Tips on How to Balance Business and Solo Parenting
Juggling family and entrepreneurship shouldn’t feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Running a business while raising a family is a demanding enough endeavor. Add to this the challenge of taking care of kids by yourself -- a job that's traditionally shared with a partner -- and things could get a bit more difficult.
But many amazing women the world over are thriving as single moms and successful entrepreneurs. Some are even convinced that these two equally exacting roles complement each other.
Here are some tips on how to balance business and solo parenting.
1. Move with intention
This is a phrase that’s typically uttered by yoga instructors but is just as meaningful off the mat: make sure every movement is intentional.
Time and energy are resources that everyone should learn to manage well, but this is especially important for single moms in business who may find themselves being pulled in every direction by a bunch of tasks.
Writing about BooginHead CEO Sari Davison in this Inc. article, Val Wright says Davison epitomizes what she calls “thoughtful ruthlessness,” or the ability to “intentionally focus on your time, energy, and resources to catapult your business growth.”
One way Davison does this is by only spending time with people that she truly wants to spend time with. She tells Wright, “I don't try and make time with lots of new friends. I have core friends, and I book my calendar far out. I don't have the luxury of flitting around aimlessly."
In everything you do, move with a purpose, and make sure you're spending your time on the things that really matter.
2. Develop a routine that works for you and your kids
As best you can, try to follow a routine. Schedule bedtimes, getting up in the morning, study time with kids, working out, regular meetings with your team, etc. -- having some form of structure to guide and anchor you can make it easier to go about the day and stay focused on goals.
Still, be flexible enough to accommodate surprises, and be prepared should these turn out to be less-than-pleasant.
One way to protect yourself is by making sure you're on solid financial footing. Learn as much as you can about financial literacy, and seek the advice of trusted sources.
Says Junie Veloso, Head of Business Banking at BPI, “Getting sound advice from financial institutions that have stood the test of time will go a long way in helping entrepreneurs make sure that both their business and their family can withstand the unexpected.”
3. Don't be afraid to ask for help
Asking for help is a sign of strength and humility, not weakness. After all, you can't help others as best you can if you're feeling helpless yourself.
“Release yourself from the guilt of trying to do everything,” says Wright. She recounts that, when Davison finally hired a nanny to help take care of the children, “her whole life benefitted -- not just her business.”
This is where single mom entrepreneurs in the Philippines may have an edge: because, traditionally, Filipino families have very close ties -- it's not unusual for extended families to live in the same compound, for instance -- it's not that hard to ask for assistance. During difficult times, this strong support network can serve as a safety net.
And perhaps this sense of community extends to institutions as well. Says Veloso, “We value our relationship with our clients.”
Whether it's financial advice or help with keeping your household together, if you need a hand, just ask. Your family, your business, and maybe even your sanity, will thank you for it.