Most business mums are conscious of the environment. We dutifully take 3 minute showers (less if we have a crying toddler in tow), buy recycled loo paper at least until the first bout of gastro in the house when we revert to something less resembling sandpaper and tell ourselves that dishwashers use less water than regular washing up.
One thing that most small business owners forget with all of this focus on the environment is their own personal energy conservation. It is nothing for a business mum to try and cram in a few hours after the kids are asleep - even if their eyes need superglue to remain open.
Business mums take multi-tasking to a whole new level. It's a common occurrence for business mums to be busy jotting to do lists in their 3 minute showers or on the loo. You know you have a problem though when you find yourself using the mashed potato and green beans to work out the layout for your next advertisement.
But when you are a business mum your personal energy conservation is vital. In most cases without you there is no business. Unless you conserve your own energy, your body will eventually exhaust itself and force you to slow down, usually at the most inconvenient times when costumes are needed for schools and you have clients on a deadline.
Think of your life as being like a light bulb. You only have a certain ideal light capacity - if you are a 120 watt globe, if you try and force more current through it to light more area you will eventually burn out the philament and no one will get light.
The fascinating thing is that the more we force the pace within our lives, trying to cram in more and more and to be everything to everyone the less effective we are ... and the more we take time out to plan and reflect and to consider who we truly want to help and the difference we want to make, the more productive we are.
True business breakthroughs and inventions come in the quiet moments between the hubbub. They don't come in the noise and bustle. I personally have yet to see an invention that dramatically reduces greenhouse gases come from the middle of a noisy playgroup session.
I spend a lot of time helping small businesses plan for their coming year. The most effective and enjoyable businesses I work with are ones who take time to take stock - to remember and reconnect with why they wanted to be in business in the first place. If the core team in a business stops and really feels and connects with their purpose and the difference they wanted to make to people, they find their profitability rises dramatically in the months following the session.
This process works if you are doing a marketing plan, business plan, strategic plan, plan for new web copy or even a "help me I'm drowning plan". The important thing is to stop, reflect, take stock, breathe and then work out where you want to be in the future.
If they then take their purpose and convert it to action steps to be achieved and remember to keep these action steps in mind on a regular basis, the profitability of their business remains high. This is because each time they look at the actions, they also reconnect with their higher purpose for their business.
In the past I have also worked with numerous businesses who are too busy to take time to stop and think. These are the businesses that are reactive, constantly fighting fires, high on adrenalin and stress and they grow in fits and spurts as well as burn out just as quickly. They change direction almost daily and are exhausting both for the leaders and the team within them.
Personally, I now only choose to work with businesses who are willing to conserve their energy. Who are willing to plan their effective use of resources - both physical and emotional. These are the most fun, profitable and make the most difference in the world.
Who do you choose to be - a conservationist of your own energy or someone who wastes precious energy resources? Who do you choose to work with as your clients? Each choice you make on a daily basis changes the environment for everyone around you. Choose wisely.
www.tnchine.comNike Requin Ingrid Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter, Business Development and Human Resources Consultant to Small Businesses with her business Heart Harmony. Ingrid writes a free weekly small business newsletter and Small Business Ideas blog for small businesses.www.heartharmony.com.au