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Business & Babies

Not just another “how to have it all” piece

Jade McKenzie with her 4 year old daughter Cerise.

Never work with children or animals goes the famous showbiz saying. Immediately after giving birth to my daughter, I was inspired to start my first business.

Can you really run your dream business, change the world and have a family?

I’m here to tell you the honest to goodness, raw and real life truth. It’s a hard slog and it is almost certain you will be run off your feet and experience overwhelm. But I tell you something else? If like me, you’re energized by your work and love what you do, it’s absolutely possible and a hundred percent worth it.

The dishes might overflow in the sink, you might be bleary eyed from business travel and baby’s broken sleep. There’s a good chance you look nothing like that girl boss picture you posted on Instagram from the glitzy event last night. Argh – you forgot to get the script from the pharmacy on your way home. Don’t worry! You’re not alone.

Here are three things that have helped me balance business and baby and achieve a fulfilled and purposeful career and personal life.

Be strategic

Being a mum forced me to give up being perfect. I simply did not have the time. I was instantly cured from this life long affliction. In fact, as an event professional, the unpredictability of motherhood proved a great asset to my business. I became far more able to adapt to unexpected challenges or issues that arose on event day because of my experiences as a mum.

It’s also important to be strategic about energy. The reality is that we all have finite energy. As a mum and business owner, it’s important to use your energy well. I learned very early on to set goals, plan my day and not to fall into the trap of working all hours. This took great discipline, but it was so worth it to spend extra time with my beautiful daughter each day.

Be guilt free

Sounds like the dream, right?

The biggest mistake we can make is to relentlessly compare ourselves to other mums and other businesses. Doubting whether you’re doing enough, spending enough time, whether you’re being a terrible mother, a terrible business woman or both. Stop!

Stop the guilt, stop worrying about ‘having it all’ and be kind to yourself. There’s nothing wrong with your stunning ambition and with dreaming of more for your career and your family.

The reward? Your children will be inspired to be independent, kind and worldly. They’ll grow up in a world where it’s normal for women to achieve and you will raise inspired sons and daughters with compassion and empathy. That’s not selfish. That’s a gift.

Delegate!

Asking for help and delegating is the only way to be fulfilled in your work and home life. This should not be something else to feel guilty about, but rather a sign of being both a savvy business woman and efficient mother.

To master the art of delegating, start by figuring out which tasks you can delegate and which you need to do yourself. What are you good at doing and what tasks drain your energy and time? Surround yourself with good people to support your business and home life and stick with them. Some businesses swear by virtual assistants, some working mums get help at home.

The reality is that you certainly don’t stop being a mother when you work on your business and you certainly don’t stop being a business owner when you are in mum mode. At times, it can feel like a real boxing match trying to get these two responsibilities to align. But when you do! It’s really time to shine mums!

After all, as another famous showbiz saying goes, the show must go on.

Jade together with Ainslie Young are running  “Business and Babies” events in Sydney and Melbourne in October. You can connect with Jade on Instagram and Facebook. For more information visit www.eventhead.com.au .

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