I love that line on all the doctors’ office forms and school emergency contact cards that ask for “occupation”. I’ve been creative in the past and put things there such as “Household Engineer”, “Director of Residential Services” and my personal favorite, “CEO of Domestic Relations” but my new favorite title is Mom-trepreneur. It has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? So what is a Mom-trepreneur? Chances are if you are reading this, you are one. You work from home. You play from home. Most of all, you are the heart of your home. Sound corny? Sure it does, but honestly, look at it this way: As a mom, you bring comfort and happiness to your children, order and peace to your home, and friendship and laughter to your family. As a woman with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, you have found a way to provide for your family and home without sacrificing your time at home. Voila, Mom-trepreneur. I know, I know, still a little cheesy, but lets step back a moment and take a look at what it really takes to be a Work at Home Professional, and Mom. When you work for yourself, it is next to impossible to take time off, nobody can do the job better than you can, and there is no room for sick days – in fact, getting sick is completely out of the question. As a mom, you work for yourself, there is definitely no substitution for you, and those sick days…well, you get the picture. There is no education that can prepare you for this job, no way to learn all the required tasks ahead of time, and definitely no way to plan for every possibility. Maybe that’s why it is so much fun. Now for those of you who aren’t very familiar with me and what I do, I am the very proud mother of five beautiful children under the age of nine. Yes, lets just get this out of the way, I did say five. I love the faces of complete strangers in the store, and the unsolicited comments that I get are priceless. “Are they all yours?” and “wow, you have your hands full”. The looks of awe and amazement turn to shock and bewilderment when they learn that I also work full time from home and own a small cake decorating business. And no, I don’t have a nanny. The inevitable question always comes next “How do you do it all?” Glad you asked. I’m a Mom-trepreneur. So what is a Mom-trepreneur, and how do I become one? First – Build yourself a team. The secret to success is not a secret at all. Are you ready? I’m only going to say this once…Teamwork. I know. Simple, easy, uncomplicated. My family lives, and works, as a team. We help each other out. We all have responsibilities – all of us, even the baby (her job is to laugh and bring joy to our day-she’s only four months old after all). We all work together to accomplish our goals as a family. In order to be successful in any business, be it a traditional “job”, or a work at home professional - having a support system, or team, is vital. No matter how hard you try, you can’t do it all on your own without burning out. What good are you if you are tired all the time? Any successful entrepreneur in the “bricks and mortar” world of business has a team of hired go-getters. So do you. Your team, however, just gets paid in love, admiration, and in some cases – cookies. Second – Know your limits. I know. Easier said than done. A very important part of being a successful Mom-trepreneur however, is knowing when to say “when”. This is difficult, I realize that. We all think we can do it all, clean the house, take care of the kids, go on a play date, write 3 articles for the upcoming newsletter, send business cards out to potential new clients, fold the socks, pick up the dry cleaning, oh – and make cookies for the upcoming bake sale at your kids’ school. Sometimes, no matter how much you want to say yes, you are going to have to say no. Quality over quantity. There is only one of you, and you need to make sure you aren’t wearing yourself too thin. Prioritize. It isn’t going to hurt anyone of the socks don’t get folded today, but I don’t think I’d put off changing that diaper for too long. Put the important things first. Third – Have fun. Why did you decide to work for yourself in the first place? Was it to spend more time with your kids? Was it to have a flexible schedule to enjoy life with your family and friends? Just as in the bricks and mortar world of business, again, Entrepreneurs got into what they are doing because they enjoy doing it. Once it becomes too much, too stressful, too overwhelming, you lose the fun. Fun is why you are here in the first place. You love what you do. Don’t let anything ruin that for you. Lastly – Build a support system. Mom-trepreneurs unite! Find yourself a group of like minded individuals like yourself who also work from home such as the WAHPM discussion board. Network with them. Share ideas. They are your colleagues. It is entirely possible that someone may have the solution to an issue you’ve been experiencing. You may be able to swap marketing ideas. Whatever the case, you aren’t alone in your business, you have a support system to trade ideas with and lean on when needed, and that is priceless. That’s it. You are a Mom-trepreneur. Welcome.