If you are an entrepreneur at heart, you very likely have a driver’s mentality. What does that mean exactly? Some clear symptoms shared by drivers and go-getters much like myself are taking on all the things, pushing past your breaking point, and multitasking like a boss because, well…what other way is there?
Sound familiar? If any of this resonates with you, then you’re in the right place.
You don’t even have to be running your own business to have this type of mindset. It could be that you carry out many of the above symptoms in any capacity of your work – both at home and in the office – simply because it’s the way you’re wired.
Believe me – I get it. I have pushed against this natural wiring of mine because God showed me I needed to put boundaries on my time during an intense season of running my own small business.
For 18 months I ran a fairly successful business out of my home. Within that short time frame, I built a following from 0 to 57,000 on social media and with that came a lot of sales that I tried to manage on my own.
There were certainly a lot of things I learned from this experience, like areas where God taught me how to better utilize my natural drive in a way that was healthy rather than harmful. I want to share some important insights for my fellow leaders, entrepreneurs, and boss babe drivers out there.
Create Boundaries Around Your Schedule
The first and perhaps most important thing you want to implement when you’re a working mom (especially when you’re running a business out of your home) is establishing healthy boundaries around your schedule. Not only does this lay the foundation for your own productivity and efficiency, it allows you to protect your time – your most valuable asset.
How do you do this? The first step is to determine your own routine and establish clear boundary lines from there. To follow your own routine means that you’ve placed yourself within a boundary that works not only for you but to your family as well.
For me, this looked like being able to be fully present with my children each day after I picked them up from school. I found that when I didn’t follow this rule, my family suffered. My kids needed help with homework and I wasn’t able to be fully present for them or dinner was made late at night, which nobody was a fan of – including me.
Additionally, I committed to setting aside evenings for my husband. Whether we cuddled and watched TV or sipped a glass of wine by the fire, we always loved being able to put the kids to bed and just be together. This was hugely beneficial to our relationship and a practice that helped lay a healthy foundation for our future.
I had to watch myself, though, because I would get excited about how much I could get done in those late, quiet hours of the night. And momma, especially those of you with littles at home, I get it… when the kids are in bed, the possibilities are endless. It’s really freeing, actually, because for the first time all day long, you can actually think and do without interruption.
I had to accept that there would always be more to do and I was going to have to put off the temptation to work on projects instead of sitting with my husband. It was an internal struggle and not something I mastered right away or even still.
But with practice and intention, it got easier to step away and I actually started learning how life-giving it was. I learned that stepping away from work allowed me to be better in everything – a better wife, mother, and business woman.
I wasn’t just giving my family the gift of time, I was giving myself the gift of balance and well-roundedness. Protecting my time by creating clear boundaries is actually an example of self-care.
Self-Care Is Important Always
We moms are constantly putting others before ourselves so we have to be intentional about creating healthy routines that leave room for refueling. For each of us, refueling can look different.
Like me, your physical fitness could be one of those areas that fill you up. I had to be intentional about making sure I was making time to hit the gym on a regular basis.
Some other practices I made sure to incorporate into my routine were getting regular fresh air, going for a run or walk to clear my head, and making sure I was scheduling things for myself that I typically put off like doctor appointments, dental care, therapy, hair appointments, etc.
I learned I needed to take care of myself in the same way I was taking care of my family.
When we rob ourselves of self-care, we are actually not even capable of giving our business our best. I once heard this quote: “You must administer your own oxygen mask before you can administer the oxygen mask to others.” It’s true. Don’t short your own needs because, ultimately, you won’t be the only one who suffers.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
For the majority of us, asking for help can be very difficult. And although it’s important that we set boundaries for ourselves and practice self-care, we also need to pay close attention to those moments, days, and seasons when we are spiraling out of control. We need to recognize the warning signs before we lose control so we can reach out and ask for help.
If you’re a working mom, you might need to consider hiring a nanny or asking your husband to take on more of the family and household responsibilities. For other business women, you may need to hire an employee and begin training them in small tasks of administration.
Regardless of the situation or the need, help is out there. We just have to be willing to ask and delegate. This is not a sign of weakness. Admitting that you can’t do it alone shows great maturity. We were never meant to do it alone or to carry the load by ourselves. Marriage and parenting is a partnership. Business requires many hats and the more insights we gain, the further we can grow.
Ultimately, I decided it was time to sell my business and close the door on that chapter in my life. Looking back, it was because I had fallen short at setting boundaries and I let it rob me and my family of healthy balance. Additionally, self-care had taken a back seat. I had carried so much stress to do it all and get it all done… yet there just was always more to do.
Sadly, during this season, I hadn’t yet learned the importance of releasing control. I wanted to prove something to myself and to others by doing it all. But looking back, I know now that there is great value in asking for help. If I had asked for help, my business could have soared and reached new heights unlike anything I had ever seen. Instead, I began to fall out of love with what I was doing, and my family was over it just as much as I was.
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Why
As a person of faith, I questioned a lot of my motives.
I was motivated to run a business and change the world; to create conversations that made a difference in the world. When my heart and soul became so focused on the growth and recognition of the business, I wanted more and more. In turn, that meant more time and dedication to growing it by myself (because I was unwilling to ask for help) and that robbed me of seeing its real purpose – my real purpose.
If you’re in the throws of running your own business, juggling that work/mom life, or balancing your job, family, side hustle, and all the things, here are six things to take with you:
1. Never lose sight of your WHY
2. Create boundaries and stick to them
3. Practice self-care, for your sake and everyone else’s!
4. Ask for help
5. Release control and trust others
6. Set new goals
So what does God have for me next? Setting new goals has become my new journey. I believe it is something we should always keep in the front of our minds. Sure, I’ve sold off my business, but that doesn’t mean I’m done being creative.
Even though things change in life – seasons come and go – God still has a great purpose and plan for you… even if right now, that’s loving on the little ones in your living room. So with that, let’s set new goals with them –– and ourselves –– in mind. Because we’re worth it!
About the Author
Lindsey is a warrior who writes from a battle-stance and lives to help others acknowledge the challenges that face us. As a wife of 18 years and mom of 3, she is preparing a family to also take on life’s challenges in order to win. She is the Co-Founder of The Brave Collective and enjoys using her gifts in business operations, writing , and speaking.