6 things every mother should know before starting a business
I had been an entrepreneur for 7 years as an owner of a natural beauty salon before embarking on my next venture. I was also a newly single mom. I wanted to grow a second means of income and a possible retirement opportunity.
My motivation for starting this business was first my clients. Having clients across the country, I needed to provide them with a product that didn’t create buildup. They would have complications with heavy product build-up and I felt helpless living so far from them. I would suggest products available in retail stores and would constantly receive their feedback that it wouldn’t solve their problem.
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I thought to myself, what if I could send myself in a bottle? Thus Dr. Locs was born.
Being a mom of two and operating two businesses — Dr. Locs and The Natural Hair Studios — have taught me equanimity and that it’s OK to lean on others for support.
Here are 6 things every mom should know before starting a business to form good habits:
It doesn’t help to have everything in your head. That’ll cause you to become overwhelmed. As any parent knows, even your children will drop random tasks on your plate. I have a great understanding with my two girls that mommy is not a superhero, I’m human. And they must understand I’m doing my best. So sometimes, things will not get done how or when we want them. When I feel overwhelmed, I will check-out and go within by doing a few stretches, drink a glass of wine while helping with homework, or simply take a few deep breaths. But I’m such a visual person (and if you are as well), lists are great.
Use your resources
We live in a wonderful time with this thing called the internet. You have so much information and resources that it’s silly to say you can’t do something. Read books or listen to podcasts other women who’ve done what you inspire to do. Truly understand that you’re able to change your current circumstance.
Utilize your support systems
I know many mom experience guilt having to leave their children when work calls but I don’t experience this feeling as much anymore. I have a wonderful Co-parenting system that allows me to schedule my out of town trips while they’re with their dad and bonus mom. And if I needed to handle anything important, we have such a wonderful village that is willing to step up to assist us. Everyone including their dad and bonus mom understands that this is always beneficial to the children and trickles down to the family’s benefit. Even in business, I’ve been working on delegating more and passing off duties to new or current employees. I recently hired a product assistant to make the products. Now, I’m able to stir the company at different levels and use more of my brain than my physical. It’s sort of maintaining on its own. I’m just here to make the company more amazing.
There’s nothing like the present
My children’s pure existence reminds me to be present. I can be in the clouds about the future, especially with business. They’ll have requests that require me to think in the now. As I reflect back on how much I missed out while I started the business while they were much younger, it makes me want to take my time and take time off to spend more quality time with them. They’ve taught me the value in people. The gems I see in them, as I have to slow down and listen to their stories from school and I’m reminded although they’re so young, they have their own problems, day to day hang-ups, fear factors, etc. This will continuously keep me inspired to always be an attuned employer; to treat employees with the utmost genuine concern and respect.
Stop using your children as an excuse to why you can’t do something
Your new business should be something your passionate about. And if it’s your passion then time will fly, things will flow, resources will come, and you and your children will be fine and benefit from your hard work. I’d even suggest involving them. When my daughters were 2 and 3, I taught them a valuable lesson in client relationships—how to treat customers who visited our home for services—as well as making trips to the bank with them to show them how my business operated.
You are responsible for your own happiness
In my home, everyone understands this concept. No whiners. It’s important to follow your passion because it’s normally the alternative to something that hasn’t pleased you for quite some time. We’ve all been in a job that sucked and wished for Friday to come. That’s insanity. And it’s not just that you work for someone. I don’t feel like true happiness is being an entrepreneur. True happiness is working at your passion. It could be milking cows in Oregon or bartending in L.A. If you don’t know what your passion is, it’s time to think about it. You have the right as a human to explore that.
It’s all about your perspective. If someone is miserable with their job, and they stay there for years, they have decided to accept that until they wake up and change it. I would encourage mothers like me to draw out what you want. Not necessarily a business plan but more so random affirmations on pieces of paper around the house or a vision board. This will inspire you to take a leap of faith and build the confidence to step out and make your dreams a reality.