Are you your own worst boss? How your parent skills affect your business life and what you can do about it. How parent-preneurs can succeed & become better bosses to themselves
Female entrepreneurs and mompreneurs often end up being their own worst bosses! But that’s not to say you can’t change. The key is identifying the things that are causing the problem and changing that.
What makes a mompreneur or female entrepreneur a bad boss? Well, let’s look at some bad boss traits to begin with! Think back to that corporate job you had, did your bad boss do any of this?
Expecting you to be available at all hours
Repeated requests to respond to client email when it’s not worktime
Asking you to do more than your job
Not getting paid for doing more than your job
Treating you with less than kindness
Now, let’s look at the things that you do as a parent:
Micromanaging – those shoes are not going to get tied unless you do it
Expecting you to be available at all hours – um, yeah, they’re helpless humans
Repeated requests to respond to clients (kids) when it’s not worktime. Hello, get-in-bed time, everyone
Asking you to do more than your job. Duh.
Not getting paid for doing more than your job. How about not getting paid at all?
Treating you with less than kindness. Anyone the parent of a teenager?
These SAME traits that you experience as a mom, you’re doing to yourself as a boss. It’s OK! These are ingrained, learned habits!
Here’s what you can do about it:
Set clear work hours. I personally need at least 30-60 minutes once I get the kids off to school to not be a mom or a business owner before I get to work (this means I start at 9am). And I need a similar pause time when the kids get home from school so I can get them started on their afterschool activities. If you are able to set clear work hours, especially if you work from home, carve out some time for yourself before/after work. Remember, your business works for you!
Related article: Mompreneur myths
Get some help. When you’re a one-woman show, you have to do it all. Or do you? Virtual assistants abound, as do bookkeeping professionals and people to help you with marketing and technology (hey, that’s me, Ann!) Even getting help a few hours a week to do these routine tasks can free you up to do the things you set out to do in your business in the first place!
Get paid well. The only way you can do this is to set a business budget. Assess your expenses and your revenue. If you’re not making enough money from your business, you can either reduce expenses or increase sales. Both, preferably, will yield the best results. If you need to automate sales a little more so you can take in revenue when you’re not working, look to things like online courses, memberships to online content, products you can sell (affiliate, or drop ship), etc. If you need to reduce expenses, look at recurring subscriptions, negotiate with suppliers for volume discounts. Then, budget for your pay, and look to increase that every month of the year. This is an exercise in numbers, but worth it to have done. An Excel spreadsheet, your business bookkeeping software are all good places to set up this budget and review it monthly. If you need some help here and are just starting out (or want a quick & easy worksheet), try our Proforma worksheet! The blog post explains what that is and links you to the downloadable.
Be your own BEST boss! Treat yourself with kindness. Take the time to acknowledge the GOOD work you’ve been doing. Need a reward for getting that tough accounting task done? Schedule that reward on your calendar! Tell yourself how great of a job you’re doing, and if you are having trouble with this, ask your customers. The truth is, as entrepreneurs, we don’t often get outside positive feedback unless we solicit it, and we never get internal feedback because it’s just you. So you have to talk to yourself in a way that works. A journal, your calendar, a Pinterest vision board, whatever works to give yourself motivation to keep going, do that.
Business can be – especially over decades – relentless. It can feel like a treadmill that’s going nowhere. The more you can do to provide reward-feedback loop to yourself, to acknowledge yourself for the awesome that you are, the happier you will be. And as we all know, when mama’s happy, everyone’s happy!