October is National Women’s Small Business Month. According to the SBA, there are more than 11 million woman-owned businesses in the U.S. supporting nearly nine million jobs and generating annual revenues of $1.6 trillion. Carla Harris, Chair of the National Women's Business Council, explains the goal of this month:
“National Women's Small Business Month is a time to recognize and applaud the talented, dedicated and driven women whose entrepreneurial spirit helps drive our nation's economy forward.”
It’s safe to say that many mothers are interested in launching or are already running successful business. Juggling entrepreneurship and motherhood can be a big challenge.
We recently came across a Facebook chat with Carrie Green, the Founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association and expectant mother, addressing that issue. With almost 10,000 views, the comments are a great resource for expectant moms or those with children.
Here’s information, insights and advice from that chat. (Some comments edited for length and clarity)
“Lower the bar, self-care, trust intuition...these are ALL great. I believe we put WAY too much pressure on ourselves as women. As mothers, we are very special people, and we need to honor ourselves. My children are 17+, and they need me just as much, just in different ways.”
“Little eyes are always watching you and learning from you. Trust that your children will be okay if, and even benefit from, you taking care of your business….Which is the perfect opportunity for you to pour your creative energy into your business. Win/win!”
“…it’s okay to take a break - sometimes things get too overwhelming and you feel like nothing is going in the right direction so it’s okay to take a step back, reassess and then reengage.”
“…being an entrepreneur can be lonely, being a mum can be lonely, so plan in some coffee and cake time - not just playgroups (as you spend your time running around after your littles and not having a proper conversation with anyone!)”
“My biggest lesson is that although I'm far too hard on myself, I work far too hard thinking it’s still not good enough for my young sons.........to them I'm the best mam, best business woman, best everything !!!............what an amazing feeling that is !!!!”
“Mom of adult children. My advice for now: Don't miss it! Don't always feel you have to be working and be on.”
“Line up WAY more support than you think you will need.”
“Spend money on support rather than stuff.”
“Keep the tank as full as possible, whatever fills your tank.”
“You definitely need a village”
“I can attest to trying to live up to OTHER peoples' expectations (real and imagined) is an energy zapper.”
“Yes to looking after your sleep! There are no prizes for being the martyr who only has 2hrs max a night! Everyone loses in that scenario.”
“It is HARD to be a mom and a business owner- the first 8 months are hardest. Compartmentalize your time for sure! Organization and blocking out time are key!”
“With a newborn, sit and close our eyes whenever you can. Five minutes here and there can make a difference.”
“When you become a working mother, 80 becomes the new 100 and that’s ok.”
The Female Entrepreneur Association is an online site established to inspire and empower women around the world to turn their ideas into a reality, build successful businesses and live a life they love. They publish inspiring stories of business ownership, a robust blog and a monthly, digital magazine called This Girl Means Business.