Prepare yourself. I’m getting totally honest with you right now. Here it is:
A 3 year struggle with infertility was what prompted me to go full-time in my own biz.
I was working from home for someone else, and able to spend a ton of time with my nieces and nephews. And I was like, Man - this would be cool to do with my own kid one day.
So I did it.
I felt like once I finally became a mom, I wouldn’t want to miss a thing. And I don’t. And I haven’t.
The first smile. The first time he sat up. The first time he did that random backwards crawl that babies do. I was there.
My business, and my amazing clients, have given me the gift of presence. Being fully present with my son when it’s mom time. And being fully in service to my clients when it’s biz time.
It’s a difficult dance, for sure. But it’s doable. (Don’t ever let anyone tell you it isn’t.)
I’ve had people tell me I shouldn’t talk about my kid in business conversations. That I shouldn’t mention him to clients on discovery calls. That I shouldn't integrate pictures of my life with him into the view I give you of my business life. But I don’t buy that at all.
1) IT Determines “fit”
My son and his childcare schedule informs & shapes my work schedule. And my work schedule and process determines whether I’m a good fit for someone. Determining fit is what a discovery call is all about. If a client is looking for a specific availability, informing them of what my biz looks like behind the scenes will help them know if we're a match.
If you’re stuck, here’s a glimpse into what I might say: “Before we hang up, I just want to be sure my workflow is a good fit for you. My office hours rotate - sometimes during the day, sometimes evening hours. But my clients are always able to see my availability in my scheduler at any time. And I always meet deadlines. How does that sound to you?”
2) IT Manages expectations
Being upfront about my work schedule means my clients won’t be caught off guard after a few weeks of working together. Some days it's difficult for me, for instance, to just jump on a call with a few minutes notice. If they forget what I said about the schedule, I can gently remind them why I’m not available certain days. And I always work with them to find a solution that suits us both. If their priorities change, I’m not afraid to let them know I won’t be offended if they need to find someone else.
3) IT Explains my “why”
Discovery calls are really a chance for you and your client to build some rapport and get to know each other. That’s why it’s not uncommon for clients to ask me how long I’ve been in business, or why I went into business in the first place. Being honest about my passions (all of them) gives a good glimpse into who I am. When they understand who I am, and why I believe in what I do so much, that generally increases their faith in my ability to bring value to their biz.
If you’re a work-at-home parent, remember: you can find that balance. It’s possible. And use this as your encouragement. You're the CEO of your biz. You make the rules.