Managing the Madness: Surviving motherhood, full-time jobs and a startup
By Vicki and Shayna Moon, Co-founders, Spoiled-One Baby Gear Rental and Delivery Service
Motherhood. Full-time jobs. Husbands. Friends. Family. Add this all up and you’ve got a life of insanity (which we wouldn’t trade for the world, obviously). So why on earth would two (questionably) sane women decide to start their own business on top of it all?
When we founded Spoiled-One, people were skeptical. Our lives were already teetering on the brink of chaos and this latest endeavor risked pushing it over the edge. But how could we pass on such a great opportunity to address a growing need among young families? To at least try and grow this business was worth the sacrifices that would come with it.
The only condition, without exception, was that we needed a course of action. Our marriages, friends, families and social lives were going to take a back seat, so we needed a plan that would keep every single aspect of our lives on track as best as possible, including our top priorities: our kids.
Today, that plan continues to serve as the guideline for running our business. It seems to be working – we recently celebrated Spoiled-One’s two-year anniversary and continue to forge ahead with new partnerships, opportunities and initiatives. So, to all the parents out there thinking about scratching that industrial itch while juggling child rearing and a full-time job, we’ve got some tips for you:
BECOME BEST FRIENDS WITH YOUR SCHEDULE
This is so important. Plan your days, use a calendar and prioritize. We’re checklist people, so our schedules and notebooks are our best friends when it comes to staying on track and staying sane. Without them, our children’s activities would be missed, date nights would be forgotten and even bills wouldn’t get paid. (Trust us – when focusing on your startup business these things can actually happen.)
DO NOT DEVIATE…
Focus, focus, focus! Whatever you’re doing, stay on track. Without focus, it’ll take you that much longer to get things done and time is a luxury you cannot afford. Remember – efficiency will go a long way.
…BUT GO WITH THE FLOW
As much as plans and structure are important, life with kids is very unpredictable. So is running a business. Be flexible so that when a curveball is thrown at you, it can be absorbed rather than cause problems.
EXCEL THROUGH ADAPTATION
The key to success in our lives is the ability to quickly learn and adjust. There will be plenty of mistakes made along the way, which will threaten to derail your business, but they should be treated as great opportunities to gain valuable knowledge and experience. Think of growing your startup like raising your child – there’s so much trial and error involved, but you address it head on and adapt to the challenges.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT “ME”
Make sure to carve out some time for yourself. It helps maintain sanity. Neglecting “you” is a detriment to you, your friends, family and business. Take advantage of a spare moment wherever possible. Want an example? Shay finds that her drives to work alone with coffee and music blasting away help her stay sane. Whatever it takes, even if it’s belting out “All About That Bass” at the top of your lungs (ahem, SHAY).
BRACE FOR HARD TIMES
Being an entrepreneur is never a smooth sail. We continue to endure our fair share of challenges and you will too. The best way to combat adversity is to anticipate it, rely on support from friends, family and colleagues when it comes, and above all else, stick to your vision.
ACCEPT THAT HYPOCRICY MAY HAPPEN AND ISN’T NECESSARILY A BAD THING
Okay, this one’s just an excuse to tell a funny story: Before Spoiled-One came to be; Shay was always quite vocal about her husband being on his phone while around the baby. My how things have changed. The pot just called the kettle black. Today, she is constantly on her phone trying to keep up with emails, orders, social media, etc. and tries so hard to keep it from the kids. It’s gotten to the point where she often finds herself hiding in the bathroom dealing with work stuff. The kids must think mommy has bladder issues. Hubby knows the truth.
GIVE EVERYTHING YOUR ALL – MUSH ALERT!
As mothers, we already have so much guilt. As business owners, we have even more guilt for spending less time with the kids. But we push past this. Again, focus is key. You give 100 per cent to growing your business, so when you’re spending time with your kids, give them your 100 per cent too. It’s ok to not spend more than three hours a day with your kids, just make those three hours count. Be completely there, in the moment with them.
Most importantly, believe in yourself. As clichéd as it sounds, it’s true. At the end of the day, you alone create your own opportunities. You alone muster up the courage to move forward despite the challenges. We’ve wanted to throw in the towel many times, but we push on, we learn and we become better entrepreneurs because of it.
There you have it. After all this, if the entrepreneurial force is strong with you, we encourage you to start taking the steps toward making your dreams a reality. It’s frightening, full of risks and you’ll lose sleep over it, but the rewards are worth it. Get out there and embrace the challenge. Get crazy! No second-guesses, no regrets. Good luck!