Becoming an entrepreneur is a lot of work. Just like being a mom. So why would any sane person do both and become a mompreneur? Don’t worry, you don’t have to be sane. But you do have to be productive. That’s why these 25 amazing and successful mompreneurs are sharing their favorite productivity tips with you. Here’s our countdown:
25. Let it go
Nellie Akalp, mompreneur founder of CorpNet and mother of 4 children, a set of boy/girl twins ages 13, a boy age 10 and a girl age 3, says you have to be willing to let some things go.
“Let it Go.” Yes, this is my youngest daughter’s favorite song from the hit movie Frozen, but it’s also a saying I tell myself about five times a day. Set your perfectionist self aside, and let it go. If you try to focus on all of the little things every day with kids, you won’t get anything done. I focus on the big picture and plan ahead to keep my business successful and my family happy and healthy.
24. Pre-cook a week’s worth of meals
Ksenija Rostova, mompreneur CEO and co-founder of inSelly and mother of a 5-year-old, says you have to cook meals in advance.
My ultimate productivity tip is to partially pre-cook dinners for the entire working week on Sundays. I plan a weekly menu and do all possible preparations: cook and freeze grains/beans/broth, prepare sauces, slice vegetables and pack them in portions, roast or boil meat, mix spices etc. It helps to save a lot of time on cooking after work.
23. Be present
Heather Osgood, serial mompreneur and business coach at How to Quit Working, and mother of 3 kids, ages 18, 6 and 3, says you always have to be present.
Be 100% Present. Your attention is a precious commodity. Whether you are with your kids or working in your business, be present with your full attention. Multi-tasking isn’t effective for success. If you aren’t focused on your kids they’ll know it and fight for your attention. Your business also deserves your full focus. Create a schedule and stick with it to ensure that no one gets the short end of the stick, or the short end of your attention.
22. Put the kids to work
Debra Cohen, mompreneur President of Home Remedies of NY, Inc., and mother of two kids, Emily (18) and Sophie (15), says you should put those kids to work.
When my kids were little, I put them to work with simple jobs like stamping or stuffing envelopes to keep them occupied. I used a trip to the park, baking cookies or some other fun activity as an incentive. As they got older, they handled bigger jobs like data entry and filing and now that they’re teenagers, they are my social media gurus and I give them shopping and gas money. Soon, I’ll be working for them!
21. Make your desk a learning station
Daphne Mallory, mompreneur family business expert and business owner and mother of 4 kids, ages 3, 5, 7, and 15, says you should convert your desk into a learning station.
When kids wake up early or if they’re with you during the day, they can learn on websites like starfalls.com while you get some of your desk work done. They’re close enough to keep an eye on them, and they have your attention—well sort of.
20. Know who your real boss is
Stephanie Adams-Nicolai, mompreneur Founder & CEO of GODDESSY, and mother of a 4-year-old son, says you have to know what your real motivation is.
Remember the real reason you are in business is personal. Everything I do, any business I create, all the money I make, is inspired solely by my son and my desire to provide the very best for him. That said, he is my daily and lifetime motivation to be a success and never give up, as not only am I inspired by him, I am his inspiration to someday become the best he can be as well.
19. Outsource meals
Nicole Davis, mompreneur Certified Public Accountant and principle of Butler-Davis Accounting and mother of 4 kids, ages 1, 2, 14, and 16, says you should get someone else to prepare your meals.
Outsource meal planning and do meal prep on Sunday. I love to cook but I find myself creating more recipes for success in my business than creating healthy recipes for my family. So, I signed up for 1-year meal plan with a company (Me and My Kitchen). The plans come with delicious recipes, a categorized grocery list, and cooking tips. And I consider Sunday a rest day if resting is such a thing with four kids. When I prep everything Sunday, we eat for another week which is always a benefit and I can focus on growing my business the rest of the week.
18. Flip your days
Naomi Hattaway, mompreneur Owner of 8th & Home Real Estate & Relocation, and mother of 3 “kiddos,” ages 19, 11, and 8, says you should flip your days around.
Go to bed 45 minutes earlier than normal and wake up 45 minutes earlier in the morning. Chances are, even if you think you function best at night, you will get MORE done in the morning. Can’t fathom an alarm clock waking you 45 minutes earlier? Gradually increase your flip… start with 15 minutes, and then power through your least liked task in those 15 minutes. It’s like a gift from the productivity gods!
17. Don’t be a “shero”
Shayla Boyd-Gill, mompreneur CEO and Founder of LABOR Business Coaching and mother of 6 kids, ages 8 months, 4, 7, 11, 14, and 17, says you don’t have to be a hero.
Decide not to be a super independent “shero”—ask for help. Pay people to do tasks that are not in your zone of genius. Let your children reap the rewards by hiring them to do work in the business and home
16. Make it fun for the kids
Erica Zidel, mompreneur CEO of SittingAround and mom to 8-year-old son Gavin, says you should keep things interesting for the kids.
I often find myself working from my home office on days where Gavin is home, too (e.g. school holidays, etc.). Taking phone calls with lots of noise in the background is not ideal, so I invented a lip-reading and charades game. When I am on a call and he needs something, he has to find a way to communicate to me as silently as possible. He can mouth it, act it out (no sound), or write in on a piece of paper. It entertains him and allows me to parent during business calls without interruptions—usually!
15. Focus on A+ business problems
Irina Jordan, mompreneur Founder and Owner of ARTISURN and mother of 3 kids, ages 2, 6, and 9, says you should focus on the most important things first.
Tackle one A+ business problem before you get to anything else, the one that makes a critical difference in the success of your business. Resist temptation to start on easier “B” and “C” ones—stay with the “mother of all problems” and experience a great sense of accomplishment. Plus you get to tell your kids you’re getting A+s at your work.
14. Get results
Kathy Catlin Davis, mompreneur owner of Inspired Abundance and mother of two boys, ages 2 and 5, says you should focus on the things that are going to get you the results you need.
Focus on money making and network-building tasks first—so for me, fiddling around with where a graphic goes on my website is last, after finishing projects for clients and doing networking activities.
13. Bribe yourself
Alla Feldman, mompreneur Co-Founder of Live Like You’re Traveling and mother of 2 kids, ages 1 and 3, says you should bribe yourself, just like you do your kids.
I bribe my ‘inner child’ with a reward for staying productive for a 2 hour work stretch. I then give myself 15 minutes “playtime” like having a coffee break or going for a brisk walk outside. I learned this from my kids, if they have something to look forward to like a playdate or going to the pool, they are much more likely to be perfect angels that day! It works for their mom too.
12. Lock the door
Jennifer Porter, mompreneur president of Satsuma Designs and mother of two kids, ages 5 and 8, says you need to get away from your kids and focus sometimes.
“Lock the door” sounds a little draconian, but as a practical tip and a philosophy, it has helped me find the work/life balance to achieve my business goals since my kids were toddlers. As a business owner and parent, you have to let yourself commit to business success. And doing that means to stop multi-tasking and get the work done without the distractions of others’ immediate needs (diapers, food, snot, and soccer pickups). Of course, as a mom you will always come to the rescue, but remember you can rescue yourself, too! And that’s a powerful feeling, Mom.
11. Know your “why”
Jill Farmer, mompreneur author of There’s Not Enough Time…and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves and mother of two kids, ages 14 and 18, says you should focus on what you do want instead of what you don’t want.
We say things like, “I’m doing this project so I don’t get in trouble with my boss,” or “I’m trying to sell more so I don’t miss my goals.” It’s extremely powerful to turn your why’s around into something you DO want. “I want to finish this project so I can help the organization move to the next level and increase my chances for upward growth.” Or, “I would like to increase my sales to grow our family’s income and opportunities for travel.” You get the drift. Getting really clear on your why (and having it connect to your values) is rocket fuel to get moving on doing your best work.
10. Raise entrepreneurial kids
Tanja Diamond, mompreneur Founder of Learning Tantra and mother of one 9-year-old, says your kids will understand better if they are also entrepreneurs.
Raise an entrepreneur. Engage your kids in what you do. Write a book together. Build a website. Help them start their own brand. You will find they are more understanding of the time you need to take to succeed and you will inspire them and their friends to go out and follow their passions.
9. Get really creative
Neither of my kids started going to daycare until after they were 6 months old. While they were at home, the best strategy for getting work done was to sit in a comfy chair with a nursing pillow and baby on top in front of my laptop at the kitchen table; nurse the baby to sleep; and then work on my laptop during the hour or two that the baby slept there. Bathroom breaks were a challenge, however…
8. Sleep in—sometimes
Shannon Battle, mompreneur President/Owner of Family Services of America and mother of five children, ages 19, 16, 11, 10, and 7, says sometimes you should sleep in.
Start early and reward yourself with sleeping in on your off days. Get up early enough to get yourself together before everyone else. Never say yes unless you can plug it into your calendar.
7. Keep your chin up, girl
Grainne Kelly, mompreneur founder of BubbleBum and mother of two kids, ages 14 and 11, says you must always have a positive attitude.
Maintain a positive attitude, because that is essential for success. Energy is the fuel that feeds our attitude and it needs to be replenished on a daily basis. Having a positive attitude is a conscious choice, so when negative thoughts creep in, stop them in their tracks and replace them with positive self-talk. Repeat words or phrases that focus on affirming truths about you. Surround yourself with like-minded women who are an inspiration and who will provide encouragement. Positivity allows you to see the potential that lies within you and gives you the faith to step outside of the box to achieve your dreams.
6. Drop the guilt
Joanna Strober, mopreneur CEO and Co-Founder of Kurbo Health and mom to three children, daughter 15, and sons 13 and 7, says you don’t have to feel guilty.
As working mothers, we can be really hard on ourselves. We may have conflicting feelings, including guilt, anger, fear and helplessness that we can’t do it all. And guess what, no one can do it all—not even Superwoman.
5. Bring back date night
Dorothee Fisher, mompreneur Co-Founder & CMO of nousDECOR and mom of a 2-year-old and a 7-year-old, says you deserve a night of fun for yourself.
When you’re working as many as 80 hours per week, you need time to recharge. Being a mom and entrepreneur can often feel like having three full-time jobs. And finding a last-minute babysitter is not a task you want at the end of a hard week. It’s no wonder date nights are a thing of the past. You need to take a load off. I recently tapped into UrbanSitter.com, rebuilt my network of sitters, and feel like I’ve been liberated. It’s like a mini-vacation at the end of every week.
4. Use countdown timers
Sherlyn Pang Luedtke, mompreneur founder of Present Parent Training and mother of two kids, ages 5 and 10, says you should use countdown timers.
When I use countdown timers, my pace speeds up because I want to beat the clock. The timer also brings me back from being immersed in creative flow in between client sessions. My kids and I use timers to play at work. For example, how fast do you think you can put all your toys away? It also keeps play in check and us on track, as in, “Would you like to set the timer to play for 3 or 5 more minutes before your bath?”
3. Muti-tasking is a must
Deborah Sweeney, mompreneur CEO of MyCorporation.com and mother of two sons, ages 8 and 10, says you have to do more than one thing at a time.
Combining two things at the same time is a great way for mom entrepreneurs to get things done. If I didn’t find a way to work while I exercise, I’m afraid I would not exercise. When I exercise on the weekends, I always make sure one of my sons is with me. We ride bikes, I run while they ride their scooters and we try to get about town with less car use and more leg use. It’s a great way to get fresh air, to talk and catch up and to incorporate a healthy activity.
2. Eliminate distractions at all costs
Jessica Wyman, mompreneur Certified Nutrition Coach and Yoga Teacher at Wildly Vibrant Living and mother of 2 kids, ages 12 and 13, says distraction must go.
You must know your pockets of productive time and be absolutely committed to no distractions even if it means locking yourself in the laundry room to get it done. The only distractions allowed are trips to the E.R. because someone swallowed a dozen quarters (or similar). The family must know that this is work time and then in return be fully committed to quality family time when it isn’t your work time.
1. Put your health first
Michelle Laver, mompreneur Co-Founder of Kate Farms and mother of four kids, ages 8, 17, 21 and 22, says your health is the most important thing.
I believe that good health is at the root of productivity, both in the workplace and in life. Good health starts with food, and since kids can be picky eaters, if their meals are healthy and taste great, it is a win/win for moms and their kids. Everyone feels better and is healthier! With healthy eating habits, I am able to go to work with a high level of energy and can tackle everything that needs to get done, and am safe in the knowledge that my kids are healthy and happy.
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