Unlike a traditional 9-5 job, Mompreneurs like myself have varying hours depending on the day, the size of the need, and if we decide to open our mouths and ask if anyone can help. Trying to put hours on a schedule like that is not only unrealistic but nerve-wracking. I have had my luxury fashion concierge business, One Posh Closet, for seven years now, and as of the day when this blog goes out, I will have started Queen Anna three years ago. And I have to admit, every single day has been different and even more different than the schedule and calendar that I keep for myself and everyone else.
The one thing that I have learned over the years as an entrepreneur is that balance is not always equal; coming to that conclusion made it easy for me to no longer look for a work-life balance but more of a work-life flow. Depending on who you are talking to and their personal beliefs as it relates to how they keep every aspect of their life as functional as possible, you could get variations of the same concept. Work-life integration, work-life balance, or work-life flow all boil down to how to keep your bills paid and people alive and well at home, similar concepts at work, and still allow yourself space and time to decompress and do something for yourself.
As most women do, I strive to be everything I can be for my family, as well as my team/extended family at work. I am not just a clothing store owner who is all about selling clothes to every single person I come into contact with; instead, I have created a brand that is founded on empowering women through fashion and using the resources that I have to cultivate a group of like-minded women to go out and positively impact the world fashionably, and that takes time and dedication. Being committed to my home first and foremost, the "things" that happen at home are what allows for the additional time and space to do everything else at home, so I work overly hard to make sure things at home are in order.
Everyone has their view on the topic, but I truly believe that trying to do things "equally," or "balanced" at home and work is impossible because there are some times when a 100% of me is needed at home for an extended period and if I were operating from a place of balance that would then put the other parts of my life that I was not available for at zero and that wouldn't be possible for two fully operational brands.
However you choose to see it, I wanted to share my vantage point, and a few quick and easy ways to make a good "work-life flow" and allow for mistakes in between and not feel like everything is going to come crashing down around you. We will have the opportunity to talk about it more intimately AND with my better half Greg on April 16th during a Queen Anna Exclusive Event; "An Intimate Conversation with Greg and Nicole Jennings." We will be discussing in a more detailed manner the various components that make up our occasionally cohesive but seems to work, "work-life flow."
Until then, here are the things that give me the courage to be happily married for 15 years, have four children, be a Girls Scout Troop Leader, have two operational businesses, and eight employees while running marathons for fun and as a significant stress reliever.
Do I know the meaning of life? NO, not even a little bit! But do I know what has worked for me when things at home and work look crazy and sound even crazier? Yes.
- Find and keep a job that you love. Yes, you should be getting paid well too, but when things get tough, you need to know that at the end of the day, it's worth all of the grey hairs that you might be getting from the work you're putting in.
- Ask for help. Sometimes people assume that you are ok because you appear to be, but on the inside, you feel like you are ready to snap and have a circa 2007, Britney Spears, shave your head moment. No one would know how many of these moments I have had in my day, but it's because I put myself through all that agony just because I didn't open my mouth and ask for help.
- Write EVERYTHING down and aim for it to be in a planner. Creating a plan and knowing what the main objective and goal of each day allow me to understand what each one of my actions should be moving me closer to my end goal for each day. Although a stretch, I aim to keep that same planner digitally so that someone else can assist me and sometimes even hold me accountable, so I don't drop the ball (or forget to pick up a child because I have come close to this happening.)
- Schedule alone time with yourself, and don't feel guilty. I had encountered so much mom guilt when I was working at the store, and the kids were at home, but now being at home and they're at home hasn't helped but made the mom guilt even worse. So much so that I choose not to schedule my alone time sometimes, and then by Friday I am D-O-N-E. But again, I know what it stems from, and I have to take ownership of not doing my part and putting me on the top of the "To-Do List."
Realistically, this is the abbreviated version of the things that work for me and has allowed me to function at high capacity without feeling overwhelmed and stretched too thin. Now more than ever is when we need to embrace the concept of "flow" versus "balance." With the effects of COVID-19, so much has changed, and stress levels are at an all-time high across the nation. Giving yourself, as well as others, the grace to make mistakes, figure it out as you go, and get it right sooner or later, will take you farther, faster.
At QA, my team and I strive to assist everyday women just like myself, to feel empowered to do bigger and better things, and I hope that these helpful tips and tricks are another way for us to assist and empower you to do bigger and better.
Join us on April 16th for more but until next time a bye-bye!