If you are in the middle of pregnancy and feel like you’re never going to get your work drive back, this post is for you. I promise - the drive will come back and that little bundle of joy you are growing…he or she will actually help.
Yes, your baby will help your business.
Here’s how -
I was never good at setting boundaries with my clients. Scope creep (extra work that creeps into a project without extra fees) was always happening to me. A client would ask for something extra and 9 times out of 10, I would just do it. I wanted to provide great customer service and make my client happy. My clients were always happy, but I wasn’t protecting or valuing my time. Pre-kiddo, all that cost me was a few more hours at the computer instead of doing whatever else I might want. Post-kiddo…those extra hours don’t exist. I literally don’t have them to give which makes it a lot easier to stay firm and only agree to the work outlined in the proposal.
Remember those non-existent extra hours I just mentioned? Pre-kiddo, I had a serious problem with procrastination. It was my standard line to the interview question, “Tell me your worst trait.”. If I didn’t have enough to do to fill my day, I would wait until the last possible minute to get something done. I needed the adrenaline to produce my best work. Post-kiddo…that adrenaline that comes when you’re not sure if you you’ll have enough time to finish something…well that’s always there. I’m never 100% sure how long a nap will last or what any given day might look like, so I don’t have the luxury of procrastinating anymore.
Along those lines, I had tried the self-imposed Pomodoro technique in the past (where you work for a set time block and take a forced break to stay refreshed). I wanted to like it, but it never spoke to me. Due to my procrastination problem, if I was finally working and in a groove, the idea of stopping to take a break just seemed silly. Now I have my own live, crying, laughing, pooping, baby-sized Pomodoro. Taking arbitrary breaks based on a timer didn’t work for me, but of course I’ll take a break when kiddo needs me. These breaks are (usually) evenly-spaced throughout the day around the nap schedule. I love these breaks to play and snuggle and I return to work refreshed and less fried than if I just worked straight through a project.
I’ve always been a bit of a jill-of-all-trades. It made it difficult to label my services or get really specific about what I did, who I did it for, and what my business was all about. Post-kiddo, I can still do a lot of things, but now I have constraints on my time and my values. These constraints helped me get really clear about what I wanted to offer and how to structure it so it made sense for our day to day. (They say people with less choice are actually happier than someone with infinite choices. My constraints have absolutely made me happier. And clearer!)
My priorities are so clear now. Bennet and family come first. And part of having them come first is making sure my business is successful to support us. I have a completely different and stronger reason to succeed today than I did before.
So to all the mamas and mamas-to-be out there - I truly believe your baby makes you a better business woman. It is definitely one of the hardest things to run a business and be a mom at the same time. And I know there are plenty of days where they seem to work against each other. But know, deep down - your baby is making your business better and your business is making your baby better. Cheers to you!