As many of you working moms can attest to, sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. Whether that means that extra load of laundry isn’t washed and folded or that your son’s science project has yet to be completed. It might even be your lackluster website that needs sprucing up or that you’re still trying to Martha Stewart-ize that mound of paperwork sitting on your table. Whatever the case may be, there always seems to be a few things that just don’t get checked off your “to do” list. In business it seems to be no different, although for us, we are often plagued with two lists. Business and personal. During business hours, we try really hard to focus mainly on our business (although at times that can especially difficult)list as we tend to face same daily/weekly/monthly struggles. Here are a few examples:
Money. Never having enough money. Marketing costs money. Promotion costs money. Ditto for advertising, events, website design and maintenance and supplies. Starting and operating a business is a costly endeavor but sustaining it is also. There are many ways to do all of these things in a more cost effective way, but I have yet to find it for free. Sometimes life as a small business owner can be a little disheartening. It is very difficult to “compete” with the big companies when our budget will always be substantially smaller. Although, a little struggle can be a good thing as it keeps you humble.
Work/life/family balance. This one is probably the most common for many of us but definitely the most challenging. On days when we are feeling really connected to our families or feeling incredibly happy with all of our daily accomplishments, we worry that we haven’t spent enough time on “work.” On awesome business days when we are extremely productive, my thoughts shift to my messy home or that I forgot to take out the ground beef from the freezer. Throw my kids into the mix and suddenly I have my own reality show. In my case, I feel like I can do it all. It stems from all of the jobs I have held over the years that required me to multi-task many projects. Motherhood has only provided me with more tasks to juggle. Sometimes, successfully completed and sometimes just completed. I am learning, albeit very slowly, that sometimes less is more effective and that I CAN and HAVE to say no more often. Let me be clear, you can have it all, it just might not be at the same time.
Still loving everything we do all the time. We all have bad days, challenging customers and annoying colleagues. We are instructed to complete difficult projects or assignments and we all have had days when we wished we had done things differently. Let’s face it, we don’t always love what we are doing every second anyways. After all, it is a job. One that we have been working our butts off day and night. But alas, still a job.Remember the old adage, ” Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Not exactly true, but totally get the sentiment behind it. I’m glad that I have a partner that allows me to take a step back (or out) and relax a little away from the business. Sometimes, that’s all we need. A little break. Just enough time to regroup and re-energize and remember what we loved about doing this in the first place.
Definition of success. Like Beauty being in the eye of the beholder, so too is success. For some people that means making millions and for others success is finding or creating a job you love that helps pay the bills. I know for a few people success is measured by how good of a role model they are to their children. For us, you’ll find it somewhere in the middle. Our families will always be our main priority so success wouldn’t mean anything without them.How do you define success?
So you’ve heard about some of our business struggles. What I didn’t mention was the good thing about struggling is just how much you appreciate the victories. Small or big.For us, all of our “struggles” has lead us to the place we were meant to be. But also to something wonderful. So the next time you are having a bad day and are really unsure about the path you are on, remember that something great is just around the corner waiting for you. You just need to be ready for it!