Article by Lakshmi Vijaykumar, Senior Research Consultant – AVTAR Group
As you fasten your seatbelts to the mind blowing journey on being a mompreneur, here are some pointers that will prepare you for those speed breakers on the road ahead…
You’ve waited for the salary day long enough, taken instructions to execute them to the tee. You’ve also made someone else’s dream come true. Now you want to chase yours. Want to be a Mompreneur? That’s what the world addresses you for taking on your dreams to make them true while bringing up children. A mother who wants to plunge into business by turning her passion to money is widely known as a mompreneur – a mom cum entrepreneur.
Women entrepreneurs are fast entering the industry and making a mark for themselves. What more than this blog platform can be a better example for a successful woman entrepreneur!
India Inc has widely brought in change with diversity as more and more women workforce not only entering the corporates but also as successful entrepreneurs. Now the shift is young mothers turning businesswomen. Typically these are the women that they call themselves as “corporate dropouts” — who have been there and done that types and taken a career break in their child bearing and rearing stages.
There are many success stories in India that include Limeroad.com, Pampered Moms, PoshVine.com, to name just a few. There are many and many more Moms out there who have those suppressed your dreams in order to fulfill family commitments or even those that are skeptical to venture out on the fear of not able to strike the right balance between family and work commitments.
The phenomenon called Mompreneurs may still be in its nascent stage in India, but don’t forget when you are a mom you are by default an efficient multitasker. And if you have also been a working mother then you perhaps are the epitome of tolerance perfecting the act of balancing work, family, kids and elders. As you climbed the corporate ladder making the right choices at the right time, you have now reached a floor where there is no glass ceiling above you.
But being at home is not your cup of tea. Gear up and make your dreams come true. As you roll up your sleeves to make a fresh start here are some tips that will help you lay out your entrepreneurial path without having to compromise on personal priorities and responsibilities.
Let it go
First thing that strikes a mother-turned-entrepreneur is having to not able to give in to your child (ren) on many things that you enjoyed doing as a stay at home mom (SAHM). The mother in you should not influence the entrepreneur in you when you are at work. Now as an entrepreneur you will obviously miss on many of those “mom-things’. If you begin to feel guilty about all that, you may never take off. So the next time guilt begins to tiptoe your territory, close your eyes and start humming Demi Lovato’s Let it GO from the popular movie Frozen, to remind yourself that you need to let go too.
Broaden your horizon
Once you decide to take the plunge, it’s a good idea to spread your wings by reaching out to other mompreneurs and social media is a great platform to do so. As this concept evolves in India, there are many portals and websites that offer a platform for particularly young mothers budding to be businesswomen to share ideas; exchange notes so on and so forth. Being part of such an ecosystem will not only help in strengthening your visibility also give you a broader perspective on various issues as you hear stories from other counterparts.
Running a startup demands extended work hours, self motivation, and extra talent of multitasking, undying spirit, and more to build the business. However, amid all this you obviously don’t want to compromise on the essential time and attention to your family. Let your colleagues/peers/clients know about your family commitments. It is OK to take calls from your son or daughter while you are at work. When you display your commitment towards family, you are automatically building a responsible and happy culture in your company.
Set your own time table
Being your own boss coupled with a fluid structure of a small company will allow you to make your own work schedule. If you are a morning person, then start as early as 5 am to work till 8 am so that you are there to help your kids ready for school. Or if late nights work for you, choose a time after you have catered to your children’s needs late in the evening to sit on to burn the midnight oil. Critical is Time. Choose a schedule that works for you.
Build support system
It is near impossible for anyone to do everything all by yourself all the time. Having a support system around your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues is the wisest thing to do. Hire a professional cleaning service once in a while to wipe off the dust from your house, or reach out to someone who can watch your child while you attend that important and unavoidable meeting at an odd hour. In fact, get the kids to help you as and when they can. It gives them a great sense of belongingness and responsibility. Also, look at having a succession plan by identifying quality leaders in your company in place while you are away. Prepare them well in advance on what needs to be done in your absence.
Keep the finances separate
No matter what keep your business and house finances separate. That way you will be able to track where your money is going and make sure the personal finance is safe.
There are many challenges that are part and parcel of a Mompreneur’s life. Many that might pop in the most unprecedented manner. It’s not practically possible to be prepared for all the challenges, the tips above will help you overcome some roadblocks.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and may not reflect those of this organisation.