Books, Business, and Balance: From Entrepreneur to Mompreneur with Marcia Layton Turner
Bestselling, award-winning writer Marcia Layton Turner has authored, co-authored, and ghostwritten more than 75 nonfiction books as the Founder and Executive Director of the Association of Ghostwriters. Working primarily with CEOs, executives, and business owners, her titles and those of her clients have been published by major publishers, including John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill, Penguin, and Macmillan. Marcia has worked with Ed Paulson to co-author early editions of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting Your Own Business, which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies, and her Unofficial Guide to Starting a Small Business was named a “Best Business Book” the year it was published, by Library Journal.
When not ghostwriting books, Marcia writes articles and blog posts for outlets including Entrepreneur, Forbes online, US News & World Report.com, and CNN Money.
Today, Marcia shares her journey from entrepreneur to mompreneur and gives her advice on how you can find balance as a business owner and new mom.
Some say that having a business is like having a baby. Now that you’ve experienced both, can you confirm whether that rings true?
There are many similarities, yes, but there are also differences. There is almost nothing that can adequately prepare you to be a first-time parent, despite all the books, articles, doctors, and resources available. It’s much easier to educate yourself about starting a business.
However, I think the biggest difference is that, as a parent, you focus on helping your baby learn and grow on his or her own, and as a business owner, you are the one who needs to learn and grow for your company to thrive. You have much more potential control over your company’s performance than you do over your baby’s growth and development.
Your business can also develop and mature much more quickly than your baby, but I’m not sure if that’s an advantage or disadvantage. I’d kind of like to go back and enjoy those early years as a parent again; I’m not sure I’d say the same about running a business.
How did your daily routine change after having kids?
One of the reasons I became an entrepreneur was to be able to control my schedule and that proved extremely useful when I had my two children. I moved my office into my home, which saved money on my office lease and also allowed me to blend work and childcare when the kids were babies. Once they were toddlers, they went to daycare and I had a few hours when I could schedule meetings and tackle strategic work. After they were in bed I also typically did a couple more hours of work in the evenings, when I hadn't previously done that.
What does balance mean to you?
Balance to me is having optimal enjoyment of all the roles that I fill, from mom to entrepreneur to student, volunteer, friend, and board member, to name a few. A balanced life allows time for all of the roles I want to play, without having to give up sleep to attend to them.
What tips do you have for balancing home life with your responsibilities as an entrepreneur?
Don't try to multitask being a caregiver to your children and an entrepreneur - you can't give both your full attention. Instead, carve out time to be fully invested mentally in what you're doing, which might require some outside childcare or a personal assistant.
Delegate home maintenance tasks as well as business-related activities. If you're willing to pay someone to manage your website, for example, be willing to hire a house cleaning service, landscaper, and even a laundry service. Free up your time by hiring others to take on tasks that you don't have to do yourself.
Reduce all the running around that moms typically have to do by paying for delivery. Have your groceries, meals, dry cleaning, pet supplies, books, baby gear, etc. delivered to your doorstep, and reduce the time you spend in the car.
What do you wish you'd known before embracing your new life as a mompreneur?
That it's okay to ask for help. Too many moms feel pressure to do it all themselves, which is even more difficult when you're running a business. So hire help, ask for support from friends and family, and grace from your clients here and there.