The word “mompreneur” doesn’t even exist in a conventional dictionary, yet mompreneurs are a very legitimate business model.
Investopedia.com describes mompreneurs as follows:
A slang term describing women who run their own businesses while also acting as a full time parent. Mompreneurs are more likely to run a business out of the home than out of a commercial building. Because of family obligations, mompreneurs have to balance the requirements of running a business with the demands of their children, and may do the bulk of their work during the time when their children do not require as much attention.
Across the Internet this term is both embraced and decried by women everywhere! The reason so many shy away from it is because of the obvious connotations that mompreneurs put mommy-hood before business. That, however, is a sweeping generalization. The New York Times offers up a much more interesting (and empowering) definition:
… ‘mompreneurs’ – a new breed of educated career women who give up high-powered jobs to stay at home, raise kids – and still turn a profit.
Truth be told (and it must on this blog), I’m of the viewpoint that the term mompreneur is best used by those women who either provide products and services for other moms or have gone into business because they’ve become moms. Personally I would never describe myself as a “mompreneur” in my other content marketing business over at WordPL, not because I’m ashamed but because it just isn’t important there – my marketing clients don’t care about that!
However, this blog is different. Here I am speaking to friends, women and other moms. So without further ado, here’s my mompreneur spin on Stephen Covey’s classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I give you the 7 habits of highly effective mompreneurs!
1. Mompreneurs are realistic
They are a breed that understands that its okay if the dirty dishes are piling up. If the laundry for the week isn’t done. If the kids eat some nuggets and cupcakes for dinner on Fridays (at least that’s what happens in my house!). They know that “supermom” is a misnomer. Because all moms all super.
Effective mompreneurs know that time will always be inversely proportional to their to-do list. They accept that. They know sacrifices need to be made and that they can’t have it all.
This is good because they carry these attributes to business as well. They always keep one eye open for business destructibles (yes I made up this word) like scope creep and unrealistic deadlines. They don’t set themselves up for failure and that’s a win!
2. They are not afraid to ask for help
There’s a saying, goes something like this: “If you’re carrying more than you can handle today, choose to let some of it go by letting someone else in.”
I think effective people do just that. They don’t whine and complain, but they do know when to reach out and admit they need help. For mompreneurs a great support system is crucial to success. I know I reach out to my family often for help and its saved my sanity many times.
Similarly in business, this is equivalent to being able to delegate your work to people you trust (if you don’t trust them, why are you working with them in the first place?). Effective mompreneurs are those who can delegate tasks – both personal and business!
3. They are master negotiators!
I’m not talking about the women who always bargain for the sake of it. I am talking about the women who always know the value of their work/time/commitment and are not afraid to “name their price”.
Whether they are negotiating iPad time with their kids or business meeting time with clients, effective mompreneurs always aim to win the war and may concede some of the battles!
4. They compartmentalize in their head
Effective mompreneurs usually have an organized head, even if they come off as a disorganized scatterbrain. They are able to compartmentalize and categorize things/events/problems/tasks/etc. They use the power of batch processing to get more done in less time. Frying up those nuggets? Why not toss in some fries in the same oil to save time? (yeah you can tell I have a real guilty conscience about them nuggets)
In business this works out really well in the form of prioritized to-do lists. Responding to an email from someone asking for an interview will usually take a back seat to a client asking for critical information. If i have just 5 mins, I know which email I’ll be answering first!
5. They are visual
I don’t mean arty. I just mean that effective mompreneurs are able to think and display info visually. Think chore charts or artwork on the fridge. This display usually means that a) they are proud of the displayed accomplishments and b) they are actually pretty organized contrary to what they may think.
I used to think I’m very disorganized but I’ve found that all I really needed to become more effective was to make maps of information. So now I draw/write on the huge whiteboard in my home office, I use mind mapping software, I love infographics and I understand the girly love for Pinterest.
6. They schedule & savor “me time”
Everyone from here to Canuck has probably already told you that you need to set aside time for yourself if you care about personal development at all, so I’m not going to rehash all of that. However, I will say that effective mompreneurs are not afraid to admit they take afternoon naps (guilty as of baby #2), schedule date nights, and do whatever makes them feel
special sane – even if they have to hide in the bathroom to do it!
Obviously this translates really well in business to taking vacation time, giving yourself a bonus, setting aside wish money and so forth.
7. They are always working the 80/20 principle!
Who knew that a 19th century economist named Vilfredo Pareto from Italy would cause moms to be so effective, eh? But its true, the most successful mompreneurs, nay, people I know out there practice the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle. Simply stated it means that ” approximately 80% of your success will come from 20% of your effort”.
So it all becomes about finding that magic 20% that will shift the results in your favor. Like the magic words needed to get your child to eat dinner (you can play with the iPad later) or the magical & highly cooperative clients that bring in the most dough. I’m not joking, I am blessed to have clients who literally are waiting to pay up as soon as the work is done and are usually the ones that cause minimal fuss and love everything you do (Yes they actually do exist!). I find that I’m happier working for them because they are paying top dollar, being appreciative and worth the time & effort I’ve put in them.
So, that’s a wrap folks. Now I need to get back to being an effective mom + preneur. Do weigh in with what you think makes you effective – both as a mom and as a businessperson. Or what frazzles you out and how cultivating some of these traits might help. Talk soon 😉