Mompreneurs: How to Overcome New Business Overwhelm
Every single one of my personal coaching clients has experienced this.
We get to a certain section in our coaching - right around the middle module - and I can see the panic on their faces.
Hyperventilation is probably not an exaggeration.
My dear moms start to almost panic about the commitment it takes to get their new business off the ground, and over the realization of what it will take to keep it growing and earning income.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart.
It takes a certain kind of gumption, fire, drive, ambition, and self-initiating determination to pull this thing off, at least pull it off well for an extended period of time.
I remember how I felt when I started really digging in to building my email list. The realization of allllllll of the work it takes just to be prepared to get someone onto my list properly was jaw-dropping at the time. Not to mention the work around keeping a person engaged once they were there!
This stuff is work. It’s work ladies. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming.
Pushing Through the Overwhelm
Although I completely understand and relate to the feeling of it all just being a bit too much, I also know from personal experience that if we step back and take a breath (or two or three), there is wisdom to this madness we call mompreneurship.
Yes, there is tons to do, and there will always be tons to do.
So, once we embrace the fact that our to-do list isn’t going to get any shorter, the next thing to do is figure out some sort of strategy to manage our workload so we can eventually scale our business and handle more. More time to create. More clients. More money. More opportunities to serve others well.
Good news! I’ve outlined a strategy to provide you with some relief as you work to create a healthy rhythm of growth to gradually and consistently scale your business.
4 Ways to Handle New Business Overwhelm
1. Take perfectionism off the table.
If you keep trying to make every little thing perfect before releasing it out to your audience, you’re never going to get stuff done.
If you’re a one-woman show and don’t have a team of people to help edit, create graphics, write sales copy, schedule clients, engage on social media, create content, etc., then you’re probably going to:
- Have a typo here and there
- Accidentally use wrong grammar
- send out a wrong link (or one that doesn’t work at all!)
- Or have a screaming kid run in the room while your broadcasting live on FB (LOL!).
No matter how hard we try to minimize error, it’s going to happen to the best of us. I’ve gotten emails from big-shot gurus with typos in it. It happens to us all.
I’m not saying not to do your best, but give yourself grace to flub up here and there. Maybe shoot for a great effort instead of an excellent effort (gasp… or as my good friend Kelly Burton of Kell of a Story says, “I’m clutching my pearls!”).
Your audience will probably be very forgiving, or may not realize there was an error in the first place. Or, someone kind may send you a message when something needs to be fixed, and that’s totally fine (I actually really appreciate that when it happens). If you serve them well then they tend to cut you a lot of slack.
Give yourself the grace to grow, but don’t let the fact that you need to grow in certain areas paralyze you from moving forward in your business.
2. Work on 1 project at a time.
Instead of having 48 different balls up in the air, why not just focus on 1 ball at a time?
I get it - you have an entire list of things you want to implement, but the reality is you are not going to be able to implement them all at once. Even if you were able to do that, ask yourself if you are able to sustain the business that comes in from those efforts. If the answer is no, and it probably is, then slow. your. roll.
I encourage you to attack your business projects and goals one thing at a time.
If you want to start a Facebook community, focus on getting that up and running and:
- Create the margin in your work schedule to support that commitment
- Get a rhythm around the work it takes to sustain that part of your business…
... before adding something else.
Once you have your Facebook community up and running, you may feel like you’re ready to tackle the next goal on your list - like taking on private clients.
So now, you focus on getting that up and running by:
- Creating margin in your work schedule to support 1-on-1 coaching AS WELL AS supporting your Facebook community
- Getting a rhythm going around the work it takes to sustain this part of your business…
... before adding the next thing.
Maybe the next thing is a weekly blog, or creating a freebie to help build your email list, or starting a podcast, or creating your first product...
Whatever it is, add it to your business piece by piece, make sure you understand the time and work commitment it’s going to take to sustain it, and create a comfortable rhythm around doing it before attempting to scale even more.
3. Learn one thing at a time
OK, this one is for my course junkies out there.
You don’t need to grab all. the. courses. at one time.
Only buy the course that makes the most sense for the next logical step you need to take for your business.
There may be a fantastic course out there about interviewing and onboarding a new employee, but if your business isn’t ready for that right now, then it may not be the next thing you need to learn.
I know personally, I only have a certain amount of time in my work week to dedicate to taking a deep dive into course material on any given subject. When I purchase a course, I dedicate a few weeks to it - learning the material at my pace and implementing what I learn into my business - before I start looking for the next thing to learn.
Pick one thing to learn. Understand it. Implement it. Then move on to the next thing.
4. Don’t move financially faster than what your business can support.
This can mean two different things:
Don’t commit too much money to business tools upfront - wait until you absolutely need them before buying them.
Don’t take on more business than you can support. Only take on what your life margin can handle.
Committing too much money for tools too fast.
I am a believer in financially investing into your business upfront and regularly when first starting out. There are different ways to approach building start-up capital, but I want to specifically talk to the regular ol’ mom out there that isn’t working with venture capitalists or kickstarter campaigns.
If the money you need to start your business is coming from your own pocket, then I want you to start really slow upfront.
I do strategy sessions with new mompreneurs around forecasting initial expenses as well as income for your first 18 months of business. If you want to schedule a discovery call with me to chat a bit about it, I’d love to connect with you.
Utilize free options if you must, but be prepared to upgrade to the paid options eventually. Your business may outgrow the free versions pretty quickly.
In my free email course 5 Things Every New Boss Mom Should Know, Lesson #5 goes through my top 10 free resources for new boss moms. I also include a free download, 5 BIG Mistakes to Avoid When Starting A Business.
Grab the lessons and download here.
One you start bringing in a bit of income, I encourage you to just let your business bank account grow a little while. if possible, refrain from taking a paycheck until you’ve created some momentum and a decent account cushion. You can use the money you’ve reinvested back into your business to scale up a bit with business tools you’ve identified are needed.
Don’t take on more than you can handle
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I was publishing a teen magazine years ago was taking on international Barnes & Noble orders.
Yes, I was ecstatic to receive distribution to this huge book store.
But I wasn’t ready to sustain that level of business for where it was at at the time.
I made a similar mistake, at a much smaller scale thank goodness, when I started Refreshed Moms. I took on more coaching clients in my first month than I could sustain.
I had to re-calibrate a bit and slow down my private client onboarding, as well as get a bit more creative on meeting my client’s coaching needs. I began limiting my 1-on-1 coaching for my business packages and started offering regular group coaching opportunities through my free and paid membership communities.
Yes, I made more money with my 1-on-1 coaching clients, but I didn’t have the time margin to support more than 2 - 3 clients at a time in any given month.
My point is, don’t let your desire to make more money lead you down a path of over-commitment and overwhelm. Do what you can within your availability, and design other creative ways to scale your business without burning out!
And that’s it - my approach to pushing through the inevitable experience of new business overwhelm.
What about you? Do you have a strategy to get through the feeling of overwhelm in your business? Do you have books or resources that have helped you along the way?
I’d love to hear from you! What books or tools do you recommend or what tips can you share that made or are making things easier for you at the beginning of your business? Share about them in the comments below.