by Natalie Reed
Juggling parenthood and entrepreneurship—such is the life of someone who has the honour, but also the challenge, of being a “parentpreneur.” Both roles are fulfilling and demanding in their own ways, but doing them together is a whole new ball game.
As a parentpreneur, you’re in charge of overseeing the growth of two things: your business, and the little humans that you have to raise. To succeed in your field while still being able to meet your family obligations, you’ll have to get over certain challenges that other entrepreneurs don’t typically deal with.
To prepare you for a life and livelihood that you can be thankful for, despite the stress and the sacrifices you’ll have to make, here are seven obstacles that you should prepare to weather as a parentpreneur:
1) Balancing Parenting and Business Duties
Arguably the most daunting challenge parentpreneurs face is finding an equilibrium between their parental obligations and the pressing duties that come with running a business. Both responsibilities require time, energy, and commitment, and they often compete for the same resources.
As both parenting and entrepreneurship are notorious for being 24/7 jobs, you must prepare for a constant balancing act between tasks like answering business calls, finding the right digital marketing solutions, doing market research, helping with homework, and attending school plays. The best parentpreneurs have mastered the fine arts of multitasking, organization, and staying to their priorities. This is a challenge that you’ll face in many different forms in your parentpreneur life, so at your core, you must learn to be flexible while also paying attention to what’s important.
2) Time Management
With parenting and business duties constantly vying for your attention, you’ll need good time management skills to excel as a parentpreneur. There are only so many hours in a day, and effectively dividing them among business operations, parental duties, time with your partner, and the ever-elusive “me time” can feel like an insurmountable task.
In this regard, solid time management strategies such as time blocking, outsourcing non-core tasks, and leveraging technology for automation and team collaboration will all be your best friends. Most of these can be used for work, but several might also apply to family-related tasks like scheduling doctors’ appointments. With better time management strategies, you’ll be aware of just how you’re spending your hours and hopefully make life as both a parent and entrepreneur a bit more manageable.
3) Maintaining the Right Professional Image
Professionalism is currency in the business world, and for parentpreneurs, maintaining it requires more than just an organized workspace or a tidy personal appearance. It also extends to how they comport themselves, how they conduct business, their reliability, their quality of work, and their communication skills.
Part of maintaining a professional image, despite taking on the currently unconventional role of the parentpreneur, is knowing how to dress appropriately in front of clients and business contacts. Clothing staples like women’s leggings can be a versatile addition to your wardrobe, as these offer the comfort needed for running after your kids but also the professional, approachable vibe you want to give off as a parentrepreneur. Pair them with a stylish polo shirt or tunic with simple accessories for a look that will take you from day to night, and from business to family affairs.
4) Making the Best Impressions on Clients and Investors
The adage “first impressions matter” holds especially true in the business world. In this initial assessment, your potential clients, investors, and partners will form opinions about you that can significantly impact the course of your business relationships with them.
A parentpreneur must always be aware of the value of a great first impression, which involves more than just looking the part. On your end, you’ll want to demonstrate a firm understanding of your business model, trustworthiness in delivering goods and services, and genuine dedication to your craft.
Great parentpreneurs have leveraged the art of making a positive first impression to secure vital contracts, win the trust of investors, and build successful businesses. Look for their stories about what worked and how they got on people’s good sides, perhaps from their blogs or from their social media pages, if you want to tread the same path.
5) Networking and Building Relationships as a Parentpreneur
In the entrepreneurial world, your network can often be your net worth. Networking paves the way for new business opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations. But some parentpreneurs are due to face the unique challenge of finding time to network amidst their already packed schedules. Moreover, networking requires more than just attending an event or two—it also involves following up, cultivating relationships, and maintaining an active presence in relevant professional communities.
Perhaps you can start by tapping into your local professional networks or communities of fellow parentpreneurs. The people you meet when you network actively can help you sharpen your business skills, as well as teach you a thing or two about maintaining work-life balance and navigating today’s complex business landscape as a parent.
6) Developing a Positive and Supportive Work Culture
Being a parentpreneur also means upholding your duty to be a role model for others, whether they’re part of your literal or figurative family. In practice, that means fostering a positive and supportive work culture. A parentpreneur like you would do well to bring empathy, patience, and nurturing traits into the workplace. Your leadership can help create an environment that promotes work-life balance, supports employees with families, and encourages open communication and collaboration.
Establishing such a culture comes with its own challenges, such as managing diverse needs and following a shared vision. But when properly instituted, a positive work culture can enhance employee satisfaction, reduce turnover, and increase productivity, thus significantly contributing to your business success and reflecting well on you as a parentpreneur.
7) Staying Motivated and Handling Stress
Lastly, it’s no secret that the journey of a parentpreneur is often filled with high-stress situations and unexpected roadblocks. It can be hard to keep your morale high during these testing times. A parentpreneur must come away from this experience with robust stress management strategies and enough resilience to stay focused and motivated in the face of adversity.
Remember why you embarked on this journey in the first place—be it your passion for business, your commitment to giving your family the good life, or your desire to create a lasting legacy in the world. Let this be your anchor during stormy times.
All told, being a parentpreneur is no small feat. It takes grit to run a business while also raising a family. But knowing a little more about the challenges that lie ahead of you will make it easier to weather the challenges that will inevitably come your way. Practise tenacity and perseverance, and you’ll be able to savour the unique rewards of watching both your business and your children flourish.