10 Reasons Why Your Kids Are an Asset to Your Home-Based Business!
A hand was raised. The woman asking the question looked highly stressed and disappointed in herself. I was a featured speaker for an event that I host with two of my friends. We were discussing authentic leadership.
First she said, “I am a mom with two kids and having trouble figuring out how to build my business from home. I don’t feel I’m being attentive enough to my children. I feel like I’m failing in business.“ I waited for the question, but knew what she was going to ask, “How do you have time to build a business with 7 children?”
I’m building a kick-ass business working from home. I have watched my work-at-home income go from zero to a multiple 6-figure income annually in just three years. I have 7 kids. They are loud and messy. My home is chaotic to say the least.
I accept the fact that I am not perfect. Oftentimes, I can’t even find a pen. I write notes on envelopes when I can’t find my notebook. But I also discovered early on that my kids are perhaps my greatest resource in building a business from home. I am not the only hot-mess business builder I know working with screaming kids in their home offices. Perspective is everything.
“First off, your kids are not a liability, they are your greatest asset in this business. (and in life of course).”
She had no idea what I meant by that.
But she started to cry. She needed to hear that.
She needed to be free to know that she didn’t have to be perfect in order to be successful. In fact, I have noticed that Moms Make the Best Entrepreneurs. She needed to know that her children would not be left behind in the process. I also told her that she wasn’t failing. I knew that the problem wasn’t with her kids. I suggested a different perspective.
Here are the top ten reasons why I believe your children are an asset to building business:
Authentic Networking – Soccer games, doctor’s appointments, PTA meetings and teacher conferences are not a distraction from business but an opportunity to expand your network. This may seem obvious but I am constantly surprised when I hear my friends in business complaining that the meetings and appointments with their children are stopping them from connecting with people. Forming a connection with (doctors, soccer moms, teachers) are excellent ways to find new customers and business builders. Your kid’s extracurricular activities are networking opportunities.
Credibility – When you present yourself as someone who values your family and children, it says a lot about you. I’ve built most of my network based on my passion for people building families via adoption. When I found my business opportunity I knew it was also beneficial to families. My community knew that I was not just a ‘sales person’ pitching something. They watched me promote adoption and causes for kids with special needs for years. I was credible to them because they saw that my first passion was for children and families. They trusted me and valued my opinion because of how deeply invested I was in my kids. Focusing on advocacy for your kids will bring a natural network to you of people who trust you as a leader.
If She Can Do It I Can Do It– In the beginning of building my business, I would control my phone calls so there was no noise in the background. I would be really careful to appear to be as ‘corporate’ and ‘professional’ as possible. While I believe it is important to not have children interrupting your scheduled calls (see the BBC video), I also have noticed that the occasional sound of kids playing in the background or occasional interruption actually paints a picture of possibility for your potential business builders. Most of my strongest business builders are moms. Some of them believe a work-at-home business would detract from their children. Showing them that you are real and that it is okay to have your kids around during calls, actually demonstrates that they can still place their kids first AND build an amazing business.
Contemporary Business Style – I know this may seem like a strange point (and I will be creating a post that goes more in depth regarding this), but the days of three piece suits, pocket watches and pursed lips in a business meeting are over. Meetings in Starbucks, potlucks, living rooms, and on Skype are more in line with the style of business these days. You do not have to be the person who is constantly dressed in 1990’s corporate business attire to attract customers or business partners. As a mother, it is not uncommon for me to be connecting with my best new leaders while wearing casual clothes (including sweats) with no make-up on with my kids nearby. Don’t get me wrong, we want to look great and dress up when we need to. But it is very acceptable these days to be dressed down. It creates a perception of being more approachable and real. You want to attract people who are more savvy with the current fashion of business. Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs both were jeans and t-shirts kind of businessmen. This is the climate we are living in now. So, personally I have given my suits to the Goodwill. And if I happen to be out with my kids with a baseball cap on my head wearing sneakers or flip-flops, I do not let my attire limit my ability to have a conversation with someone regarding my product line or business opportunity. To be even more direct: the recent and overlooked baby food stain on your sweat pants doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from making a transaction.
Expanded Network – Your kids know people. I have several examples of my kids coming home and saying “Jamie’s mom wants to try your products”. My kids have been listening and apparently sharing my business with others. One new business builder had experience in my industry (the mom of one of my daughter’s friends). Another mother desperately needed my product and had people she wanted to share it with. Never underestimate, the power of having your kids shadowing you in business. Your network will expand when you include your kids and you will be teaching them skills that will benefit them in the future.
Flexibility – Kids keep you flexible. In business, you need to develop a sense of being able to ‘go with the flow’ when needed. Yes, your schedule is important, but it is also important to be able to shift gears when needed and deviate from your original calendar.
Visionary – Kids dream. Some of us have lost or ignored our dreams. Children naturally help us to remember lofty goals and visions that well-meaning adults talked us out of as kids. My children have reminded me that it is still okay to pick up the goals and dreams that I had let go of many years prior. Their eyes, visions and stories pull out amazing ideas that help my business grow. My imagination has been highly developed by playing with my kids. This has made me more open-minded as well when listening to the dreams of my new associates and business partners.
Identity – When I first started working in the industry of network marketing, I was terrified and convinced that I would have to BE something other than who I was. I realized that my industry is a vehicle in helping me achieve goals but my identity is not dictated by what I do. My children remind me of who I am and how I want to become a better person. I can see my strengths in them and weaknesses. They help to develop and refine me as I parent them. My kids help me to clearly desire to be a better aspect of who I currently am.
Grace and Forgiveness – Good parents learn how to show grace to their kids. Children know how to forgive and forget. As leaders of teams and business builders we need to show grace to ourselves as well as others. Parenting our children has taught us how to be leaders who correct but show grace. Our children exemplify what it means to forgive others and move on in partnership with people who make mistakes.
Legacy and Inheritance – in partnering with your children you are showing them what building wealth looks like. You are also teaching them that family is important and success doesn’t have to mean leaving your family behind. Your kids will witness what true apprenticeship looks like by becoming more involved with your business. And you will be teaching them how to be successful.
Love your children. Give yourself permission to be a great mom as well as someone who can build a kick-ass business without ignoring your kids. You can do this! Building a business from home with your children could be the best partnership you’ve ever had!
Deanna Falchook is a Mom of 7 Children and a successful home-based entrepreneur for a health and wellness business. She coaches on Authenticity in Business. For more info please check out what she does here!