“I want to raise my family and run a business, but it is hard! How do people succeed over the long-term?” Does anyone ever stop and say “This is it, perfect work-life balance and happiness!”? No, we’re all on a journey…
Richard Branson says “There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions – in a way that serves the world and you.” Honour and respect to mothers in business, who choose to follow two great passions – their family and their business.
With Mother’s Day approaching, I spoke to three mothers in business about their journeys to long-term family happiness and business success.
I understand the daily juggle. While I was up late to write this child-free, I’m proof-reading it with my twins by my side, doing my last check while they draw.
I’m a lawyer and a co-founder of LegalVision, the online law firm for small and medium sized businesses across Australia. I’m here because I want to use my large law-firm and bank experience to give new and growing businesses an advantage with their legal needs. I’m also here because I want flexible work so I have time for my young children. I know what it’s like to have two great focuses – your family and your business.
Running your own business is a considerable amount of time and effort. From branding to marketing and selling, to admin, legals and BAS… Mothers in business manage these tasks in limited time-frames and we learn as we go
Is there less work as you go? No. But I see successful business owner parents raising a family and maintaining their business, by focussing on what they love. Here are their tips.
Focus v Juggle
Carolyn Dean, Director of Wellsites, focuses on what she is best at and outsources other important tasks.
“My advice is to realise that you ‘cannot do it all’. In the great juggle of work and life, you will drop some of the balls. The thing that helped me most was to accept this fact and to decide which balls I was consciously going to drop and to make it okay to drop them! Some of my personal dropped balls are ironing (!), cleaning (outsourced), and being everything in the business – so to hire the right smart people to do the jobs that I cannot.”
Organise your Team
Gwen Blake, Managing Director of Boxer & Co reminds us to clarify and write down the essentials, so tasks can be shared with a team.
“Get all the pick-ups, drop offs, classes, meals, shopping lists, etc out of your head and onto the fridge door. This is your ‘Director’s Control Suite’. It helps you focus on work, when you know you don’t have to remember all that stuff, and other people can help with it too.”
Long term success includes doing the tasks that you enjoy the most, and outsourcing or delegating the other essential tasks. Get these off your plate and get them done, so you can move forward.
Remember why we do it
If you feel you are not achieving what you want in the time-frames you would like, remember that you’re doing 2 important jobs, raising a family and running a business. Cindy Luken, founder of www.lukbeautifood.com has done it both fast and slow. She is an advocate of slow business and a well-rounded healthy life.
“I thought running my first business was challenging – Luken & May Biscuits – a private equity funded fast growth start up …it’s nothing on business #2 – luk beautifood – a self funded, slow startup run in between little ones! #motherhood #wouldnotchangeitfortheworld”
Happy Mother’s Day, every mother in business! Please take the day to enjoy yourself and your family, and feel proud of what you are building for yourself, your family and your community.