YOU CAN BE A MOMPRENEUR WITHOUT GOING INSANE
First things first. There ain't NO SHAME in being a full-time Mama, without a side hustle. Being a mom is more work than anyone who's not a mother could ever understand. You're on-duty 24/7, you're the leader of the pack, you're the fixer-upper, the house cleaner, the head chef, the butt-wiper, the boo boo make better-er. You do it all, and it's not easy. So take a moment, and here me say: you're amazing, and I know you don't get enough credit for all you do, but keep doing it because what you're doing matters greatly.
If you happen to be a working mama, then kudos to you too! I think it's incredible that you can somehow get your family, your dinner, and your house together while still maintaining a solid job outside of the home. I know it's not easy for you either. You're working when you're gone, and you're working when you get home, and sometimes you just want a freaking break. And you deserve it too! Maybe take a personal day from work, while keeping the kids in their regular daycare routine-- get a massage, get your nails done, read a book at a coffeeshop. You're not worth much to your family if you're only giving them crumbs at the end of a long workday. Take care of yo'self! And also remember: you're amazing too and you shouldn't feel guilty for being a working mama, ever. You're helping to provide for your family, you're choosing to do something that you love, and you're still raising some incredible kids in the process. Keep at it, girlfriend!
Okay okay.. so what is this post really about? Well, I want to share with you some of what I can truly attest to most, which is being a full-time mom while also being a full-time entrepreneur. Anybody else out there?! It's the dream that Pinterest shouts from the rooftops. "Be Your Own Boss in 30 Days", "Mompreneurs Run the World", blah blah blah. But you know what? It's not all that glamorous all the time. Well, actually, most of the time it's not. That doesn't mean it's not amazing-- but still, it's not flashy. It's only flashy if you're recording it all with special filters on Instagram.
I started Revival about 3 years ago, when I was a newlywed with a cute little puppy, and no real plan for what my life would look like, besides one day getting pregnant and being a stay-at-home mom, just as my mother was. I basically started this business to get me from point A to B without feeling like I was completely useless. I definitely recognize that David and I have been fortunate enough to mostly to live off of his income alone (on a tight budget, I may add!) since we got married. I did have a part-time job when we first moved to Indianapolis, but once Revival took off, I had to quit that in order to focus my energy more on this business (which wasn't bringing in a profit yet at the time).
I didn't go to business school and had virtually no formal knowledge on finances and accounting. But I made the most amazing almond butter, came up with a catchy name and logo, and loved making connections within the community. I could sell my product like nobody's business, and it grew rapidly within the first 6 months of starting. To say it was a whirlwind is an understatement. The name and branding changed right before we launched into about 100 new grocery stores, plus we had to make and package so much almond butter that my arms hurt just thinking about it. Just when we started getting into a rhythm with things, I found out I was pregnant, which wasn't actually much of a surprise, but you would have thought so by the way I handled the business. The bigger I got, the harder it became to help in the kitchen. So I got to work at home on the insides of the business... only to find that I had no idea what the heck I was doing. Our finances were a mess, there were no systems for anything, and I wasn't even sure if I was getting paid for all of the almond butter I was putting out. I felt so overwhelmed, so alone in it all, and just so, so tired. All I wanted to do at this point was nap and go buy things for the nursery. So that's what I did.
Fast-forward to now... about a year and half later and I'm pregnant again! I've spent the last year cleaning up the mess that I made and trying to get ahead of it all for the first time. My husband is a finance guru and has been able to plug is talents into helping me more in the areas that I don't understand. I've been forcing myself to learn skills that I never thought I would be able to acquire (hello, Quickbooks, my new friend!), and I've created systems with my time that make it possible for me to get actual work done for Revival in a way that is catapulting us towards success, rather than complacency.
How do I do it? What are my mama business secrets?!
- Get help. Hire a gal or two that can be your go-to's to keep the simple tasks of your business functioning smoothly without it having to take up too much mental capacity for you. Trust me, you will NOT miss this money. It's the best thing I've done for myself and my business. Delegate, love on them, encourage them, and delegate some more. You don't have to do it all.
- Hire a nanny. I have someone come for two half-days a week so that I can get out of the house and get some work done. Yeah, naptimes are good and all, but I find myself wanting to do all the laundry, dishes, closet organizing, bathroom cleaning... ah I just can't stop sometimes! And then suddenly, the babe is awake and I feel defeated for not having worked on my business tasks at all. So do yourself a favor and hire a sweet girl that comes over to love on your little person once or twice a week. Every once in a while, I use this time to get a massage, and that feels pretty dang good too. I have found my nannies via care.com and have had great luck!
- Schedule your days in advance. I use the Pace & Pattern planner to keep me on track with my quarterly goals, which I look at as I plan out my weeks. The night before I have a workday set up, I take about 15 minutes to list out some of the tasks I have to knock out the next day. Sometimes when we suddenly have space and time to get things done, it's like our minds turn to mush and we end up on social media. Don't do it! Look at your list, vow to ignore Facebook and Instagram until after you've finished.
- Get your fitness on. It's so easy to think of your health and fitness as a bonus to your week, not an essential. But I'm telling you... it is essential! You need to re-energize your body on the regular with some fresh bloodflow, muscle use, clean eating, and lots of water. If you want to rock your business and your home life, you NEED to take good, quality care of your body.
- Sleep more. Again, take care of your body. Watching another episode of The Office or whatever show it is that your binging on lately is not worth waking up and feeling like you've been hit by a truck. My goal this year has been to be in bed by 10:30, which is early for me. I mostly follow through with that goal. On the days that I don't, I feel it and I'm a mess. Then I drink coffee, feel weird, and am even less productive than before. Know your body, and figure out a bedtime that serves it well.
- Fill up with inspiration. As we go through an average day, there's generally at least an hour spent in the car, about 15 minutes that you lay in bed trying to fall asleep, a couple hours in the kitchen cooking and cleaning... this is beautiful, valuable time that you can use to your benefit! Find a podcast or an audiobook and blast that baby. Even if you're only partially listening in because you have a kid attempting to yell demands at you in the background, be assured that something is absorbing into your mind there. My favorite podcasts are How I Built This, The Goal Digger Podcast, Being Boss, GirlBoss Radio, The Liturgists Podcast, Dancefloor Podcast, and A Couple Cooks. When I take a bit of time in my day to tune into one of these, I feel a little less stuck, a little more inspired, and like I learned a little somethin in the process. Give it a try!
Well, that's all I have for you, friends. I'm just trying to figure out this whole motherhood and entrepreneurship life out as much as any of you are, but wanted to share with you a few things that have been working out pretty well for me recently. Would love to know your thoughts and tips, if you have them! As always, you can follow along with us more on our Instagram feed (@revivalfoodco).