3 Tips For The Entrepreneurial Single Mom
I define a single mother as a mom who’s the head of her household. Whether your divorced or never married, with or without involved co-parents, I believe single moms make great entrepreneurs. A single mom myself, I know the exact challenges single moms face in pursuing entrepreneurship, I also know the skills we possess put under the framework of entrepreneurship, would create highly successful businesses. While I realize every single mom isn’t entrepreneurial, I believe it’s due to entrepreneurship not being perceived as a viable option. Which is why these 3 tips for the entrepreneurial single mom are so relevant.
1) Maintain A Growth Mindset
By definition, a growth mindset is having an underlying belief that learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience. It’s not about having all the skills or resources, it’s about believing you can which in turn establishes your work ethic and intention towards what you believe. This is the most important thing you can do. Accepting the reality of being a single mother and all you have to manage doesn’t mean there isn’t room to pursue entrepreneurship. Plus, you won’t be a single mom forever so imagine when bae comes into the picture and sees you building your empire, he better have his game and shit together okurrr. But seriously, I’ll reiterate, the way we think about things dramatically enhances the likelihood of those things to happen. You absolutely can become a successful entrepreneur.
I remember moving into my new place as a single mom of two and immediately thinking about the grind of going to work, coming home feeling exhausted, and having to jump into the role of being mom. I knew at that moment I didn’t have a lot of options, but what I also knew is I’d better create some. So much about maintaining a growth mindset is being able to see beyond the barriers of today. Believe me, I know that’s not an easy thing to do with so much on your plate. Keep in mind entrepreneurship is something you control, what you pursue, how you plan to monetize, who you serve, etc… the beauty of it is we all have a unique gift we can turn into a business, but our mind has to be in the right place.
2) List Out Your Passions
We live in a day and age where left and right people are feeding entrepreneurship as this glittery effortless thing you can achieve by following what this or that person did. That’s not the reality of it at all, after getting your mind in the right place, the 1st actionable step is taking a deep dive into yourself. What are you passionate about? What things are you naturally good at and willing to expand? What excites or motivates you? These are questions you want to ask yourself when deciding what you’ll pursue as an entrepreneur. Side note, over time your entrepreneurship journey will go through iterations, you’ll pivot a few times before landing on your bread and butter business. Know every season of the journey is necessary, however, if you don’t initially pursue something meaningful to you, you’ll waste a lot of time getting started on the wrong track.
I’ll use my personal timeline as an example: I started as a blogger where I realized I can actually make money off something I enjoy, I co-owned a shop that helped me better understand how to collaborate professionally as a business owner, I realized my true calling was rooted in empowerment and impact so I founded Empowomant, a social impact women’s organization, I became a maker at Harp Noelle, and I also partnered in a work-space. The journey inspired me to explore things I’m passionate about, it wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t follow things I felt deeply connected to.
When listing your passions, consider your life as a single mom. How can the things you’re passionate about be integrated into your family or help better care for your family? Some of you may select a passion your children can be involved with because you don’t have a huge community of support, those of you who have more time due to co-parenting or family may start something independent of your family. The same is true financially when considering your passions, choose a passion you can commit to financially, get a clear picture of what it would cost to start that business. Look around your life whether it’s in relation to single motherhood or not and fill the gaps around the products, communities, or services you can’t find by creating them.
3) Convert Mom Management to Business Management
Here’s the facts, you’re already a master manager of time! All you have to to is channel that skill set into a CEO mentality. Who manages to get the kids up and ready, fed, off to school, go to work, pick the kids up, get them fed again, homework done, and back to bed??? YOU! Not to mention the additional household responsibilities like shopping, paying bills, cleaning, being mommy therapist, being mommy dearest (hello discipline), there’s nothing you cant do! This is a mirror to entrepreneurship and you’re already a pro. It’s such a dynamic time for women to pursue entrepreneurship and single moms should feel empowered to pursue and thrive in it. You don’t have to imagine or watch everyone else live out their dreams, you can too!
Just as we make sure we’re managing in motherhood, lets take it a step further and take full control of our careers to design the lives we want for ourselves and our children. When I looked at the staggering statistics around single moms in this county, I realized it’s time to take matters into our own hands. We have so much more to offer the world and entrepreneurship is a an option. Here’s a snapshot of the statistics around single mom led households in the US:
According to 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, out of about 12 million single parent families with children under the age of 18, more than 80% were headed by single mothers
The median income for families led by a single mother in 2016 was about $35,400
Single mothers are much more likely to be poor than married couples. The poverty rate for single-mother families in 2016 was 35.6%
Families headed by women of color fare even worse. Nearly two in five (38.8%) of Black female-headed families lived in poverty, Hispanic (40.8%), White (30.2%), and Asian (29.9%)
Families headed by single mothers are among the poorest households, more than a third lived in poverty, and as such, are extremely vulnerable to homelessness
Single mothers often spend over half of their income on housing expenses and a third on child care, leaving them with less money for educational expenses
We’re so much more than this picture paints of us. Which is why over the next few months myself and my company will roll out initiatives to empower entrepreneurial single moms specifically, in addition to entrepreneurial women. We’re taking an actionable approach to making entrepreneurship a viable option for all women, not some, and my first tip of maintaining a growth mindset is where we’ll start. I can’t wait to journey beside all of you proving single moms have more than what it takes to become successful entrepreneurs! xx