Mindset Buster: Being a Working Mom is Selfish

Being a Working Mom is Selfish

We all have these mindsets that affect what we do, the decisions we make and the perspective that we have about our lives. Sometimes these mindsets can be positive ones that we should keep, and other times, we hold mindsets that can actually hold us back from reaching our full potential.

One very common mindset for mompreneurs is that being a working mom is selfish. Let’s take some time to break this down and see where this mindset comes from and what we should do about it.

I was talking with one client who is a great mom. She puts her kids first. She does things for her family all the time. She set priorities that she holds. She also has her own business. She realized, however, that she always felt guilty for being a working mom. That in the back of her mind she held this idea that being a working mom was selfish.

Before the days of motherhood, I lived a pretty self-focused life. I got to choose what time I’d get up in the morning. I picked what and when I wanted to eat. I selected what I wanted to do during the day and what time I wanted to go to bed. And I never really felt guilty about living like that.

Self-care after motherhood

Now we all know that once we get pregnant, something changes inside us. Something about motherhood gets hardwired into us. Suddenly, we give up so much of that self-focused life. Now everything revolves around our husband and children. We cook what the children like to eat. We nurse all night. We get up at 5 a.m. because that’s when the children are awake. We give up our needs and wants to take care of the long list of things for our family. There’s not often a whole lot left for ourselves at the end.

So when moms decide to go back to work, we often hear in our own minds that it is an act of selfishness. Stunning, isn’t it? Before motherhood, it was accepted that sometimes we do things for ourselves. Then when motherhood set in, we put everything ahead of us. Moms, in general, don’t excel at self-care. We rarely take a break, do something to take care of ourselves, or find something fun to do on the weekends.

If we decide to go back to work or to start our own business, it will make us unavailable at times. It will put something before our children at times. This will definitely happen, and it can look selfish. Even if we are earning money to pay for trips for our family or for college, we can still feed those lovely feelings of mother guilt.

“Stealing” time

When I think back to my early days of coaching, I remember feeling like I was stealing all the time. I had two little kids, and if I spent time with them, I felt like I was stealing time from my business. If I was working, then I felt like I was stealing time from my children. I stayed in that mindset of stealing; I was always stealing from some other part of my life. And I always felt guilty. My most important priorities were in conflict. When I was stuck in that stealing mindset, I was not being productive.

What happens in that mindset is that we start unwittingly sabotaging our business and our happiness. I had one client who was blaming the lack of success of her business on her husband. She felt that he had too high of expectations on what she could deliver in her business and what she could handle in housekeeping and childcare. However, as we talked about it more, she realized that she was actually the one with the unreachable expectations. It was her judging herself.

Breaking through mindset busters

She realized that her work was important. It meant a level of fulfillment for her. It gave her family a financial cushion they wanted. It was beneficial to another community. During the times she felt guilty, she would actually choose to do housework instead of higher priorities for her business for the sole purpose of earning the “good mother” badge. In the end, when she talked with her husband, he was actually very supportive. He was committed to helping support her in her business and pick up some of the household and childcare duties.

So how do you avoid this mindset? The first step is always awareness. If this article is resonating with you, then maybe you have this mindset. If you’re not aware, this unconscious mindset will motivate you to behave a certain way and make certain decisions. However, once you have awareness, you are capable of deciding if you want to continue holding the mindset or to change it. If you decide to change the mindset, you can replace it with a positive affirmation. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with your priorities and find ways to support yourself as a wife, mother, and person.

Is a negative mindset holding you back? It may be, even if you can’t identify it. If you’re stuck and need some help, let’s talk. I’d love to see if coaching is a good fit for you. Get in touch!

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Why Clarity is Your Key to Success

Taking time off usually gives me clarity, as if often does for my clients. Clarity can give a big breakthrough in your thinking and planning. I teach many different aspects of success but gaining clarity in your business and life priorities can be life changing.

A Real Life Case Clarity Study

Recently, I had a coaching call with one of my clients whom I hadn’t spoken to in two weeks because of the holidays. It turned out to be a lesson in how to gain clarity.

When we stick to our regular routine of making steady progress and evaluating our steps, we don’t often take the time to step back and look at the entire picture. However, when the routine gets interrupted, say by a holiday break, often something shifts in our thinking and that’s exactly what I noticed with this client.

Shortly after we began our conversation, I noticed a difference with her. As a coach, I’m trained to notice these things and I could tell that her energy was different.

I said to her, “You know, we’ve talked about goal setting and I notice that you’ve lost a bit of motivation.”

My client agreed, admitting that she didn’t feel as motivated as she did before. She admitted that she was struggling with that because she was ready to grow her business and do whatever it takes to get to the next level. However even as she spoke those words, I could tell she really didn’t believe them. She was trying to motivate herself but she wasn’t winning the battle.

I asked her: “What is sapping your motivation? You’ve been doing so well with your goals that have been set. Your client base is good. You’ve been meeting some financial goals.” Any outside observer would say that she is running a successful business but she just wasn’t feeling it.

At first glance, she thought it might be her inner drive for perfection, which was leaving her feeling that she wasn’t doing enough. While I agreed that this characteristic in her could possibly be part of the reason she was feeling a bit derailed, I didn’t think this was the entire reason for her lack of motivation to advance to the next level in her business.

After further discussion, another thought occurred to her. She recalled that she has some very big long-term goals that involved big life changes. During our talk, she recalled how very committed she was to reaching these major goals in the next couple of years.

I helped her drill down in her thinking and feelings by asking: “If you continue on this path of achieving more clients and growing your business, what will that mean to your long-term personal goals?”

As we peeled back the layers, we realized that the goals she had been setting and meeting were going to result in her business growing larger. Although this would bring her more income, it would also require more infrastructure – more staff, a larger office, and increased overhead costs.

When she looked at this squarely, she decided that it would be a huge amount of work, which was not worth the effort to her at this time. What she really wanted was to use her current business success to enable her to make the larger life changes that she wants down the road. Pouring a huge amount of time, money and effort into taking her business to the next level now was really not going to get her closer to the long-term personal goals she has set originally.

The crux of the problem was that the immediate goals she was setting for herself were not aligned with her longer-term goals, which she hoped to achieve in the next couple of years. Although her immediate goals seemed fine on the surface and she was capable of growing her business using them, they were starting to bump up against priorities for her personal life. She realized that her personal goals were going to take a lot of focus and energy, which she didn’t want to divert toward growing her business at this time.

This realization and understanding gave her the clarity she needed to make the right business decisions and renew the sense of purpose and direction that is often lost when we get off track.

She learned that she had not been checking in with her longer-term goals when she was making shorter-term plans. It’s not that she had forgotten her personal long-term goals; they were always with her. But she had not compared her smaller incremental plans, leading to more business success, with the long-term personal goals to see if they lined up well.

To remedy her situation, we brought the personal goals into focus and made short-term business goals that lined up nicely with them.

By the end of the call, she was happy, relieved and fired up! As you can imagine, she felt that a great weight was finally lifted. She knew exactly what to do each day to work out the life she wanted for herself. That’s what clarity does for a person.

The Moral of the Story

What this client was going through is not unusual. I have often seen that over time short-term goals seem to be in sharp focus while long-term goals seem to get out of focus.

When my client realized that this had happened to her, she understood why she could not muster the motivation to expand her business at this time. This gold nugget of clarity saved her from compromising some of her personal life goals. The relief in her voice was refreshing and her energy was renewed. She now knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that her time, money and effort needed to be focused on her personal life’s priorities.

Goals shift and evolve over time—or they just get buried under the pile of daily work. It’s key that we schedule the time to review our goals, both short-term and long, to decide if they are complimentary or contrary to each other. This, of course, holds true for comparing personal goals and business goals as well.

Need help gaining some clarity? I can help! Contact me today to schedule a discovery session to find out if coaching is right for you. Let’s align those long- and short-term goals to get you what you really want out of life.

 

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How to Align Your Time with Your Priorities

I know how it goes: things get busy and a little chaotic and then we just go on autopilot. We know we should be looking at our time and how we spend it, and make sure we’re doing what matters.  We know that. But, if you’re like me, when things get busy, it’s easy to lose sight of the prize. Whether it’s as a mom and things start to slide (you know, laundry) or in your business. For me, with business, this looks like getting really caught up in something: website tweaks, a new pitch, an offer for my mailing list. It could be something totally worthwhile, but it gets all consuming and comes at the expense of other things—ahem, my actual priorities.

It’s BECAUSE I’m so busy and frenetic that these rabbit holes are so appealing: I want something to focus on. I’m exhausted and need to narrow in on something. I know I’m not the only person who experiences this, one of my clients had this exact situation this week. When this happens, we have to take a step back and ask: why do I feel this way?

Dealing with and acknowledging priority shifts

For this particular client, the “aha” moment came when she realized there had been a massive shift in one of her top priorities. We had been working on growing her business, and she had been rolling. Hitting milestones, working hard, achieving her goals. Until this shift. Then things started to slide. She wasn’t getting things done, she wasn’t excited. This is because she had, without realizing it, changed her priorities. Rather than focusing on really aggressively expanding and working in her business, she wanted to step back and put some focus on her family. That’s a pretty big switch!

If we don’t regularly check in with our priorities, we can stay busy and not even realize the shift enough to change the way we spend our time. Guess what? You are allowed to change your priorities, but only you are keeping track of them. No one else is going to be able to adjust your schedule based on these priorities changing.

How to know if you’re not aligning time with priorities

Like me, like my client (in this example and many, many others), you’ll want to take a look at your priorities if you feel overwhelmed, stressed, and like you aren’t making progress. If you achieve the goals or milestones you set out for yourself and STILL feel stuck, something is disconnected. It’s time for a reevaluation of priorities and your time. It can work either way: you’re not spending your time in ways that support your priorities OR your priorities have changed and the things you USED to do to honor those priorities are for the wrong priorities.

Either way, you’ll feel frazzled, frustrated, and ready to throw in the towel.

So, take the time regularly to check in with yourself. Ask yourself how you’re feeling about your time. Are you doing the things that support your priorities? Are they the right priorities? Have you experienced a big change personally or professionally that could shift your priorities? Are you just clueless, frustrated, and don’t even know where to start? Let me help you! This is what I do as a coach. I help you find and stick to your priorities. Contact me today for a free discovery session and we’ll see if we’re a good fit.

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How to Maximize Your Work Time to be the Most Productive

Have you ever heard the phrase “There must be something in the water”? It is something that is said often when there are a lot of people getting pregnant or having new babies. Well, right now it seems as if that water must be all around me. A lot of my clients are getting ready to have their second or third child and they are wondering how they are going to be more productive with less time. New babies tend to take us into a Bermuda Triangle that makes all of our established schedules and routines mysteriously disappear!

Being Productive vs. Being Busy

It is common that some of my client have confused the idea of being busy with the idea that they are productive. It is possible that you can run at full speed all day and fall into bed exhausted, only to look at your to-do list to realize you didn’t really accomplish much of anything. When you look around and see that being busy is such a norm in our society, you tend to take that as being an acceptable or desirable behavior. Back in my corporate days, I used to work at IBM and productivity strategy was all they ever wanted to discuss. They always wanted to find more ways that we could do more for them in less time.

Finding Fulfillment

When really boiled down, having a goal of being productive is really a goal of feeling fulfilled. It really feels good to check things off on a list that gets you even a little bit closer to goals that you have already established. I used to be one of those people that would write big, long, legal pad to-do lists. However I’ve found that a lot of times, it winds up just being a brain dump that doesn’t usually lend to productivity for me.

Focusing on Your Priorities

If you are going to do a to-do list, let’s start taking a look and noting which tasks on your list are your priorities. Make it a point to write down your top 3 priorities for the day or week. These top 3 should be tasks that will get you closer to accomplishing some goals that you already have in progress. Then, take these tasks and make a point to put them down officially on your calendar. It can also often help to estimate the time it will take you to complete each task, especially if it is a common recurring task.

If to-do lists or brain dumps aren’t really for you, then you should consider utilizing hit lists. Hit lists are a tool you can use to break tasks down by how much time they take you to complete. You will have a 5 minute list, 10 minute list, 1 hour, 2 hours, etc. Then, whenever you find yourself with unexpected time, you have those to refer to and can be productive. Read more about hit lists in my blog Using Hit Lists to Get Stuff Done and as usual if you could use some advice or guidance you are always welcome to contact me.

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Permission Granted: You Don’t Have to Make Your Passion Your Job

Guess what you get today? You get my permission (not that you really ever needed it). Ready? Permission granted. You are granted permission to free yourself from “shoulds”, the “woulds” and the “coulds” that can be thrown at us by our daily lives and the media. These things tend to have an uncanny power to stress us out and make us unhappy.

When you set goals for yourself, you probably create an action plan and get going right on it don’t you? I know you do! And sometimes, you find yourself doing it all right, following the plan & meeting the goals and yet you are missing something. There is some element missing from the equation that would’ve made that goal truly fulfilling and satisfying for you. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be nearly impossible to figure out what or why that is for you. The reality is things can always change mid-plan. So many different things can happen in the time frame that you are so focused on your plan that you are distracted and don’t even notice. Then, you wind up reaching your goals & benchmarks and realizing that you are still feeling unhappy.

Sometimes, I think a large part of this can be the alignment or misalignment with your purpose and your passion. Good jobs are financially stable, offer a predictable routine,  and have benefits like sick days, time off and insurance. But, what if you have a “good job” but your true passion is something completely different? What if you are a nurse who loves public speaking, a waitress who feels inspiration in writing short stories or a paralegal who thrives through her photography? All of the sudden it has become a very common theme that if someone is not doing work that they love, there is something wrong. Or worse, that you better feel a burning passion for what you do—or quit and search until you find it. There is a crazy pressure to measure yourself and your success based on whether you truly love your work or not.

Well I’m here to say it is not one thing at the expense of all else. There are certain passions or hobbies that will never make good money. There I said it. Some things were just never meant to be a profit-turning venture. You can enjoy your passions your off time, while also keeping you fulfilling, stable job. I say go for it.

Happiness and fulfillment aren’t always in the same package. I can’t feel right coaching someone starting a business doing something they love, but also isn’t necessarily something that will ever be a profitable, sensible business. Or if it could, it would no longer be any fun anymore. Starting a business means wearing many hats, of which have nothing to do with the thing you are passionate about—like bookkeeping, paying bills, keeping schedules, appointments, managing people, and budgets.

You do not have to leave your job, take off and quit just because your job isn’t fulfilling you. If your job is providing you with things that you value and need for your priorities, you can usually find some other way to use, develop or enjoy your passion. This will still allow you to leave the mark or legacy that matters to you—that’s how I would do it.

I’m lucky to be passionate about being a coach, but I also don’t have to be a breadwinner. I don’t have a weight on my shoulders to support my family financially. I chose this path so I could spend more time with my kids and family while also doing what I love. If I wanted to build a huge business and wanted to define success in terms of extreme growth and profitability, I could do that. But it would also cause a major cosmic shift in our family dynamics, which is most certainly not something I want—at least not right now. I like the time I am around to spend with my kids, responding to emergencies and being here for them while still getting to enjoy my business. When my kids are older, I may shift that to a more growth and profit driven model, but only when it doesn’t affect my ability to spend my time with my family.

So, you’re welcome. Stop listening to the media and getting pushed around that you are some sort of failure if you are just doing a job that suits you and your priorities right now. You are not a failure. You can do a job that serves your family and find ways to fulfill your passions elsewhere in your life. You get to be happy and successful on your terms.

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Defining Your Values is the Key to Your Success

Today we are going to talk about one of my most vibrant, creative clients. I mean inspiration and creativity just oozes out of her and she would love to be able to dedicate herself to helping others find imagination & fulfillment in their lives the way she has in hers. Sounds absolutely wonderful, right? Well, of course! But, there is just one big, burning question. Can she create a successful, happy business from this ideas and be successful on her own terms?

Her values & priorities are things like: being fulfilled, having a creative outlet, doing meaningful work, leaving her mark on the world & creating a legacy she can be proud of. Those are the major, important things to her as well as her family and financial security, of course.

Now, let me just tell you, she has a great business idea. Absolutely so great that I feel honored to be able to help her achieve that and think people will love it! But, she needs to be the one to define what it means to her to consider this a successful business.

Thinking through questions like:

  • Is she looking to quit her job and do this business full time?
  • Does she intend to scale to the point that she can entirely replace her full time, primary source of income?
  • What if it only makes a little money? Will it feel successful and fulfilling at any level of success or does she have a benchmark?
  • Or do you NEED to make enough to replace your income?

Once she has answered those questions, she will need to consider business models that can help you accomplish that. There are many different models and things to consider. One of those things to consider is the investment into your business. Investment will affect your “salary” from your business, which is not something you will be used to after being paid from an outside employer. When working for an employer, you have a salary for your position, but you also don’t pay any of the money required to make your job happen. You don’t have the overhead and expenses that you have as a business and as an entrepreneur. Do not neglect to think about costs to make your salary possible or any team members you need to reach your goals.

Bottom line is if you want to do something that fulfills your purpose and passion, do it. But, in order for it to be a viable, profitable business then it takes some hardcore thinking about things.

Sometimes, the business model that will yield the most success will often create more work than you ever thought you wanted to do. And that work will commonly be far and away from your passions, products or services offerings. Be sure to understand your values and choose a business model that you can keep up with and that aligns with you and will provide success and balance.

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Why Striving for Work/Life Balance is Stupid

Did my title get your attention? Great! Now, I will admit it was a little bit misleading because it may seem very contradictory with my mission when you first hear it. You all know that I am a business coach especially for mother entrepreneurs, so when you hear me say striving for work life balance is stupid you may be like “wait, what?” But just hear me out!

In this blog, we’re going to revisit my humble beginnings in business and in motherhood. I like to refer to this time in my life as my “perfect storm”. I started out becoming both a business owner/coach and a mother at the same time. I know, right? Hello, stress! I went from just a person one day to so very much more in such a short time. And you guessed it: I struggled. Just like you probably have as well.

I have very high standards for my business as well as my family life. I had a business coach of my very own at the time kept and she kept noticing my unhealthy relationship my work/life balance. She noticed that I wasn’t living it. She noticed I complained for being unable to accept new clients by spending too much time on my baby. Yet, caring for my baby and living up to my own standards as a mother had become all encompassing for me.

My coach did something for me at that time that I will never forget and that has continued to help me grow even to this day. She forced me to have a terrible coaching call one day that ended in tears, and I thank her for that immensely. See, she knew my unhealthy attempt at balancing my life, so she scheduled a coaching session with me while I took my baby to the public pool. I thought she was crazy, but I obliged after much urging. That call was an absolute mess that I was constantly pausing trying to focus on both baby at the pool and the session at the same time. I wound up, unsurprisingly, in puddle of tears

I had been so heavily compartmentalizing my life and she could see that. I was trying desperately to keep my work life and my parenting life entirely separate and if they ever collided I got very upset. I felt like I couldn’t handle anything fully. I learned that day and every day since that life isn’t about balance. It isn’t about giving your best to both your business and your parenting at the same time and balancing them together. It’s about integration.

Focus on your priorities. I have 4 of my own. They are my well being, my marriage, my family, and my business. Rather than trying to evenly split myself between those 4 things, I integrate them together. It’s impossible to have precise balance between all your priorities.

What I mean is this: recently I had a speaking engagement in Las Vegas that happened to fall on the weekend of my wedding anniversary. So, instead of feeling the need to choose between a work engagement and my marriage/husband, I integrated them together. My husband came out with me to Las Vegas for the entire weekend before my speaking engagement on Monday. We spent the weekend together and made a mini-vacation out of the experience. Not to mention, we hiked and explored outside in the beautiful area outside of Las Vegas. In just that weekend, I integrated together my husband/marriage, my business and my wellbeing. All at the same time. And I loved every minute of it! Similarly, when I go for runs from home, I will often invite my son to run with me. This integrates my wellbeing and my family.

Instead of striving for balance, strive to integrate your priorities together. I promise you will feel more relaxed, fulfilled and you will have more time to truly devote to each one, individually and together.

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Doing What You Want to Do on Your Own Terms

I have noticed a pattern in some of my coaching recently. I have been working a lot with clients on defining how to live their lives on their own terms. Helping them to gather the skills and confidence required to really getting to the core of their why and how they want their life to feel.

I have a client who recently suffered great loss. Both her mother and father passed on close together. In her eulogy, she was sharing that there were some great parts of life and love, but there were also some parts of her father’s life that she cannot forgive.

She has worked so hard to live life on her own terms and making choices for herself everyday. And I really challenge you to do the same. What can you do in order to make sure that when you pass on, you are satisfied, fulfilled and happy? By living a life on your own terms and having done what you really wanted to and what really mattered to you.

It is all too simple to sometimes feel like your whole life revolves around your obligations. It can feel like all you do is worry about what your kids need, spouse needs, house needs, what your business wants and needs from you. These are and absolutely should be priorities. But at the end of the day, are there parts of your life that you are forgetting about or not fully fulfilling that really matter deep down to you?

Living life according to your most basic values can be so rewarding and yet so much more difficult than it seems it should be.

There was a woman who wrote a about entitled Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, she was a nurse who spent a lot time caring for those at the end of their time. In this book, written by a nurse, individuals talk about getting caught up in daily life and the needs and expectations of others, and letting life pass you by. It can be hard to get around to what truly matters most to you when you have so many things pulling you in different directions. In her book, she says that most people regret working too much, and expressing their thoughts or feelings too little. It’s easy to fall into work and become a workaholic or fall into the rabbit hole of always seeking more money or success, but at the end of the day, that’s not what is most important for us.

Most everyone has a family member or a friendship in our lives that needs our attention and nurturing, but that can be hard to keep up with if you are distracted consistently. It should be important to spend time connecting with that person or making time for them.

Mindset can be a very powerful thing as well. It is common for people to sometimes feel like they don’t deserve something, or are getting too much. It is normal to have a lot of inner voices in your head, but at the end of the day they can convince you that you shouldn’t try, or make the effort because there is no point. But that can easily breed regret in the future.

Considering instead of reasoning or making excuses, trying to ask yourself if, doing something, will make you happy. Make it less complicated and just ask yourself “Will trying this make me happy?” It can feel foreign, but it can really produce a more authentic response.

Have you ever felt the friction in your life, of putting someone else’s expectations of you, above your own values? Do you think when it is your turn to be in the hospital, talking to the nurse, that you will feel fulfilled? Spend some time this week evaluating your to do list and find those things that really matter. If there’s nothing on that list for you, it’s time to clean it up!

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Oh Crap. Now What? I Hate This.

Sometimes, being an entrepreneur can be very trying and difficult on all of us and we will begin to feel like we have made a mess that we will never be able to fix. Have you ever felt a loss of control or disheartened and frustrated in your business? Have you felt like your business somewhere along the way just got away from you and your initial plans?

I hate to hear when someone I’m working with feels disenchanted with their work because something isn’t going the way they think it should be. They jumped in because they really believed in something and thought they could create a business around themselves and their families, but it hasn’t gone as smoothly as they were hoping. They were sick of being the “grunt worker” and wanted to start bringing home some of the lion’s share, some of the pride and acknowledgment as well as some of the profits.

These are all great reasons to start a business. But unfortunately, more often than not, I wind up talking to people who feel like things grow out of their control and don’t know where to go from here. In the beginning, they felt like they owned their business and now it feels like their business owns them.

Are you feeling hated on or bossed around by your business a little bit?

Now, honestly, all of us feel a little unmotivated some days. Sometimes you get up and your business just doesn’t fire you up like usual and you can’t put your finger on exactly why that may be. Sometimes, it just means other external or internal factors are in the way of your normal go-getter entrepreneurial spirit. It absolutely does not always that you need to be done with your business and wipe your hands of the process. It doesn’t always mean that your business has run it’s course and is done, sometimes it’s just a phase.

But what do you do when you really realize you are over it and don’t like the way that it is going? You decided that it’s not an attitude issue or a phase and you feel like your business has grown away from you? You find yourself considering a big change like going back to work, changing major business plans or finding new clients or a new niche. Whoa there, slow down!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is a normal cycle and a normal growth pattern for an entrepreneur. Sometimes your business will grow in a way that doesn’t necessarily align with you or your original plans or ideas and you will need to learn how to handle when this happens.

One of the first things to do when you are feeling miserable in your business is to take a step back. Look objectively at the situation and consider if there are things you dislike but are doing anyway out of a feeling of obligation? A first major step towards helping your situation is taking ownership of the fact that under no circumstances do you HAVE to do anything you do not want to do in your business. It feels like you HAVE to do things a lot in business, but it’s just untrue. you are making a choice.

You have to set very clear boundaries in your business or you can get lost on your vision. In the hustle and bustle of being an entrepreneur, you have forgotten about your initial boundaries when you started your business.

You slide into bad habits and you never feel strong and confident enough to be direct with clients to help them to realize and abide by those boundaries. Do not fear being perceived as rude. Your clients can’t abide by rules and boundaries that you never tell them are there. You can be direct and strong while also being careful, gentle and respectful. Simply telling your clients gently about your boundaries can help shift the dynamics back to what you do and why. Cut out the excess. Let your clients know that you value both their and your time and need to focus on the task at hand.

Are you feeling burnt out on your business? Chances are you need to check back in with your priorities and ensure they are setup to support you in your business. Could your priorities have possibly shifted? You may be experiencing this pain and difficulty because your priorities have evolved and you need to recognize. It’s important to consistently re-evaluate your business to ensure that as much as you work for it, it also works for you.

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Conditions of Satisfaction—How, When, and Why to Say No

We mompreneurs, as we’re working hard to grow and develop our businesses, can sometimes slip into a pattern of saying yes to things that really don’t serve or work for us. In fact, we may even find ourselves signing clients or accepting projects that flat-out stress, drain, or overwhelm us… which can’t be good for us or our businesses! We say yes to these things for many reasons, many based on fear: fear that we may miss out on an opportunity, fear that no one else may ever hire us again, fear that we won’t have enough money, or fear that if we don’t say yes to absolutely everything our businesses will fail to grow. Well, let me tell you, ladies—fear is no way to grow a business!

So today I want to talk about the benefits of learning how, when, and why to say no. My hope for you is that you won’t operate out of fear, but from a place of strength, power, and worth, and it’s my belief that saying no, when appropriate, is an amazing tool to help you do just that.

It’s really all about what I call “conditions of satisfaction.” These are the things that bring you fulfillment, that make or break this business for you, that work for you, and that ultimately bring you satisfaction in your business, home, and life in general. These are your non-negotiables when it comes to what makes you happy, and these are what should drive your decision to say yes or no when an opportunity comes knocking at your door.

Here are some examples of how your conditions of satisfaction can help you know when to say no:

  • If working from home so you can be with your children and not have to put them in daycare is one of your conditions of satisfaction, it will be easy to say no when a job will require you to travel or work from a remote location.
  • If working with other mom entrepreneurs is one of your conditions of satisfaction, it will be easy to say no when a job will require you to work primarily with businessmen in corporate America.
  • If doing work that is meaningful and stimulating is one of your conditions of satisfaction, it will be easy to say no when a job that bores you or conflicts with your conscience comes up.
  • If working only Monday through Friday during business hours is one of your conditions of satisfaction, it will be easy to say no when a project requires that you be available evenings or weekends.

Take time to nail down your conditions of satisfaction. They are different for everyone. There are no right or wrong answers here. But the point is: you get to choose what brings you satisfaction! You get to decide what is important to you, what you’re passionate about, and what makes you happy to be doing what you do. Those are the things by which to live your life, work your business, and help you decide when to say yes to the opportunities that move you in that direction and no to those that don’t.

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