From Accidental Entrepreneur to Successful Mompreneur
Five years ago when I lost my job after having Peanut, I got this idea in my head that until I could find another job I would write articles online from home to help pay for groceries and diapers. It seemed like a good plan at the time and it was something that I thought I could easily do.
I was both right… and wrong. It was easy to be at home all day but I had to learn how to market my skills and find enough work that would sustain me until I could go back to work. To start, I did a little bit of research and then made contact with an editor of one of our local newspapers. I pitched some ideas and that launched me into freelancing and being an entrepreneur (or mompreneur if you will). Working from home permanently was an accident for me but one I don’t regret in the least. However, I do regret a few things: I didn’t create a business plan and I didn’t have any savings to start my business. In fact, I probably broke every rule you will hear or have been told on how to start your own business.
I broke them because I didn’t know that this is what I would still be doing five years later. I just thought that writing articles and freelancing would be something I did until I could find another job and my doctors would clear me to go back to work. Clearly that’s not what happened.
The one mistake I made above all others that I wish I could change was not preparing my family; especially my kids. Peanut has only known me as a telecommuting (also known as a work at home) mom but the older three still remember rushed mornings to the babysitter’s house and rushed evenings to get everyone bathed and in bed before we’d have to start the rush all over again the next morning. It has been the biggest adjustment I think for them to see me “at work” and yet still be at home at the same time. And the hubby? Heh. I still don’t think he knows what to do with having me home all day.
It’s been an adjustment for everyone and had I planned things better or knew from the get-go that working from a home office would be something I did permanently, I would have done a few things differently, including:
Setting some ground rules for the kids and husband. When I’m working or writing, I don’t like to be interrupted. They are all getting better about it but there are many days where uninterrupted work time is a goal I strive for.
Keeping a babysitter on speed dial. Yes, I know that working from home is supposed to solve the problem of childcare but when I have conference calls or deadlines it would have been nice to have a place to take Peanut when he was a baby.
Speaking of ground rules… Friends need to understand that I have work time. I’ve had a few discussions with friends about how I won’t always answer my cell unless it’s the school or a client. I always try to set time aside to hang with them or talk to them on the phone but even my friends have had to make some adjustments to my change in career.
A few goals here and there to track my progress would have been helpful. Like I said, I started with no real business plan and no savings in the bank to fund my business from the beginning. I would have created a plan with concrete goals in mind to keep me motivated when things got difficult and I would have created monetary goals as well. Goals will keep you accountable and motivated.
It’s extremely important to get your family on board as much as possible. I just sort of morphed into an entrepreneur; sure my success has been great and I can’t imagine doing anything else now but I made a lot of mistakes that I’m sure that if I had planned better, I could have avoided many of them. I tell people that my success is accidental and it’s completely true.
Mompreneur, entrepreneur, work at home mom… whatever you want to call us, I firmly believe that any mom who wants to make that switch from commuting to having a home office can do it with the right amount of planning and support from family and friends. Don’t be afraid to share your plan with your family and friends. They can only help support you and keep you accountable as well as motivated to make your dream of being an entrepreneur a reality.
For more information on how you can follow your dream of entrepreneurship, follow Lifetime Mom Stephanie as she completes her mission to help other moms follow their dreams.