Becoming a Mompreneur: Advice on Starting Your Own Business

Every mom hustles. It doesn’t matter if you’re a SAHM or work in an office, or if you have one kid or five, you hustle. So, what happens when you start thinking about hustling for yourself? Specifically, what if you’re thinking about starting a small or side business, and becoming a mom entrepreneur? A “mompreneur”? Where do you even begin?

If you’re thinking about becoming a mompreneur, know that you’re not alone. Many moms have left the workforce, or are considering leaving the workforce, due to the pandemic. But making that leap is scary, and it can help to hear from other women who have made that journey to become a business owner.

Below is advice from several moms who happen to have small businesses or side hustles (including my own “passion project”) on ways to mentally prepare yourself to become a Mom Boss. Because we have all been where you are, wondering if we can do it. And just like a toddler who wants to see if she can fit a rock in her ear…you can.

Know Your Why Before You Start

Passion. Autonomy. Creative outlet. Multiple income streams. These are all valid reasons for wanting to start or grow a business. So is getting laid off and needing to find something to make money.

It doesn’t matter what your “why” is, so long as you understand it. As Catie Wood, a mom with her own personal branding photography business (and fellow Collin County Mom contributor) puts it: “Having a solid ‘why’ keeps you going. The why will help refocus you when things get tough or frustrating. The ‘why’ keeps your eyes on the goal.”

And yes, you will need help keeping your eye on the prize. Starting a business is hard, and more than a bit like raising a kid. There’s a reason so many people refer to a self-owned business as their baby. It can be as overwhelming as it is exciting, and knowing your “why” can act as a guide post for inspiration and decision-making in good times, and the not-so-good.

And speaking of…

Ups & Downs; Pauses & Sprints

There’s a popular image of what you think success looks like (a straight line) versus what it actually is (jumbled chaos). This is one of the truest images I have ever seen, doubly so when you’re a mompreneur. (If success has been a straight line for you, please contact me. I have questions.)

Starting and running a business can be exciting and scary and hard and wonderful and everything in between. One day you think it’s never going to work, and the next you’re winning the grant money you need. Just like one day you can be celebrating your three-year-old sitting on the potty, and the next you’re on the floor cleaning poop from the rug (I speak from experience on all of this).

And you should be prepared for all of it. As with parenting, know there will be highs and lows while building your business. Learn to breathe when everything happens at once; use the moments of stillness. Anticipate the challenges, and get comfortable with the idea of working through them, even if you’re afraid. Because fear is natural.

As Allison Melkie, a mom with a small business and side hustle, says: “When you are your business, there’s always an inherent pressure that it has to work, but you can’t let those fears be the loudest things in the room.”

Remember to always look for the wins, focus on your “why,” and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Balance Is What You Make Of It

Even without being a mom in business, there are many demands on your time. But when you become a mompreneur, balance goes from being a seesaw to a tilt-a-whirl. As mentioned earlier, the business that I’m building is my passion, and I (mostly) enjoy the time I put into it. As a mom and a wife, I also love spending time with my family.  And honestly, I really enjoy spending time on the couch watching Ted Lasso. And you know what? I do all of these things.

However, the trick is, I don’t do them at the same time. Balance doesn’t actually mean you do all things equally every time. Instead, balance is about figuring out when my family needs me, when my business needs me, and when I need me.

Real Time Pic of Me Prioritizing Business Hustle Over Cleaning
Real Time Picture of Me Prioritizing Business Over Cleaning

Granted, if you’re like me, you’ll feel guilty at any given moment for the things you’re not doing—especially when your own mother lovingly sends you text reminders  to flip the couch cushion (Hi Mom!), but that’s ok. Give yourself grace, and know that the things that need to get done, will get done.

Know That You Can Do It

Finally, if you’re interested in becoming a business owner, know that you can, even if it’s scary. There are many moms out there just like you who have taken the leap. You can even hear a podcast from the founder of the Collin County Moms about how she took on the role as a small business owner.

Focus on the small steps. Take one action a day, even if that action is jotting down an idea for you to explore further the next day. If you are ready to start hustling for your own business, check out 5 Steps to Becoming a Successful Mompreneur. And most importantly, be proud of yourself for being the Mom Boss that you are.

Born in south Louisiana, Caroline is an Air Force veteran who, after living in San Angelo, San Antonio, Abilene, and other places, finally made her way to north Texas in July 2020. Married to her (usually) favorite Aggie since 2006, she gets to be mom to CeCe (6) and Bubba (2), and frequently wonders “what in the world have I gotten myself into?” After spending many years with a global consulting firm, Caroline now works for UT Dallas as a Program Manager in Executive Education. Caroline is an award-winning humor writer, an avid/rabid LSU fan, terrible housekeeper, and a holiday-baking show connoisseur. She is also a certified coach that owns her own business, CKH Coaching, supporting fellow veteran women manage their transition back to the civilian world. You can learn more at CKHCoaching.com

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