Part 2 of a 3 part series on the challenges of being a Mompreneur & working from home! Click here for Part 1…
Your priorities are not your necessarily the same as your customer’s. This means, to be blunt, customers and prospects do not necessarily cherish your children.
Unless you’re doing business only with other Moms and in the context of business for Moms, leave your kids home when you do sales calls and business meetings.
I have walked out of meetings with Mompreneurs who bring the kids along…Dads too. I’ve also refused meetings when invited to the Mompreneur’s home because she’s watching the kids.
Consider the other side. When you meet with a prospect or customer you are asking for their time. Are you showing respect for that person’s time when the meeting is constantly interrupted to settle sibling disputes or placate a toddler who is pitching a fit to get your attention?
If there is absolutely no alternative, then reschedule or at least be honest and tell your appointment about the situation. I can tell you from past experience that I’d much rather reschedule and will be much more understanding about that rather than showing up for a meeting and finding a bunch of restless kids in attendance.
One note- let the client, prospect or colleague know as far in advance as possible. A colleague recently emailed me at the last minute to reschedule a meeting that had been set for a week in order to take a child to a regular dental checkup. This meeting involved travel and I had already prioritized the meeting over some others. This last minute change cost me money and I didn’t appreciate it.
Had it been an emergency, I would have understood. A regular dentist appointment could have been scheduled at any time.
When it comes to prioritizing, scheduling issues should seldom be an issue. It is important to schedule family time and to honor that- the key word here is schedule.
It happens over the phone too. As I said on Monday, most of these interruptions and distractions can be avoided by planning, scheduling and creating a dedicated workspace in your home. If you are on a phone call and you need to attend to an emergency with the kids, excuse yourself and call back later. Most people will understand. I would much rather have you call me back than sit and listen to the family business when we’re supposed to be doing business.
Don’t confuse politeness with acceptance. Most people will put up with unannounced kids at a meeting or phone interruptions…once. Most people are too polite to tell you that your attention to your kids during business is rude and shows complete disregard for their time. Ask them if you mind that you brought the kids along and most people are not going to say it’s a problem…but it is. Most people will, in the moment, just say, “No big deal.”
I used to be that polite too.
I appreciate that your kids are your number one priority; but your kids are not my number one priority. Take care of your kids when you need to and let’s do business when I have your full attention.
Friday: How to balance family and business…get the family involved!
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