For many women entrepreneurs, working long hours to build a business is part of the job. But you don't need to sacrifice valuable time at home. As a mom and entrepreneur, I'm able to support my family while always being present for my son. Creating spaces that fulfill both roles takes dedication. But with the right tools, I'm able to maximize productivity and find business innovation everywhere.
Here are some tips from five other women entrepreneurs who are doing the same.
Business innovation doesn't happen overnight. It takes discipline to get the work done and grow your business.
For women entrepreneurs like Katherine Wintsch, CEO of consulting agency MOM Complex, leaning on a detailed schedule allows her to focus on what matters at work and at home.
“My calendar is king," Wintsch says. "If I know I have a busy schedule of meetings, I block off time to devote to tasks that require head-down focus. And I build in me time. My equation of balance is not the traditional work versus life, but effort versus effect. How much effort am I putting into my career and how much impact is it having on the lives of other people?"
I learned early on what my strengths are and aren't. Being able to delegate tasks to someone who's better at them then I am helps me become more efficient and focus on the things that will encourage business innovation.
Sarah K Peck, founder and CEO of Startup Pregnant speaks to the importance of delegation for women entrepreneurs, especially moms. (Startup Pregnant is a platform that shares the stories of and offers support to moms who are entrepreneurs.)
When it comes to working with her husband, “our contributions are distinct, and not '50/50,'" Peck says. "We each assume different roles that contribute to a well-running team. My husband reminds me, 'You created two humans from scratch and are feeding our family with your body,' which is useful to hear when I get stuck in masculine paradigms of measuring success.
"I also have two core teammates who help with projects whenever I'm overwhelmed," Peck continues, "and it has been life-changing for my business—they are responsible for doubling my productivity."
Strategize and Set Goals
Every year, my husband and I create a strategic plan to track business and personal goals. Having an integrated plan helps ensure that we're focused on growth for our business and our family.
Mia Thomas, growth architect at Build Your Own Brand, a platform that empowers entrepreneurs, shares how strategy and vision lead to business innovation:
As women, we wear many hats: leader, nurturer, organizer, home manager, etc. I prioritize, plan ahead, put everything on my calendar and ensure I have buffers in my schedule to avoid burnout.
—Julie Finn, chief mentor, The Working Mother's Mentor
“Entrepreneurship is hard. It requires consistent discipline, and confidence in yourself. That's why I love to start with intention. Setting goals allows me to visualize what I want and take the necessary steps to achieve it. I have direction, determination and an end in sight. Maintaining an unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation allows me to improve processes, bring new products and services to market, increase efficiency and improve profitability."
Giving yourself space to be flexible and make room for change is important. Business innovation comes from change. Embrace it.
Dawn Myers, founder and CEO of hair care company THE MOST taps into an issue many women entrepreneurs face.
“There are still rigid expectations that women have to balance in order to satisfy work and family," Myers says. "I am conscious about reserving emotional bandwidth to make sure my family feels taken care of.
"That being said," she continues, "the needs of your business change every day; so do the needs of your family, your body and your home. It's my job to be flexible and prioritize all these moving pieces as best as I can. It's not my job to get it right every time—but to learn and be kind to myself when I get it wrong. Finding balance is more art than science."
I have a hard start and end time. During work hours, I'm focused on work. During family time, I give my all to my family.
Sometimes It's hard to stick to the schedule, but doing so reiterates to my family that they are a priority. It also helps me enjoy the time.
Julie Finn is chief mentor at The Working Mother's Mentor, a training and facilitation company dedicated to supporting professional women. Finn recognizes the need to “organize my work around my clients' priorities and my kids' schedules."
She relies on time-saving solutions in order to strike the right balance. By batching—using scheduled time blocks to work on the same type of task—and implementing automated systems, Finn is able “to grow my business while still taking kids to doctor's appointments, chaperoning field trips and many of the other activities I often missed when I had a corporate job.
“As women, we wear many hats: leader, nurturer, organizer, home manager, etc.," Finn continues. "I'm keenly aware of the superwoman syndrome that we can fall into. I prioritize, plan ahead, put everything on my calendar and ensure I have buffers in my schedule to avoid burnout."
For women entrepreneurs, finding the right routine to enhance productivity at home and at work is a personal process. Having the tools and systems in place that work for you is key to success and business innovation.
Read more articles on productivity.
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