I've survived one whole year of being a mom and an entrepreneur!
Here's what I've learned:
1. Ask for help!
I hesitated to ask for help because I did not want to burden our only family baby sitter. I also did not want to use my business profit towards a sitter.
Instead my fiancé Weston would watch Arlo for a few hours after a long day of work. I was tired from the day and so was he. It wasn't working. This is what happened:
Weston and I had no time together
We both felt worn out since we had no relaxation time during the day
eliminated family time
So I buckled up and asked for help. Thankfully, Weston's Mom Cindi was happy to lend a hand. She watches Arlo twice a week and it makes all the difference. If I need extra help, I hire the wonderful Anna to babysit. She kindly comes right to my house and is so good with Arlo. It's so nice to get work done right before Weston comes home. Now we:
have more time for each other
help each other watch Arlo while making dinner, and winding down for bed
enjoy family time
2. Raise your prices!
As I was building my business, I was happy to offer rates much lower than my competitors (they charge $200 - $400 for a one hour shoot, I charged $75). I was building my portfolio and establishing myself as a trustworthy photographer.
BUT, when you have so much work, no time to do it, and still have a low number in the bank, it's time to raise your prices! I'm so grateful to have such wonderful clients who value my service and happily accepted my new pricing.
3. Set Realistic Deadlines
Since having a baby makes EVERYTHING take longer, I had to make my turn around time longer. I made my clients aware and offered rush orders. I always assume something will get in the way of a deadline, so I aim to complete my work BEFORE THE ACTUAL DEADLINE. That way, if something comes up, you deliver right on time. If nothing comes up, you deliver your product early!
4. Make time twice a month for entrepreneurial tasks.
It's a challenge for me to find the time for this one, but it is important to step back, look at your business, see how it's going. Decide where you want it to go and make an active plan on how to get it there.
5. Schedule in Break Time
When you work from home, it's hard to know when to stop working. I made the mistake of answering e-mails at dinner time and picking up phone calls during weekend outings. Now I schedule in break time based on the day. At 5:00pm I stop all work and go into family mode. If I do need extra time in the evening, I make up for it over the weekend. If I do get a call, e-mail or message during break time, I open up my "to do" list on my phone's notes and add "reply to ...." as #1 on the list. That way, I don't forget! Then I put down my phone and live my life!
6. Make time for Inspiration
Balancing the many different roles of a momtrepeneur, can often leave you feeling drained and miserable. I've made a point to make time for myself at least once a week. I do this by going outside, go for a walk and listen to a motivating podcast, or browsing my favorite photography/lifestyle magazine/blogs. This time helps me revitalize and get excited for my next photoshoot.
7. Find a Mentor
I've gotten so much wonderful advice and inspiration from Jasmine Star, The Allison Show, Girl Boss, and Sara Jane Case. They've been there, done that, and succeeded! Surround yourself with people who GET IT. Find someone who can inspire you to keep going and offer you new ideas on how to enrich your business and YOUR LIFE.
It took me a whole year to get into this new routine. I wouldn't say I have it completely figured out. Every week is a new juggling act. However, after figuring out the lessons listed above, life is SO MUCH BETTER than before.
Now I actually have the time to enjoy the perks of this life I've created!
If you are working on your own business, I hope this helps you! My ultimate advice would be to assess if you are enjoying the benefits of each aspect of your life.
Work Hard, Live Well, and Enjoy your Life!