Arielle Peters of Arielle Peters Photography is a wedding photographer and educator based in South Bend, Indiana. When she isn’t capturing photos of blushing brides on their wedding days or offering workshops and coaching sessions to fellow photographers, she’s spending time with her husband Tannan and their energetic children who constantly keep them on their toes.
Life has been very busy for Arielle since 2010. You see, she started her business (part time and then went full time), got married and became a pastor’s wife, had two children, and added an education component to her business. And, now, Arielle and Tannan are in the process of planting a church.
Arielle by no means claims to have things all together and is a self-proclaimed recovering workaholic, but her business is thriving, she strives to be present for her kids, and in today’s episode, she’s sharing a few tips and tricks that have allowed her to juggle (not necessarily balance) entrepreneurship and motherhood.
As a parent and an entrepreneur you’re pulled in many directions (often all at once), and it can quickly feel like chaos while you try juggling everything for your business and your family. Take a deep breath, because it doesn’t have to stay chaotic, there are people in your life who can help.
In this episode, Arielle shares three examples of how she schedules regular help with her kids:
Everyone’s community looks a little different, but chances are, there are people in yours who would love to help. So, try scheduling a playdate with one family in your neighborhood this week at your house (or a neighbor’s house) for a few hours. Give a family member a call to ask if there are days during the week or dates during a busy month where they could watch your kids. Or, if you’re able, hire a babysitter for specific days when your workload will be the heaviest.
According to Arielle, outsourcing some of your work is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your business, and your family. For example, Arielle outsources her editing, Pinterest, and even some of her Instagram curation.
Whether you’re a parent or not, start thinking about the things in your business you don’t really enjoy doing and the things on your to-do list that you don’t personally have to do. Then, search for someone (or multiple people) who can handle these tasks for you. There might be someone in your community whom you could train to handle these tasks, or social media is a great resource for finding someone ready to help with whatever you need.
Note: As an entrepreneur, outsourcing an entire task or project can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be all of it. In fact, you can even outsource parts of projects. Arielle, for instance, outsources her Instagram grid curation, but she still writes the captions. Even handing off parts of processes can save you time.
In addition to outsourcing, Arielle recommends creating boundaries that will help you with balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. As an entrepreneur, you’re your own boss, and you can truly set the pace for how much and when you work.
With this in mind, as a parent, it might be helpful to think about the days/nights you already have or could have help with your kids and set your business hours accordingly. For example, Arielle takes engagement sessions on Monday nights only because she already has help scheduled for the kids.
Setting a boundary like this might sound difficult, but when you clearly state your availability, your clients will work with your schedule and the availability you give them.
Along with creating boundaries, Arielle also suggests setting aside time to evaluate your business and boundaries every year to determine what changes you’d like to make and how you can scale back.
For example, in Arielle’s third year of business, Arielle started only taking shoots one night a week. In year four, Arielle stopped shooting from November to March. And, in year five, Arielle niched down to only shooting weddings (which include engagement photos).
If you haven’t done this recently, it’s time to evaluate your business and boundaries. In other words, what is and isn’t working for your business and family? Are there things you could scale back on? Don’t feel like you have to change everything. Try starting with one change that will best support your business. Then, next year, evaluate again and make another change or adjustment.
Let’s be honest; being a parent and an entrepreneur is HARD. There are little people who are dependent upon you, and you’re also running a business—both of which take constant energy, focus, and hard work to care for. And, you have to give yourself grace.
There isn’t a one size fits all to finding the balance between entrepreneurship and motherhood. And, it’s okay if how you juggle everything looks different than how your friends or other entrepreneurs juggle. You have to do what works best for you and your family.
Okay, friend, if you’re a parent, it’s time to start scheduling regular help, deciding what can be outsourced, creating boundaries for your business and family life, and likely also thinking about what can be scaled back. Chances are, life will never be perfectly balanced, and there will always be busy seasons, but by implementing Arielle’s tips and giving yourself LOTS of grace, you will be well on your way to better balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood.
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