It’s Fine. Everything Is FINE

It’s Fine. Everything Is FINE

Running a business from home while in the midst of a pandemic – the mom perspective.

The little kids are crying – they want something to either do, eat, or wear.

The big kids are either so bored, so bored they’re going to cry, or so bored they’re considering actually doing schoolwork.

The adults are eyeing either a glass of wine or that car sitting in the driveway like it’s manna from heaven by 10 am.

Sound familiar?

Welcome to running a business during a pandemic. This entire month has redefined my business and the entire world. But how do we really function in this new and strange world? There’s no childcare, school, activities, and there’s absolutely no break. 

So. Let’s check out my quick advice on surviving (along with your business) in these new and strange times. 

Keep Expectations Low

You may have started out with awesome ideas and plans; maybe even a little color coded schedule? Now, though, we are weeks into the “stay-at-home” here in Ohio and all of those good intentions have flown out of the window. I found myself so stressed out and overwhelmed trying to keep to a strict schedule, that I created myself mind you, that no actual work got finished. I was working in 10 minute spurts. Clients were understanding – they were in the same boat – but the pressure I was putting myself under was doing more damage than good. 

So I set lower expectations. No one dressed today? That’s okay. Eating breakfast at 10 am instead of 8 am? At least they’re fed. We have to remember that everyone is living this same “normal” right now and comparing ourselves to others, or to our own expectations is overwhelming and unrealistic.

Get Your Priorities Straight

Is everything really important right now? Like everything? The best way to calm the chaos is to sit down and truly think about what is actually a priority. 

Let’s say you have four hours you can count on working every day because a partner, older child, or TV program is able to watch your littlest. What are you going to do with those four hours? What is really important to get completed? 

Personally, it’s client work.  I know I have three solid hours per day (during the daylight hours) that I can knock out some work. So do the work. Then stop. You can randomly check email, texts, and do odds and ends here and there. Do the biggest chunk that requires the most concentration when you have that work time carved out. 

Then go spend time with your kiddo’s. Or come take mine…just stand outside and make sure none escape…

Do Not Compare

Just don’t. Don’t compare any part of your life to anyone else. This is true from a parental perspective, business perspective, and personal perspective. There is always going to be someone who you think is doing better than you are. Some mom is always going to have better craft ideas, some business person is always going to have a better promotion going on, and some lady’s makeup is always going to be looking good while you look like a character from the Lost Lagoon. 

You can only do what you can do. 

Yesterday, my four-year-old daughter decided to test my absolute limits. First, she woke up at 7 am demanding popcorn for breakfast (she got it), then she wanted to paint (which went surprisingly well), then a whole bunch of life stuff happened and I had to focus on work. So my littlest decided that stripping naked and streaking through THE FRONT YARD would be a good idea. Yup. But check out my social media. We look totally sane. 

My point? Don’t compare – you have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. 

That’s it. There’s nothing earth shattering. Just a few simple reminders that you’re not going to lose your mind, good enough is good enough, and you are an amazing parent. Stay the course and keep dreaming. 

You can follow me on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with my chaos!

Business Jeans

Business Jeans

Business Jeans

I remember the days, not fondly at all, where I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. The one thing I was absolutely sure of during that time (20 years of it) was that there had to be a better way. 

There are a lot of words that others use to describe me – single mom, crazy, mom, mommy (depending on what they want), sarcastic, funny, smart, quiet, and laid back are just a few. The words I want to apply to myself? Successful, independent, happy momma…

My three girls are my biggest inspiration. Every single move I’ve made the last 14 years has been about giving them MORE. Not stuff. But time, experience, enjoyment; less struggle, sadness, insecurity. 

I started my virtual assistant business just this side of poverty with a Google search for “work-from-home” jobs while pondering what I ultimately was going to do with the rest of my life. But where?

I’ve never felt like I “fit in”. 

I’ve always been the jeans and t-shirt girl ackwardly trying to mesh with the corporate world. Incredibly skilled but not willing, or able, to play the part of the high level exec. But I’m not the type of person who knows what to say and when to say it. I never know how to act when it comes to small talk, or big talk, for that matter. So where did that leave me? 

Finding a way to make money in jeans and a t-shirt, of course. Or my jammies. Or dressed up in leggings and a sweatshirt if I was feeling super fancy. But it’s really all about the jeans.

And that wasn’t the only challenge. I was a single mom which brought about its own passel of unique experiences. Society (or at least the ones I’d always listened to) said things like: single mom and freelancer is a mistake; you can’t be happy as a single mom; you can not, absolutely can not work only 30 hours per week and be a single mom; you must work two jobs and be constantly exhausted in order to be a successful single mom. Not a real optimistic outlook, was it? 

Finding My Place

There were a lot of reasons to NOT take a chance on myself and start this business. Three big ones – my kids – who needed me to make money to do things… like to feed them. BUT the more pressure I put on myself to work the business – and make the business work for me – the higher I’ve flown. 

There are a lot of questions that could discourage me from following this path ~ Can I afford health insurance? Is my income dependable? How will I make X amount of money per month if I lose all of my clients? I have to talk to HOW MANY people to get a client? 

I’ve been incredibly blessed with super supportive people in the last three years who have allowed me to walk this journey of self discovery. I’m finally the person I always imagined I’d be. A high level exec in business jeans. 

If you want to follow more of my journey, learn more about starting a freelance virtual assistant business, and work life balance while working from home – follow me on Instagram or Facebook and keep connected with my blog.