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The 50 Habits of Successful Parent-Preneurs

According to Startupbros research, the average age for becoming an entrepreneur is 40, with 59.7% of respondents saying they had at least one child when they launched their business.

Being a parent-preneur gives you the flexibility to build your work schedule around your family life. Being self-employed is not easy, so these talented parent-preneurs tell us the habitual things they do to help them juggle their priorities and stay disciplined. For their business, for their families… and for their sanity!

Habit #1: Staying In Touch

My wife calls me on facetime almost everyday for a few minutes so I can see our nine month old twins. She also sends short videos throughout the day which is a really nice break.”

Travis T Sickle, Sickle Hunter Financial

Habit #2: Building a Winning Team

“I set weekly or monthly goals and post them in the common area of the home so that the family knows and can agree on how we will celebrate once the goal is met. It makes it a team win and everyone stays engaged in the other person’s life and affairs, good for bonding and feeling successful.”

Nekisha-Michelle Kee-Agboola, Nekisha-Michelle.com

Habit #3: Identifying The 3 Most Important Things

When you close down for the day, you write down the 3 most difficult and most important things to do the next day on a list. When you start working the next day, you do them first – no checking mail, no checking Facebook, Twitter etc… Just do the three things and then you will discover how quick your business will grow – and how much spare time you will get instead of jumping around huge tasks that never get done.”

Maj Wismann, The No.1 Online Help To Your Love and Sex Life

Habit #4: Creating a Vision Statement

“This isn’t a mission statement or professional strategy. This is the life I imagine when I close my eyes and think about myself, my children and the world I want us to live in. Every professional decision I make has to hold up to that vision statement. “Is this decision taking me one step closer or one step farther away from that life?” That makes most decisions pretty cut and dry.”

Katy Blevins: Chaos and Kiddos

“Every professional decision I make has to hold up to my vision statement. Is this decision taking me one step closer or one step farther away from that life?”


The 50 Habits of Successful Parent-preneurs mumsthatwork.com

Trying to juggle work with the demands of children is no easy ride, these parents tell us how they manage to keep up. It’s a whole lot of organisation, writing a list is a simple saviour!

Habit #5: Running a Tight Ship

“Every part of my day, even play time, is allotted its appropriate hours. Why? Because if I don’t do that, inevitably the busyness of being a mom and a business owner creeps into that crucial family and me time that I need and my kids need to flourish. Setting healthy boundaries for me means mapping out my day to the minute and holding myself to it.”

Katy Blevins: Chaos and Kiddos

Habit #6: Hustling

Hustle in the early hours. Take a short break before you hustle in the afternoon and when everyone goes to bed hustle some more. Typically this is where social media and sales come in.”

Patrick the Forklift Coach, Forkliftcoach.com

“Hustle in the early hours. Take a short break before you hustle in the afternoon and when everyone goes to bed hustle some more”

Habit #7: Planning Everything

“Start with the motto that if it’s not on a calendar, then it’s not a real thing. Get everything on a calendar, even your “alone time” so that you can plan for it. If you fail to plan, it will fail to happen.”

Jessica Wade, Alfa Counseling

“If you fail to plan, it will fail to happen”

Habit #8: Working Smarter Not Harder

There’s just too much to get done to accept anything otherwise than personal and professional organization. We lively simply and try to stick to a routine that helps keep life ordered and fun. Likewise, as a business owner, I need to work smarter, not harder. This means efficient workflows and processes that demand organization to be effective. Otherwise, time is wasted and we all know time is short as a mom-preneur.”

Katy Blevins, Chaos and Kiddos

“Work smarter, not harder”

Habit #9: Finding Balance

“Finding a balance between family and work as our business keeps growing is a struggle and a big challenge, especially for a mom-preneur. However, this challenge has certainly helped shaped my brand as a family oriented product, and family involvement and dedication to kids counts when it’s you who stands behind the brand name.”

Michal, Baby K’tan Baby Carriers

The 50 Habits of Successful Parent-preneurs mumsthatwork.com

Sooner or later, just like these entrepreneurial parents did, you’ll realise that asking for help is far from weak. You should use every tool you’re presented with to help make your life easier. It could range from downloading an organisational app to hiring a nanny, every little helps, as some of these parent-preneurs learnt along their journey.

Habit #10: Using Online Services

“In the business I make judicious use of online freelance services like Upwork. A great way to find and manage contract work, and through that and other networks, have gathered a wonderful (global) team of people who can help on pieces at short notice — graphic design, web design, editorial work etc. I have also found Savor Circles fantastic, a great group of peers, amazing women entrepreneurs who inspire and support each other as we build our businesses.”

Liana Downey, LianaDowney.com

Habit #11: Hiring Professionals

“You must hire a professional scheduler and organizer. This person’s job is to make sense of your day-to-day routines and make it possible to get everything you need to have done including family personal time. Then all you have to do is live by it! It takes the brain work out of what you have to do each day…you know what you have to do and you know the time allotted for it to get done.”

Nekisha-Michelle Kee-Agboola: Nekisha-Michelle.com

Habit #12: Building a Support Network

“Get support. You can keep all of your friends but you may need some new friends, and they should be committed to your success. It is SO very important to have a support network.”

Michele Paiva

“You can keep all of your friends but you may need some new friends, and they should be committed to your success”

Habit #13: Maximising Free Hours

“Hire outside help to take care of all the things that prevent you from maximizing your work day and family time. That means someone who does house cleaning, grocery shopping, picking up the kids and getting them to their appointments and extracurricular activities. This is how you stay focused on work and keep your home well bonded and happy! Eliminate stuff that someone else would love to do and does well. I personally don’t get paid to clean toilets. I can use that time to make money, rest or have quality time with my husband and daughter.”

Nekisha-Michelle Kee-Agboola, Nekisha Michelle.com

Habit #14: Hiring a Virtual Assistant

“Hire a virtual assistant. You can hire an excellent virtual assistant that can take care of many of the routine tasks for you. Finding a good and trustworthy virtual assistant will save you more time and energy than you can possibly believe.”

Tyler Bream, TylerBream.com

Habit #15: Automating

“By automating your sales or customer acquisition process you save hours of your time every day. The process of doing so is easier and cheaper than most people realize by far. It is usually more effective too.”

Tyler Bream, TylerBream.com

“By automating your sales or customer acquisition process you save hours of your time every day”

Habit #16: Delegating

“Delegate almost everything. Get as many things automated as you can. Get your family’s prescriptions on auto-fill mail order, get your dry cleaning set to home pick-up and delivery, use the online ordering and drive through pick up for your groceries. Hire a house cleaner, get a Virtual Assistant if your biz model allows. Plan for one to two nights a week of take-out or delivered dinner.

While you’re at it, if you haven’t already, get a schedule written down for managing your home. Allocate things like doing the dishes, taking out the trash, doing the laundry. If your children are ready for responsibility, teach them how to help. Do everything you can to off-load some responsibilities in order to free up those mental resource for the important stuff.”

Jessica Wade, Alfa Counseling

“Delegate almost everything”

Habit #17: Creating Perfect Work Lives

“Create a work life you love. For example we work hard Monday – Thursday. Fridays are administrative days (NO WORK ON WEEKENDS). The last week of each month is light work and planning for the next month or we just take the week off to travel or rejuvenate. ( I did not leave corporate America to work myself to a frenzy on my own.)”

Nekisha-Michelle Kee-Agboola, Nekisha Michelle.com

“Create a work life you love”


The 50 Habits of Successful Parent-preneurs mumsthatwork.com

As every driven businessperson will tell you, there’s never a second spare. You could have double the amount of hours in the day and you still wouldn’t get through your inbox! However, it’s so important to turn off and when you’re done with your working day, spend the rest of your hours and mindset with your family. It can be a difficult habit to kick, turning your phone off might seem impossible but these parents tell us why you need to learn how to switch off so you’re present and in the moment with your family.

Habit #18: Being Present

“Ditch guilt. Seriously, just don’t even go there. When you’re immersed in alone time, be present there too. Don’t let guilt rob you of an essential opportunity to recover your energy so you can remain fully present with all of your energy and faculties when you need to be. Guilt does not solve problems. It does not make things different. It’s sole purpose is to make you feel terrible. Just don’t go there.”

Jessica Wade, Alfa Counseling

“Ditch guilt. Seriously, just don’t even go there”

Habit #19: Looking Up

Schedule Tech Free Time With Your Family. Everywhere you turn people are looking down at their cell phones. With our hectic demanding lives, we rarely look up. Make sure to schedule moments each day to spend time with your children disconnected from tech and other distractions. Dinner is a great time to put down the tech and each of you share a magical moment from your day and your life.”

Gina Kloes, GinaKloes.com

Habit #20: Knowing When To Break

“I learned early-on, there was a period of time during the day that I needed to take a break from work. That time was from when my kids came home from school through dinner. If a business call came in at that time, it was not a good idea to pick up the phone. I learned to focus on my business when the kids were in school, doing homework and when they were sleeping. I ate at my desk and gave in to no distractions. I turned off the ‘family phone.'”

Tina Nelson, LAWSUIT!™

“I learned to focus on my business when the kids were in school, doing homework and when they were sleeping”


The 50 Habits of Successful Parent-preneurs mumsthatwork.com

Between juggling family and work life it can feel like you never get the chance to come up for air. Darcie Rowan tells us you need to take moments for yourself. Keep yourself happy and healthy and don’t let your commitments feel like they’re piling up. Even if it’s a 10 minute cup of tea and breather every day, it can do the world of good to simply reflect and clear your mind. This will help in the long run as you’ll be able to fully focus on each task at hand with all of your energy.

“The old saying put on your oxygen mask first before helping others really applies to our busy lives.”

Habit #21: Reflecting on What’s Important

“Take Moments for Yourself – If you give to the point of depletion, everyone loses. Take even a few short minutes each day to get some fresh air, take a five-minute walk, have a cup of tea in quiet, and reflect on what is really important in life. The old saying put on your oxygen mask first before helping others really applies to our busy lives. You will be happier, healthier and be a better role model for your children, if you show them how to create balance and health everyday in the midst of our busy lives.”

Gina Kloes, GinaKloes.com

Habit #22: Never Being Off Duty

“Take care of yourself. Sloppy clothes and habits equate to sloppy parenting (sometimes) and sloppy business. Dress on the job all the time. When you “run out to the store” dress like you might meet a client or a customer. When you are self-employed you are never, ever off duty.”

Michele Paiva

“Dress on the job all the time”

Habit #23: Making Me Time

“Date yourself. Yes, you know it’s important to date your partner or spend time with your children. Because you’re running a biz and a family, you have to care for yourself first. If you’re not well, then your biz isn’t running either. Put ‘you time’ on the calendar. Make it a real thing. That may mean you have to schedule an afternoon of childcare a few times a month. Think of the costs and the time as an investment into the well-being and future of your company. The health of your endeavors relies on your own well-being.”

Jessica Wade, Alfa Counseling

“Date yourself”


The 50 Habits of Successful Parent-preneurs mumsthatwork.com

Teaching your children valuable lessons about work ethic can really shape the person they turn into and also the kind of person they view you as. You’re the biggest role model in your child’s life and it’s important that they don’t feel neglected but see your work as a positive thing.

Habit #24: Never Complaining

Make sure you don’t complain about your work in front of your children!”

Michele Paiva

“Don’t complain about your work in front of your children”


Habit #25: Not Living on the Phone

“Take time for yourself . PUT THE PHONE DOWN. Don’t live on your phone and teach your children that half-listening or being half-present is never a good thing. Don’t hang out with friends and teach them that checking if a client texted is more important than them. Being present with the people you are with is key – and in this day and age, it’s just not possible to hang on your phone and pretend to be present.”

Michele Paiva

“Don’t live on your phone and teach your children that half-listening or being half-present is never a good thing”

Habit #26: Being Laid Back

“Expect to learn flexibility. Things happen, especially if you have children! If you are ridged, you won’t make it in business OR parenting. Learn to get more laid back. But, also learn to be structured. Having a plan is the first step of action.”

Michele Paiva

Habit #27: Not Making Excuses

“Get into action. It is easy to be fearful or think you won’t have the money or whatever resources you make excuses about. They are excuses not reasons. Reasons are concrete and not flexible. Excuses are perceptions. Believe in yourself and find creative ways to make your life happen as you wish, not feel victimized to your limited beliefs.”

Michele Paiva

Habit #28: Spreading  Work Load

“I am an organizational consultant. I organize my work so it is flexible to the best of my ability. What has worked best for me is to spread my work over seven days and work less each day. I take time out in the day to exercise, meet friends for lunch, and have client meetings. I work at home during school hours, at night and on weekends, when my daughter is doing homework, playing, or other activities.”

Joanie Connell, Flexible Work Solutions

“I spread my work over seven days and work less each day”

Habit #29: Being Family Friendly

“Our son visits the office when not in school and we make our offices very child/family friendly.”

Stephanie Adams, StephanieAdams.com

Habit #30: Blocking Out Important Time

“Being your own boss is incredible in terms of making time for events for your kids. Whether it is a little league game that starts at 3pm or being parent reader at the school, I’m able to simply block off that time and spend those important moments with my family. It may mean that I’m sitting in front of the computer after they are in bed for the night, but having the freedom to make those decisions on my own has been a wonderful thing and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Bill Fish, Reputation Management

“Having the freedom to make those decisions on my own has been a wonderful thing”

Habit #31: Knowing Family Comes First

“When one puts family first, surrounds themselves with people who understand that concept, and lives as a unified, structured family, then that is as happy and healthy as you can get.”

Stephanie Adams, StephanieAdams.com

Habit #32: Multitasking

“My local YMCA offers limited childcare as part of our membership. On days where the kids are home, I take them there for 1.5 hours. While they are playing (and they love going), I am working while walking on a treadmill. My laptop fits perfectly on the treadmill and I am able to get exercise (which keeps me holistically healthy) and do focused work at the same time, while the kids have fun. Triple win. On days they are at preschool, I still go and work on the treadmill for at least an hour.”

Lindsey Stringer, Change The Race

Habit #33: Knowing The 80/20 Rule

“80/20 rules my life. Because time is at a premium I almost exclusively focus on the 20% of tasks that give me 80% of the results. If a particular task doesn’t fit within these parameters I usually won’t do it.”

Tyler Bream, TylerBream.com

“Focus on the 20% of tasks that give 80% of the results”

Habit #34: Being Consistent

“Keep the plan you set. Yes, things will come up because you know by now that life with children cannot be planned to 100% perfection. The more consistently you keep your routine, the easier it will be to go into mental auto-pilot. This will make available to you the mental space needed to adapt to the unpredictable when it arises. It also ensures that daily tasks actually get checked off the list, instead of lingering for tomorrow.”

Jessica Wade, Alfa Counseling

Habit #35: Having a Can-Do Attitude

“Remember the Little Engine that Could? Maybe this a good time to revisit that story with your kiddos (and for you!). Given that you are now running the show at-home and at-work, nearly every responsibility will make that hill you climb each day seem bigger still. Believe that no matter what comes, you can figure it out or that you are resourceful and will find someone else who can figure it out. To believe otherwise will take the steam out of your engine and will slowly allow overwhelm to settle in.”

Jessica Wade, Alfa Counseling

Habit #36: Keeping Your Head in The Game

Be present. Really, keep your head in the game. Keep your mind in whatever, activity, task, chore or conversation you’re in at each moment. It’s tempting to think ahead to the next thing, but doing so may cause you to miss something. Savor each moment. If it’s a family moment, don’t let your biz steal it from you. And if it’s a business task, stay the course to completion so you can get back to family even sooner.”

Jessica Wade, Alfa Counseling

“Keep your mind in whatever activity, task, chore or conversation you’re in at each moment”

Habit #37: Eliminating Risk

“Set yourself up for success. Eliminate as much risk as possible while you are starting out. You do not want to create a scary position where you are stressing about paying your mortgage or rent. We rent out our condo in Chicago and live with my parents. This gives us some extra income every month and allows us some breathing space to get our sales where we want them to be.”

Maegan Watson, MaeganWatson.com

Habit #38: Building a Consistent Income

“Create consistent income: many small businesses have fluctuating sales. One month you do a ton a business development and sales are great, the next month might be a little slower so you so you go really hard at BD again, this cycle continues until you create some consistency in payment structures and servicing.”

Maegan Watson, MaeganWatson.com

The 50 Habits of Successful Parent-preneurs mumsthatwork.com

Finding balance between work and life is considerably more difficult as an entrepreneur. It’s easy to become caught up in a cycle of never ending work flow, however when there’s noone else telling you to switch off, you need to learn your limit and how to balance running your company with being a dedicated parent.

Habit #39: Remembering Balance is Fluid

“I remind clients (and myself!) to think of “balance” as being fluid, not stationery. It is less about having each individual day, and more about the bigger picture of life. Some weeks it is easier to carve out more “me” time… other weeks are more demanding at work. It becomes a bit like “triage”. The most urgent situations are certainly the priority. However, it is critical to ensure that we prioritize ourselves, and our marriage/partnership, as much as we prioritize our children and work.”

Jane Johnson Wall, Contemporary Therapy

Habit #40: Communicating

“Organization is a critical part of self-employment and life balance. Communication is also key. My husband works full-time, but is also in public office. Evenings can be very hectic for our family, and discussing schedules and commitments helps everyone stay on the same page.”

Jane Johnson Wall, Contemporary Therapy

Habit #41: Working in a Designated Space

“I try not to work often in my living room but have a small space/home office where I work and my family knows that when I am there that I am working. I am not tempted to fold laundry or do the dishes or other chores when I stay in my designated work space.”

Cara Maksimow, Maximize Wellness

“I am not tempted to fold laundry or do the dishes or other chores when I stay in my designated work space”

Habit #42: Reflecting

I keep a separate cell phone for my business that stays tucked away when I am with my family. I end my work day by taking a look at what I accomplished and spending a few minutes writing down what went well instead of focusing on what still needs to be done.”

Cara Maksimow, Maximize Wellness

Habit #43: Developing a Consistent Schedule

“One thing I found with my startup and having kids is
that you gain an absolute ton of flexibility. I’m able to pick my son up from school 2 days a week at 2pm, we have time together that as cliche as it sounds, really is invaluable. I also know his friends, teachers and the parents of his friends in ways that wouldn’t be possible with a regular 9-5 job. That being said, I make up that time in the evenings at least 1-2 times per week, but it’s something that my wife and I count on.”

Mark Aselstine, Uncorked Adventures

Habit #44: Constant Reminders of What’s Important

“Staying focused – constant reminders of what I really care about – my family (money is not always the right metric of success)”

Sarah Masterson, Piperoos

Habit #45: Being Patient

Sometimes it seems as if there is no way to make it happen, but be patient with yourself, seek out mentors and tap into your resourceful side. It’s definitely worth it.”

Dr. Yolanda Ragland, FixYourFeet.com

Habit #46: Utilising Time

I always let my family know before I am making phone calls or doing remote sessions. They know not to disturb me during that time-frame. I don’t do phone calls while driving, but if I am sitting in the parking lot during a dance class, I will often utilize that time!”

Jane Johnson Wall, Contemporary Therapy

Habit #47: Taking Baby Steps

“Don’t be disillusioned that your business will be an overnight success (unless you’re very, very lucky or well connected). It takes hard work, focus, dedication, blood, sweat and tears. I set myself weekly goals and keep a huge to do list and stick to it. I’m constantly re-prioritising my list list and I work on the quick wins first. These small steps will eventually get you to your end goals.

Lucy Clarke, Givable Jewellery

Habit #48: Having Perspective

I demand a lot from people I work with. I expect the same level of intensity and work ethic that I have so I have to constantly remind myself to make sure that I’m keeping it in balance and in perspective because sometimes you have to meet people where they are.”

Angela Benton via Forbes

Habit #49: Making Kids Part of The Journey

You have to make family a part of your business… I’ve always considered my kids to be my board of directors, whether we’re moving or having them share a bedroom so we can open a store in our house. Make them a part of that journey. And that’s for any mom, not just single moms… Our kids are our reason to seek out a better life.”

Lauren Thom via Entrepreneur.com

“Our kids are our reason to seek out a better life”


Habit #50: Having a Sense of Humour

Kids are going to make messes, they are going to eat your reports and download viruses to your computer. Your best weapon is a sense of humor. Enjoy your entrepreneur life, wear the title proudly. We are basically superheroes.”

Karla Campos via Entrepreneur.com

“Your best weapon is a sense of humor”


What an inspiring bunch! What habits do you have that make you a successful parent-preneur?