Gisele L. Kennedy, PYT
Hey MIT’s, sorry it took me so long to post. I thought I would do something a little different, take a break from my usual format and take the time to answer a question from one of our readers. It goes a little something like…
…I a single parent of two girls have always had the ambition to start my own business; but I work and run a full house with a hectic schedule…where do I begin? I have a circle of like-minded people. I have the confidence but do I have what it takes to go for it. I’m pretty sure I don’t stand alone…Help a single parent out!!!!
Single Parent, after reading your question, one statement sticks out like a Vegas billboard. You say you have the confidence and the circle of like-minded friends, but in the same breath you turn around and say, “…but do I have what it takes to go for it?” Of course you do!! Unfortunately, what you have done in those eleven little words is totally contradict your own belief. Despite reading your whole question, all I hear is “I don’t think I have what it takes.” Unacceptable!
Let me remind you that the focus of this segment of Chic Women in Business is to help empower women with an entrepreneurial spirit to step out on faith! Additionally, we want you to push past the limits sometimes placed on women because of gender discrimination. It’s about stepping outside of the box and getting creative about attacking roadblocks. To that end, I am going to ask you to go back and read or reread the previous posts in the Act Like a Lady, Network Like a Man series. I am also going to ask that you make sure you check the email sent to you by the administrator of this blog outlining some of the steps to take in an effort to get your business of the ground.
The remainder of this post will list a few pointers for those business moms who are precariously balancing family life and everything else under the sun. Before I get to that, I want to tell you that children are resilient and they don’t really require much. However, one of the best things you can provide them with is a strong example of what hard work and perseverance can do. Although I am not a parent, I happen to know on good authority that most moms would love their sons AND daughters to have the pride and confidence it takes to pursue their hopes and dreams. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could be that example? Think about that for a minute. Imagine that speech they may make one day while proudly stating, “I owe it all to you Mom, what a strong example you were!” Feels good doesn’t it? So Single Parent, no excuses, let’s get crackin’!
- Pick your battles with your girls. Some things just aren’t as important as chasing your dreams. Where you would normally spend an few minutes here and there trying to get them to organize their rooms like you would like, maybe a best effort tidying will suffice in the meantime.
- Try to find a balance. I know this is as elusive as a unicorn, but your best efforts will ensure that you get to address both family and business as much as you can.
- Be firm with boundaries. When you are working on developing your business, let your girls, work and anyone else that wants a piece of you, know that you cannot be everywhere at once.
- Say bye bye to guilt. I think that is self-explanatory. I really cannot tell you how to feel, but I think that as long as your children’s basic needs are met and their day to day schedules aren’t disrupted too much, saying no sometimes, or even more than usual, will not kill them. Mom has things to do too!
Building a Business
- Sacrifice. I know it seems like you are already sleep deprived, but you may have to sacrifice a few more hours of shut eye. Remember in my initial response, I asked you to brainstorm on when you have extra time to dedicate to pursuing your dream. When we slackers are sleeping, you may have to be working. Just remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
- Network aggressively. Reread previous posts hereJ. This will be even more important for those of us with busy schedules.
- Become knowledgeable. I cannot emphasize this enough. Subscribe to trade magazines in the area you are trying to pursue, conduct research and speak to people in your industry. Know everything that there is to know about what you are doing.
- Believe in yourself whole heartedly. Without a shadow of a doubt this is the most important thing I have to offer you. I had a college friend who used to always say, “Believe it, receive it, aaacccchiiiievvvvveeeee it!” She became a mom, works a full-time job and started an event planning business. IJS!
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