The Business of MOM and Entrepreneur

This week an article on CNN Money about Jack Dorsey caught my eye, and I could not help but to be fascinated with it.  Jack Dorsey, Twitter Co-founder and CEO of Square, works TWO 8-hour shifts every day.  Dorsey works 8 hours for Twitter and then 8 hours for Square (his latest startup in mobile payments), for a grand total of 80 hours per week.

The article elaborated on how Dorsey’s days are themed so to speak.  For each 8-hour shift, he is working on a particular aspect of the company, such as product development or marketing.  While reading the piece, I was struck by mental lightning!

As moms in business, we essentially work 2 different shifts (at least we should).  We are startup business people for part of the day, but whenever we decide to quit, we are moms.  (Pay attention to the deciding to quit part.)

A common complaint that I hear from moms in business everywhere (and this probably pertains to all home based business people with families) is that the 2 roles often run together.  When we mix our offices with our home life, which is all too often the case, being a mom and a business person intersect, crash, and merge continuously throughout the days.

Just this past weekend, I was at a party and a mom who works from home approached me on this exact subject.  How did I recommend setting boundaries? Which ways did I not only enforce to my kids that I was working, but let go of work when it was family time?  Did I find it difficult to turn off work since it was so readily available at home?

Moms in Business feel the pull between both of their babies, both human and business.  Our children need our attention, love, and understanding, but so do our growing businesses.  I think that we can all take a lesson from Jack Dorsey, so I incorporated some of his techniques in my tips for being both a MOM and an ENTREPRENEUR:

First, define and separate the time periods for working on business AND families.  Now, I know first hand that being a mom is a 24 hour gig, but there are hours that our children are in childcare, with family, or at school.  These are hours that we can count on to work on our businesses.  Define the ‘shifts’ to increase boundaries.

Second, hold a planning session with the one and only – YOU – on Sunday Night.  Set your tasks for the week, and use Dorsey’s themed days as an example.  Maybe an accounting day or a day spent entirely in meetings back to back for that particular week?  Set expectations, commitments, and ‘themes’ for the week.

Third, resist the urge to let the 2 roles collide. This is extremely difficult with or without a home office because let’s face it, where we go, our smart phone goes.  Resist the temptation to answer one last email or take one last call when it is family time.  I am certainly not perfect at this, but what I can guarantee is that when you overlap one role into the other, you are not providing either ‘company’ your full attention, which leads to mistakes and/or extra work (trust me).  Give each position your undivided attention when you are set to work on that project.

Fourth and finally, be forgiving. Do not beat yourself up over wanting to work certain hours on your business plan.  Do not feel guilty about setting boundaries on your business when it is time for you to be a MOM.  Be firm and peaceful with your plan because your business and your children are both your babies.

Can you suggest any scheduling tips and tricks to help remove overlap, leave out guilt, and improve performance?


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