One of the biggest misconceptions that parents who want to quit their job make is in the financial preparations. If it takes at least a year to build a business from home, then logically that would mean you would need to save at least your full annual income to live off of in that year, right? WRONG.
No wonder so many people think it is impossible and remain STUCK in a less than desirable situation.
The good news is that you are NOT STUCK.
The bad news? There are still sacrifices to be made.
Before losing all hope, create a financial spreadsheet. Cut out all of the expenses that go along with working outside of the home, such as daycare expenses, house cleaning, commuting, etc. With your spouse’s income, you should only be in the negative $200-$500 a month. If you are higher than that, go back to the drawing board and see if you can’t cut something else out. Sacrifices will need to be made for a short time.
Once you have gotten your expenses down to no more than -$500, multiply THAT amount by 12 months.
For example: 500 x 12 = $6,000
Now isn’t that a more logical annual goal to save before you quit your job? $6,000 is much more attainable to have saved than $60,000, and should minimize the fear of jumping without that safety net.
Furthermore, this now gives you a new income goal as a first time business owner.
You have enough of a safety net for a year… and that is more than enough time to get your small business up and running. Remember, you don’t have to REPLACE your monthly income. The goal now is to earn $500/ month. Sure, it may take you a few months to get there, but when you do, you won’t have to dip into your safety net anymore… or if you have a down month, your safety net should still be there for you.
Don’t look now, but you are self-employed.
Before you know it, you’ll be thriving as a self-employed career parent. You may even get used to the less expensive way of life. Once business picks up, you’ll need to think about how to scale it up, hire some outsourcing support, or even scale it back for busier times of the year. You got this!
We all know how important that first hour is when we wake up in the morning, and how it sets the tone for the rest of our day, but how often are we utilizing that first 60 minutes to our advantage, Here are some sure fire tips to controlling your day before it controls you:
1. Claim your space! Before you ever power up the computer, write on a paper notebook what you would like to accomplish for the day.
2. Power it up with Pages! An effective way to fully wipe the sleep from your eyes and clean out the cobwebs are to pick up a pen and write for 5 continuous minutes whatever comes to your mind. Just spill it out without thinking and simply writing. About anything and nothing. This is what I like to call a brain dump. It gets out all the feels that I don’t need to be having to push forward. If something is bothering you, and festering deep within, these pages will find the culprit and squash it.
3. Voice your Value! Give yourself a pep talk each and every morning to dominate your domain. Keep it simple and easy to remember. “Today I will create magic!”
4. Create a ritual! One that is YOURS and belongs to you. Some people find that having their morning cup of Joe on the porch with a newspaper is a wonderful morning ritual. Others do Yoga. I put on make-up. Yep, don’t laugh. It’s MY time with MYSELF looking in the mirror and being artistic with my face. In fact, I put on make-up every day — even during the pandemic. It helped me stay grounded when the world felt so displaced.
As stay-at-home parents and business owners its very easy to get sidetracked with everyone else’s needs, or the unexpected chaos of the world. But as the CEO of your home and business, you do have SOME control over the direction you want to move in. As women, we are built to grow things. Creation of anything is nourishing and fuels us.
Morning rituals are a perfect way of starting the day holding your ground and keep jurisdiction over anything unexpected that may come your way.
As parents and entrepreneurs we are dedicated to our family first and our business second. Once we have set aside time that belongs to our business, we often spend a great deal of time demystifying marketing and sales.
No matter how often we hear speakers and advertisers tell us that there is a “secret to success” no such secret actually exists, at least none that can be taught once you hand over your credit card. So I will tell it to you for free. The secret to success is
We know that this is true because we see successful people all around us, doing exactly what we are capable of doing ourselves. If you look closely you will see that success leaves a trail that can be followed by anyone. Therefore, there isn’t just one little secret that will turn your business into an overnight success.
If only good intentions were enough to bring us more sales, more income and more
opportunities, we’d all be rolling in it. ACTION is the only way to produce results. No matter what you are facing right now, I urge you to ask yourself, “What action can I take -right now- by me that will set something productive in motion?”
Sometimes it’s just going for a walk, journaling or meditating to get into the right headspace.
Or it could be crafting a new email, Posting something contemplative on social media (don’t get sucked in to scrolling!!) or updating your business plan. Whatever it is… keep moving. Hustle and flow, baby.
If you are overwhelmed or even intimidated by all of the social media choices, the lingo and the technologies out there, you may be in need of a Social Media Diet. If what started off as cheap way to get your message seen and heard has turned into a tiresome and over-stimulating experience, the best thing to do is set up your own ground rules. Don’t get run over by the chaos.
Get in. Post your message. Get Out.
Of course, you do need to have some interaction with your connections, but make sure that you are allotting specific time for the social end of it or it could suck the time right out of you. If you are tired of being asked to “join everything” or being told “try it, see what happens” you may be in need of a strategy that will organize all of these clubs as well as measure results for you and your small business. Like the outdated clothes in your closet, if you have not been back to visit in 6 months to a year, the club goes in the garbage. If you find networking time consuming, try setting aside one day of the week to focus on it, or set a goal to spend 20 minutes an evening increasing your numbers.
There is no question that having an internet presence gives you credibility, but without some dedicated organization, social media can overpower. Stay focused on the diet and you should be fine.
Self -employed Parent Enthusiast Ally Loprete is the Founder of OurMilkMoney.com, a nationwide online business directory of self-employed parents, and the host of This Little Parent Stayed Home, a live weekly radio show, on The Toginet.com Radio Group which can be downloaded on iTunes. Ally is on a mission to bring home 1 million parents through coaching other’s to deal with the sometimes overwhelming prospect of leaving a full time job to start a new business, while running a full time household and raising kids. She is resolute about creating a haven in which parents across the nation will continue to thrive and obtain the support they need in their personal journeys. Self-employed parents, list your business for free at www.ourmilkmoney.com. Private coaching is available at www.thislittleparent.info.
In case you haven’t noticed, “Less is more” is not only economical, it’s the latest trend. With good reason. With the unsteadiness of the economy people are beginning to feel more comfortable with those who are also behaving with frugality. Your clients want to know that you appreciate the need for living within tighter budgets and that their hard earned dollars are not supporting frivolous spending or unnecessary expenses for flashy arrogance.
Where the high rise office in the business district once may have appeared impressive to clients, it now may appear unmindful to the financial challenges of our current society. Setting up your place of business in a home doesn’t necessarily indicate a flailing business as it once did, but instead, it indicates common sense and that the business is smart for making the choice to conserve.
We are a quickly evolving culture, and the one thing that we all have going for us is the ability to empathize with one another. It’s the primary reason we need to make the decision to support those who have chosen to provide products or services out of their home. Small businesses need you as much as you need them. By working together and utilizing our power as consumers, we can rebuild an economy that works in our favor.