Starting your dream business truly can be a life-changing event. It takes your passion, skills, and experiences and ties them into an income generating part of your life.
You really can make an income from pursuing your passion.
Unfortunately, many mom business attempts fail before they ever have a chance to reach their full potential. These businesses get started with gusto, and big dreams.
But, over time they slowly wither away as the mompreneur gets buried in to-do lists and working mom guilt. To keep up with the rest of life, the business gets pushed to the side. Or completely forgotten.
Many moms make one critical mistake when they start their dream business.
They overlook the importance of building a stable foundation before they begin.
In their eagerness to begin, they don’t plan for how to keep their head above water when life gets crazy. They wave off any concerns that might be lurking in the back of their minds with a I’ll just get up earlier or stay up later and everything will magically get done attitude.
The Problem of Starting Your Dream Business Before You’re Ready
But, when you don’t plan for the rest of your responsibilities, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
You simply can’t stay awake forever to keep crossing tasks off your to-do list. Sleep is important. So is a healthy work-life balance.
If you’re currently overwhelmed with life, it’s not the right time to start a business. If your plate is already overflowing, you won’t have the time or energy to put into your new venture consistently.
And without consistency, your business will fail.
When you try to launch your business before you are ready, you wind up feeling like you’re sinking. Or comparing yourself to other mom bosses, wondering why they have it all together while you’re just sitting here struggling.
Neither of those places is a good one to be in, which is why you need a solid foundation in place before you begin.
Building a Stable Foundation for Your Business to Thrive On
Before you can build a stable foundation, you need to honestly assess your life. Think through the past week, and answer these six questions:
- What time of day is the biggest struggle for me and the family?
- Are there any time commitments I should think about letting go of?
- What tasks take longer than I think they should?
- Are there any activities that I engage in that waste time?
- What items from my to-do list are consistently not getting done?
- Are there any tasks I absolutely do not want to let go of?
If you’re like many moms, you’re overbooked and overwhelmed with everything you’re trying to get done daily.
And, with no margin left in your day, there is no time to devote to your business.
The good news?
You can start now and build your foundation of essentials. From there, you can streamline and grow, and find creative ways to use your time.
Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to do.
Make a List of Your Must-Dos
There are plenty of tasks in your daily responsibilities that you can’t get rid of. These are your must-dos. They are things that must get done daily (or on a regular basis).
Your must-dos will look different than mine, because we live different lives. But, to get your brainstorming going, here are some of my daily must-dos:
- Farm chores
- Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, and Dinner prep
- Table chores following each meal
- Clean the bathroom and kitchen
- 2-3 loads of laundry (washed, dried, put away)
- Homeschool the kids
These are tasks that need done regularly.
I can’t decide one morning that I’m not going to go feed and water the cows so I can work on my business. And while I can assign someone else the task of making breakfast, my family would revolt if I just decided to skip it altogether one day. While I can let some of the housework slide for a couple of days, with ten of us using a single bathroom, at least part of it must be cleaned daily to stay sanitary.
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of what must-dos are, and helped you think of some of your own.
Take some time and make a list of your must-dos. What absolutely needs to be done every day to keep your house running?
Once you have a list of must-dos, you can evaluate the other items that take up your time. Is it time to drop a commitment or two? Is there someone else who can do some of the tasks you typically do?
Look for Ways to Streamline
Deciding to stop tasks altogether, or delegate them, are two great ways to free up some of your time. Another strategy is to streamline or find ways to do the tasks more efficiently.
Here are two key areas you can streamline:
Are you a meal planner? I never used to be.
Until I realized exactly how much time I was wasting rummaging through cupboards and using Google to find recipes. Then I’d have to read the comments on a potential recipe to see if it was really worth the time and ingredients it’d take. I had so much time dumped into meal prep before I even started cooking.
So six years ago, I decided there had to be a better way. I had the kids help me create an annual meal plan, and we’ve been planning that way ever since. The kids love knowing what is on the menu each day. They thrive in the routine. And I’ve freed up so much time!
An annual meal plan might not be right for you. There are plenty of different methods out there. However, I encourage you to pick one and get started. Having a plan makes getting meals on the table so much easier. You aren’t wasting brain power trying to make last-minute decisions all the time.
Meal planning also streamlines your grocery shopping, since you can make a list to correspond to what you plan to eat. If it’s available where you are, you might even consider adding grocery delivery to your routine to save even more time.
There are cleaning tasks that need done regularly that don’t make your must-do list. Things like vacuuming and mopping the floor. These are important, but don’t necessarily need done every day.
To help free up brain power and time, make a simple cleaning schedule. Decide what you’re going to work on each day of the week.
Perhaps you decide to straighten the bedrooms on Monday and do extra laundry on Tuesday. Then you might scrub floors on Wednesday and deep clean the bathrooms on Thursday. That leaves Friday for a good kitchen cleaning.
It doesn’t matter WHEN you do each task. It’s just important that you have a plan for taking care of them. That way the essentials get taken care of and your house remains livable.
Give yourself a couple of weeks on your new routines to get used to them. It takes time to build habits.
Expect the Kids to Help
If you’re a mom, you have a ready source of help. Kids are much more useful than many people give them credit for.
Even a young toddler can help around the house. At this age, they’re very willing to do what you do and have a desire to help. The earlier you start them getting used to working, the more natural it becomes for them.
Yes, it absolutely takes time to teach them how to do each task. But, it’s time well spent. By the time they are older, they will be such a help.
If you aren’t already having your kids do chores, start assigning some. Here are ten great “starter” chores for them to do:
- Unload the silverware from the dishwasher
- Match and roll socks
- Fold towels
- Gather dirty dishes
- Wipe the seats of chairs
- Make their bed (Lumps are okay when they are young and learning!)
- Pick up all the shoes/toys/dirty laundry/whatever and take them to a specific spot
- Wipe spots from walls with a rag and spray bottle of water
- Dust with a feather duster
- Wipe the baseboards with baby wipes
Make your cleaning time fun and put on some upbeat music. Remember your kids will reflect your attitude, so make sure it’s a good one.
Carving Out Time for Starting Your Dream Business
Once you implement these changes, your to-do list won’t be as overwhelming. That means it is time to start carving out time for your dream business.
You don’t have to have a ton of time to get started and help it grow. Baby steps really do pay off. But, you must take them consistently. If you can’t consistently give time to your business, it’s not time to start.
Here are some ways to make time for business related tasks:
- Get up earlier (this works best if you have a space you can work in without lights or noise disturbing the light sleepers.)
- Have a daily time where everyone works quietly for thirty minutes.
- Work during nap time, or if your kids are older, implement a daily quiet time. Then use this time to work.
- Have your spouse take kids and house responsibilities right after dinner so you can work.
- Put the kids to bed earlier and work in the evenings.
- Stay up later than normal and work a bit before bed.
Pick two or three of these times that will work best for you. If you’re a night owl, getting up early probably isn’t the best choice for you.
Then, take action on your business during the times you pick. Have a list ready of things you need to do and start checking them off one at a time.
Build Your Foundation and Then Grow
By building your foundation before you launch your business, you will be in a more sustainable position. The thought, planning, and time you put into this stage really will help you bring your dream business to life.
If you’re still trying to figure out what your passion is, check out Sally’s Passion Challenge workbook below. It will show you the 5 steps to unleash your potential and build an income-generating business when you’re ready.