This is not another blog post detailing our team’s use of a specific project management tool or regaling our expertise in marketing. We have other exceptional team members to write posts about achieving growth goals. Right now, I’m the one living the mom-entrepreneur reality and I’m IN IT. Trying to figure out how to make time to… write this post. So it figures that the most authentic thing I can offer is to write about how grateful I am to have this hot coffee. Oh, and the need for processes, we mustn’t forget the processes.
My two children are sweet, adorable and totally worth the work it takes to keep it together every single day. And yet, at multiple points daily, I find myself on the verge of tears. Sheer overwhelmedness – and yes it’s not a word. Forgive me if I don’t take the extra time to use my thesaurus and look up an alternative… I’m plain out of time. That’s the real conundrum here.
As a female business founder, I have pursued the dream to “have it all” and am smack dab in the middle of said dream. I never imagined the biggest professional challenge I would face would be between achieving quality work or finger painting with my precious 2 year old. “Come play with me mama!” Met simultaneously with a cringe and a wince because my heart knows these precious moments, invitations to play – are not an unlimited resource.
Unlike some wonder woman out there, I personally cannot “do it all” and believe me, I’m not trying to. I feel some days that I fail to meet the bare minimum commitment to any of it. How do I balance the basic daily needs? Exercise, sleep, healthy food, quality work, child rearing and energy to face the extra “life” stuff that pops up between appointments. Stuff like laundry that had Kleenex in it (now it’s snowing!) or dog poop on the carpet. Let’s not forget managing relationships with clients, spouses or employees who might be having a bad day? The truth is, if we hadn’t spent the past 8 years building a team, and working on processes for that team to follow, I would be utterly, hopelessly lost.
Invest in your Team and Create Processes
As a business owner, you want to give yourself the best possible opportunity for success AND having a family (or a life or hobbies). That success starts with team building and creating processes as the top priorities in your business right now.
I’m holding my daughter with my other arm and typing with the other. There are pretzel crumbs on my keyboard and my new work soundtrack is from Moana. My incredible, dedicated team uses and crafts our processes, which reduces my workload to 30 minutes to an hour a day. That’s a far cry from the 3-5 hours the same tasks would have taken me alone 2 years ago.
And yet, aside from my husband, I am probably the biggest resistor to the processes we have put into place. What is it about the fly-by-night approach to getting things done that is still so alluring? The clear benefits of the alternate universe present themselves before us daily with our team. Maybe it’s the true Maverick attitude which formed our company that we still haven’t managed to shake off. Perhaps our resistance at some point equated independence in our minds? No one informs you of the right time, or exactly in which ways to adapt your leadership style when you have grown from a startup to an established organization.
Appreciation for To-Do Lists
I’ll admit, that when I see “To-Do’s” assigned to me, and notifications flooding my email, my eyes still cross over and resentment rises like bile in my throat. But, I take a deep breath, swallow my resistance and bite the bullet (this was, after all, my own plan). I follow the procedures and get my tasks done for my team. This makes it easy for them to manage their workloads and keep their eyes on quality and deadlines. All the while, they respect and appreciate me more, too.
Follow these procedures to work more efficiently and keep the quality high using project management tools, delegation, calendars and teamwork. In theory, we can all experience more joy and fulfillment in our daily interactions. Leaving more quality time for the really important stuff like fingerpainting.