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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 February 20, 2019

              17 Versatile Work Skills That Will Gain You More Career Opportunities

              17 Versatile Work Skills That Will Gain You More Career Opportunities

              When we look at a job advertisement, it can seem as though employers want an exhaustive list of experience and technical skills from their new hire.

              They list desirable qualities such as ‘initiative’, ‘team player’ and ‘strong work ethic’. Those words can mean a variety of things to different people and it can be quite hard for employers to illustrate fully the combination of technical and soft skills they want their potential employees to have.

              What they often want is a mix of versatile skills that make it easy for them (and you) to adapt to the changing needs and demands which occur in businesses today.

              After all, adaptability and innovation are what make businesses thrive.

              In today’s ever-changing environment, versatility is a mandatory attitude every working person needs to have. With the following seventeen work skills, you will not only make your employer extremely happy and confident that hiring you was their best decision, you will experience greater personal satisfaction and results.

              1. Know What You Want but More so Why You Want It

              Employers need to sense you have a solid idea as to why you are a fit for their role and their organization. They need to sense you have your own sense of purpose.

              However, it can be a double-edged sword to say you know exactly what you want to achieve and gain if you are successful in your application and interview.

              Some employers can perceive this as arrogance; your needs first, theirs second. What employers are really looking for is your internal sense of knowing that potential to join their organization is a winning combination for both of you.

              2. Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution Skills Save Money, Lost Productivity and Efficiency

              Can you agree to disagree? Can you evaluate without passing judgment or at least be self-aware of your own biases? Can you put these aside to find solutions for the betterment of the team?

              Employers look for versatility in soft work skills that bring peace, lower stress and contribute to creating harmony. If you have ways with words to help heated arguments reduce to a simmer so there is space for compromises, negotiations and reasoning to take place your employers’ respect for you will jump at least tenfold.

              Peace-making skills are invaluable in changing workplace culture, particularly toxic ones. Any good employer knows a strong in-house negotiator will save them thousands of dollars in engaging an external mediator.

              3. Know How to Set and Reframe Your Own Goals

              Much research has documented that when employees have a clear purpose, mission and goals, they are more likely to be highly productive. They are less likely to flounder around in many directions nor be busy and not produce results that matter.

              Employers know well that employees who develop their own goals and can align these with those of the company are more self-driven, self-sufficient and take greater ownership for performing their role.

              And the benefit is not only to the employers. You personally will find greater personal satisfaction from achieving targets you have chosen to set yourself. Everyone wins!

              4. Great Time Management and Organization Skills Make You Highly Productive

              Being able to exercise versatility with these work skills needs no explanation. Great time management does not mean multi-tasking. It actually uses more brain power and reduces effectiveness.

              Having great skills to prioritize your activities and demands, being able to assess how long things might take you to address are planning skills which greatly aid effective and better execution.

              Working in harmony with your colleagues’ timetables makes for better teamwork and workflow plus a less stressed environment.

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              In today’s working world, any strategies for reducing stress-invoking opportunities are like finding golden nuggets. Your employer will want to hold on to those for dear life!

              5. Be a Flexible Team Player by Being Able to Change Roles When Required

              Employers will be looking to see how flexible a team player, a potential employee could be.

              If you are a natural leader, being a better team player might, in fact, mean you stepping down from the helm and encouraging someone else to exercise and step into their leadership potential.

              It might be more beneficial to your employer to play the role of Indian as opposed to the Chief in certain situations. Stepping into different positions on your team not only helps you grow but also the rest of your team.

              Employers relish having a versatile work team which can adapt and is ready and willing to play different roles, even if uncomfortable when crises happen.

              6. Initiative, Self-Motivated and Driven

              When you have your own internal reasons for looking to undertake a role your motivation is driven by something sizzling inside of you.

              There is a personal drive and desire for the satisfaction you will experience when you meet a certain target that no other person will be able to give to you.

              When you can genuinely identify and demonstrate your own personal connection to the role’s objectives and the greater goals of your employer’s business, they will see you have an internal drive that they don’t need to whip and flog to keep the momentum going.

              Any employer will be grateful they just need to help navigate you and support you with the right tools and network and off you go.

              7. Be Confident but Not Arrogant

              Imagine if you were conducting initial telephone interviews with shortlisted candidates and one of the questions they asked was:

              “How long would it be until I’ll be eligible for a pay rise or promotion?”

              There is a significant difference between being confident and arrogant. Employers are not looking for confidence purely in you being able to perform every aspect of your role at gold star level.

              It comes with being comfortable to say you don’t understand, you have made a mistake, you need support, further training, acknowledging what your limits are and being willing to risk stepping outside your comfort zone.

              When you’re a new kid on the block, respecting that you may need to learn to walk before you can run is essential. Unless it is your job to start making significant changes from day one, chances are you’re going to create enemies if you’re so confident your new methods and ideas should replace existing processes.

              8. A Positive Attitude

              Demonstrating positivity as a work skill that will truly win over your new employer is about being genuine and actively applying strategies which look for the glass half full.

              Recruiters and employers are not dumb. They can easily see through short-term bright smiles, nervous giggling and general ‘you just need to think positive’ statements.

              In the face of grueling challenges, employers are going to look much more favorably on that candidate who can acknowledge the negative features of a situation but still encourage another solution-focused perspective to be adopted.

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              Even better, if you can use language effectively to demonstrate how you have adopted a positive perspective and helped turned around a tough situation.

              It is one thing to have a positive attitude but your potential employer will see you as a superhero if you can show them how you have successfully applied it.

              Take a look at these tips to learn more about staying positive:

              10 Tips To Make Positive Thinking Easy

              9. You Are Resourceful but Know the Value of Asking for Help

              There is nothing more unproductive (let alone frustrating) than that person who simply asks out loud a question to their team when they could simply have Googled the answer.

              Or worse still, they have a manual at their fingertips which has the answer to their question…they were simply too lazy to look for themselves.

              Be that person with Sherlock Holmes as their middle name who sleuths like a dog after a buried bone. You can research and turn over stones to discover and learn what you need but you also are able to ask for help and assistance when you need to.

              Any employer will relish that person who looks to discover the answers to their own questions first before reaching out and asking for help.

              Hesitate to ask for help? This article may just change your mind:

              Afraid to Ask for Help? Change Your Outlook to Aim High!

              10. Emotional Intelligence Creates a Harmonious Workflow

              Despite the level of seniority of your role having a strong ability to handle emotions is fast becoming an essential work skill (and also life skill).

              It is even more desirable for any employer when your work skill set includes the ability to detect, adapt to and have skills in managing certain emotional patterns of others you need to work with, manage or report to.

              So much time, energy and productivity is lost due to individuals’ lack of skills in this area. Any manager who can see you possess and can demonstrate such versatile work skills will think they’ve won the managerial lottery!

              You can learn how to improve your Emotional Intelligence from this article:

              7 Practical Ways To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

              11. Be Able to Adapt Your Learning Style

              There is no real evidence that using preferred learning styles actually increase the rate at which we learn nor the effectiveness of certain styles.

              However, being able to make changes to what we are given to learn and adapting it to suit our needs and preferences does help us settle into a new work transition sooner.

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              We also need to recognize that even though we feel uncomfortable learning a new skill a certain way, it might actually be the way we need to receive it to cement the learning. It is also likely that our new employer only knows or has a budget to deliver training in a certain way.

              Either we can choose to adapt or resist but we know for sure the latter is not going to benefit to anyone.

              Want to find out what your learning style is? Take this quiz:

              How This Learning Style Quiz Can Help You Make the Most of Your Life

              12. Flexible Leadership Style

              Dan Goleman has conducted extensive research on different leadership styles, emphasizing that being versatile to switch between different styles (e.g. authoritative, coaching, affiliate, coercive, pace-setting) and knowing when to do is a fundamental skill for any leader.

              Being able to change your style to lead other people is as important as how you lead your own role responsibilities.

              If you want to be a better leader, these books are great resources:

              15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success

              13. Incredible Communication Skills That Actively Listen and Give Clear Messages

              Strong and effective communication across all mediums takes time, life experience and highly developed intuition.

              Knowing when to use email, a face to face conversation or telephone discussion is one thing. Another is to use words which emotionally connect and influence the receiver to accept, hear and heed your message.

              Great communicators know that it is their responsibility as much as the receiver for good communication to take place. However, they also know that the receiver may not feel this is the case.

              When you can listen equally, be sensitive to read between the lines to hear the message of ineffective communicators and can respond kindly with inspiring, equalizing and encouraging words, your influence and general likeability as a new addition to your employer’s team will develop in leaps and bounds.

              These books are also nice resources to learn effective communication:

              13 Best Communication Books for Stronger Social Skills & Relationships

              14. Accountable, Responsible and Dependable

              We’ve all worked with people or managers at some point who lay external blame the instance something goes wrong.

              Contrary to popular belief, making mistakes and owning up to it is a highly desirable and versatile work skill that gains loyalty and understanding particularly when mistakes occur.

              Owning up to errors early allows both yourself and the business to recover quickly and shows you’re willing to take responsibility to continue forward on when you have stumbled.

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              When you illustrate you can do this, you build your employer’s trust and faith in you.

              15. Exercise Proactive Self-Awareness

              Self-reflection is a highly empowering work skill that contributes greatly to becoming better and performing better.

              When you actively look for the achievement, celebrate your success and look for pockets of where mistakes you have made can be corrected you improve faster, become more effective and make your work easier.

              When you start to look at your own errors, receiving feedback from your employer about the same errors can feel far less confronting and having corrective conversations is easier, transparent and far less stressful and emotional.

              You naturally increase your resilience and make life easier for yourself and your employer if you conduct regular self-check-ins and keep your employer updated.

              Here’s how to practice self-awareness:

              How to Increase Your Self Awareness to Be Much More Successful

              16. Apply a Problem-Solving Growth Mindset

              When faced with a problem or challenge, your ability to activate a growth mindset is a highly versatile work skill employers love. Not only are you able to reduce the pain and anguish that a fixed mindset can sustain but your ability to remain open to possibilities to find different pathways or ideas is refreshing and helpful.

              If your thought patterns automatically ask: “How can we?” or you often think “there must be a way”, you will only contribute to creating growth opportunities for your organization and inspire others to think the same way.

              Learn more about developing a growth mindset here:

              5 Ways to Cultivate a Growth Mindset for Self Improvement

              17. Be Teachable

              If you have ever tried to teach someone a new skill or technique and they keep reverting back to traditional ways that are familiar to them, you might have become frustrated to the point of giving up.

              Don’t be that person who’s stuck in tradition which no longer serves the business. Whether you are entering a new environment, learning new software or negotiation skills, know that all employers need people who are open to being taught.

              Innovation is a core concern of every business. Innovation means change and change means doing something different.

              Stay Versatile and Keep Learning

              Technical skills can often be taught. Ray Croc illustrated how well a systemized franchise can dominate the planet. Over 36,000 McDonald’s establishments around the world are run by managers barely in their twenties!

              Soft work skills, however, take time to develop, learn and confidently apply.

              There is a key combination of work skills that would make any candidate employer’s dream. However, the essential factor underlying all of these work skills is versatility.

              Equip yourself with these 17 work skills, stay curious and keep learning; and you’ll always nail the job you want.

              More Resources About Career Success

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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