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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 16, 2018

              10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

              10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

              When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

              However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

              You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

              A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

              Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

              1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

              It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

              Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

              Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

              A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

              If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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              2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

              Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

              Let me explain:

              A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

              A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

              3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

              Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

              Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

              Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

              Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

              4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

              Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

              A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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              What’s the bottom line?

              Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

              5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

              Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

              Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

              You might be wondering how you can get started:

              • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
              • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
              • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

              6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

              If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

              Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

              Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

              Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

              In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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              Learn how to delegate in my other article:

              How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

              7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

              Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

              Here’s the deal:

              Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

              The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

              8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

              A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

              Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

              For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

              9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

              Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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              Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

              As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

              10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

              Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

              Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

              Here’s what I mean by process over people:

              Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

              Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

              This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

              Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

              Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

              For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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