Business First September 2017 Business First September 2017 - Page 53

How to Maintain a Work-Life Balance as a Female Entrepreneur and Mum By Charlotte Baldwin, Operations Manager at IQ Cards: any people describe parenting as a full­time job in itself, so when combining this commitment with entrepreneurship, you have a recipe for hardship. The appeal of being self­employed is often the flexibility that supposedly goes with it, but business owners will tell you that it makes for a far more difficult and demanding working life than that of the average employee. In the UK alone there are over 800,000 stay­at­home mothers who run their own businesses, and this statistic is higher than ever. In order to see the frequency of parenting while running a business carry on increasing, it is helpful to figure out how to achieve, and maintain, a work­life balance that allows entrepreneurs to enjoy the fruits of their labour. Here are some top tips for making this happen. M Expect Chaos Neither family life nor business life are smooth sailing, so pursuing them simultaneously is undoubtedly going to involve a high workload, and a fair share of chaos. While chaos is difficult to prepare for, self­assuredness and confidence are drivers for powering through it and avoiding its detrimental effects. Chaotic environments may make it harder to appreciate and enjoy your achievements, but remembering that your hard work is paying off will help to alleviate some of the stress and keep you focused on your goal. Be Unique This may be a common mantra in the business world, but it matters more than ever when you have a lot going on in your life, and it can be easy to forget to project your uniqueness in such a busy setting. Make sure you take time to reflect on your USPs and what separates you from the competition, and don’t forget to keep close tabs on your competitors so that you are never in the dark about your own position in the market. Use Support Your support network are there to help you succeed, so don’t feel bad about making use of it when you need to. It doesn’t detract from your capacity in business ­ in fact, it reflects an ability to delegate and work through problems. See about prospective babysitters within your family or friends circle when you need to attend a meeting, or outsource your marketing if need be. Whatever kind of support it is that you require to make it work, seek it out, and don’t feel guilty. Be Accountable Many working parents strive towards a desirable work­life balance, and despite best efforts, it can be easy to sway, lending more effort and time to one than the other. This will inevitably cause some slip­ups, and this is quite common in the business world. The balance is difficult to achieve, but nobody benefit from trying to assign blame to such situations. Remain accountable for any imbalances that may crop up, and do your best to even them out again. Be Inspirational Guilt is rampant in working parents, who often feel there aren’t enough hours in the day to run a successful business and be attentive to their family. But it is often forgotten that children seeing their parents committing themselves to and working hard toward a self­set goal is hugely beneficial, setting a good example and providing inspiration. Through strong work ethic and resourcefulness, working mothers can inspire their children to think outside of the box and take control of things for themselves. Love Your Business worked so hard for is not a sign of a successful entrepreneur. Passion and a sense of purpose must be your driving force in business. Without it, your company as a whole will lack character and is likely to deteriorate. The difficult times you face will feel worthwhile if you love your business, and the good times will feel all the more rewarding. If your business is the best possible use for your various skills and expertise, you will feel motivated to make it work, and your support network will be happy to see and help you succeed. MOREINFORMATION IQ Cards are a fundraising company that provide schools and establishments with the necessary tools to fundraise via selling high-quality and unique gifts designed by pupils. As part of the established on- demand print and digital solutions provider The IQ Digital House, ensures that all requirements and products are produced to the highest standards, delivered on time and at great value prices. Several of the IQ cards team are mothers and PTA members themselves appreciating and understanding school protocols extremely well. They are the preferred supplier for PTA UK. For more information please visit: Feeling disdain for the business you have 51