For most of us working women, to have a work-life balance is the ultimate goal. But what if, there is no perfect harmony that exists? What if it is meant to be a bit imperfect? Being an entrepreneur has taught me this much; when you hold the reigns in your own hands, you tend to figure it out. It can be a work call you say ‘no’ to one day, or a book you end up reading less to your kid, the other. It will always be something, but you need to find peace in the imbalance.
I had the first kid when I was working and the third one while running WordBerries (the second one being WB!). And let me tell you this, there is a sea of difference. Being an entrepreneur gives you a very free hand in terms of how you want to manage things but it also comes with a huge amount of responsibility. You are no longer a part of a large organisation that will keep running seamlessly whether you are working or not. Here, it is your responsibility to keep it up and running. So, here are 4 tips from my learnings for women who want to do a bit of this and a bit of that and are in love with the imperfection that their life is.
I. To grow or to stagnate
Firstly, a decision to let your business stagnate temporarily is not necessarily a bad one. It is a given that you won’t be operational for a few months and you have got to provision for that. Now, in this period, whether you want your business to grow the way it is growing or you want to keep it constant to avoid surprises, is your next decision. What is the revenue you want to keep coming, what’s the upper limit of the cost you want to bear, and do you want business development at the same pace as before? These are some questions you may want to look at.
II. A turning point- in a holistic sense
Having a child is a turning point in your life, whether it’s your first, second or third. Most look at it as a time when you necessarily need to pause. Fair enough. But it can also be a moment to make the business decisions you have been delaying. For us, outsourcing written content was a decision we used to consider, but were delaying for a long time because to keep it limited to us two was just SO comfortable. But with me taking the plunge, Avanti and I decided, that it was now or never. We decided to leap out of our comfort zones and expand. More to provision for my absence, but at the same time, to do what was inevitable in the future anyway. So, in every sense of the word, our family has grown and how!
III. Plan the finances
This will need some planning, both on the personal front and business-wise. Pregnancy is unpredictable for most. You may have the intention to be working till the last day, but always remember, you may or may not be able to. Then you may or may not be able to recover as soon as you would like to. So, you must plan for the worst, always. What’s the lowest revenue you can survive on? Which client can you absolutely not afford to lose? If you have planned growth, who is taking care of the accounts while you are away? How much is too little or too much?
IV. Speak and course correct
Communication is the key here. During the course of pregnancy and thereafter, you may need to connect and reconnect with your partner several times to exchange thoughts and ensure you both are on the same page. If you are lucky enough to have an understanding one like mine, you will sail smoothly through it all. If you are a sole owner, have this discussion with yourself. Are your decisions working out? Do you need to change the course? Is your partner/employee comfortable? Work with the assumption that you can go absent anytime, is the business working like a well-oiled machine in that case?
Very important- do NOT try to be a superwoman! You can’t do everything, be everywhere. Learn to outsource. Learn to hire people who vibe with you. Learn to let go, to take it easy. Learn that the world will not stop spinning because you are out of action. Things have a way of working themselves out, you need to plan but not control them. You are on a lovely path, professionally and personally, and in retrospect, these will be the times you look back at and see as milestones. Good Luck!