When I got pregnant with my firstborn Nyah, the first thing I did was quick research to find out how much extra costs would this bundle of joy bring with it. Don’t get me wrong. I was thrilled by the idea of motherhood and welcoming my baby to this world. But being a finance expert, it was only natural for the question of the related costs to kick in.
A lot of people say that having kids is a financial drain, so I was pretty much biased when I started my search. The figures varied considerably, but undeniably my finances would suffer a mayor dip for the coming year. I am lucky to be living in the Netherlands, where we enjoy several financial perks (like childcare and other) but, even with those benefits, my financial life would never be the same.
All the articles I found focused on the extra costs. One thing that none of the articles mentioned was how having children would significantly change my business life and finances for the better. And, yes, there are additional expenses, but I found out that there are also hidden gems that can skyrocket your business as well as your finances.
With the birth of Nyah in 2012, I passed from being a businesswoman to being a business mom. In the beginning, I struggled much to balance my business life and my life as a mother. I realized there was no such thing as balance.
But that was not the only thing I realized along the way.
Four lessons that made me a better business mom
It has been quite a journey of ups and downs, lessons learned, and re-learned. But here are my top four
#1 Being present
Learning to be present was for me the biggest eye-opener and a game-changer. Being present helped me to create inner peace and get rid of the stress. It was OK to take the time to breastfeed and to play with my little girl without feeling guilty about the work that still needed to be done. It was my time with her, and it was right. No need to be breastfeeding and working at the same time.
Learning to be present demanded me to let go of the guilt. But how?
Because I am not just a businesswoman but a business mom, I had to make the best of the time when I was not in my mother role. As Nyah would sometimes sleep for hours and some for a few minutes, I had to be very efficient, concentrated on the task at hand. This rendered me very critical of the things I would do and how I would do them. There was no time for perfection; good was enough. Nyah became the driver behind my productivity.
By keeping the focus on one particular goal, I stayed away from distractions. It helped me much, but supermom still had more to learn.
#3 Delegate & Outsource
You can’t do everything yourself. Just trying it is nonsense. It’s good to save money, but you also must know how to let money work for you.
Two of the best productivity hacks are outsourcing and delegating. To make outsourcing more natural think about this: you already outsource & delegate. You buy premade clothing, pre-packaged food, an already assembled car. Outsourcing or delegating a few more tasks can take your income to a whole new level. In that fashion, you can devote your time to the critical stuff and better use your skills and abilities.
Through delegating & outsourcing, I created a great team around me that helped me achieve much more than I would by myself. When my second child Nikai was born, I delegated much more, and my business accelerated like never before. The most significant improvement was that by having a team working for me, I had more time to spend with my kids.
But the most crucial gain was still to come.
#4 Finding my real purpose
However, the very best present I got from being a mom was when I asked myself, Why was I in business for?
What made me jump out of bed in the morning?
Is it to earn more and more money?
The answer was an absolute NO.
I was not in business to earn more money. I am in business to help other women with their finances in a fun and easy way. Being a mom opened my eyes to the realization that money is an instrument to a much bigger purpose and more accurate measurement for success.
Being a mom pushed me to question why I was doing things.
Finding my real purpose allowed me to give money its actual value as my ally and embrace it as the means to achieve real success.
Money should never be your ultimate goal and purpose. I encourage you to find your real purpose and let money help you achieve it!
There’s no greater gift than to honour your life’s calling.
It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.– Oprah Winfrey
So how does knowing my purpose help me make more money?
When I am present while doing any task and let go of my need for perfection, I can do much more in less time. Delegating the jobs I do not have time for, and to be honest I do not like/don’t know how to do, allows me to focus my attention on the aspects of my business that are best served by my skills and knowledge and, as a result, accelerate my business and increase my income.
Being clear about my purpose prevents me from wasting time on futile tasks, increases my income and helps me to reach more women with my message. And by extension, I have more freedom to do the things I love with the people who matter most to me.
And I am sure I would not have had to make this change if it was not for my two children who helped me focus on what is essential.