Mum V CEO – Can you really accomplish the Impossible?
A client of mine recently asked ‘Can you have it all?’ Can you run a successful business and be a great mum at the same time? It seems sometimes an impossible task …. It feels like two full-time jobs or like having two families. It is rewarding but can be extremely challenging at the same time.
Women business owners often run complex and diverse lives that present different challenges in terms of communication, focus, leadership and time management. This can often prevent them from achieving their full potential. I know first-hand that in particular ‘time’ is often the number one factor holding women back and making them feel that they are not giving the best of themselves either in their professional or home life.
So these are a few things that I have developed and they have helped me to stay on track and focused are:
Stay Organised – a great morning routine is key! Giving yourself at least 10 minutes in the morning before switching on mobile phones and letting the world in is the best self-investment. It helps mindset and productivity for the day. Use a journal to evaluate how you feel, what you need to achieve in the day and block out times to achieve it. I always had a never-ending ‘to do’ list that always seemed impossible to complete each day. I now set one bite-size project to achieve in my day, so if all else fails, it is the one thing that I can tick off and know that I am still making progress and moving forward. Taking time to note what you are grateful for is also a great way of starting your day on a positive. Remember, only YOU set your mood for the day!
Don’t Judge Yourself – Don’t compare to others. It’s easy to feel guilty if you miss a concert or have to rearrange a business meeting, but really that’s fine. I remember missing my daughter’s first nativity, I felt terrible at the time. She is now 21 years of age and we laugh about it as she has no recollection of me not being there. Instead, we now have fun watching the video playback together. Giving it your all is ‘all’ that matters!
Take Time Out – Taking time for yourself is so important to recharge and be the best you can for both family and business. It will enable you to be more attentive and more productive. It is nothing to feel guilty about … being burnt out doesn’t help either role! Remember the best gift you can give to your children is your own happiness. They will thrive seeing you happy and fulfilled and surely this is what we want our children to emulate in their own lives!
Know When To Switch Hats – clearly mark your diary home time and work time. Setting a time to finish work each day, gives you clear parameters to work within. Its amazing knowing that you have only 2 hours to complete a report, how your mind can truly focus. If you had been given 2 weeks, you would take 2 weeks!
Block out time in your diary just to spend with family without distractions.
Chose a Career that you love – Make sure that when you are taking time out from the family to work, it is to pursue a career that you love. One that is line with your passions and values!
Plan For The Unexpected – Children get sick un-expectantly or in my case, miss the school bus and need driving to a school trip location. In the morning if you have written down your key project for the day, making this the first thing you tackle so if you get called away or have less time available, you still feel you have achieved.
Ensure Boundaries – It is ok to say NO without feeling guilty! I have found it liberating finding this voice. I soon realised that most people thought no less of me for it and those that were upset were, in fact, the ones that I didn’t need in my life anyway. Build a strong network around you of positive, like-minded people and don’t be afraid to delegate. You don’t have to be all things to all men. Make sure when you say ‘Yes’ it’s only to things that are a priority in working towards your dreams and goals.
A balance between work and being a Mum is important; it will undoubtedly throw challenges along the way. There will be times when you will be disappointed, but its learning not to hang on those times and keep your vision clear. Remember you have what it takes to be an amazing mum and an amazing business woman too! You absolutely can accomplish the impossible and have fun too!