How to Manage Expectations as a Mompreneur - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

How to Manage Expectations as a Mom and Entrepreneur

How do you manage expectations as a mompreneur?

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Productivity guru David Allen said “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything”. And yet as moms and business owners we continue to push ourselves to the breaking point to do everything. I’ve done it. And I see it in my community. I also know from what I’ve done and what I’ve seen that running ourselves ragged trying to do it all only leads to burnout. And stress. And potentially health problems…again speaking from experience here. That’s why I’m here to help you develop a better way to manage expectations.

I’m totally former president of the “trying to cram way too much into a day because I think I have to” society. Those expectations we think we have to meet can really do a number on our stress levels. Our self-esteem. And our sleep patterns. And our relationships…you name it.

To be completely honest, I wrestled with preparing this episode. And I think it’s because this is an area where I regularly find myself needing to reinvest in my mindset. So often, all that added pressure is entirely brought on by our own minds. And by no means am I suggesting we settle for less than we absolutely desire or deserve. I’m just saying, let’s take a minute to realistically evaluate our schedules, lists of tasks, and expectations for work and home life so we can confidently stay on track to achieve our goals and desires.

Entrepreneurship as a mom can be a rough road. Especially when you’re first starting out. Once the initial excitement wanes, you may find yourself continually thinking “what the f did I get myself into?” The sooner we learn to realistically manage our expectations when it comes to what is successful in our business and our mom life, the sooner we can learn to actually enjoy the life we are creating as a business owner.

Managing expectations comes down to a brutally honest review of your skills, your time, your support system, your finances, and your desires. Remember, we can do anything just not everything. The sooner we learn to ask for help in our home and business life, delegate tasks that aren’t in our skillset, spend money to make money with systems or automation, and set manageable goals aligned with our vision AND time available, the sooner we will crush those previously held expectations of who we should be and how we do it. And we will start to relish in the here and now, which sets us up for future success.

Currently, you may be running your business and home life based on how you perceived an entrepreneur life looks like. Or maybe you are trying to be your own mom, who kept an immaculate house but did not work additionally outside the home. Maybe your favorite online business building guru is full of amazing strategies but also single or childless.

Benefits When You Manage Expectations

You are 100% unique when it comes to your family, your business, and how they all work together. There isn’t a single mentor, regardless of their yearly income, Instagram followers, or number of team members they have, that shares the same needs as you. And yet we often model our view of “success” after these other people. No wonder we are struggling to recognize the difference between actual and perceived expectations as a mom and business owner.

But when we start to manage our expectations on a realistic level that is based on our goals, our values, and our time available, we can stay motivated. We learn to accept a range of success and celebrate it. Rather than the constant belief we are failing or missing the mark.  

We are better prepared when life happens…like a sick kid or your internet’s out before a big meeting. The adage “Done is better than perfect” could become a sort of mantra. Helping you complete the work and home tasks that are required while leaving you time and energy for yourself and your family.

And speaking of your family…if you were to ask them, do you think they would be more concerned about a perfectly kept house that you spend hours maintaining in the evenings after work and school. Or would they rather have you present for a board game or a movie night? How can we get to a place where we can better juggle all the things and the perceived expectations we have for our home and business life?

It’s helpful to think of success in a range rather than black and white. There are so many tiny victories to celebrate that will keep us motivated and lead us to greater success.

Click here to hear why we need to celebrate those tiny victories in Episode 21 “3 Reasons You Should Celebrate Everything” from August 2020.

If we only focus on reaching the big, hairy goals or celebrating life working out exactly how we planned, we miss the opportunity to revel in the abundance of the great things we are doing along the way. Instead, let’s think of our “successes” on a good, better, best scale. I learned this as a goal-setting method from a former coach. And it’s a great way to help manage expectations and create a more abundant attitude toward success.

How to Manage Expectations on a Sliding Scale

Here is your action step to start using a sliding scale to manage your expectations. I recommend starting this exercise by working through a couple of stress points. Use a journal, a piece of paper, or the notes app on your phone. After a while, you’ll start noticing your reaction to perceived expectations in the moment. As GI Joe used to say “knowing is half the battle”.

Let’s start by writing down a perceived expectation. What is an expectation you believe is required of you that feels overwhelming or impossible? Let’s use the example of tackling a sinkful of dishes at the end of a very long day. Your perceived expectation may be that despite feeling exhausted or wanting to hang out with your family on the couch watching “Lego Masters”, you need to spend your time in the kitchen doing these dishes. That’s the perceived expectation which is causing stress or overwhelm.

Next, let’s look at the actual expectation. Did someone, other than yourself, tell you to complete this job or action? Or is the expectation of completion coming from you? Back to the dishes example…Did your mother always had clear counters and a clean sink before going to bed? Do you also feel like that is expected of you? Did your spouse ask for it? Or your kids? Most times they did not. And yet the expectation is there. Deeply rooted in your daily routine creating stress and potentially resentment. Chances are that the expectations that cause the most stress in our daily lives are coming from our own mind. Which is great because it means we have an opportunity to evolve our thinking.

Using our good, better, best sliding scale…how can we meet the expectation of doing the dishes and not go to bed resenting the fact that your spouse and kids are enjoying their evening on the couch while you do the dishes. The “Good” option may be your put the dishes in the dishwasher and call it a night. “Better” may be you get the dishes in the dishwasher, soak the pans, and wipe the counters down. And “Best” might be you complete all the actions. Most nights you may be ok in your better to best range. But on the days you don’t have it in you, and you really want to snuggle down with your family, good is also ok.

How about a quick example from the business world. Let’s say you have a perceived expectation that you need to post 6 days a week on Instagram. As well as creating 4-10 stories a day. Creating that much content requires you to stay up very late after the kids go to bed. You’re losing sleep. Missing out on time with your spouse. and have found yourself generally cranky trying to meet this perceived expectation. What could a good, better, best scenario be for this situation? “Good” could be you create just the posts or just the stories for the week. “Better” is you create 4 posts instead of 6 and 2-5 stories per day instead of 10. “Best” is you create all the content you perceive necessary to grow your business and increase your income.

Regardless of completing your “good”, “better”, or “best” goal, you’re still producing content that will help grow your business. But now you are better managing expectations so you can juggle your need for downtime. And reduce the resentment that life is all work and no play.

How are you feeling about managing your expectations on a scale from good to better to best? Changing up years of patterns and thoughts can feel daunting. As I said in the opening, managing expectations is mindset matter I am constantly working on. If you’re also feeling overwhelmed or still aren’t sure where to start, I’d love to help you. Let’s evaluate the tasks on your to-do list and come up with your range of success for those tasks that wear you out. Click the link below to schedule a free clarity call. And discuss how I can help you manage expectations, reach your goals, and still spend time watching Lego Masters on the couch with your family.


Need additional support in creating your best mompreneur life? Want to create a solid and simple plan to get your work done and have fun? Let’s jump on a free, no-obligation 15-minute call to see how I can help you feel more fun & fulfilled in your work and home life.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR FREE CALL.

How to Decide What to Do - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

How to Decide What to Do When You Work

Struggling to decide what to do when you sit down to work?

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Ever sit down to work on your carefully curated list of tasks to-do that someone, somewhere said you “need” to do and feel completely overwhelmed by it all? Then today’s episode is for you! Let’s decide what to do for you when you work.

The topic of deciding what to do because it comes up over and over in my community. Figuring out what to do and then doing those things can really zap your energy as an entrepreneur. Add to that the duties you have as a mom and around your home and it’s no wonder this feels so daunting. But it doesn’t have to. And today I am going to share a few simple questions that will help you narrow that list down to your priority tasks when you are feeling confused, indecisive, or overwhelmed. 

Ugh….What Do I Do???

Staring at a to-do list of 10, 20, 30, or more tasks can feel completely overwhelming…even to the most productive go-getter. And whenever you have a large quantity of anything…whether it’s tasks on your to-do list or clothes in your closet…making a decision becomes even harder. Today we are solving the problem of knowing what to focus on NOW from your to-do list in order to get the right things done, work efficiently, and save time and energy. 

The mompreneurs who make a regular practice of evaluating the tasks and carving out time for the ones that are urgent and important often feel less stress. They can do more in less time because the tasks they focus on make a difference. And many of those tasks we thought we needed to do don’t need completed. All it takes is a little evaluation and prioritization. 

Feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list or confused about what to do? It’s often because you pick what to do willy nilly, rather than focusing time and energy on tasks that truly make an impact. Many times you choose a task because you like to do it or because it is easy. But I’m here to tell you…those are often not the tasks that will move the needle in helping you grow your community, work more efficiently, see more results or, most importantly, make more money. As busy mompreneurs pulled in 127 different directions, you have to stop wasting time on low-value tasks. 

But what are those low-value tasks? How do you even know what is a waste and what is productive? You have so many voices in your ear, mine included, telling you what you should and should not do. The fact is, only you know your priorities based on your goals and your values. But the more you practice prioritizing what’s on your list based on those goals and values, the easier it becomes to see exactly what you need to do when you sit down to work. Or what to do with your free time. When you manage to carve out that 3 minutes and 48 seconds. 

How You Benefit When You Decide What to Do

When you use the simple questions I’m sharing today to prioritize your to-do list, you focus on tasks that matter. You reduce feelings of overwhelm and stress because you can focus time and energy on only the tasks produce results. And you often reduce your workload because you can give up the tasks that don’t truly align with your goals or your values. 

On a daily basis, you will feel confident that what you are doing will benefit of your business, your self, or your family because those tasks are directly aligned with your goals or your values. 

And you aren’t the only person who benefits from a less stressed, less overwhelmed business owning mom. Your family will see more of you because you can accomplish more in less time. And you can show up less distracted or stressed at mealtimes or sporting events because you know the work you’ve done (and left behind) made an impact.  

Steps to Decide What to Do When You Work

So how can you arrive at this glorious place where can decide what to do, your tasks align, your to-do list shrinks, and you can walk away from work at the end of the day feeling accomplished? It’s easier than you might think. 

First, let’s take a second to review the difference between your urgent and important tasks. I did a deep dive on this topic in episode 38 titled “The Difference between Urgent and Important. And Why It Matters” back in November of 2020. But in a nutshell…your urgent tasks require immediate action. Your important tasks aid in reaching your long term goals. And your daily to-do list will contain a combination of both urgent and important tasks.  

Which leads us to my four, simple TRIM Your To-Do list questions. I developed these questions based on prioritizing what is urgent and important to my clients. Not what this guru said you have to do in some workshop or what that IG post said you need to do in order to (fill in the blank). These questions help you decide what to do based on the goals you’ve set for your business and personal life. Along with the values you hold for yourself and your family. 

  1. Is the task time sensitive? As in does it have a due date. And, importantly, is that due date approaching. If the answer is yes, the task is a priority and you should complete it asap. If the due date is in the future, schedule time to complete the task closer to the due date. These time sensitive tasks fall under the urgent category when it comes to prioritizing your to-do list. 
  1. Is the task required to move on to the next step? This would be a task like sending a questionnaire to a new potential client so you can schedule a sales call. Uploading new pictures to your website for your online shop so you can add those new seasonal products. Creating an opt-in so you can start collecting email addresses. If completing this task means you move on to a new, necessary phase of tasks directly related to your goals and your success, then those tasks are priorities and must be done. 
  1. Does the task make an impact positively or negatively? This category of tasks includes but is not limited to: scheduling a doctor’s appointment, going to your child’s choir concert, working out, self-care, showing up on social media if that is where you market your business, family dinner, scheduling client calls, taking an online course, and so on. Many of the tasks that make an impact will fall into the important category. They contribute to your long term goals and align with your values. And they are often overlooked or afterthoughts. Or we just try to squeeze them in rather than treating them as a priority. That is also why we often feel extra stress or overwhelm because we aren’t making time for these important tasks that make an impact. 
  1. Will the task make me money or cost me money? Remember…you are in business. Businesses make money. Otherwise it is a hobby. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve talked with mompreneurs who will spin their wheels for hours planning marketing content or writing blog posts and ignore the tasks on their to-do list that can actually result in sales. Making money is a priority as a business. And your task list should reflect that. Likewise, if you avoid tasks like invoicing clients or paying bills, that avoidance is costing you money.  

Your action step to decide what to do when you work is to prioritize your to-do list. Ask yourself these questions about the tasks on your list…Is this time-sensitive? Is it required for me to move to the next step? Will it make an impact positively or negatively? Will it make me money or cost me money? If the answer is “yes” to one or more of those questions, it is a priority and needs your precious time and focus first. Time Sensitive. Required. Impact-Driven. Or Money Related. That’s the TRIM in TRIM your To-Do List. 


Need additional support in creating your best mompreneur life? Want to create a solid and simple plan to get your work done and have fun? Let’s jump on a free, no-obligation 15-minute call to see how I can help you feel more fun & fulfilled in your work and home life.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR FREE CALL.