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AI have always known that I would become an entrepreneur. As a teen, I would dream about my future business. I didn't quite know at that time what form my business would take. I just knew that I would have one. My father ran his own business and I would work with him after school and on weekends. So I grew up around an entrepreneur and never really considered any other option. That being said, I did work in Corporate for 10 years after leaving school. I was in the investment industry and was on the managerial track. But my passion lay in marketing and website design. Because I was a really good project manager and a great people manager, I found that I had been pigeonholed into management and wasn't being considered for any other role. So I left my job and ventured out on my own. It was scary because I was used to a certain level of income but I had the luxury of having moved back home with my parents that year and seized the opportunity. I figured if not now, when? I gave myself a year and if I wasn't earning enough to be able to live on my own, I would go back to Corporate. That was 17 years ago.
Q How do you balance motherhood with entrepreneurship?
A I've probably come at things a little differently than other mothers who are entrepreneurs. I already had a successful business long before I became a mom. And by the time I was blessed with motherhood, the children who came into my life were already teenagers. My partner's daughter was 17 when I came onto the scene. So in terms of having to make adjustments to fit my business around the needs of my children, there was little to do. What did shift is I had to be more disciplined in ensuring that I got food on the table at a certain time and that I wasn't working into the wee hours of the morning but taking the evening to spend time with my daughter and connect with her. I have it easier than most as my child was almost an adult and could help out with food prep, house cleaning and even doing some tasks in my business. So there hasn't been much that needed to be balanced. It was more of a mindset shift for me. From being solely focused on my needs to having to consider how the business and my work schedule affects my family.
Q What is the most important skill a mompreneur should develop (even if it’s not natural to them)?
A In my work as a Virtual Assistant and Online Business Manager, I have been lucky to work with many different entrepreneurs. One thing that is common to all of them is that they are experts at managing their time. I have worked with several mompreneurs and this skill is of even greater importance for them. They have so many things to juggle both on the business front and the home front that if they do not have a solid system for managing their time, it all falls apart.
Q What does your self-care look like?
AThis is an interesting question, because self-care can mean different things to different people. For me, I have things that are daily non-negotiables for my self-care: exercise, meditation, personal development, hydration, and sleep. My day has to include those 5 things. If it doesn't, then I start to perform poorly in many aspects of my life. Then I have other things which I do for self-care that I schedule as I need them. Things like manicures, a coffee date with a friend, a massage, etc. No matter what I do, there is one rule: I have to disconnect from my business for the duration of the activity. That holds true for every activity, whether it's daily, weekly, or randomly. If it's something that I am choosing to practice for self-care then I deserve to be fully engaged in that activity.
Q Do you have a support network? Is it important to find one?
ANo. Not in the traditional sense. The nature of my work is very collaborative and if my client chooses to commit to the weekly check-in meeting, it can be quite beneficial for both of us as we share and collaborate on projects. On the home front, my partner is my biggest fan and source of support. He has an entrepreneurial spirit as well so he understands the drive and the challenges. And he's been a parent far longer than I have and is great at reminding me to disconnect and appreciate the time we have now.