When people ask me about myself–about my family, and about my work –and I tell them the short version of “I’m a home-based skincare entrepreneur, and have two busy daughters–13 and 10–who are ballet dancers, one of whom, I homeschool…” the response is usually a blank stare and some version of I “I don’t know how you do it,” “you’re either really brave or really crazy,” (that’s probably true) and “I could never do all that.”
I get asked all the time how I make everything work.
I wanted to share my “how” with you today, because, honestly? I sometimes need to remind myself so I can follow my own advice. But seriously, I am busy. You are busy. We–especially moms–are ALL busy. I have never met a mom who isn’t busy, whether they work from home, are stay-at-home moms who choose to not work, or choose to work outside of the home. So I want to inspire you that yes, you can balance having a skincare business with motherhood, if that’s something you’ve been dreaming of doing.
I talk about how I make being a skincare entrepreneur and homeschooling mama work in depth in this video:
Here’s the nutshell version of my top 5 tips:
1. Have a realistic understanding of your time. You can’t always just dedicate a full day of uninterrupted work time when you have small humans pulling at you or crying, needing to go potty, or wanting to eat, needing help with school, or needing to be taxied somewhere. It’s safe to say that there are usually blocks of hours that tend to be more difficult to work during. There are others that you know you won’t be disturbed (kids in school, at a playdate, occupied with an activity, at a lesson, etc), and then there are your “wild card” hours where you can probably get a lot of busywork-type tasks done that don’t require absolute quiet or laser focus. You also need to take into consideration what hours of the day you work best at specific tasks. For example, I do not do well teaching classes or having client calls before 10 am–so I don’t ever schedule them before that. I also have a nice window of time in the evenings (like right now, in fact) where my kids are at ballet, and I am working quietly and uninterrupted at a local cafe, with a nice cup of tea. This time is really important. I used to stay at the ballet school and chat with the moms or watch the class, and then when I realized that my earlier hours in the day were just a little bit more interrupted than they used to be because my daughter is at home now, that’s when I realized that I really needed to be more strategic with how I was spending blocks of time like these.
2. Think outside the box with your business model. When I first decided I wanted to work from home, I was a little bit disappointed because for awhile, it appeared that I would have to do something like data entry, or envelope stuffing, or something really more just busywork type of thing that wasn’t a way for me to use my creativity. I tried several business models ranging from a private aesthetics practice, health coaching practice, teaching natural and organic skincare formulation in person, having my own skincare line, and then ultimately decided that what worked best for me would be to have both my businesses nearly 100% online. I still travel near and far to teach in person, speak at conferences and attend conferences and continuing education events, but that’s a very small component of my business. You need to decide what works for you, and I encourage you to let go of any preconceived notions or limiting beliefs as to what your business model “should” look like. You get to decide.
3. Ask the right people for help and be REALLY clear on what kind of help you need. I am a little bit of a control freak (most entrepreneurs are), and I am really introverted. I’ve gotten better at it because I’ve had to, but because asking for help was hard for me, I realized that I needed to learn how to do it clearly, but I also needed to be sure that the people I was asking for help were actually the right people to help me with certain things. Moms often feel overwhelmed and when it seems like everybody needs something from us at all times. But we don’t always ask exactly for what we need. Sometimes we feel that making obvious hints or projecting telepathic messages should be received by those who can swoop in to help us. But unfortunately, that’s not always how it works. It is much more effective for me if I’m feeling overwhelmed or frustrated to say to my husband, “Hey, would you mind cooking dinner so that it’s ready when I get home late with the kids? I have to work tonight and I don’t want to have to cook dinner,” than it is for me to beam him the signals, “Cook dinner when you get home.” Believe it or not, I used to do that. And then I’d get home and yell “Why didn’t you cook dinner! I’m exhausted, I have to work tonight!” It turns out, he’s not psychic. And I’m guessing that your significant other is not psychic either. Also, be sure you’re asking the person for help who has the knowledge and skills to be able to help. Say there’s a glitch with one of my online platforms, and I complain to my husband that it’s not working, I can’t figure it out, and I need help fixing it. It does not do him or me any good. What is much more effective is for me to email my assistant, and say “Hey, we’re having this glitch, can you fix this or if not, can you submit a support ticket for me.” That’s really helpful. If you don’t have an assistant, chances are you might have a tech savvy friend or colleague you can ask, or that there’s a helpdesk or tech support email you can use.
4. Have a support circle of other moms who have businesses who get it. Moms in general need a support circle. Moms who have businesses in particular, need a support circle, because when you have a business and you have kids too, it’s very different from when you have a business and you don’t have kids or when you have kids but you don’t have a business. The challenges that you experience are specific and unique. Having friends who get it, and also having mentors who get that, is really helpful. I have a couple of really close mompreneur friends that have very similar challenges that, if we’re feeling frustrated and we just want to vent, we can vent to each other because we get it.
5. Choose your battles. It is really hard to kind of keep our supermompreneur cape on all the time. And there are things that are really important to us that don’t always get done because we all have the same amount of hours in a day, and sometimes things come up and things get pushed to the next day. You have to decide what’s most important to you in your business and in your home, and not feel bad about the other stuff. I’m not a great housekeeper. I’m not going to say I’m a slob, although my husband probably would, but I prioritize my kids’ ballet schedule, their schooling, my businesses, my self-care and healthy food. We catch up with chores on the weekends, but during the week, we have clutter on the surfaces, the floors don’t get swept most of the time. There are dishes in the sink, there are heaps of laundry on the couch. I’ve tried all the tips, the apps, and read the books. I even worked with a professional de-clutterer. It just doesn’t work for us all the time and I’m done feeling bad about it, because you know what? My kids are awesome, they’re successful at school and at ballet, and they are kind young girls who love themselves. My businesses are awesome and are growing steadily. And if that means my house is not always spick and span, I’ll take it. Choose your battles, and be OK with whatever you choose to let slide.
If you’re a work-from-home mom, I’d love to hear from you!
How do you get it all done? How do you keep your sanity? Please share in the comments below what your best tips are, and what your absolute negotiables and non-negotiables are.
Like I said in the the video above, if you’re a mom, you’re already awesome and I applaud you. And if you’re a mom who has a business, you didn’t choose the easiest path, but I can tell you that you chose a pretty darn good one. It’s a really rewarding path and it’s something that is yours that you can pass on to your kids, and that is something that I’m really grateful for.
If you want to learn more about what it takes to have a skincare business, please click HERE to take my free Skincare Business Crash Course!
And if you are interested in becoming a skincare entrepreneur, or want to grow your existing skincare business, and you know you’re ready to commit, I am ready to teach you. Click HERE to learn more about my online course, Create Your Skincare Professional Edition.