As a small business owner, you must expect to “wear many hats.” But as a parent running an online business, some of those hats may be the literal dress-up variety. From cowboy hat to tiara, life will get interesting. Just don’t forget to remove your headgear before your next zoom meeting.
If you’re at the stage where you’re thinking about taking the plunge and opening your own online business, this post may help you understand the unique challenges ahead.
After all, the world looks quite different when your cubby-mates haven’t quite mastered feeding themselves.
But if you batch your time and get as much done during naps as possible, things become much easier.
Consider spending some quality active time with the kids in the morning hours, so their attention cups are full when you are ready to begin work. This will help keep the interruptions to a minimum.
Consider some very deliberate screen time
Whenever you have Zoom calls or attention-focused work like deciding on product packaging, this could be a good time for some deliberate screen time. By limiting screen time to these hours, it will feel more rare and special to your kiddos, and so they’ll want to enjoy every minute they can. And this is when you’re free to knock out the items on your to-do list that are most challenging.
Take it easy on yourself
As your own boss, you might be tempted to set extreme expectations. But please do step back from the overly ambitious day planner. When you plan too many things to reasonably get done in a day, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Remember that you are multitasking to the extreme, and you need to be gentle with yourself and your time. Take some time to enjoy a relaxing activity like a massage or spa day. It can help you rejuvenate.
Consider limiting your work tasks to three per day. And if you can do more, well, you’ll just end up feeling like a rock star. It’s a whole lot better than checking off half of your list and drowning your sorrows in a tub of ice cream.
Take it mobile
When you’re running an online business, there are many tasks you can accomplish from your phone. And if they don’t require your complete undivided attention for long stretches, you may be able to knock them out while the kids are playing on the playground. Send a quick email, process an order, or post a social media update while the kids are busy swinging from the monkey bars.
If you still find yourself stressed about the mounting pile of work, consider hiring someone to help out. You can find qualified candidates on sites like Upwork or Fiverr who can help with a myriad of tasks. Try delegating the tasks that take up the most time or ones you absolutely dread doing. Chances are good that someone else will be able to do those tasks faster or better, and this will free you up to work within your own genius zone.
There are definitely struggles to run an online business and parenting at the same time. And it can feel especially overwhelming in the early days when you’re just learning to balance the two. But the struggles are definitely worth the potential rewards of becoming your own boss and signing your own paychecks. If your online business brings in a steady income, you’ll also enjoy the flexibility to live life and parent on your own terms. When times get tough, remember why you’re doing it all in the first place.