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  • #990095
    PPL Education
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    This is a message for any mums out there who are trying to balance work and bubs. I simply adore my kids (3 years and 10 months old) however running a business from home and keeping up with the demands of being a mum are tricky. I seem to be having a hard time working out how much work is reasonable for me to take on. One week I get loads of work done, the next I have a teething baby and I get no sleep or work and frankly my clients really don’t see it as their problem (and I do see their perspective). If I had down time away from work then I will probably get forgotten and the clients will move on to someone else. Any advice from the seasoned business woman?

    #1175470
    Gizmo
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    Hello,

    I’m not a woman, but my wife and I do work from home and juggled what you are going through now. Yes it was two of us which made it more flexible and easier to manage.
    We both learnt to factor in a buffer on delivery times to complete jobs.
    Its all about managing the clients expectations.
    I suggest you work it all out backwards.
    What I mean is
    1) Estimate the average impact your situation is creating for you on delivery times for your services.
    2) Estimate what an average job takes in time.
    3) Factor point 1 into point 2
    4) From that you should be able to figure our how many clients you can safely take on.

    I hope that made sense and helps.
    On the upside it wont be like this forever before you know it they will be in school!
    :)

    #1175471
    Anonymous
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    Hi Forage and Fumble,

    Welcome to Flying Solo :)

    That’s a pretty common dilemma around here, and in fact our outgoing editor Jodie wrote an article about her own experience with running a business with a baby just this week, which you may like to check out. (The FS community have added some helpful comments to it too).

    I hope that you find your groove with it soon, and that you enjoy hanging out with us all here.

    All the best,
    Jayne

    #1175472
    Jodie McLeod
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    Hi Forage & Fumble,

    As you can see from Jayne’s link to my article – I’m experiencing the same dilemmas myself!

    You might like to drop by the forums next Friday 5 Dec where we will have expert on all things solo-business and family – Emma Grey – available on the forums to answer your family/work/life management questions.

    As part of Work in the Nude Day Flying Solo is hosting some dedicated forum threads on a range of topics to help soloists get more out of their business. I’ll be posting more info about this on Facebook soon, and will update this post once I’ve done so.

    Stay tuned, and see you back on the forums next Friday!

    Jodie

    #1175473
    MissSassy
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    It is always going to be a balancing act for you, hopefully as your business grows you can tailor things better and allow yourself specific working times.

    For example:
    I have a client who can only work Monday and Friday when her kids are at kindy.

    Just keep moving forward as Mum’s we can do anything :)

    #1175474
    bb1
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    As per gizmo, i am not a woman.

    But I am in exactly the same boat, and you will find that there a quiet a few males in the same position. In my case a single dad of 2, and your schedule is always thrown out the door by what ever the joys of parenthood throw at you.

    I have found in my business that the best approach is be upfront with your clients first when they come on board, and always as things come up.

    The majority of clients will understand as long as you keep them informed with what is happening, and that they feel you will be there to help them as soon as you are available again. Dont keep them in the dark.

    In the last 6 years, I have only lost one client because of having to juggle work and kids, and at the end of the day if they don’t understand your drivers, you don’t want them as a client.

    #1175475
    PPL Education
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    • Total posts: 15
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    Many thanks for your reply! It is always refreshing to hear other people’s experiences. Sometimes it provides a new way of looking at a situation.

    #1175476
    PPL Education
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    FS Editor, post: 204146 wrote:
    Hi Forage & Fumble,

    As you can see from Jayne’s link to my article – I’m experiencing the same dilemmas myself!

    You might like to drop by the forums next Friday 5 Dec where we will have expert on all things solo-business and family – Emma Grey – available on the forums to answer your family/work/life management questions.

    As part of Work in the Nude Day Flying Solo is hosting some dedicated forum threads on a range of topics to help soloists get more out of their business. I’ll be posting more info about this on Facebook soon, and will update this post once I’ve done so.

    Stay tuned, and see you back on the forums next Friday!

    Jodie

    Many thanks Jodie! Sometimes I get the feeling like I am the only person who is in the position so it is nice to hear other women in similar situations. I will tune in to the forums next Friday. I really look forward to it!

    #1175477
    PPL Education
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    • Total posts: 15
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    bb1, post: 204188 wrote:
    As per gizmo, i am not a woman.

    But I am in exactly the same boat, and you will find that there a quiet a few males in the same position. In my case a single dad of 2, and your schedule is always thrown out the door by what ever the joys of parenthood throw at you.

    I have found in my business that the best approach is be upfront with your clients first when they come on board, and always as things come up.

    The majority of clients will understand as long as you keep them informed with what is happening, and that they feel you will be there to help them as soon as you are available again. Dont keep them in the dark.

    In the last 6 years, I have only lost one client because of having to juggle work and kids, and at the end of the day if they don’t understand your drivers, you don’t want them as a client.

    Many thanks Bert for your reply. I totally agree with what you say. The main issue I have is that most of my clients are corporate and to be honest they are much more cut throat which is why I feel the pressure I do. I have always been open however some people (particularly those who don’t have kids) don’t care about your problems at home, they just want the job done. It’s a tricky balancing act. Thanks again!

    #1175478
    PPL Education
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    • Total posts: 15
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    MissSassy, post: 204161 wrote:
    It is always going to be a balancing act for you, hopefully as your business grows you can tailor things better and allow yourself specific working times.

    For example:
    I have a client who can only work Monday and Friday when her kids are at kindy.

    Just keep moving forward as Mum’s we can do anything :)

    Hi Kelly,

    Thank you for your reply as well. I am feeling much more assured about how I am managing the juggling act after receiving these insightful replies. I guess its going to take a bit of experimenting with my schedule and time until I can figure out what is feasible. Appreciate your feedback.

    #1175479
    RachelWrites
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    Welcome to the forums :)

    I too have a 3 year old and 8month old (who has 3 teeth coming through right now :( ) and it does get tough.

    Just last night I had a mental breakdown about not spending enough time with the kids / not spending enough time with the husband / not getting enough work done.

    Goals and routine help, and I totally agree with Bert’s reply to be upfront. I’m lucky (now) that my clients couldn’t care less – most have kids too. But before this I dealt with business owners and I found the hardest thing was keeping a professional front with a noisy 2 year old in the background. Sometimes she’d come right up to the phone, “Can I talk!? Can I talk!?” and my clients would be polite but I always felt that little bit judged for not having that I-can-only-hear-the-quiet-whoosh-of-an-office-air conditioner in the background kind of office.

    I SO miss the day sleeps of my 3 year old when I used to get 3 hours work done without missing a beat.

    The suggestions given to your thread are awesome and I would just add – be kind to yourself. Some weeks we fall apart. Some weeks we are super mum and super business woman. In the end, it will make for a great story to tell our kids when they’re older :)

    #1175480
    Lawson
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    • Total posts: 1
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    PPL Education, post: 204129 wrote:
    This is a message for any mums out there who are trying to balance work and bubs. I simply adore my kids (3 years and 10 months old) however running a business from home and keeping up with the demands of being a mum are tricky. I seem to be having a hard time working out how much work is reasonable for me to take on. One week I get loads of work done, the next I have a teething baby and I get no sleep or work and frankly my clients really don’t see it as their problem (and I do see their perspective). If I had down time away from work then I will probably get forgotten and the clients will move on to someone else. Any advice from the seasoned business woman?

    I am not a mother yet but I must first say kudos to you and what you do! Why are you getting nervous? You seem to be doing so well for yourself so don’t stress anything and do what you want to do. If it’s taking care of your kids then go ahead or if its working on your business, do that too!
    You can do it!

    With that said, what exactly do you do? And for how long? :)

    #1175481
    PPL Education
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    • Total posts: 15
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    RachelWrites, post: 204337 wrote:
    Welcome to the forums :)

    I too have a 3 year old and 8month old (who has 3 teeth coming through right now :( ) and it does get tough.

    Just last night I had a mental breakdown about not spending enough time with the kids / not spending enough time with the husband / not getting enough work done.

    Goals and routine help, and I totally agree with Bert’s reply to be upfront. I’m lucky (now) that my clients couldn’t care less – most have kids too. But before this I dealt with business owners and I found the hardest thing was keeping a professional front with a noisy 2 year old in the background. Sometimes she’d come right up to the phone, “Can I talk!? Can I talk!?” and my clients would be polite but I always felt that little bit judged for not having that I-can-only-hear-the-quiet-whoosh-of-an-office-air conditioner in the background kind of office.

    I SO miss the day sleeps of my 3 year old when I used to get 3 hours work done without missing a beat.

    The suggestions given to your thread are awesome and I would just add – be kind to yourself. Some weeks we fall apart. Some weeks we are super mum and super business woman. In the end, it will make for a great story to tell our kids when they’re older :)

    Hello!

    Someone who feels my lack of sleep etc etc! Yes, it is a struggle. Its good to know we aren’t the only ones. They are such precious little monsters… Thank you for your words of advice. Maybe I can’t make a secretary out of one of them in the years to come!

    #1175482
    PPL Education
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    Lawson, post: 204362 wrote:
    I am not a mother yet but I must first say kudos to you and what you do! Why are you getting nervous? You seem to be doing so well for yourself so don’t stress anything and do what you want to do. If it’s taking care of your kids then go ahead or if its working on your business, do that too!
    You can do it!

    With that said, what exactly do you do? And for how long? :)

    Hi Lawson,

    Thank you as well for your encouraging reply. I guess that I feel I am not managing my time very efficiently at the moment, might have something to do with lack of sleep! I organise conferences and there are deadlines that are set in stone and that’s the way the business operates. Many clients are corporate and they need things done when they need them done! I should survive, i HOPE! (LOL)

    All the best
    Sally

    #1175483
    Wordsmith
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    • Total posts: 194
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    I’d suggest:
    – Give longer ETAs, that way you can juggle competing priorities. This way you may even be able to deliver ahead of schedule.
    – Don’t take on too much work at once. Sometimes, during busy periods, clients of mine go on short waiting lists.
    – Outsource what you can. Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. Outsource some of your own business tasks perhaps and focus your energies on doing what you do best.
    Good luck!

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