You know how sometimes you keep getting the same message from different people in the same week? Eventually you have to start paying attention!
First it was Wendy Shand of Tots To Travel who encouraged us to set big, juicy goals in her fabulous presentation for Mums The Boss. (You can watch Wendy talk about big juicy goals in this video). It’s so easy as a mumpreneur to think small and to just focus on getting through the day-to-day tasks. Wendy said to decide what we want in five years time and then work backwards from there. Even if you only achieve half of your big juicy goals, that’s still going to be pretty impressive.
I agree that it’s good to have goals, otherwise you can end up chasing your tail and having no direction. But setting big, long term goals is never as easy as it sounds. This time I really struggled. The concept made perfect sense to me, but I just couldn’t get a grip on my goals.
Why? Well two years ago my career plans were turned upside down when I realised I couldn’t put my daughter in a nursery and go back to my job. Up until then I’d assumed that my baby would arrive and my working life would carry on much as it had before. How wrong can you be?
If I couldn’t see that upheaval coming, how on earth can I plan out the next five years? So the long-term goals went on the back burner for the time being.
Then I read Emma Wimhurst’s 2020 vision – Have You Got It? post on the Startup Donut blog. It covers surprisingly similar ground to Wendy’s presentation. Maybe it was time to get those goals off the back-burner?
I looked back over the last couple of years and saw that my aspirations have gradually been getting bigger. At first I assumed that the type of business I could run with a toddler underfoot was very limited indeed. I decided that if I didn’t use much childcare, I’d have to take my little girl to work with me, and that basically meant a party plan. Since then I’ve realised it’s a lot easier to work when your child is asleep than to work around them when they are awake, especially if you go on to have a second child!
As my horizons widened, I saw that being a mum in business with minimal childcare actually had some advantages. Having so little time to work means that I use my time more efficiently than I ever have before. I’ve always been an ‘ideas’ person, meaning that I had lots of little projects on the go at once but didn’t spend enough time on most of them to see results. Now I’m much more focused because my working life is so limited – I can’t travel far, I have to work from home, it has to be done in the evenings and naptimes (well, for the next year at least). Plus there’s the fantastic community of business mums, of course!
My final poke in the ribs came from Mel McGee in her new Millionaire Mumpreneurs book (as recommended by Wendy Shand). Mel writes about the mums making a heck of a lot of money running internet businesses from home and still having time to spend with their children. So it really is possible.
The penny dropped. I’m still focusing on what I think I can have, not what I really want. True, my mind is much more open than it was two years ago, but maybe I’m still holding myself back?
And the big juicy goals? Well, I’m still working on those!
Are you struggling with long-term goals? If so, do you know what’s getting in your way? Leave me a comment and tell me….