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Lessons on Being an Entrepreneur With a Toddler In Tow

  • By Karen Steele, YourTango
  • February 17, 2014

Lesson #4 Success Is More Than The Business
There can be a lot of pressure when starting a business. Will it be successful? Will it bring in the income I want? What will people think about what I am doing? Is it good enough? Am I good enough? Starting a business brings up all our stuff. All those fears and self-doubts we might have. We start to measure our lives based on how successful or how much money our business brings in. Period. We lose sight of anything else.

What I have realized over the years is how too much of my sense of happiness, feeling of self-worth and success in my life has been directly related to how my business was doing. Or how it compared to other businesses. It's an exhausting cycle to be on. A mentor one day asked me "Is your business the only indicator of success in your life?" I realized my business was only part of a much bigger picture. My success was also based on being able to spend more time with my daughter, being able to provide great service and experiences to the clients I did have and finding the courage to finally follow my dream of starting a business.

Success in business may look very different for someone who is raising young children compared to someone with kids at school, off at college or don't have children. Learn to base success on your own personal circumstances, not what you think it "should" be or what others are doing. Don't forget you are also in the process of raising children in their most formative years. That in itself is pretty incredible!

Lesson #5 Take What You Can When You Can
This became a mantra that helped me get through the toddler years while starting a business. It didn't start like this. I am a person who likes structure and it's important for me to have a certain amount of time dedicated to focus on each task.

At first I tried to fight back the chaos of raising a young child and starting a business. I attempted to schedule every day down to the last minute. If it was interrupted (which it often was) I found myself frustrated and not much fun to be around. It defeated the whole purpose of why I was doing this — to have more fun and freedom with my family. So I learned to let go and to be better at going with the ebb and flow of doing business with a toddler. I got good at seizing opportunities when they presented themselves to get work done and at being as productive as possible during these times.

It wasn't always easy. I have to admit I love the new structure that came into my life now that my daughter has started school. However, I look back on these early years with happiness. Some of the incidents that seemed so stressful at the time are now funny stories. I got to spend a lot of time with my daughter, which I will never regret for one moment. She also experienced watching me pursue my dream. Every second of the chaos was worth it!

Are you running a business with small kids at home? I would love to hear some of your tips you have for other moms on how you do it?

This story was provided by our content partner, YourTango, a digital media company dedicated to love and relationships. No matter what love stage our users are in — single, taken, engaged, married, starting over, or complicated — we help them live their best love lives. Written by Karen Steele. Karen is a mom, entrepreneur and Founder of The Passion Shift.

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