Second Sunday Series – Editor’s Note: This is the ninth of 12 columns on starting a business – one every other Sunday of the month from September through August. Last month’s column described setting up the system while making the first sale months ago, discussing ways to choose a startup’s focus, goal-setting processes, key startup steps, burnout, the entrepreneur’s personal assets and weaknesses. , and prefer self-employment as a career.
Today’s Business Startup column covers a topic important for every entrepreneur, but especially for women: staying focused, and not giving time to non-startup activities.
Ready? We’ll start with a quiz: When starting a business, which is more important, funding or owner time? You already know the answer: owner time is the only essential component when starting a business. Every other variable can be adapted to the circumstances.
For proof, think of all the famous startups that flourished even when there was no funding available. (Apple, anyone? Medtronic?) Next, think of startups that thrive without an owner’s attention. If you’re drawing a blank, that’s because it doesn’t work that way. Whether it’s an hour or a hundred hours, owners must allocate time each week to build the enterprise they think of, or it won’t happen.
Now that we have that straight, here’s another quiz: When both work the same number of hours, will mothers spend more time on household activities, or will their male counterparts? Hmm. Tough… What about gender patterns in homes with no children? Well, the answer is the same: with or without children, families use up to twice as many hours of women’s labor as men.
If we assume that women are not spending their time cleaning up their own mess, it seems that they are cleaning up after someone else. Guys, if you’re wondering what to give that special mompreneur for Mother’s Day, a suggestion would be to have a housekeeper, or spend more of your time cleaning so that she can focus on her business without any guilt. can do.
Speaking of gifts, one thing not to give her will be high standards and grief over her “liking” to do household chores. Not that you don’t have a point; It’s just that adults don’t solve things by making any one person solely responsible for solving a shared problem.
Which brings us to the women in this equation. Here’s a truth you need to adjust to if you want to build your business: You’re almost certainly doing more non-essential things at home than you realize.
Clothes can be worn more often without washing, floors can last longer without scrubbing, dinner can come out of a box more often, and in all cases, what you’re doing can be outsourced. , whether it is for the kids, your partner, or someone outside the house.
What’s more, you’re not the only person who can handle the crisis. You’re only the first person everyone calls because you usually say yes. There’s nothing you won’t be able to do while your business is running, so you might as well practice saying no now.
To make it easier, ask yourself: If you were in the hospital, who would this person be calling? So, that’s the person they should be calling right now. would you feel guilty? Oh yes. But don’t you always? In terms of the time it takes to fulfill your dream, at least now you will have something to show for it.
I believe that almost every statistic that shows women’s businesses to be smaller, less funded, less profitable and generally lower than men’s businesses is rooted in the issue whose dream gets the most attention in a household. Both men and women need to focus enough on eliminating distractions and building their startups, but women may need to work harder to achieve this.
Men or women, here’s your business startup assignment for May: Review your calendar for the past two weeks and identify what non-startup activities you could have skipped or could have less time for. Based on that analysis, now review your schedule for the next two weeks. What can you cut to provide more time for your startup process?
Remember, if the answer is “nothing,” you are effectively removing the business startup from your activity list. Even two hours a week helps keep your dream alive, but zero hours will starve it. For best success, schedule your business hours first, then fit in other activities around those hours.
Try your new schedule and track your results. Then come back in a month for the next second Sunday installment, where we’ll take more steps to guide your business startup journey.
Amy Lindgren is the owner of Career Consulting Firm in St. Paul. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.