Whether a woman decides to have children or not will impact her professional life regardless of her choice.
In mainstream society’s view, having a family can be a career-killing/stunting move for a woman. Or so we are led to believe. This certainly doesn’t have to be the case when you work for yourself and control the variables.
I’ve never looked up to successful entrepreneurs whose personal lives were a disaster, just the opposite.
It is not reassuring to know that the odds are stacked against you to succeed as an entrepreneur with a 70% failure rate, with only 30% of businesses making it to a decade. [i]
But life, like business, reveals curveballs along the way.
Like the less than 1% chance of having spontaneous twins at 37, or put another way, 1 in 250 natural pregnancies.[ii] Despite having no twins in your family. Although I did not see that one coming, I now welcome this unexpected gift that has changed my life and how I will be approaching my business moving ahead.
Becoming a mom of 3 has not been to my detriment professionally; it has made me a more effective business leader and entrepreneur. Here’s how.
I Could Still Be a Mom and Run a Business
An uber driver told me that kids sleep for 18-20 hours a day at the beginning, which was one of the few pieces of reassuring news I was given before becoming a mom. But soon after having my first daughter, I was more inspired to grow my business and had my best year ever soon after. And not MLM-style business growth, but the kind of revenue that pays for your mortgage. It helped a lot that my husband was able to take paternity leave, which may not have been possible otherwise.
You can have it all if you are willing to do the work and make the sacrifices it requires along the way to design a life you love.
Loosening the Ironclad Grip on Doing Everything as a Solopreneur
Becoming a mom finally forced me to start delegating more. I went from doing just about everything from the company’s taxes, client websites, social media content, admin, and more! Since I could no longer bang out a 12-hour day on demand (nor did I want to), I got more comfortable creating lanes for others. As it turns out, providing opportunities for talented people to showcase their skills to my clients is quite fulfilling.
Leverage and Working with a Scarcity of Time
Constraints force you to be more creative and efficient with resources. Bringing twins into the equation drove me to take advantage of all the leverage and support at my disposal. Growing a team: Mother-in-law willing to use her vacation days to come help and bring her sister along too, yes, please! Using technology and apps to automate tasks enables me to save time and be organized and effective at home and in the business. And finally, rely on my team to keep the ball moving forward to support our clients’ marketing programs while I focus on the core business strategy and content development.
Leading a Household is Like Leading a Team
No one wants to be a part of a toxic culture. As the head of a company or a household, you must be conscious of how your mood affects others. That means no playing favourites either. There are also defined roles and responsibilities, so everyone stays in their lane and keeps both the household and the business running like a well-oiled machine. Happy babies and engaged teammates don’t get that way by accident!
How Previous Experience Serves Your Future: The Original Side Hustle
My previous experience babysitting as a teenager made the transition of becoming a mother a lot easier and put things in perspective. If I could handle three small kids then, I sure better be able to figure it out now. Successful business leaders know that managing emotions and attitudes is critical if you wish to achieve anything of great significance. It’s all in the mindset. Also, launching and building companies is infinitely harder than taking care of kids. Perspective.
Remote First for Flexible Working and Living
When we went on lockdown during COVID and everyone went to work at home, my life barely changed. Given that I have been working remotely for over a decade, I won’t be going back to the office, and it is highly unlikely I will ever get that kind of space again. Everyone that works in my company now lives in different cities. If work is done on time and to a high standard, my team can do it on their own time, and I don’t micromanage. I plan to be involved in my kids’ day-to-day activities and don’t mind if others collaborating with me manage their own priorities the same.
I have never subscribed to the limitations put on working women, which is why I worked hard to design the life that I have and became an entrepreneur in the first place.
Has it been easy? No, but what is that is worthwhile?
I’m also very fortunate for my husband and the rest of our family since I am well supported, and without them, none of the above would be possible.
In closing, I was recently at my daughter’s preschool graduation, and she said she wanted to be a mommy when she grows up. It was both surprising and reassuring to hear her say that since life is always a balancing act. I’m grateful that she thinks I’m a positive role model in being a mom while running a business.