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I have a ton of students who are busy moms. One of the most common objections I hear from them before they join my community is their lack of time. And since I’m not a mom, it’s a little difficult to address this. Luckily, I have Monica Froese here to help!
Monica Froese is a mom, wife, and business strategist for mom entrepreneurs. She has an MBA in finance and marketing and blogs at Redefining Mom, a site that helps moms build thriving online businesses.
In 2015, she traveled to the White House to discuss family-friendly workplace policies with the president’s senior advisors and has been featured on several media outlets including Fox News, Scary Mommy, Healthline, and Mom Talk Radio. With her tactical approach to balancing family and online business, she helps busy moms build successful businesses and change their lives at the same time. She’s a work-at-home mom advocate!
Monica was kind enough to share with us how to fit in building a business as a side hustle that will eventually grow and how to scale it — especially with an extremely busy schedule.
So let’s get started!
Monica’s Journey to Becoming a Kick-Butt Entrepreneur
Monica always believed she would continue to work a corporate job after having children. But suffering from postpartum PTSD and struggling to balance a full-time job with a baby took its toll, and she felt frazzled. A Google search to find a solution to her problems brought up nothing, so she decided to start her own blog to reach out to other busy moms like her who feel overwhelmed and are struggling to balance it all. She jumped in with both feet, even though she knew nothing about blogging to begin with!
Monica believes she is not a typical blogger. She’s not passionate about writing a ton of content in the typical blogging fashion. She’s not a fan of working with brands, as it makes her feel beholden to a contract and puts her back in the state of mind of having a boss. Not ideal when you dream of being your own boss!
She decided early on she wasn’t going to chase page views or monetize her blog through ads, instead focusing on getting people into her funnel and email marketing. She realized a lot of people didn’t understand effective email lists and segmentation, so she started working one-on-one with them.
After spending eight months interviewing women and identifying their struggles, she quickly ripped off the Band-Aid and launched her course, Busy Moms Building.
I love this part of Monica’s journey because that’s exactly how I created my first course. In 2014, I bought my domain, and within ten days I published my first eBook. Shortly after, I launched my course based on that book. Fifteen people purchased the book, and I did one-on-one training since I had no idea what people wanted. You never know where the holes are in your business or marketing or product until you let people fall into those holes!
I’m all about getting out there and learning as you go. The perfection mindset holds back a lot of people. You don’t have to wait for perfection.
Figure Out Your Why
I get a LOT of emails from my readers saying they want to stay at home with their kids but also want to contribute to their family’s finances. They just don’t know where to begin or if starting a business is even right for them.
Monica has a worksheet she takes her clients through called Do You Have the Entrepreneurial Bug? She thinks it’s super important to be sure and passionate about what you’re about to do. Otherwise, you’ll find it harder to keep up with than a full-time job. Starting a business might not be the right choice for everyone.
The mental energy that goes into Monica’s business is nothing compared to her old corporate job, and that job was demanding. She’s open and honest about that because she prefers people to go into it with both eyes open.
She breaks it down into three different categories: evaluate your intentions, evaluate your personal life, and evaluate your current employment situation.
Evaluate Your Intentions
Ask yourself why you want to start a business and where this desire stems from. Is it because you’re actually passionate about the topic? Or is it because you hate your job and just want out? If it’s the latter, you could probably find alternatives.
If you know your why and you’re passionate about something, even though it takes more mental energy, it doesn’t feel like work and you enjoy doing it. Monica was able to launch a course even though she was ten weeks pregnant and sick out of her mind (can we say rockstar?!) because she’s passionate about her business.
So think about what your why is, what drives you, and what you’re super excited about. Can you turn it into a business? I bet you can!
Evaluate Your Personal Life
You have to evaluate your personal life because if your partner isn’t on board, it’s going to be a difficult road ahead.
Monica admits she quit her job without a plan and that made her husband uneasy. Her advice is to get them on board first so you don’t butt heads. She says if she’d gotten him on board from the beginning, it wouldn’t have been so difficult.
To get your spouse on board, Monica says you must first be open and honest about why you need this change. And you have to discuss the numbers for making this change work. You really have to understand what your family situation is and the factors that affect it.
I know a lot of my students (male and female!) strategize with their partners and say, “I’ll look after the kids during the day, and when you get home, you can take over, and I’ll work for a couple of hours.” You’ve got to work as a team!
Evaluate Your Current Employment Situation
Evaluate how you can afford to quit your job and be a work-at-home mom.
Monica cautions that many moms will convince their husbands by saying they’ll save on childcare costs by keeping the kids home, but then they end up pulling their hair out because they can’t get any work done. I have one work-at-home mom on my team who attempted to work with her child home… it didn’t work out so well. 😉 But I have other WAH moms on my team who are able to make it work. So it’s important to be realistic about what you can cut from your budget.
You’ll also need to consider what benefits and insurance your current employer covers before you quit your day job. If your partner’s job doesn’t include benefits like medical and dental insurance for your family, then you may need to cover this with your self-employed income. Planning these things in advance will avoid any nasty surprises down the line!
It all comes down to the numbers. If you can say, “I’m going to make this much in my side hustle. This is what it’s going to cover. This is how it’s going to impact the bottom line of the family,” then they’re more likely to be on board with you.
Why BUSY MOMS SHOULD Outsource
Monica is a strong believer in outsourcing to give you back time to do tasks that will earn more. She’s got a kick-butt formula to explain how it works. If you pay someone $20/hour to clean for five hours, that’s $100 spent that frees up time where you could earn up to $100/hour doing something you love. You save time AND earn more in the end. It’s a win-win!
I’m also a strong believer in outsourcing. You can pay someone to come in and clean, do laundry, or watch your children for a bit. People are so hesitant to spend money to make money, but you really do need to find that room and believe in yourself.
Most people don’t realize that starting a business isn’t about finding people who will pay you for stuff. It’s about who out there has a problem and how can I solve it. Flip the switch and find people who have problems and solve those problems, and that’s how you naturally solve your own problems. But most people aren’t willing to take that first step. It’s just not natural for humans to stop thinking about themselves.
Monica believes that outsourcing is so much easier when you’re going to be home anyway. You don’t have to be as strict about who you hire. For example, you can have a 16-year-old high school student come for a few hours after school and make sure that your kids don’t hurt each other. You’ll still be in the house. You can pay eager new teen drivers to pick up your groceries or mow your lawn. There are a lot of creative ways to outsource.
I outsource, and I love it! I devote that time saved back into growing my business.
Outsourcing Mindset Shift
Monica admits to being an introvert and says she struggled with asking for help. It was a huge mindset shift for her to ask and accept help for her family and business.
I like the fact that I pay as many people as I do to do stuff in my business because that’s helping them grow their businesses. Again, helping them solve their problems will help you naturally solve your problems, and that makes everyone happier.
Monica understands it’s hard for type A personalities to let go of control and put it in someone else’s hands. It’s a learned skill, and every skill takes practice. Start small, like having a meal delivered. And then take that saved time to do something like go to a hotel for twenty-four hours to work. If you have hotel room points, use them! You can accomplish A LOT in twenty-four hours. Put it on the calendar because if you don’t schedule it, you won’t do it.
Having a solid system is transformative. Start with a system at the beginning to guide you toward success. We all make excuses, like we don’t know how to do something or we don’t have time, but excuses are just limiting beliefs we tell ourselves. Flip the switch, stop thinking those things, and use systems.
Find your why, find your strength, figure out what you want to do, and take steps to make it happen; that’s a gamechanger.
If Monica’s story motivated you to realize that you can be both an awesome work-at-home mom and a contributor to your family’s finances, then you definitely want to check out Work-At-Home School.