It’s no secret I love being a mama CEO — and I’m passionate about helping other moms thrive as entrepreneurs. But sometimes we all have one of those days when we wonder if it’s time to throw in the towel.
Here’s a quick pep talk and reminder why we do this.
1. Being a mama CEO is never boring.
Yes, there are tasks in our business that may bore us. Maybe you hate accounting or checking your analytics or writing blog posts . . . but there’s excitement too. As a mama CEO, there is always more to learn and possibility to create new things. Each day can be different as you move your business forward and pivot when necessary.
2. Mama CEOs are nimble.
Mama CEO Julia Sarver says, “I love the independence of being able to make a decision and go, and then pivot as soon as I realize I need to without getting anyone’s permission.” There’s no bureaucracy to slow down your progress. In this fast paced world, you can adjust your business quickly. That may mean pushing up the launch of your new product to capitalize on a trend or ditching a process that just isn’t working.
3. Mama CEOs get to make big decisions.
Last year, one of my clients took her family on a major road trip/book tour. Another is enjoying a month-long, semi-working vacation. As a mama CEO, you get to decide what works for your business and your family. Kimberly Lin Pollard says, “I can plan a year-long strategy or I can do something because it’s fun and I want to. I can stay steady or try new things. I get to choose what and when. I get to do it for a why that’s bigger than getting a paycheck to pay the bills.”
4. Mama CEOs get to explore and evolve.
This year I’m exploring public speaking. It feels like the right next step for my business and mission. Because I get to make decisions and pivot in my business, I have room to explore. Natalie DeGoey embraces the chance to explore “all the different aspects of running a business, and learn where my strengths and weaknesses are. I love the mental and emotional gymnastics!” (Another reason being a mama CEO is never boring.)
5. Mama CEOs thrive on connections, collaborations, and community.
I’ll admit, being a mom can feel lonely at times, as can being an entrepreneur. But at the same time, we get to decide who we work with and when we find our community, it can be amazing. I started the Mama CEO Club and Mama Mastermind because I knew how much community and connections matter.
Our ability to choose connections ties into creating the life we want. Lilly Steirer says, “Since my most important relationships are with my family and friends, I appreciate that I can curate my work to fit into the rest of my life. Being creative is what I live for and while being an entrepreneur is humbling at times, the challenging points lead to plenty of growth not just in work, but in life.”
6. Mama CEOs create flow.
I don’t love the term work-life balance. I do believe in flow. We flow between the different parts of our life. Sara Barry calls it fitting work around her life, instead of the other way around. She adds, “It’s not perfect. Sometimes I still wonder how to get it all done, but I’m able to flow more to the mom side during school vacation or a snow day. I ask for help and flow more toward business when I have deadlines. And I can adjust quickly as I need to.”
7. Mama CEOs aren’t tied to somebody else’s schedule.
Lisa McLatchie say that her favorite part of being a mama CEO is “being in control of my daily schedule (as much as my 3 year old will allow).” Yes, we need to plan. Yes, our kids still need us, but we have the flexibility to pivot and flow to wear our mama and CEO hats.
Flexible schedule is probably one of the big reasons moms become mama CEOs. To create flow, you need the flexibility to create a schedule that works for your family. That might mean working only during school hours, flexing your work around a partner’s schedule, not having to schedule camp for every week in the summer, or having Fridays off with your preschooler. Whatever it is, you can adjust your schedule as other parts of your life change.
Need help scheduling your week to fit in all the things you want to do? Download my Weekly Workflow Guide here and plot out your week!
8. Mama CEOs live their values.
When Melanie Vetter started working again after time off to support her husband and raise her kids, she said, “I wanted to learn what I wanted to learn and do what I wanted to do. I knew my life in the corporate world was too rigid and did not match my personal values.” But as we shape our businesses, we can follow our own values.
This comes back to those decisions we make. Is being home for dinner something you value? You get to set your schedule to be there. Do you want to empower other women? Choose projects and clients through that lens. Homeschool your kids. Spend more time outside. Take a month off every year to refresh and connect. Use your talents in a worthwhile way. What’s important to you? Being a mama CEO lets you put that to the forefront.
9. Mama CEOs are motivated by passion.
Rachel Pontillo said she became a mama CEO so that she could have a flexible schedule to be present for her kids (and found that was really necessary for her family), but she has experienced levels of passion and joy I never thought possible. “Sure, I’ve worked harder and longer hours than I’ve ever worked in my life, had to learn things I didn’t think I cared to know, and been pushed out of my comfort zone more times than I can count—but all of that has helped me realize my life’s purpose.”
That sense of purpose and excitement about our work mattes. R.B. Fast says, “I know being an entrepreneur is the right path for me because I never wake up dreading work. The way I spend my days energizes and excites me.”
10. Mama CEOs define their own success.
You know that your determine where you business goes and how it fares. For Latosha Jenkins that means unlimited Income potential while still controlling her schedule. “As a mom of five with a husband with major medical needs I am able to generate time or money when needed—I would not be able to do this as someone’s employee schedule.”
You don’t need a 6-figure launch to be a success. You get to decide on your goals and what success looks like. That’s going to be different for every mama CEO and it includes a lot more than the bottom line. Know what you want to do and what you want to feel to define your success.
Being a mama CEO is amazing. It’s also really challenging. Sometimes flexibility looks like picking up your kid who started puking at school and trying to figure out if you can still fit in that client call. (Can we say default parent?) Sometimes you feel so overwhelmed with deciding what to do you are paralyzed (beat overwhelm here) or the stuff you have to do gets in the way of the stuff you are really passionate about (it’s time to systematize and/or outsource).
So, yeah, it’s hard, but it’s pretty fabulous too. Take a minute to remember why you became a mama CEO in the first place. What do you love about being a mama CEO?
Write your big reason on a Post-it note and stick it up in your workspace to remind you in those moments when you wonder if it’s worth it (hint: it is!)
What’s your favorite thing about being a mama CEO? I’d love to know in comments!