Two of the most challenging titles out there are mother and entrepreneur. They both seem to bring out the best in us, and the worst. And maybe the only thing more challenging than starting a business or raising kids is doing them together. In today’s episode, we’re talking about how to raise a business and babies with balance.
Those first few years, I’ll admit, I got it wrong because my goals were not aligned with my values.
Let me say that another way: If what you’re chasing takes you away from what you care about, you will lose. That’s what was happening to me. The good news is, we can always change. We are never stuck and never so far gone that there isn’t hope left for us. There is always light.
I found this video from nine years ago on my YouTube channel. In today’s episode, I share a little clip from it because this is me asking my oldest (who was nine at the time and is now 17) about work-life balance. Listen to her tiny little voice!
I can’t even tell you what listening to this does to me, considering I am in my last year of getting to have her at home with us. But it was only a couple of years before what you’re hearing, that my balance was so off and things were so hard.
As entrepreneurs, we are constantly being fed mantras like ‘hustle harder,’ ‘work twice as much as your competitor,’ ‘work on your dream while the rest of the world sleeps.’ I fed into every line of that. I loved it. I believed it. I still do actually, but I’ve added my own caveat….
My hustle, my work, and my dreams will have no validity if they are at the expense of my family.
There is this quote from David O. McKay and I’ve said it myself at least 100X as I’m trying to navigate that right balance between going for my dreams and creating the home life I want my family to remember.
He said, no other success can compensate for failure in the home.
So, I learned to ask tough questions of my business. And I want you to ask the same ones.
- Is this working for me?
- Does this opportunity help or hinder my lifestyle goals?
- Does this opportunity, or this goal, or this dream, lead to an even deeper family experience?
You also need to be clear on your goal AND WHY YOU HAVE IT.
I don’t know where you are right now. But I know for some your dream business feels more like an enemy that undermines your relationships, your joy, your peace. Instead of fulfilling you, it takes from you.
It leaves you more empty and more bitter. That’s not a dream. That’s a nightmare. And you may be living that, because there was a time when I was too.
And yes partly it was everything on my plate…
I was the breadwinner. I was also trying to be a good mom. My business had grown faster than I’d expected, and I found myself loving the income but hating who I was. I was exhausted, sad, guilt-ridden, angry, and bitter. I was not living a dream, and I was terrified of how my children would remember me.
There was also this… and this is huge: My goals were not aligned with my values.
So I wanna share with you some of the most powerful strategies that helped me and can help you to create better balance as you raise a business and babies.
1. CHARGE MORE
I know that might be kind of an odd one to start with and not what you were expecting, but for real, charging more means taking on fewer clients.
2. MAKE A PLAN THE NIGHT BEFORE
We do not know what every single day is gonna be like, especially when you are juggling motherhood and business.
So have your plan the night before. Sit down and know exactly what the most important progress you could make is, and don’t overextend yourself. Don’t put too many things on the list, because I know I’m never gonna get more than five done.
3. SET OFFICE HOURS
I cannot tell you how much this can change the game for you when you set your working hours.
I even post them on my door so everyone can see them. Then if they need me, they can come to the door and they see exactly when I’m going to be done. I’m also going to advise that you let your little people keep you accountable to those office hours.
4. BUILD SYSTEMS AND AUTOMATIONS
With systems you only have to think it through once. One of the hardest things is just sitting down and thinking through: what am I gonna write? What am I gonna say? How do I respond? So do that heavy lifting once for the things that are repetitive and then save them for yourself.
5. GET HELP
It is not impressive, and it is not smart to try to do it all on your own. Get help. We need the village. We need the support system. We need each other.
6. TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH
If you are not healthy, if you’re not getting enough sleep, if you’re not drinking water, if you’re not moving your body, you’re not going to have the patience, the resilience. You’re not gonna have the things you need. And guess what? Your body is going to start breaking down. I say this from very personal experience and landed myself inside of an ambulance.
7. SET BOUNDARIES
The boundaries are like creating boxes so that I actually have more freedom. It sounds like it’s counterintuitive, right? You’re creating restrictions to create freedom, but this actually works. When I’m working, I’m working. I’m not allowing other distractions to come in. When I’m mom, I’m a mom and all the business stuff is away.
8. SCHEDULE FAMILY THINGS IN FIRST
If you let it, your business will take over your life.
That’s just how it works. A business is like a very, very needy child. So in order to make sure that you have time for your family and for fun, schedule in the family things first. I’m saying that you sit down and you look at your calendar and you say, what fun things would we like to do? And you schedule them in. First.
9. TIME BLOCK YOUR DAY
When we time block the day, we can get a sense of whether what we are trying to accomplish is reasonable or not. It might not always go according to plan, and you might have to readjust some things, but this gives you structure and a great starting point.
10. START WITH YOUR MOST IMPORTANT THING
We typically schedule our days as if everything is going to go according to plan. If you reverse that and you go into your day as if things are not going to go according to plan, then you get a lot more clarity on what you should do first. That most important thing that moves the needle, that helps you to make progress becomes a lot more clear. That is the thing I want you to start with. That way, if things come up, if something shows up that was unexpected: the school calls, and you need to come pick up your kiddo, or whatever it might be, you did the most important thing. And so you still feel accomplished
I want you to know that you are doing something incredible and you are doing something that is so so hard. Motherhood by itself is hard. Entrepreneurship by itself is hard. Doing them together is crazy hard. So please give yourself grace and recognize that you are going to have a lot of moments where it does not go according to plan.
These changes allowed me to breathe again and they allowed me to leave behind the chaos that I was feeling when I thought I had to be available to others 24/7. They allowed me to be successful. And here’s what I know: Real success is not something others see, it is something that you and I each personally feel.
Here’s what I know — real success is not something others see. It’s something you feel.
- You feel it at the end of the day when you cuddle up with your husband.
- You feel it when you take a real vacation and your business doesn’t fall apart without you, it keeps operating.
- You feel it when your kids snuggle up with you, and your mind is completely clear of anything but them.
- You feel it when you build your safety net savings account or pay off debt
- You feel it when you realize you’re making decisions that are for your family and not to portray some perception for anyone else.
I’ve also learned that success never comes without helping hands. There is no such thing as self-made.
If you won’t allow others to help you, you’re going to take a whole lot longer to get to your dream. That’s the simple and real truth of it.
It’s not stronger, more impressive, or praiseworthy to forgo help. It’s foolish. At first, most of us believe we don’t deserve the help. Or we secretly don’t want to share our money to get the help — neither is forward thinking and both stunt growth and opportunity.
Raising babies and a business is hard work but you can do both in a way that brings you peace even amidst the choas.
BEFORE YOU GO:
Let me ask you a question; What is the biggest pain point area in your business and how could you set or simplify the process? Find me on Instagram at Leah Remillet and DM me. Maybe I can even share a tip or two with you.
If you’ve had this conversation about how the struggle to juggle is real, send this episode to that friend with a little word of encouragement.