by Ashley Cleveland, Founder + CEO of BrandUp
As a successful entrepreneur I’ve spent most of my life totally dedicated to my career. My social schedule was controlled by my clients' needs and my lifestyle was a reflection of late nights, constant travel, and work related events. Once I became a mom, priorities changed and sh*t got real.
For me, having a family altered everything: my work day, my grocery lists, and my waist line...they all took a hit. The initial struggles of a growing business along with the life changes of a growing family turned into “To-do” lists that seemed never ending. Balls got dropped everyday, but the sooner I learned that perfection just doesn’t exist, life got easier, and I got happier.
Today, being a successful entrepreneur and mom require that I apply these four lessons to my life daily:
1. There’s No Such Thing as Balance:
Day to day, one thing is going to take priority over everything else. One goal will have to get met at the expense of another, it's life. When taking on the workloads of both family and business, we have to be comfortable with the fact that most days we won't be able to address every issue and meet every deadline. It’s okay.
2. You’re Still a Superwoman if You Have Help
Even with technology and our Millennial found independence, it takes a village to raise a family. Take the help thats offered and ask for it often. Yes, you are the only one who can do what you do the way you do it, but you’re not the only one that can get it done. Hiring a team was imperative in taking my business to the next level. It gave me more time to focus on growing revenue for the business and I could confidently activate my “OOO” email for my very first family vacation. Having business, household, and child care support in the early and on-going stages as an entrepreneur is vital to your success. Knowing when and how to delegate tasks is helpful as a leader at home and at the office. Be sure to pad your contacts with plan A, B, and C for those supper last minute life emergencies. We both know they will happen.
3. Your Personal Social Media Becomes Less Important, At Least it Should.
Unless your a mommy blogger, those snapchats and IG worthy images become less important in comparison to that prospecting email or finally eating lunch. Your family and friends that depend on social media to stay in touch, will begin to get emotional when you don’t respond to their Facebook event invites.
Once you finally get a chance to disconnect with friends over dinner or for that family vacation, living in the moment is always so much better than reliving it with every like and comment.
If your business is dependent on your social media staying updated and engaging, contracting a social media coordinator or digital marketing team is an important thing to consider. At BrandUp, we have a team of social media strategists and experts that are more than willing to work with you.
4. Make Time for You
I was never an early morning person, I’m still getting used to it today. However, nothing makes my mornings easier than grabbing 30 minutes for myself before anyone else wakes up. I use this time to shower, meditate, or have a quite glass of water and some Apple News. At the very least, I need these 30 mins for just for me. I’ve begun to schedule my weekly manicure and pedicure, along with my weekly training sessions at the gym. I’m working up to daily, but it’s a process, remember.
Regardless of how hectic our home and business schedules get, you cannot lose sight of taking care of the most important ingredient to the plan, YOU! We lead our team and families by example. Our staff and children will shape their careers and lifestyles based on what we do and being a spiritually, physically, and mentally sound person is much more important than being a good business woman.
In the last 2 years, I’ve become a mom, a serious girlfriend, and the Founder of a new startup. My leadership and nurturing skills are constantly evolving and though its not getting any easier, I believe that I am getting better. I have elements of fun, laughter, and love every single day now, and I’ve found a new meaning to what’s really important.
The model as a Mom and as a Startup are constantly pivoting and with that comes constant adaptation and risk taking. Just remember, you don’t always have to know how it’s going to work out to know that it’s going to work out. You got this.
Ashley Cleveland, Founder + CEO of BrandUp, is a digital marketing nerd with a passion for sharing information with friends, colleagues, or anyone else that will listen. She has been a marketer for over 15 years and has been recognized as a digital influencer, engaging with a loyal audience through her blog, social media, and on-air interviews. It’s pretty cool that she's won a few awards, attracted some media, and can call herself as an ‘expert’ because of it. Contact Ashley and take your BrandUp a bit!