Starting a business is no small feat. It takes a lot of time, money and energy to launch a successful startup, even if your business is your only focus. Mothers who decide to become entrepreneurs have to balance the equally demanding roles of parent and business owner, and anyone who has taken this path will tell you it isn't an easy one.
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"Mompreneur," a portmanteau of "mom" and "entrepreneur," has emerged as a term for mothers who take on the daunting task of juggling motherhood and a startup. These ambitious female entrepreneurs tirelessly strive to achieve both personal and professional success, and often prove themselves true masters of work-life balance.
Rachel Katz Galatt and Lara Galloway are two such mompreneurs. Katz Galatt, CEO and founder of Maternal Science, Inc., launched healthy mama, a brand that makes safe, natural remedies for pregnant and nursing women, after her own experiences during her first pregnancy. Galloway, founding member of online counseling service MommyCoach, wanted to provide other moms with the support, help and understanding she wished she'd had when she first became a mother.
Katz Galatt and Galloway were both inspired to go into business by their motherhood experiences, and each has her own unique perspective on "mompreneurship." They offered thesetips for women starting a business and a family simultaneously:
You can't do it all
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One of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make is assuming that they can and must do everything themselves. Mothers, who are often the primary caretakers, errand runners and planners in their households, are especially vulnerable to this mistake. Katz Galatt said that knowing and admitting you can't do it all — and allowing others to fill in the gaps — is important to succeeding as a mompreneur.
"Don't have that ego," she advised. "I surround myself with people who are smarter and have skill sets that I don't. It's better to do a few things really well than do a lot of things just so-so."
Similarly, Galloway noted that mompreneurs can't be afraid to ask for help in any area of their lives, whether it's at home or in the office. When it comes to your business, she recommended focusing on the profitable aspects of your company and outsourcing the rest.
"It doesn't make sense for me to worry about website issues when I can pay someone," Galloway told BusinessNewsDaily. "I don't get paid to spend my time doing that. It can be tempting to try to do everything yourself, but you'll spend all your time doing things that don't make you money and wonder why you're not seeing a profit. Just do what you do best."
Listen to others
Some entrepreneurs make all their decisions based on intuition. They have a great idea and simply run with it, relying only on their own instincts. While many business leaders advise following your gut with the big decisions, there's a lot to be said for taking the time to listen.
"Bounce ideas off people you trust, and be open to their input and criticism," Katz Galatt told BusinessNewsDaily. "Sometimes, you hear something that gets you to a better place by looking at it differently."
Know your priorities
It's critical to establish clear personal and professional priorities before starting your business, Galloway said. Before you start working on your business plan, it's important to lay out your goals for both the present, and for the next two to five years.
"You absolutely have to consider your business goals along the timeline of your life," Galloway said. "Other entrepreneurs can sacrifice sleep and their health, and put all their focus into the business. With kids, you can't do that. Determine what you can do at this stage of your life. As your kids and your business grow up, your life and work won't have to be sacrificed."
Find a support system
Because you can't do it all as a mompreneur, the only way to succeed is to have a solid network of trusted individuals to take over when you can't be there. Whether it's your spouse or partner at home or a great manager at the office, you need to have someone to share some of the weight.
"I want to be a present mom and be sure that I'm doing what I need to make my business successful at the same time," Katz Galatt told BusinessNewsDaily. "It's all about finding a support system, people you can trust to fill in for you. I'm lucky to have a husband who is very supportive and really helps with the kids."
Do it for you
No matter what kind of business you decide to start, it's important that you're pursuing it because it's fulfilling and you're passionate about it.
"I needed to start my business to make me feel balanced as a mom," Galloway said. "Work doesn't take away from who I am as a mom; it adds to it."
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.