By appearance, she had it all together. She had the quintessential messy mom bun that managed to be cute instead of greasy. She sported a well-coordinated outfit that made her look like she walked off the pages of a lululemon catalog. There wasn’t a drip of sweat to be seen as she swiped her Red Card. And her children, a boy and a girl, probably about seven and nine, were content and quiet. She was a vision. And that’s when she started speaking.
“You can’t imagine what we’ve been through today,” she told the cashier, as she was suddenly and inexplicably at the brink of tears. “We’ve been to five different stores and spent more money than I thought possible, all on back to school. I haven’t eaten since yesterday and I need a nap. How do people do this!?”
In that single humanizing moment, that mom was all of us.
Back to school is a stressful time for everyone. Kids are worried about things like who they’ll sit with at lunch on the first day or how that one math teacher everyone’s afraid of will treat them.
Meanwhile, parents who are small business owners don’t have any other choice. Everything must be status quo for their business despite the major life shift in their family life. And it’s more important than ever to be there for the kids.
So how do small business owners survive the taxing time that is back-to-school season?
It takes a village
Every company is different, including a diverse population of employees. Some of them will be going through exactly what you are, trying to balance the demands of planning and working through back to school with their work life.
Regardless, now is the time to band together and lean on each other to work through what can be a pretty challenging time for everyone. That means finding ways to delegate, but also focusing on pproblem-solvingas a team.
Remember your priorities
Most small business owners care more about their business than they ever thought possible. They will do whatever necessary for the business to be successful.
The same goes for family, all year round. But particularly as far as back to school time goes, take it easy on yourself. And remember your why, your reason for pursuing your passion, throughout.
Think like the CEO You Are
Chances are, as a small business owner, you have at least one thing in common. You dream big. And you are all in. Even if that means working longer hours and forgetting to take time off and losing sight of why you did all of this in the first place.
Most small business owners know there is a difference between working your business and being your business. Yet doing too much is among one of the most common mistakes made by new and seasoned entrepreneurs alike.
Stay on track, delegate and embrace opportunity. Those are the things not to lose sight of during an otherwise demanding time. Everything else can be shifted to allow priorities to be where they should be.
Finally, remember that it’s okay not to have everything together 100 percent of the time. It’s okay to be that mom at Target who looks the part but doesn’t feel it in the slightest. It’s only temporary.
And before we know it, we’ll have Christmas to be worried about.