Dreading the upcoming school holidays? 5 tips for solopreneurs with school kids
There is nothing more frustrating than being a motivated solopreneur without the time to do what needs to be done. Sure, there are never enough hours in the day for people running their own businesses, but for mums, especially school mums, the hours between drop-off and pick-up seem to go by at double speed.
That’s the daily struggle. Then there’s the struggle of each school term. No sooner has it started that it’s over. A short nine and a half weeks of normality, and the chaos of school holidays hits again.
And again. And again. Four times a year, to be precise.
For those of us who want to parent – and be great at it – and run a business at the same time, something has to give. Usually it’s sleep, and we all know that that’s not a great choice. We know we have to look after ourselves before looking after others (we don’t need to be told), and we know that we should only be doing one thing at a time (easy to say). But with the short hours available each day, and the short weeks available each term, the pressure is on.
So what can be done?
Well, this week I worked it out. I made a commitment to stop pretending I’m as available as other solopreneurs. Here’s what I suggest to others who are battling the stress of trying to do it all.
It’s time we proudly own the fact that we want to be great and present parents AND be great and present solopreneurs. Just not at the same time.
We need to call ourselves schooltermpreneurs, or schooltimepreneurs, or whatever works. But we need to badge our status – own it, wear it proudly, and live by it. We have to turn it into wins for everyone – for our kids, for us and for our clients.
Here are my suggestions:
1. STOP PRETENDING
You are only available in particular hours. Own your limited time, let people know when you are available, and do one thing at a time – either parenting or work.
2. BRING OTHERS IN
Find people who want the opportunity to work when you are busy – and invite them into your business
3. WORK WHILE YOUR KIDS ARE AT SCHOOL
Reorganise your work so that your key tasks happen in term, with enough time to top and tail your main work inside term time and inside school hours. If you don’t know how to do this, seek help. There are business coaches and mentors waiting to help you to make this happen.
4. CHARGE YOUR VALUE
Increase your prices, and meet the needs of the top of your market. You can always discount as and when you please, but if you are earning more, in less time, you can afford to plan for your 12 weeks off.
5. PLAN WELL
Finally, make the time to plan well. A weekly meeting with yourself to reconnect with your Mentor Within is essential – a time to make peace with yourself if you are stressed about this new way of being. Planning saves time, and creating a rhythm will increase your commitment to stick to your promises to yourself.