If you are starting or running your own business, you would know the hard work that goes into making it work. Combine that with managing the household and raising little kids! That is tough as anything. But you know, anyone can do it if you have the right attitude.
After doing much research on the topic of business success factors, I can pull parallels from my own business and successful banking career to break it down into 7 major ingredients.
- Find your passion
What are you really passionate about? What do you spend hours reading about on the internet? You know you are passionate about something when you get really charged up and speak excitedly about it when someone raises the topic. Or you think about it before you sleep and are super eager to wake up the next day to work on it.
Once you find your passion, it is important to test it out as a side hustle without quitting your day job just yet. Sign up for any professional classes that you can manage in regards to your topic. Have a go at it by starting out small and get really good at it before making it your major income earner.
You will need this passion throughout your business or career in order to keep on improving every step of the way.
- Check your resources
In order to be successful, you must make sure you have the right resources handy. Very importantly, have you gathered the amount of capital required and some extra as contingency fund to start and run your business? This will help avoid any unnecessary stress later on. You will know how much you need when you make your Business Plan. Ensure you have access to obtaining the rightly qualified staff, and working space you may need. Personally, I have signed up to a global co-working office as it is relatively inexpensive and I get to meet other entrepreneurs and form synergies. You can search for co-working spaces around your home for ease.
Also, it is important to work out what resources you have available to you to help you manage your housework and the kids when you start getting busy in your business. Perhaps your other half could help take some extra chores off you, or look into daycare facilities for your children as per the need.
My toddler goes to daycare 3 days per week to help burn off his endless amount of energy, and he stays home for the other 2 days with the baby and myself. We manage, but we are flexible about this arrangement too as and when we need to be.
- Get a mentor
I cannot stress enough how important it is to find not just a mentor, but the RIGHT mentor for you. The right mentor I find, is someone who has experience about the industry you are in, or similar industry and has been successful with their pursuits. If you don’t know anyone in your current circle, join new circles and don’t be afraid to ask. Every person I have asked to be a mentor has always been delighted to be asked. People are inherently willing to help. I had a mentor at every stage of my career and they played an invaluable role in my success.
A mentor will always be willing to hear you out and provide his/her guidance to the situations you present. They will not TELL you what to do, rather they will share their experiences and steer you towards the right direction so that you can make informed decisions yourself. Some of my mentors have been senior colleagues, vice-presidents from within the organisation and a very successful lady whom I inspired to be climbing up the corporate ladder. Now while I am in business, my mentor is an internationally successful man who has more than 40 years of experience in the commercial world and certainly whose qualities I hope to inherit.
Oh, and don’t forget the right mentor can open up many doors for you in the industry!
- Have the energy
Ensure that you have the energy day in and day out to carry out your business. Sure, there may be some days where you just want to sit on the couch and binge eat, but hopefully this does not happen too often! Preserve your energy for the important things in life by eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise. See my blog post https://birthofamompreneur.com/2018/12/04/gantt-organise-heres-some-help/ for tips on a routine that I follow.
You not only need the energy for your business but to be carrying out all your motherly duties too. Don’t get me started on how tiring these beautiful kids can be. And it’s only fair that you share the energy you have between them and the other things in your life such as your business! So, eat right, sleep well (as much as the kids let you), and exercise.
- Organisation skills
Now that you have found something you are passionate about, checked your resources, found the right mentor, and have gotten in to a good routine to keep your energy level up, it is time to organise every aspect of your business.
I see a lot of wonderful mom-bloggers creating monthly or weekly planners for use by others. This is a great way to keep focus and keep your business tasks on track. Time management is another key skill needed to run your business successfully so that you look and feel in-control.
There are many courses you can do online that give you great tips and tools to help you organise. I created a spreadsheet which is available for free download that I use in my business. It has been so useful to organise the tasks I have to do, and keep a track of their progress. You can download it by scrolling to the bottom of this post: https://birthofamompreneur.com/2018/12/04/gantt-organise-heres-some-help/
- Have the grit
Once your business is up and running, you need to have grit to get you through. Grit is the combination of having the passion and the ability to persevere through the highs and lows of your business. It is being hardworking and WANTING the success so much so that you are willing to whatever is required to make the magic happen. This is why finding your passion is absolutely number one. If you are passionate enough, you will be gritty about what is thrown your way.
Many women make Vision Boards to remind them of what they are working towards, and hang these on their walls at home. You can easily make this yourself by being creative and putting together pictures and words from cut-outs or print-outs onto a decorated frame.
I remember attending an all-day workshop run by the Chamber of Commerce Israel-Australia chapter which was hosted by successful women. One entrepreneur had 5 kids and she started her business after kid number 3, and did an MBA after kid number 4. It was fantastic to meet all these successful women who had businesses in different industries, but had one thing in common: they all had grit.
Finally, learn to be resilient to the challenges thrown at you in your business. There is no doubt that from the start there will be issues with anything you can think of – structuring your business entity, getting the capital required, customers complaining about your product, finding that your marketing plan isn’t as effective etc. Lots and lots of challenges. But if you are resilient enough, you will find a way to overcome these even if it means you have to make some sacrifices to make it work.
Do not give up.
Your mentor can be very handy in this respect. Get some guidance from him/her as to how they overcame their challenges. Reach out to your peers for help. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Many mompreneurs join communities online to give them the motivation, energy and ideas to overcome issues in their business, and in personal life.
One major challenge for me in setting up the business was the innumerable documents I had to organise for incorporation of a company in India. The process of company registration for foreign directors is still very onerous and it sapped my energy for a good 4 months. It was frustrating dealing with the officials there, and took so much patience to get the task done. Especially since I opened my Australian company within 24 hours of notice!
These are the 7 steps to starting and running a successful business. Don’t worry, you don’t have to have every single one of the attributes built-in to you. There are so many resources available to help the mompreneur community achieve these. I personally went to seminars meant for businesswomen, attended networking events and did a lot of research on my passion before getting into business.
I will end this blog post with a quote from the great author and philosopher Ayn Rand, “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me!”