In my recent Women & Wealth event where I talked to over 600 individuals about personal finance and entrepreneurship, one of the topics discussed was “having it all”. Why not, have the cake and eat it to?
I get asked a lot how to juggle being a mom, a successful business women and a leader to many entrepreneurs. As I was thinking about Mother’s Day and how special this day is to me now that I am a mother, some things came to mind that help me do it all. It’s not easy but it’s definitely worth it.
- Don’t go down a mental spiral. You ever have one thing that goes wrong in your day, however minor it is, that end up ruining your entire day? It’s probably because you don’t keep that negative thought in your mind for a moment but it probably lingered there for a while. Chances are you think about it in a million different ways, amplifying the challenge and making it much bigger than it actually is. It used to happen to me all the time and one thing I learned to do is deal with that thought or emotion in the moment (take a little time to be mad, sad, emotional etc) and then move on. Definitely easier said than done, especially if it’s something important but, what has always helped me to do that is finding something that I can focus on that will get me into a different head-space and back to being positive. For me that is looking at pictures and videos of my kids, if I’m not actually physically with them. The second I lay my eyes on them I can’t help but smile, which takes away any negative feelings and lightens the challenges I may have. I can then trick myself into feeling completely positive and then go on with the rest of my day. Find your focus: the thing that you can always go to, to switch you back on track! Whether it’s a picture of someone, a motivational video or talking to someone who lifts you up, don’t stay in a negative mental space.
- Finding alone time and time for things that make you feel good. One thing that I make sure to schedule into my calendar is time for myself alone; for reflection and doing something that makes me feel good. No matter how hectic things are I always take the time to schedule that hour into my plan. For me it’s getting my weekly mani/pedi. I’m at my favorite nail salon every week. I also take this time to be alone and reflect on my week, my life and my goals. Sometimes when I tell people this they say “they are too busy” to make that happen for themselves. My belief is, how you spend your time is a choice. And your choices lead to your destiny. Whatever your “thing” is that you can do to make you feel good and give you some time of reflection it’s important to schedule it in just like you would an appointment or meeting because otherwise things come up that might seemingly take priority.
In reality if you don’t make yourself a priority then, those around you don’t get the best you!
- Run a tight schedule and be a master planner. One thing we never have enough of is time. But isn’t it a wonder that we are all given EXACTLY the same amount of time and yet some get to do so many things while others are still struggling to make more time!?
Time is one of the most precious commodities; you can’t purchase more no matter how much money you have and you don’t know how much more you have left.
As a mom I feel like this is magnified even more as my children grow and time seems to fly! That being said it’s probably one of the things we waste the most! One thing that has really helped me to be able to coordinate and be a successful mompreneur was mastering my calendar and time. If something doesn’t align with my goals or what I want to be spending my time doing, I don’t do it! I get this done by planning out my week and each day the night before. If you wake up and your day wasn’t planned in precise detail you are already behind. Of course not everything is always going to go according to plan but having that in place before the day starts helps you stay on track and focus on the most important things.
- Remember everything by remembering nothing. Leading a team of 500+ associates, leading a household, being a mom of 2 kids under 2, among many other projects and roles, I found that trying to remember so many different things cluttered my brain and slowed me down. I worked through that by creating a system for myself where I write everything down. Anytime something comes to mind; an idea, a to-do item, something I need to add to my Amazon cart, you name it, I immediately put it down in writing so I don’t have to hang on to the thought any longer and then I go back to it at the appropriate scheduled time. My form of writing consists of putting it in my phone, which I have with me at all times. I use the notes app to write ideas, Toodledo app for my to-do list, Amazon for my shopping and Trello for my business organization. If I don’t have my phone for some odd reason I write it down on a paper and then enter it in as soon as possible. The main thing is to have something that works for you. Don’t rely on your brain to remember it all, but rather have an “outlet” for your ideas and thoughts to flow freely. I get my brightest ideas and thoughts at the oddest moments (like in the shower or in bed at 3am) but they are not lost to whatever I am doing at that moment as I make sure to write it down immediately.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Everything starts and ends with communication. This is something I consistently work at getting better at because it’s that important. In the world of emails, texts and social media we can “feel” like we have talked to someone when in reality we only just typed something. I’m big on technology and I love finding new ways that it can make my life easier. But, I still believe that when it comes to important conversations nothing replaces the human voice. Important conversations with my significant other, my children, my key leaders, always take place in person or on the phone. This saves relationships, aggravation and allows things not to get lost in translation when proper expression must be used.
- Work like it’s up to you, pray like it’s up to God! I used to think I had my whole life planned out and that I was in control of everything. I learned real quickly that “Man plans and God laughs“. I still plan my life in detail and work really hard to make my dreams become my life but, I also know that some things are out of my control. And for all those things I pray! I consider prayer the catalyst to make my hard work and effort turn into results. It’s also what helps me calm my fears when I start worrying, which I tended to do a lot since becoming a mom. When my hands are tied I pray and put it in God’s hands. Whatever “prayer” looks like for you have something that is larger than life to turn to.
- Spend QUALITY time with your loved ones, and when you are not with them don’t feel guilty. No matter how busy I am, scheduling in quality time with my kids and partner is a priority. Quality time means I am fully there, not just physically, but also mentally. When I’m with them in that time, I put away my phone and I am fully present. Even on days that I am with my kids all the time I make sure to have periods of quality time where there is nothing else but them. I believe having this quality time enriches our lives and enables me to not have any feelings of guilt for not being with them more.
- Accept that not every day will be perfect or productive, but always strive for that. I don’t base my future goals on my previous failures. As a mom there are so many things that you can potentially feel like you are failing at but trying your best is the biggest success. Only you know what doing your absolute best truly is. And if you didn’t give it your all today, make sure you give it your all tomorrow. Getting fulfillment out of living life to its fullest every day is one of my biggest accomplishments!
So next time you are multitasking and feel like you wish you could clone yourself or get three additional sets of hands, take a deep breath and remember you CAN do it ALL!
Happy Mothers Day!!