As work-at-home moms, we’re used to putting out maximum effort for both our families and our businesses. But oftentimes we don’t see the return on our investment and scratch our heads wondering why. Worse–we turn ourselves into raging nut bunnies trying to get out there and “make it happen.” In order to help you figure things out, I came up with the 5 mistakes work-at-home moms make.
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Over the last year I’ve started to notice a few patterns among work-at-home moms that may contribute to why we often feel like we’re spinning our wheels and running on empty. In fact, I’ve noticed some of these patterns in myself….as recently as yesterday.
True confessions hurt, but not making progress equal to our efforts hurts worse.
It just might be time to take an honest look at ourselves and what we’re doing so that we can make a few tweaks that will propel us forward. As you read through each one of these, take the time to consider if you’re making these mistakes, and if the solutions will work for you.
5 Mistakes Work-at-Home Moms Make
Mistake #1: Not Setting Office Hours
Every business has office hours, and yours should too! As work-at-home moms, we often try to fit our work in between loads of laundry, fixing dinner, and running the kids to 8,024 activities. (Ask me how I know!)
However, a successful business requires dedicated time and energy focused solely on the business. Remember that multi-tasking isn’t quite as effective as one might think, but instead it scatters our focus and reduces the quality of work we put out.
- Ask for input from those closest to you in order to get them on board
- Find dedicated time to work on your business, even if it’s 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour in the afternoon, and 3 hours at night
- When office hours are over, be 100% present for your family
Remember, establishing office hours for your business protects your business, but also protects your family time! Here are more tips on establishing office hours.
Mistake #2: Trying to Build a Business for Free
Or almost free. The thing is, every work-at-home opportunity is going to cost something. Trying to avoid every cost or do things on the cheap is going to lead to a business built on a cheap foundation. In order to build your business, you need the proper tools whether it’s training, advertising, office supplies, etc.
I talk about this in more detail in Launch, but here’s the lowdown:
- Talk to others in your business and get a ballpark figure of must-have tools and expenses
- Set a realistic budget and use it guilt-free
- Make adjustments as needed
Once you realize that you do, in fact, need to spend, make a plan. Make a plan. Did you hear that? Make a plan.
Mistake #3: Undervaluing Services
I have seen this across the board—moms setting prices too low for what they are offering. Am I guilty? Absolutely! But it’s time to get over it. Because we are often just starting out we have a tendency to think, “I’m new, no one will hire me. I have to work cheap.”
There’s no doubt about it—if you’re willing to work for pennies, people will pay you pennies. Yes, it will be hard to land gigs if you charge more, but the work you get will be quality jobs for quality clients.
- Research what others in your niche are making, and adjust your prices (equal to your experience, of course)
- Plan ahead for any anticipated changes in business during the change
While it’s true that you may have to take a few low-paying jobs to get rolling, you don’t have to stay there! If you don’t value your skill and expertise, no one else will either.
Mistake #4: Refusing to Ask for Help
You do not have to be a one-woman show! As moms, we get so used to taking charge and making things happen, but things don’t have to happen without the help of others. You can work at home more effectively if you’re not fretting over the house falling apart. Remember, your business needs focused attention!
- Make a list of tasks that don’t have to be done by you (this list may be longer than you think—trust others!)
- Delegate to: spouse, kids, hired help
Here are more ideas for moms on delegating. By farming out tasks that do not have to be done specifically by you, you can focus on the things that only you can do!
Mistake #5 Giving Up Too Soon
Let’s face it, sometimes starting a business really, really sucks. There’s a lot of trial and error, and often more failure than success. Sometimes work-at-home moms give up because they simply aren’t generating enough income to continue staying home. But sometimes work-at-home moms give up because they are not seeing results they expected in the first year or two.
- Talk to others in your niche who have achieved success to adjust your expectations
- Make a business plan that incorporates adjusted expectations
- Stick it out!
Yes, the last suggestion is simplistic but it’s a point worth noting. So many people who are successful at anything in life are so because they keep on keeping on. The longer you stick with something, the more you know what works and what doesn’t, the more clients or dedicated followers you attract, the more opportunities you have to hone your skills.
Note: READ THIS before you throw in the towel due to lack of motivation.
If you’re serious about working at home successfully, here are more resources for you to investigate:
How To Work at Home With a ToddlerWork from Home Superstar: How to Stay Productivity for Work at Home Moms: How to Be How To Work At Home Productively & How To Work at Home: Make Money Online Fast, The Home Office Solution: How to Balance Your
Working at home is NOT easy—otherwise everyone would do it 😉 Being a work-at-home mom comes with its own set of trials and benefits. One thing is certain, for someone who wants to stay home with their kids, the journey is more than worth it.
If you’re guilty (as I have been) of these mistakes, take heart! You are in charge of your business. You are in charge of your life. With careful evaluation and planning, you can work at home successfully.
What mistakes have you made as a work-at-home mom?