How to Set Realistic Goals as a Mompreneur
This post came into being one day in December as I picked up my two-year old’s shoe in the garage (notice…one shoe, not “shoes” because one shoe is always missing). As I reached to grab the shoe, I noticed something strange stuck to the side of it. After a second glance and as my hand neared the shoe, I realized it was a half-eaten candy cane…literally stuck to the side of the shoe.
The Questions in My Head
I immediately laughed (one of those literal laugh-out-loud moments, all by myself in the garage). Questions started scrolling through my mind. How long did my son play with this piece of candy hanging from his shoe? Why did my husband or I not notice a red-and-white-striped thing attached to his shoe? When did he actually eat this candy...was it yesterday or, hopefully, today? Did he actually eat one or was this someone else’s candy cane stuck to his shoe? Ugh…you know all the questions that come to mind when you have those doubting moments about your ability to pull off this parenting thing.
I went in the house to show my husband my latest finding. He also had a great laugh because what we realized in that moment was our lives have become one episode after another like this…a sticky candy cane glued to a shoe, poop stench filling the car and us, in turn, filing out of the car, my shoe locked in a hotel safe after two little “technicians” worked with it, and a beloved stuffed monkey falling out of a stroller in busy Atlanta (and this crazed mother retrieving it while only receiving one honk blast from a mad driver). These are just a sampling of our “episodes” from last week.
Our Busy Lives
The thing is, many of you are living a life similar to mine. You have a lot going on. And, that does not even include your entrepreneurial goals! Your personal lives are filled to the brim.
Maybe you just told your father your wedding story for the fifth time today after he asked if you were married. As a victim of Alzheimer’s, your father no longer remembers many important parts of his life, much less yours. Or, maybe you were up two times last night feeding your 4-week old baby so you are exhausted but trying to enjoy this precious season. Or, maybe you spent 3 hours cooking meals for a friend whose husband passed away, and you know she will need you a lot over the next months. Or, maybe you held your 10-year-old daughter’s hand as she received chemo to fight the leukemia trying to take over her body. You and she are in a fight of your lives. Or, maybe your son is graduating soon, and you have pictures to take, invitations to order, and ceremonies to attend. It is a busy season but a huge milestone for him and for you.
Or, maybe none of these situations speak to your life right now, but you have your own reasons for a jam-packed personal life.
The fact is…most of us live very busy lives. They are filled with important people and important events.
So, we often are left with little time to address our own entrepreneurial goals. We realize that what we are doing at this time in our personal lives is significant…imperative…the main thing. But, we have a stirring in our hearts to run our own business.
When we are not meeting the business goals we set for ourselves, we start to berate ourselves and begin to have negative thoughts. Is this thing really worth it? This was a dumb idea! Who would be interested in buying my product/service?!
Your business was supposed to be a blessing. You wanted to make money or have something of your own or reach a group of people who you haven’t yet or answer God’s calling in your life or a combination of these. No matter the reason…you started (or are starting) this thing for the good it can bring your life and others’ lives. But, lately, it has felt more like a curse than a blessing.
I know for me these negative feelings creep up when I am not meeting the entrepreneurial goals I set for myself. As the week goes and my goals go unmet, the berating in my head increases. Any of you feel that way?
It is at this juncture that our business self and our personal self meet, and often it feels like war! (I can’t stand that feeling! It is one I have lived with for too long!)
The Connection Between Business Goals and a Sticky Shoe
Back to the incident that started all of these thoughts in my head—the candy-cane-bonded-to-the-shoe episode of 2016. As I was picking up the shoe, God spoke to me. He reminded me that this was my life for right now…not forever but for now. You are a mother of a four-year old and a two-year old, and you have many more shoe incidents ahead of you. He whispered, “Rach, own it and enjoy it!”
It was in this tiny moment that a big understanding came. I wasn’t meeting my business goals because I wasn’t factoring in my personal life.
I know this realization sounds like common sense to many of you, and it is. But, most of us need this reminder. When those doubts creep into your head about your business, ask yourself if it is because you are not meeting the goals you have set for your business. And, if that is the cause, then readjust those goals.
Be a Realist
Be real with yourself. If your week is insane, don’t set extreme business goals. I am not sure why I do this. But often times, when I have a very busy week personally—going on a family trip, someone’s birthday, family coming to town, a big race I have trained for, etc.—I often write HUGE goals for myself as an entrepreneur. Why do I do that? Do I just like torture? There are many of you like me out there; I know because I am friends with many of you. So, be real with yourself. If you have a crazy week or month or even season in your personal life, the business goals you set need to be more manageable, less time consuming. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure and for those doubts to sneak into your head.
If several weeks go by and you realize you are always delaying your entrepreneurial goals for your personal goals, then flip it! Set a week or month that the insane part of your life is your entrepreneurial plans! Block off that time and let people know that you are busy; don’t make any personal plans that aren’t a necessity. You should do this guilt free (or with as little as possible) because you have given 110% personally for a while, and plus, your entrepreneurial goals are of value too, just like all of the other events and people you have invested in recently. You deserve time as well.
Moms really struggle with this concept. So, remember this—you are modeling for your children that you value yourself, your own ideas, and your work. This, in turn, teaches your children to value themselves when they become adults and have a thousand things pulling them different directions. Actions speak much, much louder than words! You want your children to value themselves, then value yourself as well!
Know what phase of life you are in and own it (and enjoy it if possible). We are busy so being realistic about your time is the first step in goal setting as an entrepreneur. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Christy Wright nailed it at a Business Boutique event when she said, “We can have it all…just not all at the same time. “ And, a small-business owner at my mompreneur group recently said that there is no such thing as a balanced life. In some weeks, months, or seasons of life, the people and events in your personal life will take a larger portion of your time while your business goals will be smaller and only ones of necessity. In other times, you are going to devote more of yourself to meeting your entrepreneurial goals.
A Call to Action
Pinpoint one of your candy-cane-glued-to-a-shoe moments. What is God whispering to you about your personal life and/or your business goals? Use that clarification to help set your entrepreneurial goals.
Look at your calendar for next week. Decide right now at least one business goal you want to accomplish or absolutely need to do. But, as you set your entrepreneurial goal(s), factor in your personal life.
Then, go get’em, Tiger! :)
A Step Further
Michael Hyatt wrote an insightful post about this topic called How to Avoid 3 Pitfalls of Goal-Setting. It is a short read and definitely worth a look.