By Jennie Wong The Charlotte Observer.
This week's "Ask the Mompreneur" features a question from Kim Gibson, the owner of Elegant Memorials, a site for downloadable funeral program templates.
Q: I run an online company that receives orders 24/7. I try to maintain a schedule with set hours but I cannot always predict the workload from day to day. There have been many times when a playground trip has to be rescheduled due to the demands of Elegant Memorials, and my 5-year-old has a total meltdown. How do you "reschedule" a 5-year-old, and help them understand the concept of the "flexible schedule"?
A: This is a great question and brings up the mompreneur mantra: "Treat your business like a baby and your baby like a business." It sounds like you are doing a great job with the first part, treating your business like a baby, giving it the time and attention it needs to grow and thrive. But you may want to reflect on the second part, treating your baby (or 5-year-old) like a business.
Most mompreneurs would never even think of canceling a business meeting because the day just got too busy. But many of us, me included, will break a promise to our children for the sake of work. I know that we all have to generate income, but consider this tough choice from another perspective. How many customers do you have? Now ask yourself, how many children do you have?
For some, this is a paradigm shift that will take getting used to. But I believe that you can have integrity in both parts of your life. The trick is to buckle down and solve the right problem.
For example, "What strategies do I need to put in place for overflow work?" "How can I reset expectations with my customers for more reasonable response times?" "How will I know when it is time to hire part-time or contract help?"
You might also tackle this issue by scheduling kid activities only on your slowest day of the week, letting other fun trips happen spontaneously when your workload allows. Or sometimes you might choose to compromise with a quick half-hour at the park, followed by a late night to finish your work.
You're not alone in feeling challenged by these competing demands, but in the long run you'll be glad that you kept more playground dates! ___ ABOUT THE WRITER Jennie Wong is an executive coach, author of the e-book "Ask the Mompreneur" and the creator of the product quiz website www.ABorC.com