May 15, 2017
Any mompreneur will tell you there will be challenges to balancing the needs of the family with building a business, but the positives and benefits can outweigh it all during the journey. We asked two startup mompreneurs to shed light on challenges they’ve faced, what they do to balance it all and share advice that helped them along the way.
Anyone can guess time management was going to be #1 on the list of challenges for any mompreneur, but it’s so very true. Merav Kanat, founder and CEO of Gifthead and mother of a toddler, said that becoming a mother has forced her to be more organized with her time.
“You only have 24 hours a day, and starting a business is definitely like having another newborn in your life, with multiple needs you didn’t handle before. The challenge is to learn fast and develop the right skills quickly to establish a normal routine. The next challenge is to keep your life balanced with a tight but well-organized calendar,” Kanat said.
It’s a Transition
Sometimes the business comes before the kids or the other way around. Either way it’s a major transition to accommodate all the demands. Johanna Mikkola, cofounder of Wyncode Academy and mother of an infant, said it took time to get used to the balance of being a mompreneur.
“I worked until the day I went into labor so the transition from working to full-time baby mode took time to get comfortable with. I was accustomed to being very busy and moving quickly but having a baby slowed things down and kept me rooted at home,” Mikkola said. “While I was loving this new little man in my life, I felt a bit of cabin fever being stuck at home (1-3mo phase). The first few months can feel isolating particularly if you’ve been accustomed to a fast-paced environment as you’re building a business.
“Now that he is a little bit older, and has his own personality, it’s hard not to want to cuddle with him all the time. It sounds cliché but it’s hard to leave him in the mornings. [However,] the time apart makes the time together that much more special.”
So how do these mompreneurs balance it all? Exercise is the most common outlet to relieve stress, but there are other methods that can help one’s soul. Kanat said she intentionally carves out time with people who give her an inspirational boost.
“Every week I set a few ‘inspirational meetings’ over coffee with colleagues, friends, ex-bosses, other mompreneurs, or my smart partner at home. [These] fresh ideas and thoughts excite me, and usually save me a lot of time, that I can spend back with my family,” Kanat said.
Loving What You Do
Being a founder of a company and having children could both be considered a thankless job, but the joy of the journey outweighs anything in comparison.
“[If you get] the privilege to do something you love every day and make a business of it – you’ll really enjoy the journey, and it’s the highest level of self-fulfillment. [In addition,] you become a happier mom, and amazing role model for your kids. Many women I know aspire to reach this point but many of them get the courage to do that only after their first maternity leave,” Kanat said.
You Must Ask For Help
Doing everything yourself might give you the comfort that it’s done your way, but as a mompreneur the endless to do list is going to catch up to you and effect your health if you don’t ask for help.
“It’s hard for me to ask for help to begin with but now that I am living it, accepting help is a game changer. Let people help you! Ask for help! [For your child,] having a system in place with in-laws or a great nanny will empower you to do great things at work and will make everything easier,” Mikkola said.
“Mom Time” Matters
When it’s time to switch hats and go into mom mode, Mikkola believes it’s good to have a group of friends outside of work to talk through the day-to-day questions of raising a child.
“Find a local mom group. At every event or gathering I am always surprised at how much I enjoy speaking to other women who manage work and baby. It’s fun, you get some ‘mom time’ and the discussions are both therapeutic and inspirational,” Mikkola said.
Read more advice from mompreneurs at Tech.Co
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