Amidst the chaos surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all facing tough challenges. These uncertain times are magnifying all that is typically difficult to handle in the best of times- everything from finding/holding jobs with decent benefits, to maintenance of the household, and motherhood. Many female entrepreneurs are in a trickier position, as they have to figure out how to juggle work/life balance, in addition to the heavy weight of keeping their business operations running as smoothly as possible on all fronts. This is all while still having to worry about purchasing highly coveted essential items, home schooling, and maintaining a brave face through it all as savings continue to dwindle.
Truth be told, it’s scary, especially with no clear vision on when things might get back to normal. But one thing every female entrepreneur must keep in mind is that they are not alone in this battle. I asked five leading female entrepreneurs how they are managing to navigate this new business landscape.
Here’s what they had to say.
Remember That YOU Come First
You need to be in good health in order to properly take on all your roles with conviction. This is a sentiment echoed by Kylie Chapman, the CEO of business development education resource 7 Figure Surfer. “The most important thing I’ve learned over the last 11 years is to take care of yourself first. I learned the hard way – numerous times – that I will literally drop to the floor if I don’t take care of myself and be kind to me. If there was one take away from my experience it would be ‘self care always,’” Chapman says.
Additionally, Chapman balances her time by keeping her devices close, and working nontraditional hours if needed, in order to cater to the needs of her children. “I’m now the mother of teenagers so the balancing act is so much easier. I still take my laptop to sports days to fill in the gaps if needed. And work at nights and on weekends if it means I can make time for them when they need me,” notes Chapman. “At the end of the day, as a single mother with no help, you don’t have a choice so you just have to do whatever it takes.”
Hold Onto The “Team Mentality
”Whether at work or at home, hold onto the “team mentality” and don’t take everything on yourself. At home, you’re sharing this experience with your significant other/children/pets/roommates. You’re not alone. And when it comes to work, you’re sharing this experience with your founders/team members/clients/advisors. You’re still not alone!
Donata Misiuta, the Vice President of Markus Tech Co. Inc. is a believer in the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but that individuality and creativity are also key. “Over the years I have found that it was the people I met along the way that have helped me in my journey and in my success to date. I have always had the “team” mentality from when I was a little 7 year old girl forming my first club with some local neighbor friends. It is the ‘group’ that helps weather-the-storms, share their experiences and celebrate the winnings,” says Misiuta.
Misiuta goes onto explain how she keeps the delicate energetic balance and role as a leader by adding, “Investing and re-investing in oneself, in your family/friends/loved ones, and in your passions/projects/ventures are foremost. Understanding that you are a leader, creating a path for generations to follow and mastering life’s lessons are aspiring, powerful beliefs big and dear to my heart.”
Give Yourself Time To Recharge Whenever Possible
In continuation of sentiments mentioned earlier, you need to give yourself time to recharge, whether that means penciling in some “me time,” or family time. Rhonda Swan, the CEO of Unstoppable Branding Agency learned the importance of recharging through her own experiences, and stresses that women understand the value of it.
“It’s no surprise that women start to feel over-pressurized to be at the top of their game for business and family. We manage board meetings, teams, budgets – along with keeping a smile on our face and a loving demeanor for our kids and families. One thing I see is that most women never take time for themselves to recharge,” says Swan. “In order for us to give to our companies and families we need to give back to ourselves, that means taking dedicated time out for massage, self-care or just pure relaxation with no distractions. Schedule special nights with your spouse, family game nights or anything else that rejuvenates you to help revive and get you back in balance.”
Associate With Like-Minded Innovators
There are many variations of this saying, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future,” and “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you what you are.” In any event, this still rings true in uncertain times, and one of the best ways to stay sharp and motivated is by associating with other like-minded innovators.
Jodi Vetterl, the CEO of Beyond the Banks Academy, gains a lot of positivity simply by associating with the right people. “I am one of the lucky ones because I have an amazing group of business-minded women that I surround myself with daily. They are innovators. They do not see the problems, only solutions. And they continue to function at a very high-level carving the paths of these uncertain times in a safe and effective way while protecting their loved ones so that the momentum they worked so hard to achieve does continue and their families are supported.”
In times like this, it’s important to surround ourselves with like-minded people who are learning, resolving and hustling because there is always a way to get through adversity. Carry a positive, solutions-driven mindset and keep going.
Move At Your Best Current Pace
In many ways, what we’re currently experiencing can be taken as another day in the life of an entrepreneur. Afterall, entrepreneurship is all about going over roadblocks. As Sivan Baram, the CEO of eCommerce startup Radd says, “Navigating in uncertain times means always moving forward, and is basically every start-up CEO’s day to day reality. Adding COVID-19 to the equation is definitely a new spice that could not have been anticipated, but you must still keep moving forward at the best pace you can.”
While it is certainly easier said than done, the recurring theme here is to not be too hard on yourself, share your experiences with others, and set time aside for yourself. We will get through this, and emerge stronger than ever.