Mom motivation such a common issue, especially when it comes to running a business while raising kids. Today, I'm sharing my story, and I also asked a group of online business owners to share their best tips on how to stay motivated as a business mom.
Being a business mom is hard, with the constant balance of running your business, managing your household, and raising your kids. But let’s be clear—whether you’re a “working mom” who leaves the house for a traditional job every day or a “stay-at-home mom” who runs a business from home, or a “does it all mom” who does both, there is no motherhood journey that’s easy. And around here, we don’t do mom shaming as much as we don’t do mom guilt.
No matter what the details of your circumstances are, if you’re a mom, you’re no stranger to hard work. And honestly, it’s hard to be motivated to do anything after a long day, but today I’m speaking specifically to my entrepreneur moms who are trying to stay motivated to work on starting or growing their business after a long, hard day of working and momming.
And let me tell you, the irony of the circumstances around writing this post is not lost on me. You see, I sat down to start writing this post at 10 pm. Two hours after my kids went to bed. One hour before I’d ideally like to be in bed myself. At 9:50 pm, I was trying to convince myself that I could just do this tomorrow instead. And I almost just called it a night.
Then I decided to just sit down and start writing. I told myself I’d write for 10 minutes and see how I felt from there. And I promptly laughed out loud when I pulled up my list of articles to write and found this one at the top, waiting to be written next.
My (real-time) advice for business and motivation
So I am going to be giving you advice from a bunch of other entrepreneurs in a minute, but first, I wanted to get super meta and analyze my current situation to find the takeaway for you. Here’s what I’ve got: don’t wait for motivation to strike. If you want to start a business or grow your business, you’re going to have to work on it even when you don’t feel like it.
Now I’m not saying you should run yourself ragged and never sleep, so please don’t take that as the moral here. I’m naturally a night owl, so for me sleeping at 10 pm is really not ever going to happen. My other option was to re-watch season 5 of Gilmore Girls, which I’ve seen approximately 87 times already.
What I am saying is that you have to choose ahead of time what you’re going to do in situations like these. What I didn’t tell you before is that I’ve gotten really clear on my “why,” and I’m leaning on that when I don’t feel motivated. Because tonight, I felt more motivated to watch TV in bed than I did to write this post. But my why involves helping my family get out of debt, and when I sat down to reflect on that for just a minute, I realized that desire is so much stronger than the one I have for binge-watching reruns.
I asked myself, “how will you feel about this tomorrow if you decide to watch TV instead of write another blog post?” and I knew my answer immediately. So here I am, still writing this post for you at 10:22 pm, twelve minutes past the cut-off time I promised myself I could have if I needed. And probably unsurprisingly, I don’t want to stop now.
My takeaway for how to keep inspired and stay motivated in your business is to take a few things into account:
- What is your “why “ for running your business?
- Ask yourself: am I just avoiding working, or do I have a legitimate other need that I should prioritize right now? (So, for example, if you were up all night last night with a screaming baby and have been running on coffee and adrenaline all day, you need to prioritize sleep right now.)
- Give yourself a short timeframe to sit down and start working. Decide how long you’re going to give yourself to start, and if that time comes and you’re still feeling unmotivated, you officially have my permission to stop. But if you’re feeling inspired, then keep on going!
That’s my simple strategy for how to stay motivated in your business on a day-to-day level. One of the other most important factors for motivation for female entrepreneurs on an on-going basis, though, is to surround yourself with other moms in business too.
If you don’t already have a community of business friends, at least some of whom are moms, I’d like to invite you to join us in the Biz Mom Collective membership. It’s a close-knit community of mom entrepreneurs who support each other and who also understand what you’re going through.
The online entrepreneurial space can be a lonely place, but the membership helps make it feel much less lonely! And on that note, the rest of the tips in this article are actually from other entrepreneurs in my business mastermind (the one where I'm coached, not the one where I do the coaching.)
These entrepreneurs are in all different niches with different audiences and different business models, but we all have one thing in common—the desire to support, motivate, and inspire each other. So without further ado…
8 tips and tricks to stay motivated for online business owners from other online business owners:
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- “I find that when I actually take a break to breathe, a short walk, a drink of water, or some activity, I am revived and feel totally refreshed. Using Pomodoro has helped a lot, as well as daily journaling.” —Sharon Kinnier, talkinggurus.com
- “I have gamified my process by using a combination of time blocking and Pomodoro. I challenge myself to get something done in 25 minutes. And then I have mini rewards for myself when I check off a certain number of items off my list.
Another way I stay motivated is with my vision board. I have one on my phone and one on my desktop. When I’m feeling tired or not into it, I look at it, and it reminds me of why I’m building a business.” —Tiama, poorinaprivateplane.com
- “Have your space set up so your kids can play independently.”
—Alanna Gallo, playlearnthrive.com
- “I have found doing a “daily check-in” with myself to be extremely helpful. If I hit the ground running without prioritizing tasks, it feels like chaos. Things change from day to day, so it’s important to take a few minutes to review the day and week before and then plan my day accordingly.
I also have an app on my phone that reminds me to stand up and stretch and take a break. I find that to be extremely helpful for productivity. It sounds counterproductive, but getting that blood flowing and clearing your mind for just a few minutes really helps me come back to my desk and focus.” —Carrie Hunt, huntvirtualsolutions.com
- “I have a bad habit of getting distracted by all the shiny things, so I figured out a way to keep myself focused in order to get things on my checklist done.
First of all, I make a checklist. These are all the things I want to get done on that given day. Then, I break up my work time into 15-minute increments. I find this keeps me more focused because that's about the length of time my brain stays on one task. So, if I don't get the task done in that 15 minutes, I come back to it later.
For instance, I might do research on a blog post and start the outline but run out of my 15 minutes. So I'll save my work and take a 5 or 10-minute break. Then go to a different task for a little bit because my brain doesn't stay on task even with a little break. So I'll work on a design or a decal, or a shirt. I'll spend 15 minutes on that and go to something else. This helps me complete my list without getting too distracted by all the shiny things or losing focus completely.”
—Cryssi Hentges, caffeinatedminimalist.com
- “Sometimes, working in the digital world makes me feel like I have no tangible proof of my efforts and work. I’m a very visual person, and one super practical and hands-on way that I stay motivated is with a huge whiteboard on my office wall with my work mapped out for me. Not like a vision board exactly, but like a giant to-do list where I break down my big tasks into bite-sized things that I can cross off as I finish them.
Then once I finish it all, I get to erase it all and write up my next big project. This keeps me on track, and every time I “go to work,” I don’t have to wonder what’s next or feel lost. And I have my “tangible” proof that I am actually working and accomplishing something.
—Madison Cates, momsearningmoney.com
- “Organize your content from the very beginning. When you create a piece of content, whether it be a blog, YouTube video, or podcast, put the title, link, etc onto a Google sheet or Trello board. It will save you time down the road when you want to:
- Reshare it
- Give the link to someone needing that problem solved
- Share in a collaboration (or roundup)
- Link your other content to it
- Hire a VA
—Shannah Holt, VirtualMarketingGuide.com
- “It is a game changer to actually track your time! I use the free version of Toggl Track. You'll discover how long your business tasks truly take, which can help you plan your days and weeks and know how much you can achieve with the time you have. Having a timer running is also eye-opening to the ways we can so easily distract ourselves from doing work like clicking off to social media or doing business busywork that doesn't move the needle forward (*cough* scrolling Creative Fabrica *cough*).
When I started time tracking, I found out I was not actually spending the amount of time on my business that I thought I was. I would spend 15-20 minutes on a task and then get distracted and lose focus, and I often let frustration derail entire time chunks I set aside for work instead of believing I could solve the problem and move forward. Time tracking has completely changed my work habits for the better!”
—Kim Luker, lakehousemom.com
Staying motivated as a business mom is no easy feat, but with the right strategies and mindset, it can be done. The best part is there are many ways to stay motivated and inspired, so you can play around with it until you find the perfect combination of things for you. From building supportive networks to setting achievable goals and measuring your progress, implementing the tips discussed in this blog post will help you, as a business mom, stay motivated and find success in your business endeavors.
And whatever you do, remember this: being a great mom and a great entrepreneur aren’t mutually exclusive! You can do both and do them both well. And I’m here to support you with that! If you haven’t already, be sure to grab a copy of my free guide to power up your productivity.
Struggling to find time to work on your biz? Grab the free Quarter Hour Power guide and get more done in less time!