This post originally appeared at Open Forum. While it may be difficult to balance your career with a family, it’s not impossible—especially if you run your business from home.
According to a study conducted by the Small Business Administration, the number of self-employed women is increasing. “Recent research suggests that women enter self-employment for different reasons than their male counterparts,” the study reports.
“For example, women appear to base their decisions on lifestyle and family factors, whereas men are motivated by earnings potential.”
Ellen Parlapiano, co-founder of mompreneursonline.com, a Website that aims to provide resources for stay-at-home entrepreneurs, says the number of mums who work from home will continue growing. “Over 90 per cent of the mums we’ve interviewed said the desire for family flexibility is the number one reason they work from home,” she toldParenting magazine. “Another big change we’ve seen in the past 15 years is acceptance. In the past, mums have been reluctant to tell clients they work from home. Now it’s commonplace, even respectable.”
Here are three “mompreneurs,” who share how they achieve their own work-life balance:
Find Something You Love
Rochelle Randazzo worked in sales advertising at the New York Postbefore she had her first child. When the baby was born, she and her husband decided that she would stay home to take care of the newborn.
“I never in a million years imagined not having a job,” Randazzo told the Huffington Post. “But one of us had to make a choice.”
As a result, the Italian mother turned to cooking and used her sales-savvy skills to host parties while marketing her homemade pasta sauces.
Eventually, an employee from a natural food chain tasted the sauce and before long, Randazzo’s “Honest To Goodness” brand was sold in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.
“Find something you love and find a way to do it with realistic expectations,” advises Randazzo. “But you have to know how much you can handle. I send my kids to school and that’s the time I use to make appointments, to do demos and to develop new products. And when they get home, I take them to sports practice and help them with homework. You don’t want to sacrifice the happiness around you.”
In 2011, Mollie Flatley’s unique Norajane shop, which sells stamps and other “lovely things”, was rated the fourth highest-selling handmade seller on Etsy—and she achieved this while taking care of four kids.
For Flatley, the key to juggling her online business with the kids is to maintain consistency. “Each day is pretty different, but scheduling is the key,” she says. “Making stamps or pillows is sprinkled around what activities I am doing with my kids. The key for me is to make sure that my children’s schedule stays pretty much the same every day, while my work changes—some days I am assembling stamps, other days mainly working on customer service. We all need the structure.”
Flatley believes that it’s hard for any woman to achieve a perfect balance, regardless of her profession. “But you do what you can and use what you have,” she says. “That being said, I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to stay home with my children while building a business.”
Know When You Need Help
Tisha Marie Pelletier is the author of “When A Universe Throws A Curveball: How A mum Entrepreneur Went From Disappointment To Living Her Passion.” She is also the owner of Simply Put Marketing Communications and Details Event Management.
“Being a mum entrepreneur is probably the biggest challenge you’ll ever face,” she told Go Gilbertmagazine. Whether you recruit your husband to take on more household duties, hire a bookkeeper, or employ an assistant, Pelletier says it’s essential that you have help.
“realise you can’t be 100 per cent effectively working while watching your children,” she says. “You need time to focus on the project in front of you; you absolutely cannot do it alone.”
Still, Pelletier considers herself one of the lucky few. “I get the best of both worlds—I get to be creative and grow a business that’s mine and no one else’s, and I get to spend time with my son watching him explore and learn new things around him. I also get to do it on my time, when others are confined to their desks from 8 to 5.”
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