Thinking into results
April 27, 2017
Can the Mompreneur Have It All? 5 Ways In Which Thinking Into Results helps women entrepreneurs find balance.
By Coach Hina Khan
If you, like me, are an entrepreneur and a mother with small kids, you have probably been told at some point, “you can’t have it all.”
The well-intentioned friends, family members and colleagues who share this wisdom mean well, but they’re often reinforcing a false dilemma between work, family, and health.
As part of a program I lead called Thinking Into Results, I help mompreneurs, or businesswomen with children, disprove this advice by answering the question, “how do I create and run a successful business while having a family?” and in the process we re-define what it means to “have it all.”
As part of our process we take five crucial steps. They are:
- Set Goals, Set Priorities.
A successful businesswomen managing professional and personal responsibilities first needs to move from the option of working more to working smarter. That process begins by setting clear goals which in turn allow us to set priorities.
If we don’t have clear goals we often end-up spending time on activities that are distracting us from the end-game. Rather than manage time, we need to learn to manage activities, and focus on those revenue-generating activities that move them closer to the goal.
Often after completing Thinking Into Results I see participants become more productive than they were prior to having children. They’ve discovered their focus, which causes them to think differently about their business and to become more firm in prioritizing productive activities and de-prioritizing those activities to which they should say “No”.
2.) Understand The Role of The Subconscious In Our Decision Making
Our subscious influences our decision-making process, and often times I see female entrepreneurs who think they want to grow their businesses but who feel that doing so would eventually harm their families.
Without realizing it, women may sabotage their own activities, hold back on making decisions, & become more risk-averse because they fear subconsciously that more success = more work. By controlling our actions, our subconscious can control our results.
What’s more, oftentimes in our subconscious we carry generational baggage. One client, for example, had watched how her mother and mother-in-law had both left their jobs to raise their families and those examples were causing her to feel guilty and anxious about her own professional pursuits.
Understanding that these beliefs are not, in fact, our beliefs is the first step towards liberating ourselves from them. Until we understand the underlying narratives of our subconscious, women entrepreneurs may find it difficult to communicate our value, to make important decisions, and to take the necessary steps towards fulfilling our dreams.
3.) Form new behaviours through habits.
How often does it happen that we promise ourselves to start going to the gym everyday or to meditate every evening only to find that, after a few days or a week, we start to fall back into our standard routine?
New behaviours are hard to create because they’re guided by habits, and habits are hard to change.
The location of our comfort-zone is also within those old habits that are constantly working against our desire for change. The reason why rehabilitation programs often remove people from their normal surroundings for long-periods of time is because such isolation is required to form new habits.
Without the luxury of removing ourselves from our daily lives, part of the focus of Thinking Into Results is to help women develop new habits which can in turn become sustainable behaviours. Such personal re-wiring is challenging but also the key towards finding the everlasting change that helps reinstate balance into our lives.
4.) Don’t think outside the box: get outside the box by taking control.
Many women entrepreneurs suffer from feeling like they’re not in control, and constantly-buzzing cellphones only accentuate the notion that our time is not our time.
The first step in harnessing control is accepting that our lives are in fact a product of our decisions.
If we are slaves to our phones it is because we have set the expectation that we are always available for an immediate response. Taking control therefore means taking responsibility for our circumstances, and exercising our power to develop a new, healthier context.
It is not enough, therefore, to think outside the box; we need to get outside the box. If the box is our lives we need to look from the outside and question, “what do I want, and what needs to change in order for me to get there?” Recognizing responsibility, taking control and then getting outside the box are all part of what Thinking Into Results seeks to enable.
5.) We can’t have it all? Let’s re-define “all”.
Maybe you’ve seen a social media post directed at professional women that says, “work, family, and health, pick two of three”. The underlying assumption is that the three components of our lives are necessarily in opposition to each other and working against each other. Maybe we even think that work and health are necessary evils whereas only family life is fulfilling.
When we reach this false paradigm we know that it’s time to re-think our activities and re-focus on the things that bring us fulfillment.
There is no reason why work cannot be fulfilling: indeed, entrepreneurship requires too much risk to not be fulfilling.
Living a healthy lifestyle enables us to bring the best version of ourselves to our work and family.
A balanced family-life allows us to be more focused and productive at work.
Redefining what it means to “have it all” means that we need to thread a needle between work, family, and health in order to have alignment around the idea of fulfilment.
Growing and achieving our goals requires a new-skill set, which is adaptation. In a growing organization the role of a leader is in constant fluctuation. To avoid the trap of having to work more in order to achieve more, we first need to understand what we want, and then understand how our subconscious may be limiting our ability to achieve those goals. We then learn to prioritize the activities that move us towards our goals, examine our behaviours and identify new habits that can enable success in the long term.
Having it all is not the exclusive privilege of those with abundant resources: it’s the byproduct of a healthy examination of who we are, what we want, and how we achieve it. This, ultimately, is what Thinking Into Results sets out to achieve.