One thing that I really love is collaborating with other women in business, in particular moms. So when Shelley Tonkin Smith from The Playful Mompreneur asked me to be a guest on her podcast I was over the moon and I fell in love with Shelley’s fun, outgoing personally. I was so chuffed when she decided to create three episodes from my interview, here’s where you can listen to them:
- Playfully structured weeks and no-rules weekends with Lynne Huysamen
- How to turn your blog into a business – a blog monetization lesson with Lynne Huysamen
- On simplifying, prioritising, and going with your (energetic) flow — my reflections on Lynne’s interview
I just had to invite her to join me live to talk about incorporating playfulness and finding balance as a mompreneur. It was such a fun live video and I learned so much from her. Our discussion was in line with part of the book that she is in the process of writing, titled The Playful Business Revolution. Take note that she changed the title since we did our video, and the book should be published by November. To stay up to date and get notified when her book is published you can subscribe to her newsletter on her website.
About Shelley Tonkin Smith
Shelley has a website design and copywriting business. She had her own business for the last ten or eleven years. Shelley loves being a mompreneur and can’t imagine herself being back in a “real” job anymore. This year she decided that she wants to write a book about it: building your business as a mom and making it work for you on your terms. The old rules of business and the way we have worked in the past are no longer working for us as moms. We are bearing the brunt of childcare and all sorts of other things, which is why she has decided that this year is the time to write a book.
Her podcast, The Playful Mompreneur, is all about being more playful in the way that, not only you run your business, but also the way that you run your life, as she is starting to see that there is a lot of crossover in her experience.
She has two sons that she homeschools, so there is a lot of learning she has to do in order to balance her business, her sons, her book and everything else in her life. She has found that it has been a lot more fun when she has brought a playful mindset to it. She has been inspired by her boys.
Incorporating Playfulness and Finding Balance As A Mompreneur
Being a mompreneur often feels more like juggling, managing all the plates and all the different aspects of life, rather than managing a business. There is a certain amount of reality that comes with that and there are many things about it that we need to accept and sit with, however there are ways to find more balance and enjoy the process.
Shelley likes to think of it like one of those balancing boards that you get at the gym, they are really unstable underneath the surface and you balance your feet on the board and you work all your muscles while balancing. Balancing as a mompreneur is like finding little wedges to put under that board so you are not so unstable, and so that you have support in terms of self-care, people supporting you in your life, and to find just a few minutes here and there to take a moment for yourself.
One of the things that Shelley has started incorporating is using the Pomodoro timer app so that she can set aside a certain amount of time for an activity and then also set aside time for a break which is very important. It is also great to incorporate some playfulness and fun into your work and this can help to remove any blocks you are facing, particularly with creativity. Look out for any opportunity to make your work more fun.
With young kids, especially toddlers it is going to be a lot harder to get things done and routine really comes into play here. This will help your kids know when it is time to keep busy while you work and when it is play time. Find some activities to keep your kids occupied while you work. While it can be hard to get things done with a baby or toddler in the house things will get easier as your child grows older and starts being able to play alone more.
It is important to find your rhythm and to find the balance between structure and playfulness. It is also important to have structure to playfulness. Incorporating playfulness takes planning and intention for it to really thrive in your parenting and in your business.
While structure and routine is going to be essential for productivity it is also important to know when to be flexible and pay attention to your flow. There are going to be some days where it is just not happening for you. It may feel like your creative side has left you completely. There will be other days where perhaps you planned on taking a rest yet you are flowing with creative juices and motivation to get things done. So get in touch with this flow and be flexible to allow it to work in your life.
Here Are The “New Rules” In The Play Book
Shelley believes that we need to throw out the rules when it comes to being a mompreneur and bring in the playfulness. So throw out the rule book and embrace the idea of a play book. Here are the “plays” that Shelley feels are essential.
Zone Of Genius Over Hard Work
Make sure to operate in your zone of genius so that you can focus on the things that you are brilliant at and enjoy what you are doing rather than slogging away and working really hard. Look for any inefficiencies or misaligned priorities. Are you doing work that is not going to move the needle or that is not important? Are you doing work that is sapping your energy but not rewarding you?
There is zone of competence and zone of genius. Zone of competence relates to things you are good at, but zone of genius is where you are in your element bringing in your passion and excitement. You want to be working most of your day in your zone of genius.
Amazing Value Over Time For Money
Instead of looking at selling your hours and work time for money rather look at how you can give your client or your boss amazing value. You might be paid by the hour in some situations but when it comes to your mindset change the way that you think about it and focus on the value that you are giving rather than the time. What benefits will they be getting because of your zone of genius?
This also applies to your kids and family. Instead of focusing on the amount of time you spend with them, think about what value you give them each day.
Priorities Over Productivity
We can be productive but if we don’t prioritize objectives we can be doing “busy work” and just adding on to the to do list. Doing lots of work does not mean that we are achieving our goals. It is important to get clear on our priorities so that the hard work that we do is feeding into our priorities for life and our business.
Focus Over FOMO
We can so often get the fear of missing out when watching what others are doing and think we should be doing the same. This leaves us with a scarcity and comparison mindset which is not where we want to be working from. This can leave us feeling like our own work, creativity and genius is not good enough.
It is important to keep in mind what is important to us in our lives and business and keeping focused on our own business objectives.
Community Over Competition
While it may be easy to get sucked into a competition mindset, there is plenty of business to go around and it is so much better to look at other mompreneurs as a community rather than as competition. Focus on building a community and connecting with other mompreneurs and collaborating to support each other.
Abundance Over Scarcity
There is enough business for all of us, there is abundance and we don’t need to operate under a scarcity mindset. There is enough money in the world, there is enough time for your priorities and there is an abundance of help. Instead of waking up in the morning worrying about not having enough time or not earning enough, look for the abundance so that you have the right attitude and energy. There is so much opportunity if you look at things in terms of abundance.
The more abundance you can invite in and recognize in your life the more it spills over. Abundance is not only about money and time, it can relate to anything such as friendship, family, community, support and more.
Playfulness Over Perfection
Playfulness can be very silly, like Shelley describes in the video with her alter ego, or it can be more simple like taking a break and going for a walk or playing with your kids. Playfulness can also be tied to experimentation, where you play with an idea but also keeping it quite boundaried so you can see where it goes and decide if you want to explore it further.
While we would love to have everything perfect it is not always possible and rather than hold ourselves back we need to play more. There is no way to figure out what will work for your business unless you start playing around and assessing the results.
Launch and Love It Formula Ebook
Shelley has an amazing eBook available for free to download on her website called the Launch And Love It Formula – click here to go to her website to download it.
The book will take you through the process of launching your business or product.
Great informative read,thanks Lynn
I stopped selling things because I just couldn’t balance and always felt guilty that I don’t have time my family. This article gave me hope.
It is tough but not impossible, balance is always tricky!
@Lynne thank you so much for the articles, they really add value and knowledge and also help or assist me to think more out of the box.?
It is a pleasure!
Awesome articles! Thank you