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The 19 Habits of Successful Parent-Preneurs

The 19 Habits of Successful Parent-Preneurs

Running a business with children running around can be chaotic at the best of times. Talented parent-preneurs know that discipline, focus, and drive is needed to advance a business towards success. Being self-employed means that a flexible working schedule can be developed, and priorities can be juggled at any time of the day or night.

The following successful parent-preneurs tell us the habits they practise to stay successful at work and at home.

Habit #1: Communicating Effectively

I had stresses in business going on and they were affecting me at home. I realized that I was difficult to be around for everyone, but especially my wife. I make it a point to let her know what’s going on in the business now, even if she finds it boring. The most important part isn’t what’s happening, but how I feel about what’s happening. So even though she might not understand what’s going on, she understands that it’s making me stressed (or excited) and she feels like she’s more connected with me and I feel the same with her.

Nurture your family as much as you nurture your business. Your business may take care of your family but your family will care about you.

Brian GattiPartner & Consultant, Inspire Business Concepts

Habit #2: Saying No

I tell my clients that the definition of balance is not trying to get to a perfect 10 in every area of their life. Rather, it’s figuring out how they want their life to look in each area and putting the plan in place to get there.

My #1 tip that always works for me is to pause and consciously choose what I want to say yes to and what I want to say no to. When I don’t do that, I can make choices without realizing that saying yes to this thing really means saying no to something else I may not want to say no to.

Elene Cafasso, President & Head Coach, Enerpace Executive Coaching

Habit #3: Scheduling Family Time

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    Devote one entire day to family each weekend and put away all technology. What I find that my kids want the most from me is quality time. It’s much better to set aside large chunks of time to play, talk, and explore the world and everything else can wait for a few hours (or a day).

    The easiest way to do this is by setting expectations with your clients. In the digital marketing world, it’s tough not to be always on, but communicating when and how you’re available to clients can mitigate any problems.

    Aalap Shah, Co-Founder, SoMe Connect

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    Habit #4: Loving What You Do

    You have to love what you do so it doesn’t feel like work but like a hobby or passion, because you will put your blood, sweat, and tears into your business.

    Kelley Kitley LCSW, Owner, SERENDIPITOUS PSYCHOTHERAPY, LLC, Author of Autobiography, My Self

    Habit #5: Focussing Attention, Not Time

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      You may think you have five hours to work and then wake up to a sick child. So, learn to focus only on the task at hand when you have time. You’ll find yourself much more productive if you do so. If you want to focus on your business while raising kids, you have to become a high performer. That means developing the ability to focus on what is in front of you and be present in any moment. And it means developing clarity, persuasion and productivity skills, and a sense of purpose.

      Nina AmirChief Inspiration Officer & Inspiration to Creation Coach, Pure Spirit Creations

      Habit #6: Taking Care

      Keep your energy up! You can’t help your children or your customers/clients if you have no energy. Take care of yourself first so you can care for your kids and your business. (This is just like the oxygen mask on a plane. Put it on yourself first!)

      Nina AmirChief Inspiration Officer & Inspiration to Creation Coach, Pure Spirit Creations

      Habit #7: Using The 20-3-20-10 Rule

      I work for 20 minutes, then do 3 minutes of quick chores (loading laundry, making coffee, etc.), then 20 more minutes of work, followed by 10 minutes of movement (stretching, prepping dinner, etc.). I use a headset whenever on a call and walk around the house if possible, or load or empty the dishwasher. When my little girl is home, she has a schedule with rewards, extra time with mommy for cooking or reading together, if she doesn’t interrupt me on a call, etc.

      I will say having a child in a kid-focused business is great! Her friends served as preliminary focus groups for my gaming app and she comes up with a lot of great ideas.

      Melissa Halas-Liang, Founder, Super Kids Nutrition

      Habit #8: Writing a 5-Minute To-Do List

      Make a list that you keep on your phone called “5-minute to-do list.” These will be things that take 5 minutes or less to do. Every time you get an extra few minutes, whether it be waiting at the dentist’s office or standing in line at the grocery store, look at the list and do one of them. They can be things like merge your multiple contacts in your phone or search for clients’ birthdays on facebook so you can start a list and make sure you wish them happy birthday next year.

      Amber Dolle, Real Estate Agent

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      Habit #9: Practising Balance

      Being a working mother is a true blessing. I’m showing my children, especially my daughter, that it is okay to work, be a wife, and a friend all at the same time. Aside all the busy trips, meetings, and calls, the moment I walk inside my home, I put down my phone and step away from the computer. Turning off notifications goes a long way and helps remind me that at that moment, nothing is as urgent and important as family time.

      Sometimes it’s easier said than done. In that case, I explain and show my daughter what I’m up to and why I’m on the phone. It’s a great way to converse, bring her in, help her understand and appreciate the work I’m doing. I understand that there’s more than one way to be a good mom. Being confident and balanced in life, I’m showing my children that you can be whatever you want to be without sacrificing the people and things you love.

      Harriet Mills, CEO & Founder, Wine & Design

      Habit #10: Identifying What’s Important

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        Do something every day to move your business forward. Growing a business takes time, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Doing little items everyday will add up to success.

        Heather Christian, Stressed Mommy LLC

        Habit #11: Including The Family

        Being an entrepreneur is typically a 24/7 commitment and therefore, my habit for success is consistently educating and including our son in our business. I wanted him to have some understanding of why we work so hard and have him feel some ownership and pride as well.

        As a parent-preneur, it’s difficult to separate work from home, so giving him an opportunity to participate and learn some business skills made it truly a family business. In the process, he has set up trade shows, packed boxes, worked on our database, met with clients and worn an eagle costume!

        Mickey Swortzel, Owner/CFO, New Eagle Consulting, LLC

        Habit #12: Scheduling Work Hours

        jann

          If you work from home, this is the time of day that you need to be up, dressed, and ready to go. The start time may flex depending on what else is going on in your life, but keeping to a schedule gets you in a regular work frame of mind. Conversely, be sure to schedule time with yourself, your partner, kids, and your friends in your calendar.

          It might seem too rigid to schedule fun time, but often if we don’t schedule it, then the time gets away from us and it doesn’t happen.

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          Jann Fujimoto, Speech-language Pathologist, SpeechWorks

          Habit #13: Remembering Happiness Brings Success

          I try to be a generally happy person. Success does not bring happiness, it’s the other way around: happiness brings success. If you are generally an unhappy person and feel sorry for yourself, if you’re constantly engaged in negative self-talk, you won’t be successful. If you are generally happy, give yourself positive feedback, and believe in yourself, you are more likely to be successful.

          Jesse Harrison, Owner, Zeus Legal Funding

          Habit #14: Being Disciplined

          Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 8.53.30 AM

            When I had an 8-5 job, I use to think I was so busy, but starting my business has really put things into perspective. I wake up around 4 am to get my training done by 6:30. At 6:30, I respond to emails and do client work until 7:30 (when my girls wake up). After taking them to school (they go for half days), I rush back to the house where I fully focus on work for 4 hours. Then off to get the girls, run errands, take them swimming, make dinner, bathe them, read them a story, and then get them to bed.

            After that, I enjoy my glass of wine while doing some more work.

            Olivia Jaras, Founder & CEO of Salary Coaching for Women

            Habit #15: Learning To Switch Off

            I have to consciously open the app and refresh the screen in order to download new emails. That means, on a Saturday morning, I stop and think before I hit refresh and I ask myself: how will I feel after I see my emails? If I believe an email could trigger a stress response, then I usually justify waiting till another time.

            I have also moved the email app from my home screen to the last screen of my iPhone so that, again, I have to consciously seek it out to check it.

            Katy Martin & Krista Smith, Web Designer Beauty School

            Habit #16: Embracing a Flexible Schedule

            joey4

              When moving from full-time employment to self employed, I kept my working day the same, starting between 8 AM and 9 AM through to 6 PM. I kept the breaks to a minimum and did my best to focus and get as much done as possible. So, all I’d done in this change is heap a load more pressure on myself for the same routine. Gone was the security of an employer paying me and there seemed to be no upside of being self employed.

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              After a while, I decided to relax the schedule and give myself a break if I wanted one. Not just a 5-minute coffee, but an hour or two with my son or a breakfast out with my wife, knowing I could catch up those hours this evening or at the weekend and no one was there to tell me otherwise.

              Ben Hitchens, Founder, Older Dating

              Habit #17: Expecting Respect

              Even though I look like a stay-at-home mom, I am not. I run a business from home. They must respect the fact that I work, so if I am on the phone, they must be quiet and respect my clients. In return, I respect their needs of me. When it is their time, I am devoted to them. Very little cheating is involved. No guilt.

              They also need to know and buy into the fact that this work feeds, houses, and clothes all of us, so they are part of this enterprise. I ask them to play their parts, do their best, and show up professionally like I have to for my clients. They come and help out at my events, they see themselves as part of the message and the business.

              To celebrate our accomplishments, we go on cool vacations. My daughter knows what I make, how my work helps other women, and feels the pride in that.

              Mai Vu, Author, The Divorced Mom’s Guide to Dating

              Habit #18: Taking Baby Steps

              Don’t be disillusioned that your business will be an overnight success (unless you’re very, very lucky or well connected). It takes hard work, focus, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears. I set myself weekly goals and keep a huge to-do list and stick to it. I’m constantly re-prioritising my to-do list and I work on the quick wins first. These small steps will eventually get you to your end goals.

              Lucy McShane, Owner, Real Wedding

              Habit #19: Multitasking

              Multitasking is a necessity. Multitasking is also a family event. Sometimes, my kids are right next to me at Panera or Starbucks while I am sending a few quick emails. I can listen to business podcasts while also cooking dinner. Any opportunity I have to get business done during family chores/tasks, I take advantage of that time.

              Heather McCarthy, Owner, Someone Special Uniquely Personalized Books

              Featured photo credit: London Scout via unsplash.com

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              Last Updated on August 20, 2019

              How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

              How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

              Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

              You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

              Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

              “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

              It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

              Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

              As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

              As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

              Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

              Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

              1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

              When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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              Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

              2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

              Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

              But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

              If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

              Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

              3. Go to All Office Networking Events

              Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

              If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

              Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

              Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

              The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

              Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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              4. Show Initiative

              Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

              Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

              Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

              5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

              Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

              Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

              6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

              A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

              Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

              Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

              A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

              Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

              Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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              These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

              Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

              7. Find a Mentor

              With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

              Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

              Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

              Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

              8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

              After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

              What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

              Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

              Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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              You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

              9. Set Your Professional Bar High

              Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

              Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

              Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

              Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

              The Bottom Line

              Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

              “Half of life is showing up.”

              The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

              Remember, your career is your business!

              More About Continuous Growth

              Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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