Is it Time for You to Find a Business Partner?

Taking an honest look at your goals is one of the best ways to determine if a business partner is right for you.

An assessment that brings your priorities into focus will also help you find the right partner. Wherever you are in this decision-making process, there are a few things to consider when contemplating partnership.

Are you tired of making decisions by yourself?

Many entrepreneurs find joy in being their own boss and calling the shots, but being the sole decision maker can get tiresome and lonely. If you can relate to the saying, “Two heads are better than one,” you may want to consider bringing in a partner.

Sharing the joys and struggles with someone in the trenches with you can eliminate the feeling of loneliness. Plus, having a partner you can trust, will give you the freedom to unplug and take an occasional vacation.

You lack certain skills that are necessary for your businesses to grow

Investing in additional training or hiring freelancers to take on tasks is a great option to support your businesses’ growth, but will these be the best long term solutions?

Taking on a new skill-set means the possibility of overloading yourself with more work. You could hire freelancers as an alternative, but they may not have your level of excitement and dedication to the mission. Sharing the workload with a partner who is invested in the business as much as you are and has strengths in areas that you lack could make your business more robust in the long-run.

You need additional funding

As your business grows, you may decide to change the formation of your company, hire a full-time staff, or offer new products and services. This type of growth often requires additional funding. If you don’t readily have access to large sums of cash, investors can provide the funding you need to help your business grow and open doors you may have never imagined.

While it may seem like an entrepreneurial jackpot to have someone invest in your business, this reward doesn’t come without a few risks. Depending on the terms of this partnership you might have to make a few compromises that result in your business growing away from you and out of your control.

Creative Flexibility

When starting as an entrepreneur, it’s often necessary to wear many hats. This type of multi-tasking can drain your creative spark and make it hard for you to move your vision forward. Having someone to share ideas with can bring a new zest to your business.

For each circumstance listed above, you must ask yourself if a partnership is the best way to solve your problem then explore all possible solutions. Having a clear understanding of your goals and the options available to you is the best way to determine if it’s time for you to find a business partner.

Partnerships can make or break your business. If you’re still struggling to decide if it’s the right move, this is where I can help you as a coach. Contact me today for your free discovery session if you’re ready to kick off 2017 on the right foot!

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How to Know it’s Time to Hire Help

It’s starting to feel a lot like fall outside! This time of year can often feel overwhelming for us as mompreneurs. As much as many of us look forward to the beginning of the school year to get back into some routine, there also tends to be a lot more going on as well. Keeping up with kids, homework, and extracurricular activities can have us going in all directions and have a serious impact on our businesses.

Not long ago, I got the opportunity to moderate on a peer-to-peer conversation panel for mompreneurs. We gathered together and discussed many topics of the challenges surrounding being a mother and a business owner. One of the most robust topics ended up discussing how to know when it’s time to hire help for your business.

It can be hard to know when is the right time to take the plunge and spend money on more help or resources. At the end of the day, you need to take the time to look at the amount of money you are bringing in versus your expenses and factor in that, as of now, you are stuck being the one who does it all. That’s not to say that it isn’t highly respectable to be willing to do all of the hard work and “bootstrapping” on your own—because I think that’s something that all entrepreneurs have deep down. However, it is also known that moms have a notoriously limited amount of time. Maintaining that you are the only one who does all the aspects of your business is simply not sustainable if you are looking for real business growth. And though it can be hard, it’s important to push yourself to do what you need to do to nurture and grow your business in a way that also supports you and your family.

The fear of hiring outside help can often be boiled down to both a pride and control issue. When you have managed to reach this level of success doing it all on your own, why bring anyone else in? How are you going to trust that they will be capable and will care as much and do as well in your business as you? Unfortunately, there always comes to be a natural make or break point. Maintaining that you are the only one doing all aspects of your business will eventually become too expensive and too difficult and will stand in the way of your business growth.

Things to consider when looking to hire outside help:

  • Do you want the business to grow?
  • Which is more important to your current situation: less stress or more money / more profits?
  • Do you need a better quality of life? Have you been pushing off things like family, friends or other obligations to consistently give your business your full attention?
  • How will hiring this person serve my priorities personally as well as a my long-term goals professionally?

Hiring can be a difficult decision to make but ultimately even though it costs money, it also will save/make you money in the future. Having another capable set of hands in your business will enable you to do and handle more than you could before. Also, don’t wait until your business is at a breaking point or a downhill slope to consider hiring help. Be sure to factor in training time and consider your options before your business is in a crisis.

Will hiring help in your business help to serve your greatest goals and top priorities or will it interfere with that? I can help you figure it out, that’s what coaches are for. If you find yourself stuck or ready to make a big decision (like hiring), a coach can help you not only decide IF, but make a plan for HOW. Contact me today for a free Discovery Session and find out if coaching with me is right for you!

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Ready, Set, Grow!

ready set growSo we’ve determined YOU’RE GROWING. What next? Well, we don’t just want to grow until we split at the seams, do we? While explosive growth can be exciting momentarily, what we really want is to grow successfully—intentionally, focused, with our goals in mind. Your existing structures and systems can only take you so far, as evidenced by some of the crunches you feel as you approach your maximum capacity for sales, for time… for life! Growth is a good thing, so we want to support that growth with positive changes and flexibility in our systems that will allow us to continue to expand our influence and reach outward.

 

Here are some areas we need to examine as we prepare to get growing:

 

Your business plan. Take a look at your current business plan. What’s missing? Let’s narrow the focus a bit by concentrating on what goals you’d like to achieve in just the next 30 days. What strategies do you need to have to make these goals happen? What actions do you need to take to make these strategies happen? Create that 30-day plan for your business and don’t stress out too much about what the extended future holds. One step at a time!

 

Your marketing plan. When you’re full to capacity with clients and orders, it’s easy to get comfortable and discontinue your marketing efforts. Ladies, listen to me when I say that would be a monumental mistake. Do not stop moving forward with your marketing. Create a marketing plan that capitalizes on the great success you’re having and don’t let it waver or wane. It may mean delegating or even outsourcing as you stretch and grow, but keep that marketing plan in front of you and never get too comfortable.

 

Your support systems. Do you have the staff in place to handle the growth you are projecting for the next month? How about the vendors? What about administrative support? Is it time to hire a virtual assistant? A webmaster? Order fulfillment? I know that’s a lot to think about, but what is it that you need in order to follow your plan and allow the growth you’re experiencing to continue? It has to look different than it does right now. These are the “what’s missing” in your current systems.

 

Your high-payoff actions. These are the things that make you money. This is where you need to spend your time. It’s going to be more critical than ever that you keep your focus on these high-payoff actions and know that it’s okay to delegate the rest. Your time is money, so use your time to make money!

 

These are just a few ideas to help you grow responsibly and gracefully. I am so committed to helping mom entrepreneurs have the life they want through the business they want and experiencing that wonderful feeling of success when they find they are doing both. I hope these tips will have you on your way to that kind of success.

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

What’s missing from your business plan right now?

 

What support systems can you add in order to allow growth to continue?

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Growing Pains

Growing PainsPart of defining success is being willing to grow your business beyond where it is today. Growing pains are good! They are often signs that it is time to push past what we know and move toward that ultimate vision we are working so hard to reach. It’s a scary but exciting place to be, isn’t it? A lot is involved in being ready to grow. It requires having the appropriate structures, systems, plans, and mindsets in place to allow that to happen. Well, so often we don’t even recognize that we have outgrown these systems and structures until we feel the pinches and discomfort of that growth. Sometimes we may even perceive this “pain” as failure, when in reality, it’s a big, red flag that not only are we not failing, but it’s time to make some changes and expand what we’re doing to make room for even more growth. So let’s take a look at some signs that can clue you in that it’s time to grow. Are you ready?

Some signs that you are growing:

Higher volumes. This is a given, right? Woohoo! It’s time to celebrate! Higher volumes of orders, clients, or prices are all obvious signs we associate positively with growth.

But not all signs are so positive, are they? Do either of these look familiar?

Longer hours. In fact, you may be working more and more and more, but you still can’t keep up. You may be sleep-deprived, missing out on family time, or neglecting personal rest and recreation. Sometimes it takes becoming completely overwhelmed before finally realizing it’s time to get some help in order to create space for more growth.

Breakdowns. Are you forgetting things? Dropping the ball? Making promises you can’t keep? You may feel as though your whole world is falling apart, piece-by-piece, but if these sorts of things are happening across the scope of your business and personal life, it may a sign that you are outgrowing what currently works for you.

Growth is messy business. If your life is going along just fine and everything feels great and it’s all handled perfectly, then chances are you’re not growing. That’s the status quo. The status quo feels good. It’s “normal.” But we’re not shooting for normal here, are we, ladies? We are pursuing excellence. And excellence requires growth—breaking through the status quo, pushing past what’s currently comfortable for you, moving beyond what you know how to handle, and having the courage and confidence to go after your dreams.

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

Which of these growing pains are you experiencing in your business right now?

Have you ever felt that you are failing, only to discover you have outgrown your current systems?

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Why We Settle and What We Can Do About It

Why We Settle and What We Can Do About ItSo we all know we do it, and you can read about some of the more common ways in which we settle HERE, but let’s devote some time to figuring out WHY we settle for less when we deserve what we really want, and then more importantly, what we can do about it.

 

1.  It’s familiar.  Some things bring a sort of sad satisfaction just because they are familiar.  It’s what we know how to do.  It’s predictable.  It’s comfortable.

 

2.  It’s a habit.  We go to work because it’s what we’ve always done.  We communicate with people the way we do because it’s simply how we do it.  There’s not much contemplation behind it.  We don’t even wonder if it’s satisfying.  We are creatures of habit.

 

3.  We don’t think.  Sometimes we put up with things just because we have never thought of doing them differently.

 

4.  We’re afraid.  Fear can be a motivator, but it also has the power to paralyze us in the face of potential change.  If you find yourself beginning a lot of sentences with “But what if…?” you may be settling for less out of fear.

 

5.  We have a mindset of scarcity.  Feeling that there is nothing better out there for us is a mindset of scarcity.  It keeps us stuck and thinking, “This is the best it’s going to be, so why bother trying anything else?”  That’s a bad place to be.

 

These are only a few of the reasons we settle for less than the best, so you may have others.  And regardless of what our reasons are, this is not where we want to stay.  So what can we do about it?  How can we start to shift from settling for less than we deserve to getting more of what we want?

 

1.  Move from a mindset of scarcity to one of abundance.  Instead of asking, “What if there’s nothing else out there for me?” we need to say, “What if there are a million better opportunities out there for me?”  Whichever you believe will be true for you.  Be motivated to action by the possibility of opportunity rather than paralyzed by fear of the unknown.

 

2.  Create conditions of satisfaction.  Fill in the blanks in the following statement that will make it true for yourself:  “I will be satisfied with ___________ if the following conditions are met: _____________________.”  What exactly will cause you to be satisfied with your business, your marriage, your family, your financial situation?  Be honest and specific.  And then keep those conditions of satisfaction where you can refer to them at all times, especially when making important decisions.

 

So go for the ideal.  Hold out for what you want in life.  There is nothing wrong or selfish about pushing for the best and making it happen.  Sticking to our standards and operating out of our priorities makes us better moms and better business owners.  Don’t we owe that to ourselves?

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

What are your reasons for settling?

 

Do you have clear and specific conditions of satisfaction for your life and business? 

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Top Mistakes Mompreneurs Make

Top Mistakes Mompreneurs MakeIf you’re reading this blog, chances are you are a work-at-home mom, just like me.  And just like me, because for one reason or another you too decided to take on the roles of both full time mom and entrepreneur or business owner, we tend to find ourselves in very similar circumstances.  So I’d like to share with you today some of the biggest mistakes we, as mompreneurs, can face, in order that we can fend off these obstacles, keeping our eyes on the prize.

 

1.  NOT SETTING BOUNDARIES.  This is probably the biggest mistake I’ve made in my career as a WAHM.  If you have kids, you don’t need me to tell you what boundaries are… because your kids are pushing them!  Am I right or am I right?  Setting expectations with yourself, your family, and your clients lets everybody know when you’re available to them and when you’re not available to them.  Boundaries=stress averted!

 

2.  TRYING TO DO IT ALL YOURSELF.  Asking for help doesn’t mean that you’re weak or that you’re not smart enough or good enough—which are some of the crazy conversations we have rattling around inside our heads.  Trying to do it all by yourself is a recipe for burnout.  If you are committed to the success of your business, your family and your life, get the support you need.

 

3.  NOT BLOCKING YOUR TIME.  All mompreneurs figure out sooner or later that the most efficient use of our time is not to steal a moment here and a moment there to accomplish everything from business emails to grocery shopping to laundry.  Set aside specific times for specific tasks and then be committed to the task of the moment.

 

4.  NOT FOCUSING ON YOUR MONEYMAKING TALENT.  We all got into business doing what we do best.  These are the things that make us money, and these are the things that need to be our top priorities.  Do what you do best first and save the rest for last, or better yet, delegate, delegate, delegate!

 

5.  NOT HAVING A BUSINESS PLAN.  Just like you wouldn’t take off for vacation without a destination or a roadmap, if you want to reach your goals in business, you have to know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.  Once you have a plan, it’s amazing how ambitious you’ll be at making your plan work and reaching those goals.

 

These are just a few of the top mistakes mompreneurs make, including some from my own experience.  Maybe you have some “favorites” you can add to the list!

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

Have you fallen into any of these traps? 

 

What can you do right now to avoid or set right some of these common mistakes? 

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Sanity-Savers For Mompreneurs With Day Jobs

Sanity Savers For Mompreneurs With Day JobsMom, business owner… day job?  When you’re CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of your business, sometimes this is what your startup company looks like.  But you know the old adage, “It’s hard work but somebody’s got to do it!”  So if you’re a mompreneur who is dedicated to putting your family first, starting your own business, AND still working hard at your day job, here are some of my favorite sanity-savers to help you power through this challenging, yet exciting time in your life.

 

TIME MANAGEMENT:  Here comes the tough talk, sisters.  If you are a mompreneur and still working a day job, it is not a long-term option for you to keep working around the clock, doing what needs to be done whenever you can find a moment.  That approach is not going to lead to business success.  So here are three sanity-savers to help you get a quick grip on time management:

 

1.  GET A ROUTINE:  If the kids are in school, craft your routine around their school day, where possible.  If they’re not, or if you work your day job until after they’re home, it is necessary for you to get a sitter.  Having someone available to watch the kids, get them dinner, and orchestrate the bath/bedtime dance even a couple nights a week can mean the difference between a successful, rested and present mom and a frazzled, exhausted and harried one.  You only have 24 hours in a day, so designate that time in such a way that you can make each moment count, for your family and your business.

 

2.  CREATE BOUNDARIES:  You cannot say yes to everything!  Ultimately, you are the only one who can choose how you spend these precious hours that you have.  Remember that saying no to one thing is the ability to say yes to the things that matter most.  So get used to saying no!

 

3.  USE THE ADD METHOD:  Automate, Delegate, or Ditch it!  Get things off your plate that are not your strengths or that don’t matter to you.  This is a huge part of spending your time wisely.

 

PLANNING:  We all know that leaving everything until the last minute is a recipe for disaster, but constantly going full speed ahead is a sure path to burnout as well.  We’ve all heard the saying, “Fail to plan and plan to fail.”  It’s true!  Here are a couple strategies to keep you sane while you plan for success.

 

1.  BABY STEPS:  As mompreneurs, we have to be okay with baby steps toward our goals.  The best way to keep track of the ground we’re making is by having a fabulous business plan.  It’s so important to be able to measure those baby steps against our greater vision.  It may be slow going, but baby steps will get us there every time.

 

2.  GET A MARKETING PLAN:  Modern technology allows us all to be amazing marketers for our business, so take advantage of that.  But if marketing is really not your thing, don’t be afraid to apply the ADD Method to this one!  Do what you’re best at and then automate, delegate or ditch the rest!

 

SUPPORT:  If you want to preserve your sanity, you’re going to need support.  You cannot do this all by yourself.  Family, friends, a VA… a housekeeper, for crying out loud!  Life is too short to try and do it alone.  Get the help you need and focus those moneymaking talents in the ways that matter most.

 

I hope these sanity-saving strategies are helpful to you as you work toward living the dream of growing that business you know is going to give the freedom, flexibility and fulfillment you’re searching for as a mompreneur.

 

I love hearing from you, so leave me a comment!

Which of these sanity-saving strategies have you tried?

Are there any others you’ve had success with on your mompreneur journey? 

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