Boss Moms Networking Group connects like minded Entreprenuers who happen to be Moms. We achieve this by not only supporting events and programs sponsored by our Boss Moms Network Members but by leveraging our following and market reach to the benefits of our members.
Come on you can tell me...how often have you seen a fellow business owner share a huge success on social media and felt that green monster called jealousy bubbling up? The social media age has made it so easy for us to compare our lives, families, romances, wardrobes, homes, mothering skills and businesses to others and often, we end up feeling like we just aren’t measuring up. Everyone I know (including me) have experienced this feeling (and if you say you haven’t, your are either lying or kidding yourself). It's only natural, however I’ve found these strategies helpful to avoid the comparison trap in business.
Remember Your Mission
Sometimes I get caught up feeling jealous of another businesses serving mom entrepreneurs. Or of another blog or website for women like BOSSY!. I kept seeing their highly shared webinars of how they had six figure launches (and how you can too). They have carved out an amazing niche in the online course space. They have thousands of advertising clients. or whatever it is. But earlier this year, I refined my missions for all my businesses which is to provide resources and guidance to moms struggling to raise babies and businesses and to create a digital magazine that celebrates urban women. Once I realized we have COMPLETELY different businesses, and goals it helped me stop comparing my business success to theirs. Also when I'm focused on MY MISSION I have less time to worry about theirs.
Who Are You Serving?
This ties directly into knowing your mission. When you are clear on your mission, it makes it so much easier to identify who your customers are. While we serve mom business owners, I’ve surveyed and learned about my audience to get even more specific. Boss Moms serves mom business owners but our niche is moms in the idea, startup and intermediate stages. We definitely have members that are outside of this profile but when I know who my ideal customers are, it helps me pay attention to them and their needs, instead of worrying about the fans and customers of other businesses in my field.
Mind Your Biz
Once you are reminded of your mission is and who your are serving, you can slap those blinders on and get to work. I promise you, the more you worry about what YOU do, and the less you worry about what THEY are doing, you’ll get more joy and success out of your business and feel less of the comparison trap.
Flattery Will Get You Everywhere
If you are lucky enough to receive unsolicited praise or compliments from customers or clients, start a document where you keep them all in one place. Oryou can do what I do and print them out and hang it in your work space so you can see them on a regular basis.
Don't worry, If you haven’t received any, this is a great time to start asking. Need some positive reviews on your Facebook Page? Send an email to your customers with links and make it easy for them to review your Google, Yelp, or Facebook Page. Not only does it inspire confidence in new clients, I love referring back to reviews and testimonials when I’m feeling low or uninspired.
Don't get me wrong I ADORE Social Media, for business and personal use, but if you recognize that your feelings of value go down in direct relation to your social media use, get off it. For a few hours or even a few days. No may of us need to have a dialy presence for our business so if you must post for your business, consider scheduling posts thru 3rd party apps such as Buffer or Hootsuite. Also consider scheduling small blocks of time to spend on social media and set an alarm to remind you when your time is up.
Honestly , when I feel like I am falling down the comparison trap rabbit hole, I like to call a friend that will undertsand my struggles and build me back up. The Boss Moms tribe is a great support system and we lean on each other and help to keep each other focused.
Okay Boss Moms, spill///how do you avoid the comparison trap? I’d love to hear – please share in the comments.
I have a confession to make. I have not made my 2018 plan. I know it's terrible, but I'm sharing with you all because I have small hunch that I may not be alone. It's January 29th and here I stand with a barely started vision board and some notebooks with some scribbled ideas and a lot of ideas, dreams, goals and wishes in my head.
I think the reason I had such a hard time planning is because I had to be very clear on what I want to do which all aspects of my life, relationships, personal development and businesses.
They key to the best planning is reflecting on your current state and progress so you can reassesand make realistic gols that align with your true purpose. So if you are still trying to plan your 2018, I want to share with you a list questions I'm using to get clear on my wants and my goals.
I want you to grab your journal and take an hour or two and answer the following questions to get clear on what you really want to manifest in 2018.
1. What did I learn in 2017?
2. What did I achieve in 2017?
3. How does this make me feel? 4, What did I learn from failure and success?
5. What am I proud of? 6. Where am I balanced and unbalanced in my life? 7. What were my 3 biggest strengths in 2017? 8. What are my 3 weaknesses that I can improve to perform better? 9. What am I not happy about and why?
10. What do I want to improve in 2018?
11. Did my health improve in 2017?
12. Did I gain weight or lose weight?
13. How was my eating habit, healthy or unhealthy?
14. How many times did I exercise a week?
15. Did I follow my health plan?
16. Is my body getting all the right nutrition?
17. How did I deal with stress?
18. What's my health goal for 2018?
19. Who are the 5-10 people I spent the most time with in 2017? 20. Are they bringing me up or down? Are they mostly negative or positive? 21. Are they big thinkers or small thinkers? 22. Are they working on themselves every day to create a better life? 23. Did I make new positive friends in 2017 that encourage me to follow my dreams? Help me to think bigger? Give me a vision of a better life? 24. How can I improve my circle in 2018?
25. What books did I read in 2017 that made a positive impact in my life?
26. What personal development seminars did I attend?
27. Am I reading the right books to bring me to the goal I want to achieve?
28. Which people did I learn the most from?
29. What do I want to learn in 2018?
30. How did I manage my money in 2017?
31. Did I have a plan?
32. Did I save?
33. Invest back in my business?Did I give to charity?
34. Is my money working for me?
35. What's my money plan for 2018?
36. How did I follow my business plan in 2017?
37. Am I doing the business as a hobby or as a business?
38. Do I need to rewrite my business plan?
39. What business skill do I want to learn in 2018?
40. How loved did I feel in 2017?
41. How did I show my love to my friends, family and my love?
42. Did I spend quality time with my friends and family in 2017?
43. Did I love myself in 2017? How did I practice self love?
44. Did I easily forgive myself in 2017?
45. What do I still carry with me that I want to let go before I start 2018?
46. How did I practice forgiveness?
47. Did I love conditionally or unconditionally?
48. What do I want to improve in my relationships and love life for 2018?
49. What goals do I have regarding family, love and friends in 2018?
50. How can I make my relationships more fulfilling?
51. Did I spend most of my time thinking negative, blaming, complaining about what I do not have?
52. Was I living in fear? Concerned about what other people think?
53. Or did I spend most of my time being grateful, focusing on the good I have and the future I can build?
54. Did I spend time helping others?
55. What emotions do I want to have the most in 2018?
59. What daily habits help me to create a better life and growing business?
60. What negative habits are holding me back?
61. What new empowering habits can I create for 2018?
62. Did I take time to sit quitely and meditate?
63. How can I do this more in 2018?
64. Was I at peace with myself? Or was my mind too busy?
65. How can I be more at peace with myself in the world in 2018?
66. Did I take time to connect with God/the Universe?
67. How can I be more happy with myself in 2018?
68. Do I have faith or do I worry too much and Do I act out of love or out of fear?
69. Did I follow my heart and my intuition?
70. Am I doing my passion?
71. Am I spending time in nature?
72. Am I practicing gratitude everyday?
73. Was I flowing in the present or always in the future, or stuck in the past with my mind?
74. What daily habits can I create in 2018 to be more present, more in the flow with nature, more at peace with myself and more connected with God?
75. Commitment: What am I committed to change and improve and why?
76. Do I need a mentor or a coach?
78. What is my "BIG WHY" to improve my life and/or business?
This excercise may seem long and tedious, but I promise after you've really reflected on where you've been it's much easier to make a clear plan on where you want to be.
Day 20 of our self-care challenge is to listen to an inspiring Ted Talk. For those who don't know, TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. I reccomend Ted Talks as mental self-care care because I believe nothing sparks your own creativity and quest for learning like listening to new ideas. I believe learning is essential to lifelong happiness.
I want to share a few my favorite Ted Talks with you all.
We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is obviouly a very popular talk. Having been featured on Beyonce's Lemondade is no small feat but trust me listening to the talk in its entirety is something else. Watch here!
Because every #bossmom I know struggles with this question on a daily basis Ann Marie Slaughter's Ted Talk Can we all "have it all"? expands that question from an aspect of a primarily women's struggle, to the work-life balance juggling act being a pursit of both sexes.
Boss Moms is focusing on self-care in 2018. Our businesses and babies need us to be whole. I've recently joined Girl Trek and their mission of walking as a means of self-care. Watch T. Morgan Dixon and Vaness Garriosn's Ted Talk "When Black women walk, things change" below.
Ted Talks are a great form of self-care because in under 20 minutes you can be informed, entertained and inspired...what could be better than that? Have a favorite Ted Talk I should check out?...leave me comment and I'll shout you out.
1. Turn Off Your Phone- Okay, so this is crazy hard for me. I won't lie I have never done it all weekend, but a couple of hours on Do Not Disturb, does wonders for my stress levels. The only way to fully unwind is to fully unplug...emails, calls and the constant social media notifications can make you preoccupied with what you're missing instead of being present and enjoying what's in front of you.
2. Visit Mother Nature- Spending time outdoors can elevate your mood & increase concentartion, not to mention some good ol' Vitamn D. Even better get go for a walk jog or even do some outdoor yoga. While all excerise is good for you, outdoor excerise makes people happier and more energized.
3. Girl's Night Out- (Or In) Changes in the workplace, family structure, technology, women’s roles and suburban life have contributed to a decline in our social lives. Without friendships and the feelings of connecting or belonging we can invite feelings of depression and alienation. Some sudios show women are hardwired to tend and befriend in times of stress. We find it healing to tell our stories and emotional experiences in order to move on. Also just hanging wih hat bestie who knows you in and out without judgement is energizing. So go ahead..book a girls trip or at least a date for drinks and get your mojo back.
4. Lend a Helping Hand- Sometimes the best way to forget your own problems is to help someone else with theirs. Mentoring youth, helping your elderly neighbors or volunteering at a local shelter can bring you an immense sense of contentment. Finding a cause you're passionate about and can volunteer your time to can do wonders for your well being while enhancing the lives of others.
While family and work responsibilities can't always be contained to the weekdays these few simple steps can help you enjoy your (limited) time off and make the best of your weekend!
As a mompreneur who works full-time and juggles the lives of four children and a husband, finding time for myself is a small challenge. Who am I kidding it's a HUGE challenge. I used to end every day feeling worn out, unproductive and overwhelmed. My to-do list was never ending. And even though I was always busy, I never felt like I accomplished as much as I needed to. I had to make the decision to jump off the hamster wheel. I had to start reclaiming my time. You can too.
Here are my Top Three Tips for finding some time for YOU!
Tip # 1 Give up on Perfect and Learn to Prioritize
I used to try to everything perfectly. I thought if I could serve perfectly executed gourmet meals to perfectly behaved children in a perfectly decorated home, that my life would be well, perfect. I figured that a lot of the pressure I was feeling was coming from within. That all changed when I stopped competing with myself. I had to learn to prioritize. I don't mean just putting your to-do list in order. The first step to prioritizing is to figure out whats really important to you. Then write it down. Is it family time, couple time, growing your business going back to school, keeping in touch with old friends or volunteering for your favorite cause or a school? Whatever tops your list, those are your priorities! For me, it's time with my husband and kids, my business, my physical and mental health, and spending time with family and friends. So anything that I'm asked to do that doesn't go towards one of these priorities, I say no. Should I play a game and spend a couple of hours laughing with my family or go to happy hour with co-workers I barely know because it's expected. For me, it's game time! Because the happy hour although nice, doesn't fit into my priority categories. Your categories will be different and that's perfectly okay. This is about doing what's right for you. Once you have a clear priority list, you feel much less guilty saying no to obligations or requests that don't fit your list. Protect your time by setting boundaries and keeping them by not answering emails or the telephone or texts during that time. I set aside a certain amount of time each week for my blog, my freelance work, my new company. And I protect it. I set aside time each week for a lunch date with my husband. I protect that. My teenagers and I watch Teen Wolf every Sunday Night. I protect that. My daughter just left for college we set a tea and FaceTime date every Sunday afternoon.
Tip #2 Have a Plan (For EVERYTHING!)
I know this sounds yucky, kind of like have a budget (gasp!). But trust me it works. You don't have to have a full minute by minute plan, (although I kinda do) but a family routine of what time everyone gets up, goes to school, eats meals, goes to bed can save your sanity. Raising children can be a circus, a routine can help insert some structure the chaos. Children function better when they know what's happening next. Adults too for that matter.My trick to having a routine is that I plan almost everything. I use a meal planner and grocery list when I shop. I meal plan for two weeks at a time and I add the meals on my weekly calendar. This can seem like a daunting task at first, however a little extra prep time 2-3 times a month saves me time precious time in that after work rush hour of homework help, dinner, and baseball practice. I don't wonder what I have. I don't need to run to the store for potatoes. Because I have I always have a week's worth of planned meals and all the ingredients ready. I also do this for packed lunches for hubby and I it saves time, my budget and waistline since I don't have to run out for expensive, unhealthy fast food because I didn't have anything to bring for lunch.
I also have a cleaning plan. I used to work full-time years ago and I never thought I had time for housekeeping and laundry on the weekdays, I waited until the weekend and we did ALL the chores then. Needless to say, I started all my weeks started just as exhausted as I ended them. I never had a break and the kids were pouting. Who wants to spend all day Saturday scrubbing floors? This time as I went back into the workforce, I figured there had to be a better way. Now I have a cleaning schedule for instance instead of spending 8 hours on Sunday doing a weeks worth of laundry for 6 people. I put one load in for one person every day before I leave for work. I put it in the dryer when I get home, then I give it to that kid to fold and put away. Everyone has an assigned laundry day. We all do one of those "Saturday Chores" dusting, mopping, cleaning a bathroom, during a specific weekday, so by Saturday afternoon, I have time to play and my house is still clean! I also plan the fun stuff. Every other month or so I go shopping on sites like Groupon or Living Social for local outings in my area. I buy quite a few things at once, museum passes, brunches at a restaurant I've never been to, an art class. This way when that chore free Saturday rolls around or our weekly (okay maybe bi-weekly) date night rolls around we've always got something to do. It took some time to create a plan that worked for me, but the reward is more time to put towards things I love.
Tip #3 Make Appointments with Yourself and Keep Them
Now that your dinners are all planned and your household is running semi-smoothly. What are you going to do with all that free time on your hands? If you don't make an appointment with yourself, probably nothing. When you have a business meeting or a school conference or even a date with your spouse, you write it down, or put a reminder in your phone. You keep that appointment because it's important obviously I mean you wrote it PEN. You don't want to disappoint anyone, even if there are other things you could be doing, you keep that appointment. You should do the same for yourself. Figure out the things you enjoy doing that are all about you. for me it was working out, reading, and getting my nails done. But I tend to put these things that I love to aside for other people or events that seem more important. Once I started actually scheduling them on my calendar in PEN, I started keeping those appointments. If I want to read on Tuesday night from 9-10 on Thursday after work, I'm trying that new yoga class I write it down in my calendar and I keep it. Treat an appointment with yourself the same way you do your boss or your doctor. You're just as important.
I hope my tips are helpful in streamlining your schedule and finding some much needed YOU time. What are some ways you make time for yourself?
I love pretty sleep things. Silky, satiny, pretty colored sleep things. I have drawers full of lacy, next to nothings, that I never, ever wear. I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one. We all want to sleep in nice, pretty things, but we also want to be comfortable. The truth is, once we become moms we most often trade comfort for cuteness. I have still have a 9 year old who is known to climb in bed on a Saturday morning, so my see-through lacy teddy stays in the drawer and I end up sleeping in old T-shirts and holey shorts or leggings (don't judge me)!
Being a super-busy Boss Mom is exhausting! So you have to take little luxuries where you find them. And that's where the Dreamland sleepshirt comes in. It felt like a like a little luxury. This 100% cotton sleep shirt is cute and feminine while being SUPER comfortable.
The deets: It came in a cute, cotton carry sack which just makes you feel like it's bit special, right? Sizes run from XS/S to M/L which says it fits up to a 16. I got an XS. The gathering in the neckline area made the roomy fit less boxy than it first appeared out of the package. I thought it would be too long and make me hot and irritated in bed but the hem hit right above my knees and the quarter length sleeves were comfortable. The cotton had a silky feel to it. The Dreamland Sleepshirt isn't heavy or bulky. A plus for me because I hate waking up sweaty, eww.
Okay and let's just be honest. Since I work from home, I occasionally (read often) stay in pajamas for a good part of the morning. I could totally do carpool drop-off and even a Publix run in this without raising an eyebrow . Don't pretend I'm the only one who does it.
There are 9 available colors/prints, from basic black to a funky hippie-ish flower print. I wanted something cute but not boring so I chose flamingo, a hot pink tone. It matched my duvet and my personality. I've become super aware of how colors affect my mood so next time, I'd get a calmer color like beach bum blue, which is a light aqua for a more soothing effect.
Dreamland is a mom owned company which gives it extra thumbs up from this Boss Mom and I find their sweet sleepshirt #Bossmomapproved.
If you’re a new mompreneur, the cost of running your new business can be seem daunting. With this approximately $100-a-month budget, you’ll need to work from your home office, local Starbucks or library. However using these cost effective tools, you can effectively run your business on a very small budget.
Phone service: Free!!!
A lot of people set up a separate phone service for your business, but a business phone and personal phone seems expensive and unnecessary. You’re already paying for your personal phone service, so just add on a Google Voice number that forwards to your mobile phone. You can check voicemail online, receive text messages, plus a separate voicemail box and best of all it’s totally free.
Website: $10-16/per month
The number-one turn-off for me as a consumer is a poorly designed, ill-maintained website. If you want something clean and easy to update, you really can’t go wrong with Wix for a simple landing or informational page. Try Squarespace, for $16 a month, you get unlimited pages, galleries, storage, and even a fully integrated e-commerce feature that sells up to 20 products. It’s easy to use, so you can edit and build your site without having any real tech savvy.You will also have to pay for your domain, which should run you about $10 for the first year. Chump change.
Accounting software: Free While there’s no shortage of quality low cost software out there, Wave is 100 percent free. Wave gives access to unlimited accounting, invoicing, and receipt management, plus you can upgrade when you need more advanced features.
Legal services: $30.00/month From simply starting up your business to document reviews and consultation, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer on hand. For less than 25 bucks a month, LegalZoom or PrePaidPlans.com will give you a bevy of legal services to cover all aspects of running your business.
File storage: $15/month If you’re generating a lot of files (or sharing back and forth with clients), give yourself unlimited storage space through Dropbox. At this price point, you can allow five users access to your storage space.
Meeting space: $15/hour Nowadays, clients are fairly receptive to meeting in restaurants or coffee shops, but let’s say you want an occasional formal meeting. Sites like ShareSpace or Liquidspace rents out meeting and conference rooms all over the country starting at $15 an hour. If you take time to search the site, you may find free rooms to book!
Virtual assistant: $29.99/month It’s hard to delegate when you’re a one woman empire, so hire yourself a virtual assistant. You can check out sites like Elance or oDesk to find hourly assistants, or buy a monthly membership from Fancy Hands. A bargain of $29.99 gets you five requests per month.
As you can see Boss Moms, it doesn’t take a fortune to make a fortune. You can run or business efficiently and professionally without breaking your budget.
Now that I am once again a full-time mompreneur, I started to find myself quickly overwhelmed. Dividing my time between family, my marriage and attempting to grow not one but 3 different businesses has definitely taken it’s toll. But still I can’t help but realize, there’s a lot more I could be doing. I have mastered the arts of project planning, manageable goals, weekly task lists and daily to-do’s BUT every time I’m on a roll and things seem to be going in the right direction, a detour or a series of detours appear preventing me from finishing my actual goals. Or sometimes there isn’t a detour at all. I just spend so much time planning the steps and goals and then I just feel (suddenly) exhausted or I just have to watch 13 episodes of Law & Order in row. More recently instead of meeting the deadline to apply for grant I missed it by needing to reorganize my linen closets. That’s when I knew, that I have real problem and the problem is…..me. I am always in my own way. And because I obviously use procrastination to sabotage before I tried to fix it, first I had to find out why we (I) use self sabotage, And why entrepreneurs are particularly prone to it.
Well, what is self sabotaging behavior?
Psychology Today defines Self Sabotage as “behaviors that create problems and interfere with long term goals.” The behaviors can range anywhere from procrastination (most common), self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, shopping sprees you can't afford (or binge watching TV) to more severe behaviors such as cutting or other self injury acts.
Since procrastination is most common and my personal arch nemesis and a particular struggle with many Boss Moms I know personally . Let’s tackle that.
So why do we procrastinate? Why are we constantly putting off important things until the last minute or worse yet until it’s too late? In the first of the this series of blogs, let’s talk discuss the first reason why we procrastinate and what we can do to stop this behavior.
Reason # 1 You think you aren’t good enough. You don’t believe you have what it takes to be successful, so you remain stagnant. You half ass your way through business by avoiding networking events or forming strategic relationships. You buy tons of products and programs to help your business that you never use. Your email is filled with hundreds of emails that you’ll never read.
Your biggest fear is that you are an impostor and sooner or later people are going to find out. You want to believe that you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. But deep down you don’t believe it.
Fix # 1 - Remember your why. Why did you start this business or this blog or this project? Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur? Write down your reasons and keep it somewhere where you can refer to it often. My suggestion is to read it every morning.
Fix # 2 - Anytime you start feel self doubt creep back in, take a few moments and reminisce on some of your accomplishments. Big or small. Remembering a moment you were really proud of yourself will shift your thinking and let you move forward with a boost in confidence. Do this often until it becomes a habit
Fix # 3 - Recognize your dopeness! Grab a pen and paper and write down all the skills, talents and knowledge you already have at your disposal that ensure your future success. You are enough, you have enough.
Fix # 4 - Be gentle with yourself. Even when you know your why and remember your accomplishments and skills and talents, you’re still gonna screw up. Even the most successful entrepreneurs aren’t perfect, nobody is a the perfect mom. We all mess up. Next time you miss your kid’s big game or blow that sale, don’t fall down that hole of self doubt and criticism. Figure out what you could have done differently forgive yourself and move on. Self-compassion is essential for a mom and an entrepreneur.
Try these tactics to battle your self doubt instead of procrastination. Leave me a comment and let me know what your struggles with procrastination are and if these tips help.
Stay tuned, next up we'll dive into another common reason that leads to procrastination, and how to battle it.
This is it! Are you ready to finish out your plan for 2017?
It is all about having a clear strategy for the goals you laid out in the last section. These exercises are designed to help you plan out the steps and make forward progress on what is important.
Well, the very first step is to craft a plan. You start with the goal. Then work backward.
Success doesn't happen by accident. It is the result of careful planning. Thinking through our goals, being specific, and then laying the groundwork and steps to follow.
So today for each of your goals I want you to craft a plan. Brainstorm next steps and figure out the best way to move forward.
And if you aren’t sure, start small. Sometimes just writing down a small step, something that can take less than 15 minutes, like “Search google for Instagram promos”, can give you the momentum you need to get started. Let's Start with your goals, business, personal health, family, etc. I pick at least one in each category
One Year Goal One Month GoalOne Week Goal
Starting with your Big Goal, how can you make it smaller? What is the smallest piece of the goal? What are your steps? How can you span your progress over a period of time? How can you hold yourself accountable? Is it telling someone, getting a calendar, etc.? Find realistic actionable steps that all work towards your big goal. Say you want to write and publish a book in 2017. (This is one of my goals) Try setting realistic dates for beginning and finishing your outline, each chapter, your first draft, your cover artwork, ETC. Also, write down people to ask for guidance/accountability on this goal or encouraging resources to try.
This is your plan of action.
Write one for each area of your life you highlighted in the last area. You now have a blueprint for your success in 2017! I hope you enjoyed these exercises and you are excited for Boss Mom Success in 2017! If you are interested in having help and accountability to work on your goals for 2017 in our Boss Moms Mastermind calls. Feel free to send me an email. I'll be in touch soon. Happy New Year! Again as you work on the questions above, feel free to post your answers in our Boss Moms Facebook Group