As I travel through my days building a home based business with my children in tow, I realized that even in their tiny little frames, they are our greatest mentors.
Although the lessons my boys have taught me are countless, I will share a few of the big lessons I have learned from my busy days as a mother in business!
LESSON # 1: TIME MANAGEMENT
Honestly! Who is more efficient than a mother on the go! We can dress several moving children, walk the dog, vacuum the living room, have dinner cooking, and plan a party over the phone…… all while on an active webinar for our business!
Be honest YOU’VE been there!!
Just like in everyday life there are things that are more important or more productive to do first (on the 10 mile long to do list)! With my children’s crazy schedule, my husbands crazy schedule, and so many other daily family and life things all going on at once, I have learned to be the most productive and efficient business owner EVER, and all from my children!
I’ve learned to take advantage of nap time for making follow up phone calls to customers, training calls to team members, and many more administrative things. I have learned to have the car packed on nap time so when the baby wakes I am not trying to carry him and my customer orders, and all my advertising and marketing materials to the car at once!
My delivery route is a masterpiece, wasting not 1 single mile! All in a two day system, and home in time to pick up my kinder-gardener! I have learned to spend my time where it counts most!
Is it safe to say that as moms we are the most efficient in our crazy state!?
LESSON # 2: WORK/LIFE BALANCE
As crazy as my days are trying to build an empire from a home office and managing my family, and home, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Another thing I’ve learned is when you work from home sometimes your family life and your work life get inter-meshed! My children have taught me to separate the two!
It is so important to have set office hours, and dedicated family time! Get down on the floor with your kids, read a book, do a puzzle, simply play peek a boo, or bake cookies with them! You can have it all! You just have to set clear, firm boundaries!
Working on our United States Puzzle!
My children know when the office doors are closed mommy is on an important call! They have learned to be OK with this, because they know I will be with them at a certain time every night! However, if I waiver from that time with them, the entire system fails.
Trust me the calls can wait until tomorrow! A good friend once told me, “Carly, the most important work you’ll ever do is within the walls of your own home.” I remember this everyday! I can fail one day at my business and wake up tomorrow and fix it, I cannot fix failing my family!
I am not saying I try to be a perfect mother, there is no such thing! I can, however, give them my time and attention.
That said my children have also taught me to……..
LESSON # 3: LOWER MY STANDARDS (A BIT)
I have always been a high achiever, perfectionism drove me crazy most of my life. My children have most definitely taught me to lower my standard, in a great way!
Often when people hear, “Lower standards,” they associate it with a negative change. What I am referencing is a very positive change!
Again, working from home, you can easily mesh your family life with your business life. Of course like every mother, I love my home to look like a show room floor 24/7. However, we all know this is next to impossible.
How many mom’s are staring at a living room and bedrooms that look like a tornado just passed through?
Turned my head for two seconds….. MAYHEM!
It’s OK! That can be fixed on Saturday! During the week, I work on growing my business, and spend my dedicated time with my family, as planned! Don’t Deviate from the plan! Set an “Out of the Office” auto reply on email, post office hours everywhere, on your voicemail, email signature, and office doors!
I have learned to be OK with less than my normal standard. As long as the family is safe and happy, and business is healthy, the rest can wait!
Vacuum lines are NOT OK, if that means my children can’t have healthy play time!
Here is what happens when I start to cut into family time…… Break in…..
Or movies in the corner of my office on the other computer! They truly are like an alarm clock……
What is more important? Do you think your children will remember the vacuum lines and clean dishes, or the laughter you shared rolling around on the messy living room floor with them? Or the flour all over the kitchen from baking cookies together? Or the washable finger paint all over the kitchen island from making art together?
It is going to be OK MOM, that’s why the good Lord gave us tomorrow! Let it go!
LESSON # 4: LEARNING TO SAY, “NO”
This is from the girl who is eager to help EVERYONE! I am certainly a nurturer in every sense of the word, I have always been this way. Which of course leaves me open to becoming overworked and overwhelmed. I find people easily open up to me and seek help through me.
My children have certainly shown me how, and why I need to say , “No,” at times. Staying focused on my, “Why” (reason for building a home based business) makes saying no much easier. If I take on everything I take away from my family, my focus, my goals, and my business.
Of course I want to be able to help especially those in need, however I am quickly reminded that I cannot help everyone. My children certainly show it when my focus is on too many projects! Their behavior worsens, their schedule is off, they are MISERABLE, everything starts falling apart.
They once again, bring me back to my center, and remind me where I need to stay focused. I can pray about the rest!
It is so strange, when we think about mentors, we naturally think about people that have been in our shoes, or someone older. As I stated in my previous post, “Unconventional Mentors,” you can truly find inspiration anywhere it is just a matter of opening your eyes.
Take a look at your, “Why,” have you lost focus?
I thank God everyday for my children, as they truly have been the greatest mentors in my life, and the fuel that drives me EVERY DAY!