Your zero-bullshit guide to running your own business as a mum

Jun 12, 2019

Your zero-bullshit guide to running your own business as a mum

As women/mums/business owners, we always have a lot of shit going on.

Today, I have my seven-year-old home sick, plus a one-year-old that insists on cuddling the germ-ridden seven-year-old. Cute, for sure. But I’m counting down the seconds until she too gets sick and kickstarts the virus apocalypse in the Dower household. 

And, duh, I have work planned for today as well! 

In fact, I have precisely 29 minutes and 17 seconds until I’m scheduled in for a podcast interview. 

Which means, I’m trying to hold my shit together so I can act cool, calm and professional when I chat to my interviewee (who is the fricken QUEEN of cool and calm.)

But the truth is I don’t have it together. 

Not even close. 

I’m anxious, frazzled and reaching for the chocolate. I just yelled at my seven-year-old because she wouldn’t share her Littlest Pet Shops with the one-year-old. And I’m using the TV (Frozen, yo. It fixes errthing) to keep them occupied until my mum gets here to mind them for me while I act like a biz boss for a few hours. 

It’s messy. 

And days like this aren’t rare. 

I often have to manage my schedule on the fly and do more than three things at once. 

And I know I’m not alone in my messiness, because almost weekly in the DBL group there is a cry for help from another designer mum who is lost and stressed and struggling to do it all.

I get it. I really do.

I have been a mum for ten years and I have run my business for ten years, so I have been doing this juggling act for a decade now. 

And while I still don’t have the magical answer to a perfect working day with kids at home, I have definitely learnt a few things along the way which I’m going to share with you today.

First up, let it go. 

Yep, I’m talking about Frozen again, but seriously, let it all go. 

It’s time to let goooo of the illusion that you can work and mum at the same time. 
It’s not a thing. You can’t. 

Sure, you might be able to squeeze in a few edits here and there, or reply to a couple of emails, but you will not be able to sit at your computer for more than an hour and get shit done when you have a kid at home. 

The sooner you realise that, the quicker you will regain your sanity.

So, what do I do to make money Anna?

Well it’s time to revolutionise what your business looks like ✨

Pre-kids you had all the time in the world to work on anything you wanted, 
whenever you wanted.

But life is different now. (remember sleep? na, neither do I) 

So if you want to hang on to your biz and make sure your kids stay alive, 
something has to give. 

Which means you gotta slip into superwoman mode. Not by developing superpowers 
(let’s be honest: You already have those), but by streamlining your shit. 

It’s more vital than EVER now that your business message and value is clearly communicated. You don’t have time for difficult clients or tyre-kickers. 

You only have time for dream clients who make working with them a breeze. The kind of dream clients that will pay you a monthly income goal in one-hit so you only have to work with one to two clients a month. 

It is possible. 

When I was making $15-$20k a month in my design business I was only working 15 hours a week. 

Yes, you read that right! ?

So how did I do it? It was a combination of …

  • Being a pro and having a niche.
  • Becoming a magnet for my dream clients.
  • Charging more and working with fewer clients.
  • Communicating my value clearly.
  • Having time-saving systems and processes in place.

(Psst. Sounds simple right? But I know it can be overwhelming, and that’s why I have created a complete system for you – Design Biz Bootcamp)

So let’s skip ahead to the future where you’re working smarter and are fist-bumping with fewer clients but making a whole lot more money. 

How do you actually DO THAT WORK with the kids still around?!

Good question. And I don’t have a GREAT answer, but I have a workable one. 

First, there is always a trade-off. You either spend time with your kids during the day and work at night, or you pay for daycare.

In the past I have put my kids in daycare three days a week in order to get my design work done and make the money. 

I was able to do this because of my Design Biz Bootcamp business model. In fact, I paid for childcare, hired a designer and still made a profit from the above business model. 

My work week was done in three days and then I got to spend the rest of the week with the kids.

I could still be successful in my business and have my own identity, while the kids got to make friendships and get dirty. Then I could still put my mum hat on for four days a week too. 

That’s how I cultivated my work-mum life balance (or the closest I can get) and managed to grow my business. 

It’s not perfect. Some days (okay, most days) it’s straight out messy. 

But, hey, isn’t parenthood – and, hell, business for that matter – the same?

We do the best with what we’ve got. 

Ready to upgrade what you’ve got so you too can make
the biz mama trade-off more fulfilling?

Jump on the waitlist for the August intake of Design Biz Bootcamp here.

All the love,
Anna xo 

ps. Wanna know what my mum/biz juggle looks like?

Here is a quick insight to what my day was like yesterday: 
(My husband is currently away for work so I am flying solo with 3 kids)

6.30am: Get up, shower, check emails 
7.00am: Wake up kids, breakfast, uniforms, lunches, yell & scream
8.00am: Drop big girls at school early for tennis lessons 
8.15am: Go to my mums house for a coffee & to fill in time before the gym
9.00am: Gym & baby goes into gym daycare while I am there
10.00am: Home, change baby, feed & put to bed
10.30am: Emails & work 
11.00am: Podcast recording & more work 
12.30pm: Baby awake, feed & cuddle
1.00pm: Do bits & pieces of work while baby is happy playing with toys
2.30pm: School pick up 
3.15pm: Arvo tea, baths, dinner prep, yell & scream
5.00pm: Deal with emails
5.30pm: Work day is done! 

My business model has changed over the years and these days I make most of my income from ecourses & mentoring which means I work less but still make the big bucks!

want more?

Stalk Me Hard...  

Listen to my podcast