Being an entrepreneur is hard but being a parent and running your own business truly tests your limits. Finding that balance between building a business and carpool, and school activities, and kids’ appointments and having a life outside of everyday responsibilities is enough to discourage even the boldest aspiring entrepreneur.
Despite the challenges, however, ‘Mompreneurs’ make up a significant part of the entrepreneurial community. Female entrepreneurs more broadly play a vital role in growing the Canadian economy – contributing $148 billion annually and employing 1.5 million Canadians.
As a small business owner and mother, I wanted to share my own advice for others considering taking the leap. Some days are, of course, easier than others. Like any other professional or small business owner, we must find ways of juggling but also must push back on the ‘guilt of the juggle’. Over the years, I’ve learned that it’s good for your kids to learn compromise and that it’s okay to ask for help.
Here are my top tips:
- Start with your passion. Think about what sets your soul on fire every day and go for it. Once you figure this out great things will happen. It’s so much easier to pour your blood, sweat and tears into something you care deeply about.
- Don’t rush things. Research. Be smart about how you want to tackle this next journey in your life, and make sure that you have a business plan in place. Potential investors, banks and government grants will ask to see it. Aspiring entrepreneurs can find more advice on how to create a business plan here.
- Seek guidance. Talk to other small business owners and gain some collective advice and feedback on what works for them and what doesn’t. Also, build a relationship with your accountant to get a strong grasp on your finances. Intuit research has shown that entrepreneurs who work with an accounting professional are 89 per cent more likely to be in business five years from now.
- Separate business and personal finances. Go to your bank and set up a separate business account and credit card to keep your business and personal expenses separate. Use financial management software like QuickBooks Online to give you an immediate picture of your finances from anywhere so your business can reach its full potential.
- Make time for you. You can’t balance anything if you feel spread too thin and unbalanced. This can be so simple as a coffee on your own or lunch with a friend, just take a few minutes out of your day to do something that’s just for you.
Above all else, do what works for you! And that may change as your business and family grow. But what matters is that your way of doing things lets your kids know you love them, keeps your business running and makes you happy. Being a ‘Mompreneur’ is like having two full-time jobs but is entirely doable when you have a plan for success in your personal and business lives. You’ve got this.