Calling All Mom-preneurs!
This is an open letter to all of the “Mom-preneurs” out there. First of all, I have an aversion to the term “Mom-preneurs.” Why do women require special terminology just because we have babies and businesses? Amazingly, it is still viewed as an anomaly to own a growing business while rearing young ones. So, I thought I would dig into this topic for the women EO members (I know you’re out there!) who want to master the art of juggling responsibilities.
Like you, I meet a lot of new people through business, my Forum, networking and EO. One question I often hear when people discover that I own a company, teach at a major university and have two small daughters is: “How do you juggle it all?” My answer, though seemingly self-explanatory, comes down to one word: scheduling.
It is not a fool-proof plan, but scheduling has helped me increase my business by more than 30 percent every year; amplified my in-office productivity by more than 100 percent; improved the quality of time spent with my children and husband (without sacrificing quantity of time); and given me more time for me. How do I accomplish this? Most of it boils down to planning. Here are some tips:
Keep the calendar up to date, and live by it. I have seen too many people who don’t follow this seemingly simple tenet become overwhelmed, double-booked and stressed.
Clear the calendar when needed. I limit my weeknight activities to one per week. This includes EO events, Forum, work events and social events like book club or happy hour.
Keep an annual calendar for family and business travel. Schedule vacations, EO Global events, conferences, etc. well in advance. This will make your spouse and kids happy, too!
Mornings are for ME. I wake up early and go to the gym. I have a chance to clear my mind, and I go into the office raring to go. Make sure you have some “you” time each day.
Evenings are for my kids. My family eats dinner together every evening. We frequently go to the park, work on homework and attend after-school events on weeknights. I fire up the laptop once the kids are in bed, but I relish the time we have after work and before bedtime.
Limit technology during family time. We have a “no phones during dinner” rule, and I try to extend that for the entire afternoon/evening. There are those times when all busy entrepreneurs have to take a conference call from the school parking lot in their car, but I try to limit them.
Finally, and most importantly, have great support. Too many people can’t or won’t rely on a support system. I have found that hiring a professional assistant and paying them generously is the key. I recommend a former teacher or daycare provider, and I always do a background check and call references. Besides my family, the two most important people in my world are my nanny and my executive assistant.
Kelly Cutler is the CEO of Marcel Media, a digital marketing company. Fun fact: Kelly was the first female Chapter President in EO Chicago.