re in my world. The average person probably would have quit by now and started working at Macy’s for the discounts. Trust me, I’ve worked at Macy’s the discount’s are killer.
That’s beside the point, stay focused. Even with all of the unpredictability and late nights on the computer, and sacrifices to my weekend. I wouldn’t trade my entrepreneurial journey for nothing in the world. Hold on! I know what you’re thinking…I just said all that horrible stuff. Yeah, there’s some good and bad in everything. But, you have to know when something is worth the investment or simply a waste of time.
When I left my corporate job last year, I knew I was making a huge sacrifice in my income and household dynamic. It was scary. Yet, everything in my spirit told me it was time for a change. Needless to say, the risk was worth the reward. Why? I worked my ass off! Period.
I always wanted to work from home, do what I love, get paid for it, and be home when my kids get home from school. The complicated part was learning how to balance everything in all at once. How could I make dinner, help with homework, and work on a 10K word manuscript? Talk about God’s grace and favor. I’ve made some mistakes at times and it may have cost me, potential clients. But, everything came with a learning curve. Since jumping full force into the entrepreneur pool, I’ve learned a few tricks that help me be an awesome mom and a fabulous girl boss.
- Work in 4 hour periods– Since my kids are still in school I take advantage of the 8-hour gaps. I don’t burn my brain out on writing for 8 hours. I’m human not a robot. As soon as I drop my kids off at school, I pop open my laptop and work. Within that four hour time, I may work on a document, post to social media, write a blog post, or create my newsletter for the week. The goal is to minimize distractions and optimize productivity. By noon, I break for lunch and unwind with music, book, or a podcast. Between 2-6pm, it’s homework and family time. I have my mom hat on and I execute the dinner menu and science homework. The kids are in bed by eight or nine. I use the last two or three hours to add to a document or plan my content for the week.
- Delegate tasks– As an entrepreneur, I like to have my hands in everything. I learned the lesson the hard way on how this is a terrible idea. I would burn out creatively and mentally. I’d go for days not being productive and wondering why I couldn’t produce anything. I decided to hire a small team of writers to help me meet deadlines and finish projects. I hired an assistant to organize my calendar and block out times for me not to consult with clients. The more I delegate tasks, I’m able to narrow down my to-do list.
- Know when to unplug- Sometimes I go into idea overload or beast mode. Like, I convince myself that if I’m not promoting on social media my business will suffer. Or I may need to attract more clients, so I need to create more content. It’s a mental game of exhaustion and I’m done playing it. Instead of working around the clock, I maintain a work schedule of Mon-Friday four hour intervals a day. Occasionally I may work on something during the weekends. But, it doesn’t interfere with family time. I don’t post to social media on Sunday. I stop posting after a specific time on Saturday. The thing I learned is that whatever you give power too has control over you. Thus, I want to control my life by doing the things I love with the people I love.
- Preparation, Planning, and Productivity– Instead of thinking about what am I going to post today or in May. I plan ahead. I create a content calendar, graphics, take cute photos ( repurpose some ) and schedule post. When you plan ahead you prepare to meet opportunity with clarity and success. I’m not the most organized type A person. But, I know what works for me in order for me to achieve success. So, if my home is a hot mess I can’t work. If my websites not updated frequently then I miss opportunities to capture new clients. Small tasks lead up to big impactful moments.
- My business is centered around my kids. Have you ever tried to have a conference call while your toddler is asking for a pbj? Yeah, probably not that sexy or appealing to your audience. I create content frequently and I engage with my audience. First, I make sure my kids are fed and tucked in bed. They have a good grasp on what mom does for a living and leave me be. I don’t like squeezing things into my kids routine. Like, how dare I go LIVE on Instagram and dinner is not ready? My own mom would probably kick my butt…lol!
Even though I’m still relatively new to working for myself I’ve learned a lot in a short time. I like the phrase” Everything is figure-out-able”. It truly is in my case. I just hated not being home for my kids. Even when I was home, I was tired of working a job I hated and traveling home late in the evenings. I couldn’t be my whole self in my relationship with my kids and things began to suffer. Am I happier today than I was last year? Yes! Or my kids? Yes!! That’s all that essentially matters to me at the end of the day. My business will grow as it should in due time. But, my kids will not always be children and I don’t want to miss those moments working a job I hate.
Moral of the story: Do what you love and create a life around it.
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M.C. Walker is a mom and ghostwriter/copywriter in Atlanta. Currently working on her next book Trust God and Chill.