Full Time Stay-At-Home
Mom to Entrepreneurial
Parent ("EP"!): Tips for Easing the Transition
Even if you
don't expect to start your business for several years, now is
the time to start planning for your re-entry into the workforce
-- including the home office workplace!
1998, by Nancy
If you're a mom with preschoolers
at home, your dreams of becoming an Entrepreneurial Parent may be on-hold for a few years. Between laundry,
mealtimes and bending down to pick the playdough out of the carpet,
many moms find they lack the energy and focus needed to get a
business off the ground.
But, even if you don't expect to start your business for several
years, now is the time to start planning for your future. Devote
just a few hours each week and soon you will have a solid foundation
in place. Most of these tips are easy to implement. Try a few.
Not only will your plans become more focused and realistic, but
you'll find yourself energized and having fun in the process!
Use the time to explore,
dream and read about new career possibilities.
what type of business to start? One of the best ways to brainstorm
business ideas is to learn from moms who are already successfully
running their own home-based business. Fortunately, there are
hundreds of wonderful books and articles that can educate and
motivate you. Hire a babysitter and go spend half a day browsing
the self employment books at your favorite bookstore. You will
be amazed at how much information you can find.
Get in touch with your
The best business
opportunities in the world will do you little good unless they
take advantage of your unique profile of skills, knowledge and
motivators. Running a business takes lots of energy and commitment
so you want to find work you'll really enjoy and do well. Spend
some time defining your marketable strengths and interests. What
are the activities that you both love to do and do well? What
type of skills do you excel at? What are your favorite fields
Address any skill or knowledge
skills current is a necessity. Particularly if you plan to switch
fields or industries, you will need to add or update your skills.
Once you determine your ideal job, talk to people in the field
to find out ways to insure your skills are up to par.
Develop a long-range schedule
for integrating work back into your life.
to work has to be done at a manageable pace. Plot out the ages
of all your family members over the next ten years. Determine
when your children will hit milestones such as going to full-day
school or entering middle school. Think about when you would
feel comfortable working 20 or 30 hours each week. Use the time
leading up to your return to work for studying, exploring, networking
Target volunteer assignments.
when used strategically, is a great way to polish old skills
and try out new ones. It is also a wonderful way of meeting people
in your field of interest. Choose your volunteer assignments
carefully. Thinking about running a home-based daycare service?
Volunteer at your child's pre-school. Interested in public relations?
Handle publicity for a fund-raiser. Don't fall into the trap
of volunteering only in response to telephone pleas for help.
Take some classes.
community programs are offering a growing number of courses tailored
to the adult and entrepreneurial community. The cost of these
courses are often surprisingly low. Call for some catalogs -- you will be inspired by the range of topics. Attending
class buys you information and access to a network of professionals
in your field of interest.
Build your network.
Make it a point
to expand your network. Start by getting to know some other mothers.
You will be amazed to discover who they used to be before having
their children. Join a home-based working moms association or
Try out a new idea or
skill on a small scale.
Do you have a
wonderful talent or product that you would love to market? Perhaps
you are thinking about being a caterer or starting a party planning
service. Give it a try on a small scale. Before you invest in
heavy start up costs, cater a few small parties or business lunches.
Make sure you really love the work before proceeding further.
Make it a point
to read a daily newspaper or at least listen to the evening news
while preparing dinner. Tune into National Public Radio while
chauffeuring the kids. Spend some time on the Internet. As you
learn about new trends you may key in on a great work from home
Invest in some professional
clothes and accessories.
It's easy to
avoid going to a meeting or class when you only have "mommy
clothes". Make it a point to buy a few fun professional
looking pieces. You won't need a lot and most of the pieces can
be worn for social occasions as well. If budget is a concern,
shop the consignment shops or after season sales. Remember, looking
professional will help make you feel professional!
Nancy Collamer is the "Jobs for Moms" Pro for Moms
The above article was first published (and is still available)
on Nancy's Profile Page, in response to the many questions she
receives every week from moms looking to make the transition
back into the workforce. Come visit other Moms
Online at this family-friendly, upbeat and very useful site!