Sometimes,You Gotta Say No

I just got back from Boston after a month of near-constant vacation with the kids in one state or another. My kids are a little confused and wondering what to do with themselves after living a Disney life for so long. Let me just say: we have made some fantastic memories this summer! I am so grateful for all the wonderful places we’ve been and the friends and family that have made our travels so lovely.

So it’s time to get back to real life, right?

Yep! I hopped back on twitter tonight (that’s like saying I went back to my “office”…since twitter is my office 🙂 and wound up having an interesting discussion with some other mom entrepreneurs.

It all stemmed from a conversation I had with Jill Daniel, of (or @pastaqueenpr on twitter) today. We discussed how mompreneurs have to figure out how to balance their business goals with their family goals. I told her I have to say no to many of the opportunities that come my way since I have to consider the impact they have on my role as a mom and a wife. We’re driven to see our businesses succeed, but we can’t lose sight of our top priority: family.

It can be hard to remember that sometimes.

If you’re like me, you started your own company when you had your kids in order to have the freedom, flexibility and fulfillment you needed. It seemed like the key to work/family balance.

But then the business started to grow, we got excited about more customers or clients, which meant more work, and of course more money…and then one day we woke up to the fact that we’re working too hard to make the money we want, and we aren’t spending the quality time with our family that we wanted to because we’re just too busy.

That’s why we mompreneurs have to remember how important it is to say no sometimes. If you’re doing a good job with your business and it’s growing, good for you! Your hard work is paying off. The key is for you to be strategic with how you spend your precious time.

Having time off to spend with your family is not a luxury–it’s a requirement for a mom entrepreneur. And that means you’re going to have to turn down a number of the opportunities that come your way, even when they promise you’ll make more money.

At a loss trying to figure out what to say yes to and when to say no?

Start with your values. Does the opportunity support them or cause you to compromise them? (For example: I’m just starting to travel for speaking engagements and TV appearances, which is thrilling for me. But I have to keep that great growth opportunity for my business in check with my desire and commitment to be a full-time mom for my kids.)

Next, take a look at your business plan and goals. Will this opportunity move you towards your goal? Will it help you get there faster or more easily?

Finally, be really honest about whether you even want to do it. Is this ideal for you, or are you settling for something? The more time and energy you expend on projects and opportunities that don’t showcase your best strengths, talents and passion, the less time you have to take on projects that offer exactly that.

What are you gonna say no to? And by saying no to that thing, what are you saying yes to?

If you’re still stumped and can’t seem to say no to anything for fear of missing out (all the time), you might be ready to hire a coach. Your business will grow the way you want it to when you apply some planning and strategy to it. Have you checked out the Mom Biz Makeover Program yet?

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  1. I am a sucker for a good idea and often have to remind myself that just because it's a good idea, doesn't mean it's a good idea to do right now! Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Me too, Joyce. I have no trouble coming up with new ideas and get real
    excited when a bright, new, shiny object catches my eye. But that so often
    results in me winding up somewhere other than I'd hoped to be, or otherwise
    really busy and overwhelmed. Thanks for chiming in!

  3. Great post! I think it's also really important, as mompreneurs make choices about expanding and growing their families, that they really sit down and count the cost of what it means to both family and business to add more children to the equation. I know I never really sat down and considered, after #1, what it would mean (in terms of work/family balance) to have #2 and #3. The dynamic and quality time required by 1 child is very different from 3 or 5 or 8 so it's important, as a mompreneur, to keep your business and family vision aligned to what you really, truly can commit to.

  4. What a great point! I agree that most parents don't really think about how
    adding more children to the mix truly affects the goals they set for
    themselves. In all things, we need to be intentional with our choices so we
    aren't disappointed later by how things turn out. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lara, I love the way you write! It's so honest, refreshing, and realistic. I have already forwarded this link to others as it has application not only to mompreneurs but those facing other decision points that may conflict with their family priorities. Thanks for enlightening us!