5 Survival Tips For The Cannabis Mompreneur
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What a stressful several months it has been. (Understatement of the century?)
Being the founder and CEO of a small cannabis business in California in a heavily regulated industry is hard enough. And then on top of our normal day-to-day stress, a global pandemic that has us literally fighting for the last box of diapers. I would say it’s safe to assume that every Mompreneur is in full fight or flight mode right now.
As if wearing multiple hats in our companies and caring for our business ecosystem wasn’t enough, that stress is now dwarfed by the situation at home. Overnight we are tasked with homeschooling, and sharing workspace with our partners who are now also working from home. Anyone else in a small home trying to figure out how two parents have video calls at the same time, with a toddler around? Talk about a juggling act. It feels like we are running around our house with the place on fire, trying to douse it with a glass of water, in hopes that it gives us time to grab the next glass.
I’m sure many Mompreneurs out there feel this way. That’s why, as my cofounder Karli and I were sharing our emotional exhaustion and social distancing sentiments this week over video chat, we decided to turn our emotions into actions. We focused our conversation on what we are doing, or could do, to try to find some calm in the crazy to help us survive.
1. Lower your expectations
Being both moms and entrepreneurs, it’s safe to assume we’re programmed to be in overdrive, always focused on driving to success. Success for our business, and of course our children and partners at home. We know nothing else but driving toward the next win. Well, we’ve decided it’s time to change our expectations. Dramatically. Success right now looks like TV time for my son while I jump on a video conference with my team, moving the business forward. Right now, success looks like hilariously failed Pinterest projects that leave my kiddo smiling, so that I can keep up on my inbox. Success looks like dirty clothes, dirty (happy) children, and never doing our hair - but hey, that backyard treasure hunt gave me a 20 minute call with investors! Literally, success is survival - and to us that’s a win.
Related: Meet the Working Mothers of Cannabis
2. Get off social media
It’s easy during social distancing to be on social media mindlessly scrolling away hours of time, looking for that connection we’re all craving. Who hasn't found themselves getting anxious about their competition doing perfectly curated streams on Facebook Live, or found themselves feeling bad about their parenting when watching masterful videos of extravagant science projects posted by their mom friends? Reality check: everyone's situation is different.
It's too easy to compare yourself to others on social media and start the cycle feeling like you aren’t good enough. Limit your time on social media and instead use that time to focus on things that make you feel productive. Grab 15 minutes to check off work to-dos, journal your thoughts, read a book, or clean your kitchen. Instead of mindlessly scrolling, stoking those feelings of “not enough,” use that precious time to do something that will make you feel like you are keeping the wheels on the track and moving forward.
3. Communicate clear and strong with ALL Partners
I’d say it’s safe to assume everyone is maxed out emotionally. Add on top of it the close quarters we’re in with our chosen life partners and littles, and not seeing our best friends and business partners, and it’s like our feelings are an egg souffle. A souffle requires technical expertise, perfect execution, and is at its peak for a small window before it falls into a mess. Karli and I committed to each other to have open and direct communication. If one person feels overloaded, the other picks up the slack. This commitment to clear communication provides a sense of relief, we’ve agreed to support each other. We also talked about how equally important it is for that clear communication at home. Be clear about what you need help with, or when you need a break, to keep your sanity intact during this extremely difficult time.
4. Create headspace for thinking
It’s vital during this non-stop hamster wheel of work, kids, partners, home, rinse and repeat, that we make space for thinking about our businesses beyond the day-to-day tasks. Reflect on the goals you set with your team for the year, and take some time to strategize which of those goals are still attainable and where you need to adjust. It’s critical right now as entrepreneurs, our businesses need our leadership and critical thinking skills now more than ever. Hopefully you can work with your spouse or family to find at least one moment of time per day that you can be by yourself, whether on a walk or during a kiddo’s nap. Think critically about current opportunities that exist for your business in this new landscape, and ponder how your business may look when this crisis is over. Create a leadership mood board for yourself to inspire and evaluate both who you are as a leader, and who you want to become. It is also extremely helpful to use some thinking time to prioritize work needs for the next day, so you can be sure to hit the ground running as a leader.
5. Practice self-care
Practice. Self. Care. This is probably the most important piece of the whole equation - both Karli and I agreed. Our physical health and mental health has never been more important, because as Mompreneurs we are the glue keeping our families and our businesses together. We all know the importance of eating healthy foods, and moving our bodies in the fresh air to keep strong and burn off energy. It’s equally important to reconnect with old friends, as girlfriends have been proven to fuel our soul. Think about hosting a virtual game night or happy hour. We know our mom-tribe loves an excuse to sequester in the closet for cocktails and commiserating. Technology is an amazing tool that allows us to recharge our social connectivity, let’s use it. Finally, I think it’s important to recognize that 16-plus hour days aren’t sustainable and will end with a crash and burn. Scale back everything you can now, with the tips above, so that your mind and body have the endurance needed to stay healthy and sane during this heroic effort we are all in together.