A mompreneur is a woman who combines motherhood and entrepreneurship, and makes it all look easy.. And it is – to some extent.
It’s soon been six months since I ventured into entrepreneurship, so I’m still a genuine rooky, but I’ve learned quite a few valuable lessons during this little adventure. I’m a full-time single mother of three ladies, with the occasional help from the girls’ father, and a full-time work-from-home small business owner. Parenting, running the household and making an income are all on me.
Motherhood is a demanding task; it’s tough and exhausting alongside being extremely rewarding. Entrepreneurship is the same. Both will drive you insane. They’ll have you crying tears of joy and pain, question your entire being and capability, show you what real fear is, teach you about failure and incompetency, but they also provide an immense feeling of pride, success and fulfillment.
So when you combine the two and become a mompreneur, well, you get double of both worlds. In both the good and the bad.
The pros of mompreneurship
Being a mompreneur is a lot of hard work. It’s far from all fun and games, but there are so many perks to it.
- You are your own boss. This is a definite perk. Not everyone is comfortable being completely in charge, but if you like to be in control, then this.
- Your success is in your own hands. The harder you work, the more you receive. No glass-roof, no limits. Obstacles are made to be tackled, you choose whether you’re up for it or not.
- Flexibility. I work from home, on my own terms, on my own schedule. If I want to head off to the store in the middle of the day, I may. Sunny day and rather be at the beach? Go for it. I can work on my laptop laying on my couch or check orders on my phone on the other side of the globe. I can fulfill and work on orders any time of the day – while sipping my morning coffee, mid-day or late in the evening.
- Have an idea you want to try out? Do it. Feeling creative? Yes. Want to choose which projects you prioritize and when? Your choice, your freedom.
- Follow your dreams and your passions, and make them your reality. When you work for yourself, you have the opportunity to make life your own. Not all ideas are successful, trust me, I know. There’s a lot of pre-knowledge you can base your business on, but for the most part, it’s a game of trial and error. But it’s your game.
- It’s one of the biggest learning experiences you’ll ever set off on. Not a day goes by that you wouldn’t [need to] learn something new. Self-development is a must, as is the ability to evolve and adapt. Immensely valuable characteristics that will be useful your entire life.
The biggest perk:
- Kids. The light of my life, the reason for my being: my children. I get to spend as much time with my kids as I want. And I want it a lot. The girls are now four and six, and day by day become more and more independent. Though the days are long and the nights are short.. This time will pass in a whim, and I will miss it. I chose to become first a stay-at-home mother and later a mompreneur because of my children. I’ve always wanted to be available and at home when they need me, but also needed something for myself. A passion to work with.
The cons of being a mompreneur
As said, though it can be genuinely rewarding to run your own business, there are some downsides to it too.
- Stress. Not only are you juggling motherhood, you’re running your own company. Financial burdens, time management, quality control and a need to succeed are omnipresent.
- Financing your life. First of all, there’s your own money and your company’s money. These two are worlds apart, and should be kept that way, no matter what business form you’re using. If your business does well, you’ll be able to pay yourself. If you fail, you’re left broke.
- Can’t work because you fell ill, your child is sick, your tools necessary for running your business are broke? Well tough. Figure it out, a mompreneur in the early stages will probably not have a stand in to cover for her, hiring a babysitter to be able to work a day could possibly equal to your day’s earnings, and repairing broken equipment is on you.
- It gets lonely. When you work alone from home, you don’t have colleagues to take a coffee break with. No one to vent to, get feedback from or brainstorm with. Sure you could call someone, but chances are, they’re tied to their own job at the time.
- Distinguishing between work and personal life gets tough. I made a huge mistake in moving my office/work studio into my bedroom. It felt like such a great idea because I have a huge bedroom. Guess what the last thing I see when I go to bed is, and the first thing I lay my eyes on in the morning? Work.
- Self-discipline. When you have work to do, you need to prioritize it. Forget the laundry and the dishes that are driving you crazy. Save them for later and focus on your work. A lot easier said than done. Even if working from home provides an entirely different level of freedom and flexibility, you still have to be able to prioritize work when necessary.
Why I chose to become a mompreneur
Last fall I was working long hours outside of our home. The kids were at daycare 40-50 hours a week. We had hobbies, errands to run, and a busy life. The kids were stressed and tired and I was exhausted. We were all sleep deprived, as winding down after a long day took forever. Daily tantrums, arguments, whining (and wining). I went into survival mode. Life did not feel right, we needed something different.
Becoming an entrepreneur, my own boss, has been a lifelong dream. I used to be a workaholic before kids, it was my reason. I loved to work. But I often thought about the hours that I put into working for someone else, imagine if it were all for me. I just didn’t know what exactly it was that I wanted to do. So instead I spent years chasing the big corporate dream; career, career, career. And sort of denied my creative identity.
Though I had often thought about it, the actual idea of becoming a mompreneur came pretty much out of the blue. It was a now-or-never situation. Sign a long term contract with a job that was fun, but not truly meant for me and stick to our “unhappy” life or take a leap of faith and hope for the best. So I lept. I laugh at it a lot now, but I sold the idea of becoming an entrepreneur to myself and my kids, that it would make our life easier. Basically I traded my 8-4 job for 24/7.
I had an idea and the opportunity. Was it the right choice? Yes and no. Have I contemplated on running down my business and going back to work for someone else? Very often. Is it harder than I thought? Most definitely. Do I regret it? Not for the world.
Mompreneurship is not for everyone.
If you struggle with staying at home constantly, don’t do it. At least don’t opt to work from home in that case. You can of course be a social butterfly and work from home, but remember, the majority of the time, it will just be you, your kids, and four walls. Disorganized? Not for you. Are you ready for an adventure of a life time? Can you afford it financially, emotionally and physically? Do you have a viable idea/product?
I always dreamed of becoming a mother, but never imagined becoming a single parent. Parenthood is tough as is, doing it alone, well. Not optimal. Same goes for working life. If your ambitious, work hard, and strive for success, it’s demanding. If you choose to do it alone, without the support of an employer, the stability of a steady income and a work community, it’s even tougher.
When you get it right, it will be worth every tear, every drop of sweat, every sleepless night.
When I say my choice of becoming a mompreneur was both right and wrong, I genuinely mean it. Life could be easier working for someone else, which would sort of make it the wrong choice. Then again, it wouldn’t be my path. At least not now. Which is what makes it so right.
I haven’t reached my goals yet and I’m definitely not ready with processing my journey. Some days are immensely rewarding and successful, others question my sanity. But I continue to hustle, work hard, live by trial and error, and reach for the stars. I work for myself and my three little bosses. And I will get it just right one day. x
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