Two Tips for the Self Employed

Now you might not know that in addition to running my international speaking business, I am also the (proud) mother of six children, including twins and triplets.

I started my first business, a marketing consultancy when the youngest, the triplets were two.

If you are self-employed, how are you handling the mix of responsibilities of working (perhaps from home) and managing the family?

Let me take two examples and share how I manged it.

What are you doing for the time required for children’s afternoon sporting practices?  If you have more than one a week, it can mean large blocks of time taken from being productive.

My solution was to multitask. Here’s the question. Is it 100% necessary for you to sit still the entire time, avidly watching or chatting away with other parents? I used to walk the perimeter of the sports field a few times, getting a little exercise in but also reading work papers, writing speeches or articles, brainstorming. I’d bring my laptop and yes, sometimes sit in the car. This was before smartphones. Think of what a difference they make now!

Also one of the very best business decisions I made was to ‘outsource’ during the most intense soccer season we had.

I hired a college student to help. We had five practices over the course of three days. The kids loved Kristen, I paid her $10 an hour for 9 hours a week to drive the kids to soccer practice and help them with homework and math tutoring. Yes. The five months cost $1800. Don’t gasp!!!! It freed up 180 hours of my prime working time for a five month period. Do you think I was able to do the marketing to make additional ‘sales’ i.e. speaking engagement that would more than pay for the five months home help? Of course I did. Many times over. Need I mention the sheer pleasure of not fighting over homework or running back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, or doing extra math tutoring?

Often we look at the cost, rather than the OPPORTUNITY COST of not bringing in staff. Instead of saying to yourself ‘I’d never spend $1800’; say ‘how many sales could I have made in this time? If it outweighs the cost financially or in the pleasure it might give you (for example doing other chores like cleaning, cooking), then it’s a no brainer.