- Posted August 6, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Confessions from imperfect parents
A MomPreneur finds a way to keep her sanity while juggling her online biz and taking care of her special needs baby girl
Little did I know, my « corporate » life would only last a few short years before I became my own boss, working full time online, making a living from my websites through great content, search engine trafic, affiliate marketing and advertising.
Life was good, I had fun, managing my time just the way I wanted (which meant often spending way too much time online!).
Then, in 2008, my life took an unexpected 180 degrees turn : I had my daugther. Having a child is, in itself, a huge life changing experience. The world you once new and loved changes overnight. But when you add to it the diagnosis of a severe brain malformation, it takes you to a whole different place.
Our little princess, the one we had been expecting for 4 years now through countless inseminations, was going to live a very different life. « She might live only a few years, in a complete vegetative state » were the words of the neurologist at the hospital, when we received the diagnosis.
It is impossible for me to describe the shock we went through at that very moment, but we survived. I'll always remember the kind words of another parent in the waiting room at the neuro office : « You'll see, there WILL be some good days... » This little sentence helped me, I kept repeating it to myself over and over, and it was true, there has been, and there is still some very good days.
But life has never been the same since.
I am now convinced that my entreprenarial life did not happen by « accident ». My life took all the right turns to make me a mompreneur working online from the web so I could have the liberty and flexibility to take care of my little princess.
Her first year has been very hard for her. The medication was simply not working, she was crying non-stop 10 hours per day, sleeping only 4 hours every night. Her first year was also very hard on me, having to learn how to cope with this new reality and to stop working on my business completely.
Luckily, I had built over the years enough residual income from my online business to be able to take a complete year off to take care of my little princess without having to stress over my financial needs!
The problems came during the second year. My little girl was staying at home, and I suddenly found myself forced to absorb two new expenses : the nanny at home, and an office outside for my business to start working a few hours each weeks.
The return to work was done at a snail pace, with a sense of moving in the water at a rate of only about 25 hours a week, which forced me to completely revise my business, my way of working and my priorities.
What was the impact on my online business and my career of mompreneur? I became an ace of planning, and now my clients benefit greatly!
Today, my life has found something resembling normality, as much as it is possible with a handicaped kid. And I continue to build and grow my business around my personal life, to be available and to have the ressources to take care of my little princess.
Am I a perfect parent? No way... I just do my best, give it all I've got. Some days are good, some days are really bad, but I love my little one, and she loves me, and that is all that matters.
In conclusion, I'd like to share with you 3 tips to help you keep your sanity as a mompreneur who has to find the right balance between personal life and growing your business.
These little tricks I've learned are what helps me keep my sanity and be a great imperfect parent!
Tip #1 : Plan, plan and then plan some more
I've found that when you don't plan, you tend to feel more like you are in a complete chaotic spot. And chaos creates stress, which leads to paralysys, which means you do nothing and just stay in the chaos for a longer period of time... NOT fun! By planning your holidays, your marketing actions, your product launches, your conferences, etc. you just know where you are going, and you know what you have to do next. This will create calmness in your life, and you will be more creative and productive because of that!
This has helped me be more present for my kid whenever she needs me.
Tip #2 : Accept that what you have planned will not happen exactly as... planned
The nice thing about planning is that it eliminate stress, and that leaves place to creativity. Because of that, new opportunities will arise in your business, which will sometime change your plans, and it is OK. By acepting that things will not go always exactly as planned, you eliminate some of the pressure you can easily put on yourself when you are a mompreneur.
That is true in business AND in family life!
Tip #3 : Give yourself the right to choose your clients!
One thing I love about my online business is that I allow myself to choose my clients... and to be picky! How I do it? First, I tell my prospects upfront how I manage my business, how I like things to work, and which type of client I like to work with. For example, I tell then about my kid and the fact that my schedule is very tightly managed. I leet them know that I might have to move a coaching call at the last minute one day, if I need to go to the hospital for an emergency. I also let them know that I don't work with two service professionals in the same niche, to make sure there is no conflict of interest (my clients love that). This way, if someone is put off by this first information they receive, they just walk away and it is perfectly fine!
Then, once that is clear, I usually take them through a free session so we can discuss their needs and see if we are a good fit or not. And last but not least, I allow myself to terminate a contrat if things just don't work out. This very rarely happens, because of my screaning process, but when it does, it is a great way to keep your sanity because you can free yourself from what can become a nightmare!
I hope my story will inspire other mompreneur to start their own business in a way that gives them the freedom they want to continue to take care of their little ones while doing something they are passionate about in their work.
It is simply impossible to be a perfect parent, because our lives are turned upside down when our little ones show up, but being an imperfect parent can be fun when you find ways to keep your sanity along the way! You can be who you are in all aspects of your life, and that is great!
- My life