Do you find yourself wishing and dreaming you could just be a work at home mom already and pursue your side hustle full time?
As a working mom, you know how to juggle working full-time with being a mom and a wife, so how hard could it be to work for yourself full time? I mean, work on what you love AND get paid for it all while being with your kids more?? Who wouldn’t want that?
You’re already killing it with the limited effort you can put in now, so you gear up and make the leap. You’re a business owner. Finally!
Then reality sets in. This is HARD. Way harder than you ever imagined and you aren’t even sure you’re going to be successful at this rate.
This was me 2 months ago. I prepped and got myself ready to be my own boss. Finally, my dream had come true…. Until I quickly realized that I was in for a totally different ride that I had planned on.
Trying to run a business with a toddler (an only child going through the
terrible horrendous two’s on top of that) turned out to be not so easy. Juggling between working on household duties and my business became an everyday struggle. Time was quickly flying by and I was realizing that if I didn’t get a hold on my new role as a work at home mom, then I would soon have to start applying for jobs again.
Then I sat down and I regrouped. My go to method of getting my head on straight is to journal. Writing helps me organize and slow-down my thoughts so that I can focus on the issue at hand.
Through journaling, I found that there were 5 major areas that were preventing me from being successful. Once I started to focus on these areas in my life, things really started to turn around for my business.
To help you not have to go through the chaos that I endured, I want to share what these 5 areas were:
Set boundaries with your time
Shift your mindset
Focus on your main business
Help yourself before helping others
Have structure and routine
Set Boundaries With Your Time
When you work from home, everyone seems to think that because you’re at home, you’re free to chat, to go to lunch, etc. Most people don’t truly grasp that just because you’re home doesn’t mean you are lounging on the couch doing nothing ( at least you shouldn’t be! haha). Working from home means that you have to actually work.
If you won’t work on your business, then who is going to?
When I first started working from home, I found that suddenly my phone was ringing off the hook (side note: funny how we still say that even though I’m sure kids these days have no idea what that means). My mom had just entered hospice care, my dad had a minor surgery and my husband drives a lot for work so he would call frequently. Everyone wanted to talk and I was all too eager with my newfound “freedom” working from home.
Until I started to realize that my entire day was getting eaten up by phone calls.
To set boundaries, I told my family and friends that I work from home and gave them my hours. I explained that just like a “real” job, I couldn’t just talk on the phone the entire time. This helped to give boundaries but also helped other people know that I am serious about working on my business and they should show it the same respect.
In order to hold myself accountable, I started turning my phone on ‘do not disturb’ to prevent myself from answering every text that comes my way as well.
If you won’t work on your business, then who is going to? Setting these boundaries from the beginning when you really need to hit the ground running are going to really make a difference in your success as you get started as a work at home mom.
Shift Your Mindset
Switching to working on your side hustle as a full-time job requires a deliberated mindset shift. Because what once was a hobby/side hustle is now your main focus, how you prioritize and view the tasks that go with your business will need to be adjusted.
I didn’t even realize I had an issue with this until I started examining my schedule. It was frustrating me that I felt like I was always working but nothing was getting done. When I looked at it closer, I was using a lot of my time to clean, play with my son, etc instead of actually working.
I wasn’t viewing my once hobby as a now full-time job.
Before, it was an option to work on ebay or my blogging business. After I did all of the things (including a full day at work), then if I felt like it or had the time, then I could work on ebay. This system doesn’t work so well when that business now needs to be front and center and you have to work on it regardless.
Just like at your job where you’d focus solely on your tasks at hand, you must give your new business the attention it deserves or you’ll have a hard time succeeding.
Focus on Your Main Business
If you’re venturing out onto your own to work from home, then you likely have an entrepreneurial spirit. This is great because it’ll allow you come up with business ideas and try new things as you get further along in your business.
The issue with this mentality is that if you are working on all of your ideas at once, then no single business is getting your full attention to really thrive.
But now, as you’re starting on this journey, focus on ONE business.
I heard James Wedmore talk about this on his podcast Mind Your Business. He said that when he first started his own business, he found himself working on like 8 different business ideas in hopes that one would stick.
It’s so so easy to do that because you’re going to be unsure of whether your business idea and efforts are going to pay off, nervous of putting all of your “eggs in one basket” and desperate for money.
Maybe if I work on multiple business ideas, then I’m going to increase the chances that I’ll make money. Surely one of them will hit.
The issue with this mentality is that if you’re working on all of your ideas at once, then no single business is getting your full attention to really thrive.
Wedmore said it best when he said none of your ideas are bad. Any of them would likely work if you put all of your effort into it.
I have definitely struggled this and I have to constantly remind myself to stay focused!
As you set out to start working for yourself, pick the one business you are going to focus on and stick with it.
Help Yourself Before Helping Others
As I was letting my entrepreneurial ideas run wild, I was coming up with all of these ways to help women transition from working full time to having the life they long for by working from home. However, I stopped and realized that if I didn’t get my act together, I wasn’t going to be able to remain a work at home mom for too much longer. Then I would lose the platform to encourage and help other women and have to give up on my own dream.
If your part of your future business ideas include teaching others how to succeed and showing them how to do specific things, you have to make sure that you are actually successful yourself.
It’s hard to teach others when you haven’t actually proven yourself first.
Take care of your own business and become successful because trying to focus on helping and teaching others.
Have Structure and Routine
The freedom of having control of your time is often a huge driver for you to work from home. No more having to show up at 9 am every day just because someone else said so. You’d be free of having to work on projects all day because of someone else’s deadline.
I totally get it. One of the things I looked forward to the most when I started working for myself was to not have to be at a certain place at a certain time.
But here’s the thing. Structure and routine aren’t bad. It’s being a slave to them that drains you.
This took me some time to figure out and I figured it out the hard way at that.
I essentially was flying by the seat of my pants. No structure to my day at all. I would write down some general goals and hope that somewhere in the day, I was going to be able to accomplish those goals. But in my head, I wasn’t about to hold myself to any kind of schedule. I just got away from that with my job, right??
As my attempt to run my own business was feeling more and more chaotic, I noticed something interesting when I picked my son up from daycare one day.
The teacher told me that my son was wonderful in class. I was shocked to hear that because at home he is chaotic.
When I thought about it, he did well at school because there was structure. Specific times for things in a specific order. At home, we just do things on a whim and that’s not good for toddlers and it turns out, it isn’t so great for us as adults either.
Psychologically, our brains love habits. The brain latches onto routine so then it knows what to expect and it can gear up and prepare for each transition in the day. This is why if you have a specific room in your house that you work in, when you go in that room, you can actually feel your brain start to shift into work mode.
And if you think about it, just like my son in daycare, most of us were primed the same way. On structure and routine.
Whether we like it or not, structure and routine are necessary for the success of our business. The silver lining is that it is YOUR routine. You get to decide what it looks like. That’s the beauty of being your own boss.
Using a fun planner like The Happy Planner can really inspire you to use it and make planning out your days be enjoyable. I loved getting all of the additional insert packages and stickers to make it work for what I needed. The fall is a great time to get a planner because a) they are often on sale (saving money is always a win) and b) you can get it all setup and ready to go so you can hit the ground running next year. The Happy Planners have so many cute styles but they sell out of the best ones quickly, so make sure you get one now so you don’t miss out.
Remember, there is a difference in doing whatever you want whenever you want and creating a structured routine that fits your lifestyle and allows you to be productive each and every day to move your business forward.
As your own boss, you have what so many others would LOVE to have. The freedom to be in control of their time.
Embrace this new phase of your life. Consider these 5 areas and put in some safe guards to make sure that you have the smoothest transition from being a working mother to being a work at home mother.
With these things in place, you are going to hit the ground running in your business and crush it like a BOSS!