Don’t let your single mom status hold you back from staying home with your kids and becoming an entrepreneur. Yes, it’s hard and there are ups and downs. Here are some tips to help you navigate life as a single mom entrepreneur chasing your dream.
Almost four years ago, I quit my corporate job of over 20 years working in IT to work for myself as a freelance writer while building my website and podcast on the side.
I was a single mom when I quit my stable, secure government job. I took a chance on myself.
While it hasn’t been easy, it’s been worth it. I missed out on so much time with my kids when they were little. Now, they are teenagers, and I’m available to them all the time.
Challenges FOR Single Mom Entrepreneurs
You have to be your own cheerleader. Being a single mom and an entrepreneur is a double whammy, or maybe a triple.
- You’re an entrepreneur, which means you’ll be lucky to have someone in your life who’ll understand your drive and passion, especially during the lows, and there will be lows.
- You’re a mom, so someone depends on you for survival.
- You’re single, so you don’t have a partner to fall back financially if your dream doesn’t work out or if you need seed money or to help you see the bright side when you’ve been rejected once again or to watch the kids while you finish a project.
Yet even if you didn’t choose to be a single mom, you did choose to be an entrepreneur so learning how to cheer yourself along is of utmost importance along your journey.
Essential Mindset Shifts for Single Mom Entrepreneurs
There is still such a stigma around single moms.
While listening to a talk recently, the speaker gave examples of overcoming hardships in childhood – everything from overcoming cancer to being homeless – and one of her examples was growing up with a single mother.
And I thought that is absurd. By the very nature of our marital status, single mothers aren’t something that our children will have to work the rest of their lives to overcome.
Sure we as single moms often have the deck stacked against us due to custody and financial issues, but a large part of it is societal.
Society likes to tell us that single moms can’t have it all. We can’t stay at home with our kids and make a good income. But that isn’t true.
Believe in yourself.
Techniques for success
ground yourself in your identity
It’s commonplace for everyone to introduce themselves, start conversations with who they’re married to, how many kids they have, and where they work. But we are so much more than that.
So you aren’t married. We were never promised marriage.
Some people never have kids. Some people can’t work.
Who are you if you don’t have any of those things?
I have a friend without a partner, kids, and she can’t work. She is no less significant in God’s eyes, and her purpose on this earth is every bit as important as mine or yours or Oprah’s.
Gather your cheerleading squad
I’ve found a mastermind group is a great place to start. It doesn’t have to cost anything. I meet every other week with two other bloggers.
We keep each other accountable for our goals, tell each other when something sounds like a great idea or a terrible idea, and occasionally we give each other a sorely needed talk about a direction change.
Keep a record of your accomplishments
In the back of my notebook where I write all my ideas, I use my best pen to write the date and a goal or an accomplishment I meet.
At the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, it’ll look like “reached 100 email subscribers” or “sold my first product.”
The idea is to keep a running list with the date and review it whenever you add anything or need a boost.
Because some weeks, even some months, it can be hard to see your improvement.
It’s hard to remember that “hey, just 9 months ago, I hadn’t even sold 20 t-shirts and now I’m selling 200, why am I disappointed in myself today when 9 months ago I would’ve been thrilled?”
Nothing is wasted
We were all created for a purpose, and you’re no different.
It’s okay if you don’t know what that purpose is right now. Sometimes you have to try multiple things to find it, but that doesn’t mean that time is wasted.
I made and sold wreaths on Etsy for five years. Then I tried selling essential oils, and then I created a blog called sunflowermom before I rebranded to Grace for Single Parents.
But God didn’t waste any of that time.
I learned lessons that I’ve put into each step along the way.
The most important thing you can do is START.
You won’t get it right from the beginning. And that’s okay. The important thing is that you start…TODAY.