I make it very obvious and clear that I love what I’m doing. I’ve also never been shy about telling my story and being as honest about it as possible. Truth is, I’ve envisioned the life I am living now very early on in my 20s — well before I got married and had kids.
More specifically, there were two reasons why I started running my business: to make more money so I could have more freedom and flexibility to do what I want. In fact, 65% of women entrepreneurs start a business to build wealth or earn a high income, which I can attest to being a big reason behind my drive.
Listen, I get it, the advice we all hear is: “Don’t do it for the money, just do what you love.” I wish I could say that that works but it doesn’t all of the time. I also can’t speak for anyone else but I know for me making more money (and being my own boss) meant that I’d be able to have more time to do other things that I valued. For instance, motherhood is so important to me and it has given me an elevated purpose for why I continue pushing myself to be better too. Therefore, the idea of quitting when running a business (or even life for that matter) gets hard has just never been an option for me.
In today’s blog post, I will talk about five of the key lessons I’ve learned with raising babies and a business. My hope is that these lessons will serve to inspire other working women (and men too because I don’t discriminate 😉) to find ways that they, too, can navigate their work while raising babies.
Let’s dive in…
1. Less judgment, more compassion
Facing setbacks and failures is a part of the entrepreneurial journey. It can be easy to let these moments of misstep hold you back from achieving something greater. However, if you take them more as learning opportunities and then pivot towards a path that’s going to benefit your overall growth, you’ll see some big wins.
For me, I’ve always been very self-critical without judging myself too harshly. I realized early on in my career that there will always be people who are rooting for you to fail, so you might as well be your own biggest cheerleader.
Having compassion for yourself encompasses the following:
- Know that you’re not perfect. In fact, no one is. What matters most is that you’re making progress. Stop looking back to dwell on things you can’t change anymore.
- Shift to a growth mindset. I don’t mean just in business, but personally too. Making improvements along the way and putting in the time to learn what you need to is critical for success. You are a work-in-progress through the process.
- Stay level-headed. This is where humility comes into play. Truly, it doesn’t matter how much or little money you make. It’s about being empathetic with who you are and those around you.
2. Do work that makes you happy
I can’t stress this enough. I’ll also be the first to admit that in my 20s I was also very lucky to discover my passion in marketing. Not only did I chase opportunities within this world, I also pursued the salary too. There was one major drawback though…
Even though I was doing work I enjoyed and making really good money working for someone else doing it, I found that I wasn’t jumping out of bed every morning to build out someone else’s dream. At that point in my life, I knew I had to make a big change.
In order to really do work that made me happy, I’d have to take the leap into entrepreneurship and run my own business. Since I had already been running my marketing company as a side-hustle, I pushed to ensure that financially I could do it.
3. Money can buy a lot, but it can’t buy more time
Being able to see the tiny and big milestones that my babies achieve is one of the most rewarding things about motherhood. I haven’t missed out on any of them and that’s something I’ll continue being grateful for. I am insanely fortunate to be doing what I’m doing and on days where I want to just take more time to be with my babies, I can.
These are the moments that I know money could never buy. These are the times in my life that I am reminded of why I work so hard and ‘who’ I do it for besides just myself. Having a lot of flexibility with how I plan out my weeks around my business and my babies is certainly a privilege that I don’t take for granted.
4. Find healthy ways to manage stress
I have to admit that I used to be really bad at managing my stress levels. I discovered that by not managing my stress, the heightened emotions that came with it would bleed into other areas of my life. That wasn’t something I wanted. Having the clarity to compartmentalize and being in a healthy state of mind has been something I’ve taken very seriously.
For those reasons, I’ve always been a very active person, but now you’ll find me running anywhere between 25-35 miles a week. This is my “me time” as I call it. Whatever I’m worried and stressed about, I take time to sweat it all out. More specifically, running helps me gain perspective.
Plus, one of my mottos is to consistently remind myself that I am a work-in-progress in the process. This allows me to embrace every challenge that entrepreneurship and motherhood throws my way. Really seeing how temporary things can be helps me be more mindful.
5. Don’t get too comfortable, things change quickly
When you add raising babies and a business into the mix of life, the word “comfortable” just simply doesn’t exist. I can say with confidence that that word has always been on that I’ve steered away from. Doing so has benefited my ability to grow personally and professionally. On top of that, dealing with adversity and changes almost becomes second nature.
Here are key reasons why getting out of your comfort zone is good for you:
- You don’t make decisions based on fear.
- You really go after the things you value and love, integrating it all into your life.
- You’re disciplined and make sh&* happen.
- You don’t settle.
- You create opportunities rather than waiting around for them.
Over to you
As I reflect on what’s worked well for me and the lessons I’ve learned along the way, it’s clear to me that every rejection and hurdle I overcame made me stronger. Realizing my potential, knowing exactly what I want out of life, and holding myself accountable has never left me feeling disappointed.
Know what is in your control and what isn’t. Decide what you value, what makes you happy, what you absolutely love doing, and be fearless in the pursuit of the opportunities that align.