By: Monika Bhondy
Living the entrepreneur life becomes second nature when you work in real estate. Often consumed with operating your business while taking on financial risks can be both time-consuming and emotionally taxing if you don’t have the necessary systems in place. Add motherhood to the mix, and you have the recipe for “complicated.”
According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) women make up the majority of the real estate profession, and they’ve held that majority since 1978. What’s more, “an article in the now-shuttered Working Mother magazine estimated that 1 in 3 women-owned businesses is owned by a mom,” says the website mompowerment.com. In short, working moms make the world go round. This may explain the reason why phrases like “Supermom” and “Boss Mom” became so popular over the years, painting an unrealistic picture of the mom business owner being able to ‘do’ and ‘have it all’ so effortlessly.
If you’re a mom working in real estate like me, you know that creating balance in your work and home life is vital to your overall well-being. Nothing created or maintained is without effort, though. Balancing the personal and the professional, giving importance to all facets of your life: career, relationships—including the one you have with yourself— takes some work. It’s not easy but is attainable if you put systems in place that work for you. So how do you do that?
Tip 1: Lean on Your Support System
This goes for both home and work life. Having someone that can take the reins when you need to be someplace else is paramount. For some, it can be difficult to ask for help or to find help in the first place. After all, our society isn’t exactly set up in that village model where the “it takes a village” adage came from. That said, asking is the first step, and you might be surprised where you’ll find support.
At work, this could be an assistant, team member or co-lister who could be compensated by the hour or via commissions. At home, it could be hired help, before and after-school programs, a spouse or significant other, family, friends or a trusted neighbor. Remember you’re not an island, and the phrase “it takes a village…” is true for home and work life.
Tip 2: Pre-Plan
The holy grail when it comes to working moms. Plan anything and everything, no matter how minute it may seem in the moment. Plan your month out in advance with dates you know are confirmed, make time to review and update as necessary and commit to performing a final review of the day ahead. Collaborating with coworkers and family members on household and business needs helps to create an organized agenda for smooth sailing. Detailed agendas, shared Google calendars and even waking up before the household to review the day can really help you stay one step ahead, especially if you need to make an unexpected adjustment.
Tip 3: Prioritize
To feel well-rounded and at peace with yourself. This can change from week to week, depending on your agenda and what you need. There are tons of considerations: mommy n’ me time, couple time, girl’s night out and your self-care. It’s imperative to schedule in time for all of these so you can operate on a refreshed mindset. A successful week may not necessarily mean you touched on all these aspects of your life. Instead, it’s more that you prioritized one more than the other depending on what you need and what your agenda requires from you. In order to prioritize, it’s important to ask yourself what you need. It’s easy to get caught up in work and family and forego the night with the girls or indulging in a favorite pastime. The reality, though, is that the latter help provide balance and prevent burnout.
Tip 4: Know When to Say, NO!
This comes hand in hand with knowing your self-worth and valuing your time. I have a love/hate relationship with the term “supermom,” which, as I stated earlier, alludes to feeling like you need to be able to “do it all,” all the time. You don’t. And you shouldn’t. Pay attention to your internal cues. A major red flag is when you feel drained of energy and unable to perform your best. When you’re faced with a task or asked to commit to something, first ask yourself, “Does this serve me, my goals, where I’m headed or want to be in life?”.
Marki Lemons Ryhal, the uber-successful managing broker, speaker, best-selling author, and host of the Drive with NAR podcast, and of course, mama, says it best:
“As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned to live my life (in this order): God, Self-care, Family and Work. I’m no good to anyone if I don’t put my mental and physical health first. This means that I say “No” a lot.”
Tip 5: Stay Connected
A great way to be able to let go of the guilt Mompreneurs often feel when commitments come up is staying connected. Technology makes it much easier to manage multiple things. Okay, so you can’t be there physically for bath time because you’re in the middle of an evening showing, or you can’t make the morning huddle at the office because you’re in a meeting with your child’s teacher; utilize the wonderful world of technology to your needs with video chats, zoom meetings, real-time and post briefings so that you can be where you need to be no matter what pops up in your day.
Be realistic and honest with yourself. Recognize when you need to reach out to your village, re-evaluate what is working and what isn’t, re-jig if need be, and remember not to be an island. None of us can do it alone. Support and systems as well as knowing your own cues, is vital. We don’t always get it right, and that’s OK. Balance is a continuous work in progress. No matter what, we always feel like we could have spent more time with our kids or more effort on a work project, but remind yourself that everyday, you’re doing your best and that is enough.
Monika Bhondy was born a Brit, moved to North America and now resides in the Chicagoland area. Monika comes equipped with vast life experiences with over 20 years of experience in the service industry under her belt. Her attention to detail, a keen eye for esthetics and uncanny ability to connect with others has seen her passion for styling evolve into a lucrative real estate business. A licensed REALTOR® since 2016, Monika accomplished $2 million in sales in her first four months in the industry, earning her Million Dollar Guild™ status, which she has held since 2017. She’s a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist® and a member of the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing™. Want to know if your home is priced right? As a Pricing Strategy Advisor, she’ll get you there. One of the few real estate professionals who is also a Certified Staging Consultant (held by less than 1500 brokers in Illinois as of 2020), she proves her passion for exquisite styling and knowing what works is always on point.