Solopreneurship is an amazing thing. We pour our hearts, souls, and every ounce of hustle we have into building the business of our dreams -- one that both fulfills us financially and emotionally. We work day-in and day-out, often from dawn to dusk (and sometimes from dusk to dawn…) to make it work so we can enjoy the freedom and the choice that come from being our own boss.
But there’s a certain kind of One Woman Shop that often goes underappreciated: the mompreneur. The ladies hustling to make the baby that is their business work, while also taking care of their real babies, whether they’re two months, two years, or 20.
Seeing that we’re just a few days away from celebrating moms the world over, we thought it was a perfect time to chat with a few of our fellow solo business owners -- who just happen to also be mompreneurs -- and ask a simple question:
What are your must-haves for successfully managing motherhood and your solo business?
Here’s what they had to say:
"Be brave: ask for time, space, support, and babysitting from your family, friends, and community; try a short and sweet daily meditation practice; add a little movement and nature to your day; read empowering books; and approach it all with self-compassion and humor. I could name specific tips and technology but, truly, I create by using these simple practices in tandem." - Julie Fiandt, Create in Tandem
"My monthly planner (both paper and digital), byRegina’s Epic Blog calendar combined with my WordPress editorial calendar, and a (kiddo-free) scheduled planning day each month to automate my recurring tasks and get administrative work done. I became a solopreneur so I could stay home with my (now three-year-old) son and the only way for me to stay balanced is for me to keep a healthy dose of realism." - Desiree Jester, A Place to Nest
"My must-haves are intuition and action. I successfully manage motherhood and my business by acting on my intuition without delay. No second guessing, no doubt, no fear." - Lisa Ball, Mompreneur Assistant
"I’ve found that is it essential for me to 1) know my priorities, 2) have a good handle of how much time I can spend on my business and the corresponding, realistic output I can demand from myself (currently loving the Pomodoro technique to maximise my time), and 3) have clear boundaries with my son over when Mama’s work hours are. (Shushing the Mommy Guilt that may crop up whenever I have to say no to that sad puppy dog face!)" - Joy Ycasiano-Dejos, Mommy Proofing Coaching
"For me, it's a constantly updated to-do list. Because I know that I may only have 10 or 15 minutes in which to get a quick work item done, I have to have a really clear, prioritized menu of tasks available at my fingertips. I use the Bullet Journaling method to keep my to-do list organized and up-to-date." - Amy Simpkins, Life Architecting
"I'm still figuring things out since my baby is only eight months old, but I couldn't do it without my husband's support. He takes care of baby when he gets home from work so I can have all afternoon to work and makes sure I have everything I need to focus on getting things done." - Lilly Garcia, LillyGarcia.com
"My email, Google calendar, and Facebook are indispensable for managing my mompreneur life. They keep me organized and focused in regard to scheduling, blog ideas, communication with others, and client work." - Jennifer Lopez, Live Simply, Live Thrifty, Live Savvy
"My iPhone -- if it is not in my phone calendar, it does not happen; Dropbox -- I can see my files on the go whether I am waiting at sports warm-ups or in the dance lobby; my planner from Target -- I need to visually SEE what the heck is going on, too! Finally, peppermint pedicures -- It is one of the things I do for myself where no can talk to me. I don't take my phone and I just relax in the moment." - Sang D, www.Sangtastik.com
"Reliable humans! Since welcoming baby, I've added a team member to my business and regular baby care at home, both of which I consider indispensable." - Laura Simms, Create as Folk
"Designated office/work time and reliable child care to help make that happen. As a mother of three, knowing when I can answer emails, add items to our online shop, and correspond with clients and colleagues is a must. Knowing that the kiddos are well taken care of sets me at ease and therefore helps make a happier, more productive work environment." - Veronica Staudt, Vintage Meet Modern
"While I rely a lot on tools like Wunderlist and Pocket to help me keep track of to-dos and resources, my true must haves are flexibility and community. Children are constantly growing and changing, and I try to build some wiggle room into my schedule while still remaining reliable for my clients. And I love my community of mompreneurs to bounce ideas off of, relate to, and be inspired by." - Nikkita Cohoon, nikkita.co
"Focus. I manage my day with the WIN concept -- “What's Important Now.” It's all about fully dedicating your precious attention to the task in front of you, no distractions. That way you know whatever you've done, you've done well and with intention." - Melissa Bolton, TheMogulMom.com
"You know the saying “it takes a village”? Well that is definitely the case here, and a few go-to apps help too. First, I’m very, very lucky to have a husband who is willing to take on a good share of the parenting and household management. We use Cozi for scheduling, to do lists (we keep a permanent “travel prep list” for our road trips) and shopping lists. For my solo business, I use Redbooth plus a couple of paper planners (Passion Planner and The Day Designer). Gotta go, my turn for bedtime routine!" - Rachel Formaro, Blu Pagoda
"My biggest tip is having a good support system, I couldn't work on my business without my husband sharing our family responsibilities. I also separate work stuff from home stuff. I have set working hours, during which I ignore the house (ok, I might do a load of laundry, because as we know, there is always laundry!), and when my son and husband are at home, I work really hard on focusing on family stuff. I'd also be lost without my Filofax planner, which helps me to keep up with everything." - Francine Clouden, Callaloo Soup
"I am a runner and making time to run helps to keep me mentally fit, and allows me to have much needed me-time for about an hour every morning. We spend so much time worrying about our clients, families, and other responsibilities, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of just making time for yourself." - Nancy Laws, Afro-Chic Mompreneur
"Two things: 1. You don't have to answer e-mails in the evening or late into the night. Put down the phone and make some time to snuggle with your babies. This is sometimes hard to do, but I love the snuggle time. 2. Schedule your work day around your children. I wait to start my work until my son is ready and off to school; I then take a break to pick him up from school. That way we get some special time together." - Katie Radke, KR Creative Designs
A huge thanks to the mompreneurs sharing their secrets with us!
Fellow mompreneurs: what’s on your must-have list? Tell us in the comments below.