I became a mompreneur out of necessity in 1996 when I received my first (and last!) pink slip. I was 30 years old, unemployed, and in the middle of a messy divorce with three kids to feed. It’s what every gal dreams of! NOT! To make matters worse, I was also being sued for alimony and child support when life started tumbling down around me. I thought I was on my way to a more peaceful life as a result of my marriage ending, but everything blew up!
It was such a difficult time, but for some reason, I knew with all my heart and soul, we’d be okay. I thought to myself frequently, “I got this!” I felt in control for the first time in a long time.
One thing I knew for sure was that I would no longer have to ask permission to be a parent. I also would no longer be sitting in California traffic jams, and I was free to fly the way I was meant to. I was surprisingly exhilarated to be laid off from the job I loved, no longer part of a team of people I enjoyed working with, and able to venture out on my own.
It was an all or nothing kind of time and I couldn’t wait to put to use what I’d learned while working for some of Silicon Valley’s top companies. Companies that invested in me and prepared me for what was to come. I was excited about what was ahead!
The details of how I did it are in the book, “The secrets I share with my friends, everything I know about building a small business.” I was a work-at-home mom who had to find balance and a strategy on how to make it happen.
The rules I created for myself and the secrets to my work regimen however are not in the book.
One of my secrets to staying focused while working from home was that I never, and I mean I never, turned the television on during the day. There would have to have been sirens and emergency alerts happening for me to turn on that TV. I knew if I ever allowed myself to turn it on, I’d get sucked in and it would keep me from doing what I needed to do to provide. I had a house payment, car payment, daycare, AND a pricey divorce attorney! No time for TV!
I had an office that was not in my family room or kitchen. It was in a separate room away from the activities of a busy home. I had a place to “report to” everyday, just like when I was employed. I required myself to report to work by a certain time and I did not allow myself a “get a fresh cup of coffee” until I had accomplished a set number of tasks. Usually the tasks I dreaded most. Prospecting.
I set rules regarding how much time I had to spend working at my job and I didn’t allow myself to break them. Breaking the rules I set for myself would lead my family to disaster, and I kept that in the back of my mind always.
I knew getting my business started would be much like getting an airplane off the ground. I needed a lot of force, energy, and speed for my business to fly, and it would take a lot of extra work/hours in the beginning. I knew once I got the business going, I could get it to cruising altitude and I’d be able to let off the throttle a bit.
If you’re starting a business, you need guidelines and expectations for yourself, just like you would any other employee working for your company. Hold yourself to the “company guidelines” even when you are the company, it will only help you get off the ground faster! Trust me, it really is one of the best secrets I can share with you.
This is what my work day looks like-still self-employed, 17 years later. Living the dream and feeling so blessed.
I did the work and put in the time because anything worth having is worth working for. Never confuse being busy with being productive. It’s easy to look busy and not really be accomplishing anything. Be willing to do the work and put in your time doing what you love and what you’re passionate about. When you do what you love and love what you do, the money will follow.
Mark Twain said it best:
“Be willing to start at the beginning”
You’ll find all of my small business secrets in the book, I hope you’re able to get your copy today. It will save you a lot of time and energy with all the direction it provides on how to get a small business off the ground.