In just a couple months I will be celebrating my 13th anniversary as a mompreneur. Being a mom entrepreneur has been such a mind-blowing journey and I am in awe of who I’ve become in the process. I do feel like when I decided to quit my job and work from home, I had no idea what I was getting myself into and there is so much no one tells you about being a mompreneur, maybe because no one really asks.
Everyone wants to be a mompreneur these days and many people call themselves an entrepreneur when they really have no idea what the title entails.
entrepreneur. n. a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
The world entrepreneur comes from the French “entreprendre,” which means “undertake.” Being a mom entrepreneur implies that you are committing to take on a lot of responsibility, and it’s not just a glorified title that makes you an instant millionaire – if ever or at all.
I feel so blessed to call myself a mompreneur after all these years, because almost 90% of new businesses, especially new entrepreneurial start ups fail within a few years. The struggle is real, and chances are you’re already feeling it. And since I don’t believe that ignorance is bliss, I’m going to share 7 things no one tells you about being a mompreneur, so you can be prepared for the journey, while knowing you can go the distance – and that it will be worth it. Here we go!
7 Facts No One Tells You About Being A Mompreneur
You’re going to feel defeated. You’re going to feel like quitting A LOT… maybe every day. You’re going to wonder why you even decided to do this and get very frustrated that it is NOT working. Some days you will feel like it will NEVER EVER work and it’s all just been a waste of your time. You’re also going to blame yourself for being delusional and thinking this was in the stars for you.
You’re going to feel lonely. If you quit your day job, you will quit most of your workplace relationships, and if you’re still working full or part time, you won’t have time to socialize with them and will no longer relate to them – which reminds me, many people will be unable to relate to you and will think you are weird and delusional, painfully validating what your inner bully already says about you. OUCH! You will be on the grind and will drop many of the things you used to enjoy, working alone, by yourself, solo.
Oh… and on top of that, they’ll criticize you for it. You’ll feel like an outcast because no one understands why you’ve chosen this path and, to be honest, you can’t even articulate why. You’re going to feel like your family doesn’t get it and your best friends don’t understand, and like your relationships are suffering, because no one supports you!
You’re going to feel like like a fraud. You for sure are going to feel like you can’t do this mompreneur thing and you don’t have what it takes. You’re going to feel the impostor syndrome constantly whispering in your ear to stop pretending you know what you are doing. There will be days you will ask the literal questions:
How dare I think I could do this?
Just who do I think I am?
What was I on to think I deserved to be here?
You’re going to stop yourself from going after opportunities because you don’t feel qualified, or because you don’t know “enough” yet. And when you get the confidence to say yes to your dream and amaze yourself because you absolutely rocked it, you will not give yourself credit. You will discount it just like when someone compliments you on how sexy you look in that dress: “Oh, this old thing? I got it on sale!” So you won’t post the testimonial on the website and you won’t mention the award on your bio, and you won’t tell anyone about the new client or the added zero to your bank account, especially NOT on Facebook, because that would be bragging and if only they knew you’re not perfect and if they only knew all your struggles and that you don’t have it all together, they’d think you’re a joke.
You’re going to feel exhausted. So you think you’re in it for the flexible hours and the freedom? Well, let me just say that when you start your business you’re going to work like 87 hours a week and make less money than when you worked 40. You’ll never get time off and you can’t call in sick because the whole operation revolves around you.
You’re going to realize that you signed up to “follow your passion” and to “do what you love,” but all of a sudden you have a lot of other responsibilities that you are certainly are not passionate about and that you absolutely hate doing.
And to make it harder, everyone and their sister will want to have you please help them with something because you’re so nice and “you have the time because you’re “NOT WORKING!” Grrrrr! By the end of the day you pass out and feel like you didn’t really get much accomplished.
You’re going to feel lost. You’re going to feel scattered and will pray for direction and then regret you even asked. Everyone will want to tell you what to do and how to do it.. and will want to charge you an arm and a leg and a note warranting the life of your first born child for their precious advice that made them so many millions… or so they say, because you don’t really know for sure.
You will get sick. The minute you sign up to be a mom entrepreneur, you feel like it’s all about peak performance and maximum achievement, which will put tremendous pressure on you (on top of everything else you were already doing as a mom, and if you’re still an employee or contractor for someone else, oh my!). You will become addicted to keeping up with this pace, because you want to be “successful.” If we’re honest, what you want is for those people who don’t get it and doubt you to know that you are actually what they call successful and you want to convince yourself that you were right. God forbid you have to go through the embarrassment of admitting that you’re broke and depleted!
So you put off peeing, eating well, sleeping well, exercising, breathing … anything that is not related to “your success and financial freedom.” You convince yourself that you’ll self-care later and you make yourself ill. You will even ignore the signals that tell you you’re not well, because “you can’t be sick on the day you’re meeting with this important client,” and “you can sleep AFTER you’ve finished this important project that will skyrocket the trajectory of your business.” Famous last words.
Your wallet will be disappointed. You’re going to look at your bank statement and you will suddenly miss your paycheck. “Oh steady, predictable, reliable good old paycheck of mine! We were so good together. Why did I ever let you go!” You’re also going to miss your policies, each and every one of them… sometimes all at the same time!
You’re going to understand that the get-rich-quick doing what you love in a four-hour-week was just a fantasy you wanted to believe, and that it will take effort, energy, time (and patience) to build a solid foundation and even more to enjoy the fruits of a sustainably successful enterprise.
You’ll also come to terms that if you actually want to have the lifestyle you said you wanted when you first started, you will need to dial it back a bit and maybe say no to really amazing out-of-this-world endeavors that would make bring you some money but will rob your peace. You said you became a mom entrepreneur to be more present with your family, to help others, and all that jazz, and now you find yourself disconnected and unable to serve, because you’re stressed out, drained, and absent-minded – chasing numbers, impressions, and quotas to the point of self-induced panic attacks.
Is this really the transparent truth of mompreneurship?
My life story, my research, and my experience working with thousands of mom entrepreneurs proves that these are all realities you could experience as a mompreneur. However, being aware that these are likely to happen can prepare you to face them with grace and bounce back more quickly.
Deciding to become a mom entrepreneur has been -hands down- one of the best choices of my life, and I wouldn’t trade my journey. I honor it with its highs and low-lows, and I am grateful for having trusted the vision God gave me, and to see the miracles it has brought in my life. My sense of isolation, the mockery, the criticism, the exhaustion, the let downs, and the self-doubt have all been worth it, and so will yours.
What is one thing you feel no one told you about being a mompreneur? If you’re ready to become more transparent so that other moms don’t believe a false fantasy, I invite you to comment below – and share it with a mompreneur you know!