Female entrepreneur, baking extraordinaire and mother of four, Grace Stevens understands that during lockdown many entrepreneurs are thinking about their business’ livelihood and sustainability.
However, for many women managing their businesses in such an unpredictable climate whilst providing the love, care and comfort their families need can seem like a daunting task. So, what is Grace’s secret to this seemingly superwoman status?
She shares the secret and says it comes down to simplicity and that there are a few things all mommy entrepreneurs can do to make the most of this time with their families.
1. Communicate with your family. Ask and gauge how your kids are feeling and what their concerns are so that you can comfort them before they get scared or panic.
2. Build new routines to settle your children and spend time with them before you work. By building new routines that prioritise family time you help ease some of the anxiety your family may be experiencing.
3. Involve your kids in the running of the house such as doing laundry, dishes or cooking. The lockdown presents a great opportunity to teach your children the skills they will need to take care of themselves both emotionally and physically later in life.
4. Make peace with the fact that during the Covid-19 pandemic your business is unlikely to see any significant upward trajectory. Right now, your business strategy should revolve around keeping your brand at the forefront of people’s minds.
5. Ask yourself how your business can add to people’s lives and find creative ways to engage with your audience (such as #breakfastclubwithgracestevens) and reinforce the positive perception of your brand.
6. Set clear goals for yourself, your work and your family and be realistic when setting your goals. You need to adjust your mindset and accept that you may not be as productive as you have been and that is okay.
7. Prepare your family for you to work. Make sure your children have juice and snacks and their devices (and don’t beat yourself up about them spending more time on their devices) before you go work.
8. Have a clearly defined time to work and communicate it with your family and accept and adjust to the fact that your work time may not be quiet or uninterrupted.
9. Have a clearly defined space where you can work. Even if it is a small room or a corner of your lounge masking taped off, have a space to go and work and communicate to your children that between x time and x time when you are in your space you are working.
10. Take the opportunity to upskill yourself and your employees via the internet. Learning new skills presents us with many opportunities to enrich ourselves and keep ourselves motivated.
11. Look for areas that you can improve in your business and adjust your brand. Grace found that shifting more into the online arena has allowed her to be more accessible to a wider audience and says that it has opened a whole new world as an entrepreneur.
12. Make a conscious effort to check in with employees and loved ones you know who are by themselves. This is the perfect time to stretch your employees into roles in the business that you envisioned for them and presents a vital opportunity to nurture members that are crucial to your business and learn new things yourself through mentoring.
13. Remember to take care of yourself and keep up your self-care rituals for the sake of your family. Grace says she prepared before the lockdown by buying some supplies for her hobbies which include crocheting, gardening and reading and says that she tries to take an hour in the morning to do something fun for herself.
14. Children are very sensitive to you noticing their presence and crave your attention. The way to reassure them that everything is okay and calm their anxiety is to give them regular time with you and in doing so you give them the acknowledgment they need.
15. Take it one day at a time, and remember that panic is not productive and that there is no right and wrong way to handle the lockdown.
Women fulfill many roles as the matriarchs of their families and in these strange times, must set a good example for their families and businesses. Grace believes that the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown can be a devastating disaster or reframed as an amazing opportunity to grow in every role we fulfill as entrepreneurs, wives, daughters and most importantly as moms.