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Have you decided to take the leap and join work at home mom ranks?
Heck yeah!!! I’m all about moms starting online businesses and taking charge of their careers and their income.
Or maybe you’re starting a blog to connect with other moms and teach them what you know.
(And if you are, I recommend Siteground for web hosting. They’re awesome and you can get your blog up and running today for as little as $3.95 per month!)
There are so many options and choosing any one of them can get you one step closer to being your own awesome boss.
Except there’s just one problem.
You can’t seem to find your focus and actually get started.
Why Getting Focused Is So Hard for New Mom Bosses
The struggle to find your focus when you’re a new mompreneur is so real.
Your mind is screaming that you need to do aaalll the things.
“Omg, I need to get my website up like yesterday!”
“I’ve got to set up my social media accounts so I can start building my brand.”
“I can’t launch my blog until I have at least 20 perfectly polished posts ready to go.”
“I’ve got to choose THE perfect domain name for my website and craft a super-snazzy logo to go with it.”
“I better download some stock photos and start working on images so I can build up a Pinterest following.”
“I need to create an awesome lead magnet and start building my email list.”
And the list goes on and on and on.
There’s a name for it, this mentality that you have to do all the things at once to get ahead in your business. It’s called shiny object syndrome and it’s a new mompreneur’s worst enemy.
What Is Shiny Object Syndrome?
Shiny object syndrome is entrepreneur-speak for letting all the little things distract you from your bigger purpose.
Think of it this way: shiny object syndrome is the equivalent of a two-year-old in a room full of toys who can’t decide what to play with next.
So why is shiny object syndrome bad for new mompreneurs?
It’s simple. Letting yourself get distracted keeps you from zeroing in on what’s most important for starting and growing your business.
Here’s what happens when you can’t find your focus:
1. You’re not as productive as you could be.
You start on one thing, then another and before you know it, you’ve got a pile of half-finished tasks hanging around.
If you want to be more productive, you have to fully find your focus instead of doing things halfway.
2. You’re not fully invested in anything.
When your attention is spread across so many things, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re supposed to be doing.
If you don’t find your focus, it becomes a lot harder to zero in and commit to a path that’ll move you forward in your business.
3. You become impatient.
The big problem with having no focus is that you don’t always give things the time they need to produce results.
In the process, you get impatient and your business can fizzle out before it really even gets started.
4. You get frustrated.
As a new mom boss shiny object syndrome can trick you into thinking that all the things you’re trying to do are working for everyone but you.
That leads to frustration, which can make you lose sight of your vision and drain the heart right out of your business.
5. You waste money.
When you’re starting out as a new mompreneur, it’s totally naturally to want to get as educated as possible and equip yourself with all the tools you need to build your business.
The problem is that when you don’t take time to find your focus first, you can end up buying things you don’t need or investing money in your business in the wrong places.
6. You waste time.
Time is the most valuable resource you have when you’re just starting to build your business and it’s not one you can afford the squander.
Giving in to shiny object syndrome can be a HUGE time-waster because you’re always moving from thing to another, without really getting anything done.
7. You get overwhelmed.
If you’re just starting your business, you probably feel like you’re in over your head. Shiny object syndrome takes that sense of overwhelm and amps it up 1000X.
When that anxiety kicks in, one of two things you can happen: you either freeze, because you’re not sure which step to take next. Or, you throw in the towel and put your mompreneur dreams on the shelf.
I’ve totally been there. It’s what kept me from launching this blog for over a year.
I knew what my mission was: helping moms become mompreneurs, take charge of their finances and stress less. I just didn’t know how to do it.
So I started reading blogs about blogging. I signed up for courses and webinars and downloaded checklist after checklist and joined every mompreneur group on Facebook.
The more I did, the more overwhelmed I became.
I knew that if I didn’t get focused and nail my business niche down, it was never going to actually materialize. That’s exactly what I want to help you avoid.
How to Find Your Focus as a New Mompreneur
Distraction can only derail your business-building mojo IF you let it. The key is to shut it down before it gets a chance to take over.
So how do you do that? Here are seven ways to find your focus and get back on track:
1. Get clear on your vision
To build any business, you must have a vision. Your vision is the goal you’re working towards, it represents your WHY.
If you find yourself losing focus, stop everything you’re doing and revisit your vision.
- Why are you starting this business?
- What mission are you hoping to fulfill?
- What are your goals for this business?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- Who are you hoping to help?
Asking these questions can help you find your center. Becoming clear about your vision can help you begin weeding out tasks and distractions that aren’t getting you any closer to making it a reality.
2. Get comfortable with not being able to do it all
The pressure to get it all done as a new mompreneur can make you want to cry — literally. (And I have, more than once along the way). But here’s what you need to know:
You can’t get it all done.
Not all at once anyway. This is why it’s so important to have a crystal-clear vision.
When you have a vision, you can break that down into goals. Then, you can break those goals down into individual action steps.
I suggest picking the three goals that are going to have the most impact on your business right now to start.
For example, when I first started this blog I decided to work on three things:
- Filling out my site with valuable content and freebies for my readers
- Building my email list to 1K subscribers
At first glance, those goals seem pretty lowball. But to me, they were huge.
Picking just three goals that are achievable and realistic helps you lock down what you need to do, instead of all the things you think you should be doing.
3. Think short-term
When you can’t find your focus at all, stop and ask yourself what you can do today, tomorrow, this week to get your business going?
This is where blocking out your goals quarterly helps big time. A 12-week plan helps you get more done and stay energized to keep pushing towards your next set of goals.
Let’s say that a year from now, you want to be generating $5,000 a month in income from your business. If you’re starting from scratch, your first quarter goals might look like this:
- Create your business plan
- Write up a list of potential clients
- Pitch your services to five new prospects each week
You can add one or two more goals to the list but it’s better if you can stick to three.
Three isn’t too much to make you feel overwhelmed and it’s not so little that you won’t see any forward motion in your business.
4. Block your time
Time blocking is seriously the best habit I’ve ever adopted, in my business and in my life.
But what is it?
Time blocking is just breaking down your day into different blocks of time. Within these blocks, you focus on specific tasks.
So my typical daily time block looks like this:
- 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Wake up, shower, make breakfast, scan emails that came in overnight, check my to-do list
- 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Write client assignments for the day, respond to emails if needed, pitch client ideas, do at least one blog-related task
- 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. – Lunch
- 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Homeschool my two kids
- 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Cardio on my recumbent bike
- 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Making dinner, eating, cleaning up
- 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Kid time
- 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. – Reading or finishing up any blog-related items that didn’t get done in the morning
- 11 p.m. – Bed
My day doesn’t always follow this exact pattern. Some days we have soccer practice or church. Some days it all goes to hell in a handbasket before 9 a.m.
But on the days that I’m able to stick to the routine, I always end up surprising myself with how much I’m able to finish.
How to use time blocking to find your focus
I get that your typical day may not look exactly like mine.
You might be working a 9 to 5 job. Or juggling a full-time job with a part-time gig. You could be going back to school or doing a million other things that take up your time.
You might be growing your business in the cracks, versus committing 8+ hours a day to it. And that’s okay.
Just start where you are.
If you’re still working a 9 to 5, for example, you might block out an hour from 5 to 6 a.m. to work on your business. (And if you can do that you have my undying admiration, ’cause I am seriously NOT a morning person. 🙂 )
You might block off an hour after your kids go to bed at night to do some serious business-building.
Or you may only be able to snag 30 minutes while they’re taking a bath to outline a blog post, update your social media accounts or listen to a podcast.
When you block out your business time isn’t what’s important. It’s doing it consistently and making the most of every minute that matters.
5. Dial down white noise
Social media, TV, game apps. Distractions are everywhere and they will jam up your focus game if you don’t do something about them.
Cutting out these time-wasters is essential and once the clutter’s gone, you might be amazed at how much extra time you really have to work on your business.
If you’re clueless about where your days go, there’s an easy solution: tracking your time.
Tracking your time helps you get tuned in to your habits and figure out where you’re wasting precious minutes in your day.
You can use a time-tracking app or keep a handwriting time log; the method doesn’t matter as much as understanding how you’re using your time.
6. Do one thing at a time and focus on high-value activities
I know what you’re thinking. Work on just one thing at a time? I’ll never build a business that way.
Actually, that’s not true. You can build a business by doing just one thing each day. It just might take you a little more time to do it.
How doing one thing can help you find your focus
Let’s go back to those three goals I initially had when I started this blog: launching, creating content and growing my email list.
I knew that to make my first and third goals, I really had to address goal #2, creating content. So I got to work on creating my lead magnet and cranking out some (hopefully) epic blog posts.
There was a lot of other stuff I wanted to do though. I wanted to:
- Make the perfect logo.
- Pick out a blog theme and start tweaking the design.
- Get active in relevant Facebook groups.
- Stalk my favorite mom bloggers on Pinterest and see what they were doing.
I could have done those things but then I would have been launching a pretty, Pinterest-worthy blog with no content. So I buckled down and got the writing done.
By zeroing in on the one thing that was most valuable to achieving my goal, I was able to turn all my focus towards launching. And now, I’m focused on my third goal: building my list.
7. Stop seeking perfection
Here’s an important lesson you need to know if you’re going to be successful in your business: perfection is a lie.
Your business — whether you’re a blogger, freelance writer, virtual assistant or something else — is never going to be perfect.
In fact, it’s going to be downright messy at times. Nevertheless, you can make it work if you stick with it.
So don’t get hung up on making everything exactly perfect.
Get clear on your vision and goals, choose your most important tasks and do it ugly to start if you have to.
Have You Struggled to Find Your Focus While Building a Business?
Now it’s your turn–have you dealt with shiny object syndrome while starting up your business?
Do you have a killer tip for dealing with distractions so you can find your focus and get more done?
Tell me about it in the comments!
And if this post helped you, be sure to share it with another mom who’s trying to find her mompreneur groove!