Hello, mom friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a new article for my working mom friends here. The last time we spoke, I shared with you Five Things for a Working Mom to Consider Before Making a Career Change. Since then, a lot has changed and I’m excited to share with you the new journey I’m on.
It’s hard to believe that just 10 months ago, I quit my corporate job of 10.5 years and found a more flexible work-from-home opportunity in the same industry. Part of me would love to tell you it was an amazing experience, but it wasn’t! It was actually quite horrible. However, I learned a lot about myself, my work style, and my true career desires. From this experience, I decided that it was time to take the leap and start my own online business.
Seven months after I left my corporate job, I jumped into full-time entrepreneurship. My blog, Redefining Mom, is the backbone of my business. While I am a blogger, I don’t consider that to be my title. I make money through multiple revenue streams. If you are interested in how I make money online, you can check out my blog income reports.
As I reflect on taking the leap of faith into my own business, I’ve come up with a few questions to ask yourself before you decide to follow suit.
Questions to ask yourself before starting a business
#1. Do you have what it takes?
One of the most surprising things I’ve experienced is brain fatigue. I’m not sure if this is a real thing or not, but I describe it as my brain constantly firing 24/7. Part of it is because I have so many great ideas, and the other part is that I have to make all the decisions.
I’ve quickly come to realize that I shut my brain off way more than I thought while I worked in corporate. My brain is so fried by the end of the day, I can barely answer my husband when he asks me the most basic of questions like “do you know where you put the extra rolls of toilet paper?” Toilet paper, what’s that?!
Starting a new business is tough—about 10x tougher than I originally anticipated. It’s important to keep that in mind. For most people, it is not a get rich quick scheme. I know for me it certainly isn’t!
#2. What will your childcare arrangements look like?
A lot of moms I know who run successful online businesses started out with the intention of achieving flexibility. For a lot of moms, this meant keeping their young children at home while they work.
I’m not going to say this is impossible. Speaking as someone who came from a corporate environment that always had dedicated work time, for me it is impossible. I learned quickly that the only way I could earn an income from my business was to continue sending my daughter to preschool.
I still have the ability to structure my work day differently than I did in corporate. I want you to ask yourself this question before taking the leap so you’re not caught unprepared if you find out that working at home with small children simply doesn’t work for you.
#3. What will your work day look like?
I never stop working. As they say, #thestruggleisreal! When your business is online and you carry a hotspot for the internet with you everywhere you go (your phone), turning off work is extremely difficult. As a matter of fact, I’m not so great at this.
I’ve determined that having dedicated work time during the weekdays is important to me. The problem I face is that I love what I am doing and have so many great ideas. I’m constantly on my phone, even during family time, which is a habit I need to break because it matters to me that I am more present with my family than I was before.
I recommend considering how you will structure your work hours before you start.
#4. Are you prepared to be the boss?
Being the boss means you will have to make tough decisions. It’s up to you to decide everything. I’ve been doing this full-time for about three months now, and I’ve already had to fire a client. It was an uncomfortable situation but one I am proud I’ve worked my way through already.
If you don’t enjoy making decisions, I would reconsider your choice to run a business. I’ve learned that blogging as a hobby is much different than running a blog as a business.
#5. Do you understand why?
Last but not least, why do you want to start a business? Is it simply because you hate your job? Or, is it because you are truly passionate about creating your own company?
I had to think long and hard about this myself. A lot goes into setting up a business, from finances to long-term growth plans. Starting a business can be both thrilling and scary at the same time.
I always tell people to think long and hard about their reasons for wanting to quit their job. I’ve found that a lot of times the reasons they come up with could be resolved by either asking their employer to make a concession or finding a new job with a different company. Many people see starting a business as a way out. I would say that for me, it was a way out of corporate. I wouldn’t say it has been easier.
If you have a strong understanding of why you want to start a business, it will help you weather the bad times and enjoy the good times a lot more!
So, should you start a business?
If you’ve taken the time to think through all of these questions and you still feel the fire burning inside of you to put your message into the world—I’d say yes!
How to begin
I’ve written a book called Busy Moms Building: 12 Steps to Running Your Own Online Business for Busy Moms (WMAG is an affiliate partner, so if you end up buying through this link, you’ll help support this site).
In the book, I share the lessons I’ve learned about transitioning my career to being an online business owner while still balancing work and family. I share with you all the steps I wish I had known to take when I was getting started. The best part is, I’ve included a blueprint that will help you get up and running in just 45 days!
My mission is to empower women to find flexible work arrangements that fit their family values. I hope you’ve decided to jodin me on your own business journey, but if not, I hope I’ve helped bring clarity to your career situation.