As a mother to two boys, I began building my business when traveling around the globe with my family. My lifestyle was hindering my full presence at work as an employee. However, I became serious about my small business when life took another turn and hit me hard. A traumatic experience, that changed my whole perspective about life, and presented me with the choice of how to live our lives daily. Over three years I was able to establish and develop a Lifestyle Brand covering Etiquette/Styling/Healthy Living. The business was then launched as a company, an institute, in 2016, focusing on the three core areas such as Business-, Youth- and Social Etiquette. My mission was clear – Looking good, Acting good, Feeling good – that touches you and your entire relationships around the world. I also wrote some publications like my book Help Your Child Shine: Etiquette And Character Education For Kids Ages Five To Seventeen
Sure, all entrepreneurs wear many hats as they’re building their business BUT mompreneurs add a couple more on top of that and there is a damn good reason that the word mom comes first in “mompreneur.” Why? Because it’s our first priority how we start and end our days and in between we act as entrepreneur, slipping in and out of both roles as the day dictates. A mompreneur as I am, fully embodies what it’s like to juggle so many responsibilities as an entrepreneur with children. There’s no “right” way to start or run a business and certainly no recipe for learning how to balance it all, but what I’ve learnt is that you’ve got to find your own groove with discipline, routine and priorities. And as the kids grow, you also adjust your daily routine and life continues to change.
Today I am going to offer you an insight of what a typical day looks like for me:
6am, my alarm goes off, I express in prayer how thankful I am to have woken up this day because someone went to sleep that night and didn’t wake up with their “little big problems”. I mentally walk through my priorities for the day (family priorities, then work priorities). I write down the priorities for the day if not the night before. I must get all the mental notes that have been piling up in my mind since I woke up on paper before I forget it. It gets me mentally organized. I stretch myself and try to focus on my breathing and do my morning salutation and then have my morning washing routine done quickly.
6:30am I wake up my boys (mostly 5min earlier to prepare them slowly to wake up), talking to them, asking about how they slept, just being totally present for them. I never want them to feel the rush in the morning or that I’m too busy to care about even the little things they have going on.
7:15am After breakfast (I mostly just join the boys with a jug of hot water and fresh squeezed lemon and manuka honey but have later in the morning a bowl of quinoa/oat cereal with some chia seeds and pomegranates.), we leave the house together to catch the school bus and once they are off, I go directly for a 40min. jog or walk depending on how my night’s sleep was. I’ve made exercise a critical part of my morning routine whether I want to or not. If I don’t get it done first, it won’t happen at all and then I lack the energy and clarity to be productive during the day. I shower and dress up for the “office”. I rarely plan a meeting or workshops before 10am, except the holiday workshop camps.
8:30am I spend most of my day in my home office handling business matters, social media and the family schedule such as menu and shopping plans and if there are any school activities or early after school activities planned for the boys during the day.
9:30am I’m in the office/institute in the heart of downtown, I change from wife and mama-mode to business woman and professional, spending a lot of time in front of my computer typing away, responding to emails and inquiries, researching, reading, writing, checking all my social media platforms while promoting the business with design ideas, content and networking, and if it’s a workshop day, I’ll be in the boardroom for coaching sessions with clients until 2pm and sometimes later depending on the Q+As after each workshop. I mostly meditate few minutes before the workshop sessions and just make sure I am really present, so I can help my clients as much as possible over the next hours.
11:30am I take a break to grab a quick lunch, mostly sandwich or salad. Then back to my day of management, web-site control, marketing strategies, how to make cost reductions and raise sales. I own an educational institute. I like working early hours. I have learnt that if I do not put in the time, my business will not only begin to go stagnant, but if I’m not careful, the competition will swallow me up. I want to constantly grow my business, expand, and stay ahead. This is what keeps me at the office as much as I can afford, otherwise I’m only at my home office if the day schedule requires it. One of the things I love about my business is that it is global and is a people business and I can serve all women and men, children over the world, no matter which socio-economic background!
At 3pm, it’s like the Flintstones whistle and I’m out there, into the car and back to my other role as mama-taxi, schlepping kids from activity to activity, snacking while chatting about the day, mostly it’s more of a monologue. My boys are teens now so it’s me who wants to be around them after they are at home or at any of their afternoon sports activities. I treasure every single moment with them and the satisfying feeling of simply being together and being part of their lives but also me informing and including them in my business adventures. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies with two teen boys but most of the time they enjoy that quality time too.
5-7pm If there are no evening sports activities and once the boys are doing homework or whatever activity to calm down from their activity-packed days, it’s back to the computer for me to tie up loose ends in the evening before dinner time. I publish a blog post that I have already written about with information on my upcoming workshops. I delete and respond to a few emails because I like to go to sleep with zero emails in my inbox as I think I sleep better:)
8pm I’ve almost reached the top of that daily mountain all parents climb. Mostly, it’s downtime with the entire family watching a Netflix tv series or documentary film or just spending some quality time together. I only go back to the computer after dinner around 7:30 – 9pm when there are upcoming workshops for the next days or any articles needed to be done before publication deadlines.
10pm the latest, both my husband and I have always made it a family routine to bring the boys to their rooms/bed, take turn in chatting briefly about their day with each of them and say good night. This is also the time where they calm down and mostly open up to us about things going on in their lives, a precious time for both kids and parents.
10:30 pm I go to bed, exchange briefly with my husband about our day and plans, I sometimes read one of the three books I’m currently reading and then pray to god how grateful I am for my family and my day ends, lights out! Exhausting but great day, I work hard, but I love what I do and I’ll do it again tomorrow!
So technically, I have about 6 hours to put on my creative thinking cap before the boys coming home from school, manage the day, read, respond to potential or existing clients, network, manage household chores and errands. However, this list is not exhaustive as it does not include the role of a mother!
This Day of my Life as a Mompreneur does not include pre-booked activities, pre-booked workshops/training or publication deadlines for article contributions, income producing activities such as marketing and sales acquisitions! Oh, not to forget, I have scheduled a one “Me Day” in the week where I pamper myself with Yoga/Pilates, massages, hair dresser appointments (very rare though), I call it my wellness day. Saturday looks very similar to the rest of the weekdays, but I don’t work so hard and I can create and work on things that need more of my focus or just hang out and Sunday is family day.
In a nutshell, despite being both working parents, our morning time and mostly evening time is family time. It’s our top priority and it truly belongs to the boys and our family life which we cherish so much. This is the reason why we still have a strong bond with our teens despite being entrepreneurs and my husband who mostly works much longer hours, having conference calls through different time zones, being in a restaurant or meetings or traveling the globe. The stable routine at home continues.
Every parent’s life is a balancing act and as a mompreneur you must make the most of your free time to keep your business growing, your family happy and yourself sane otherwise you’ll go crazy. There seems to be a method to the madness; knowing your routine and sticking to it whenever possible, allowing few distractions. Of course, life doesn’t always go as planned so there’s always tomorrow…a fresh slate to wake up with that “fire in the belly.” But it’s also important to be there 100% in every situation. My boys want me to be Mom, my business needs me to be the tough boss and my husband married me, not my small business. I try to think of what my primary role is at different times throughout the day and keep myself from getting pulled in too many directions at once. Having children who are completely dependent on your every move, organizing a household and trying to run and manage a fully functional (and hopefully profitable) business isn’t an easy task. So, while mompreneurs look for a daily balance between chaos and symmetry, we are most happy when the biggest ROI comes in the form of a well-adjusted family.
Now what about my husband? I always feel this extreme guilt as he is somewhat the “sacrificial lamb” in this whole entrepreneurial venture which makes me sometimes sad. My husband has been an amazing support system and keeps me sane.
As a wife and Mompreneur, you tend to spread yourself thin trying to do everything and help everyone but it becomes unbearable at times. You want to feel accomplished and push yourself with “You can do this” type of chants all while drowning S T O P…I had to tell myself this…as an entrepreneur, it is important that you prioritize your health, mental stability and appearance because these are the building blocks for running a successful business. Ironically, I always advise my clients to be cautious with taking on too much because it can leave them overwhelmed or overworked which will eventually affect their families and the work that they produce. You don’t want to under deliver in your career, that’s my “Work-Life-Balance Workshop” 😊
Whether you are a mompreneur, entrepreneur or work for an organization, avoid the burnout of working yourself into the ground. Take a step back, analyze, prioritize, commit and start over again. I need to remind myself sometimes too apart from advising others.
We’re living a life we love and chasing a dream that we believe will change lives. Having purpose like that is invigorating. But when you take a step back behind the scenes, you’ll quickly find that those living the ‘mompreneur’ life is not necessarily living a life of glitz and glam and unparalleled success. And if you’re a mompreneur yourself, you’ll know what I mean. In terms of posting on Social Media Platforms, if I’m speaking for the things I post, what you’re seeing is real, but what you’re seeing is only a piece of the story. I mean check out these pictures of people drinking wine on Facebook, standing on a rooftop in NYC or wherever on Instagram, winning pitch competitions in Silicon Valley, and prepping for a spot on the news. Nothing says glitz, glam, and a damn good time like these pictures.
What you’re not seeing is the meltdown, discussions about pricing, knocking at doors about 100 times to get a business deal, endless negotiation with no outcome, tight shoulders from hours of working at computer, etc. etc. the list is long.
What you’re not seeing is the empty fridge that has resulted from a busy work schedule combined with just wanting to have a night in snuggling through a movie with your kids.
What you’re not seeing are the tears that have fallen into a glass of wine or on a big fat chocolate cake when we experience a setback or internet trolls have decided to rip us apart on the very social media posts that have started this conversation in the first place.
Physical and emotional exhaustion are real. And they’re not something that one often chooses to display online right? Mompreneur or not, I’m sure you can relate.
My takeaway, I am a firm believer that the happier you are in your career, the more successful you become. Happiness is the key to work life balance and my day is mostly a great balance of all of the things that make me happy. Helping people launch their dream careers, helping people being the better version of themselves, promoting and instilling character education in youth, spending as much as of time with my boys and husband and feeling fulfilled by reading and being by myself as well so that I can be fully present.
The example working women set is priceless. Here’s where it gets good, though. My kids are watching me. They’re watching me stretch my limits. They’re watching me succeed. They’re watching me fail or face disappointment. They’re watching how I treat them and others in the process. They’re watching me build something from nothing and they’re watching the choices that I make in the midst of a messy work life balance. They are watching. They are learning. And it is molding who they are becoming. They encourage me, they are my inspiration!
What I’m sharing with you is that, whatever life you have, you can choose to use your position as a learning lesson for your children. And I hope that while my boys grow and grow, they’re able to describe me as a strong woman who took chances that required sacrifice, never feared to fail, stumbled but rose up again, and yet showed them love and made them always a priority in the process.
With love and kindness,