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The Teary Confession of a Mum in Business

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The Teary Confession of a Mum in Business

Sometimes I think that if I just deleted social media, it might be a bit easier.

Maybe I’d feel less guilty, like less of a complete failure. The readily available supply of inspirational mummy memes, the ‘we can do it all’ posts, the amazing photos of beautiful children and homes … These all feel more like silent judgement to me. Because as hard as I try and believe me, I’m trying, I just can’t keep up.

Business is going well. I’ve not long ago released a book, and I’m being invited to speak to groups of women in business frequently. Everything I’ve been working so hard for is all coming together, but at the same time, I’m coming apart.

Maybe We Should Pack It All In?

A few weeks ago, I hit what I think, was rock bottom. We had some issues to deal with as a family which took me away from work, and it was almost as if a spotlight had been shined directly onto our home life. We were seriously unorganised and spending way more money than we should on general living. The house was a mess, and while we were able to ignore it when we were run off our feet, I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t breathe.

Let’s pack it all in and move to a property or a farm. Grow our own veggies. Homeschool the kids.

When I start to think like this, I know it’s time to make some serious changes. And yes, I have thought like this before. It’s not my first rock bottom, and I’d say it won’t be my last.

Pushing Back From Rock Bottom.

Life and business are ever-changing, largely uncontrollable entities of their own. You can make plans, and you can bring in structure, but something will always happen to challenge even your best, and at times your worst-case scenarios. It can sometimes seem impossible to come back from. But while you might spend your nights on Realestate.com.au looking at properties in Nimbin, deep down you know where you really want to be.

So, this is what I’m doing this week:

1. Slow it down and prioritise time.

I’m making time, for time and I don’t mean family time or ‘me’ time. I mean, I’m anticipating that things will happen that challenge my schedule and I’m allowing for that. I cannot realistically work every spare hour of every day, so I need to stop expecting that’s how it’ll go.

Some days you will feel over it, so allow time to run for the hills. Or one of your kids will get sick, and you’ll be called into action for something far more important than any business-related activity; couch cuddles! These things will happen, and you need to be able to deal with them without the added stress of being fixed to a timeframe.

2. Plan to change your plans.

As I said above, life and business can sometimes take on a life of their own, so I’m planning to change my plans. We found that things were changing so quickly, our monthly calendar was becoming unusable. I’d push to try and keep things on schedule, and I’d just end up failing miserably.

Then, due to an unexpected meeting, the business plan for one of our businesses became obsolete, and we were flying blind. You can’t expect everything to work to plan and you can’t hold onto something that isn’t working. Monthly or even weekly reviews of schedules and plans can help reduce to the stress of trying to make it all fit.

3. If you’re not Enjoying It, Make a Change.

I think maybe the biggest thing I’ve realised over the last few weeks is that there are certain areas of my business that I am just not enjoying anymore. So, I’ve changed them. I dropped some services and reduced my available ‘face to face’ hours to focus more on my home and my family.

Being self-employed is hard. It’s incredibly stressful, and in my opinion, if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, it’s just not worth it.

So, why the teary confession?

Because from the outside looking in, like those photos on social media, everything looks amazing. Business is great, my book is out, and I’m standing on a podium in front of people talking about my life in business but what I really want mums in business to know is:

You’re not alone and you are not a failure.

Sometimes it does come apart, but trust me, you can put it all back together.

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