Leaving the workplace and starting a business from home has many advantages. Work can be more casual in dress and manner, and it is easy to relax and forget about office politics and protocol. If you are an introvert like me, then this new way of working mainly by yourself may seem like heaven, and if you are looking after children then the benefits of not having to worry about childcare make this lifstye very tempting, and infinitely flexible. So many types of business can be run almost entirely online these days, so it is very easy to work from home exactly how and when you want to.
But sooner or later if your business grows, the time will come when you have to have business meetings with people outside the home. Maybe this excites you and you can’t wait to get out there, but for some work at home mums, it can be a bit daunting to get back into full professional office mode after some time away from full time work, and you may be afraid that mummy brain will take over in the meeting and you won’t come across at your best.
If you are worried about a prospective business meeting, then here are some tips to help you get the most out of it and present your best self
Consider your Appearance
If you have spent the last six months working on your PC in your pyjamas then it can be a worry what you should wear to the meeting. You don’t necessarily have to go all out in a suit, high heels and make up, but you probably do need to make a bit of an effort.
Consider the people that you are meeting with – are they likely to have come from a formal office environment, or are you meeting with other people who may also be working from home? Try to match your style of dress to what you imagine they will wear, and then find the best compromise between looking the part and feeing comfortable. The best thing that you can wear is something that you feel happy in , so that you can greet your colleagues with a confident smile.
If you have to talk to people you’ve never met, and convince them to spend money with you, it is essential that you are in the right frame of mind. Being stressed about an argument with the kids or another event at home will make things hard, and should be avoided where possible. It is a good idea to give yourself a couple of hours before a meeting which are dedicated to your business, enabling you to keep thoughts about your home life out of your mind. Maybe it would be possible to get to the meeting venue a little early, so that you have time to settle in and get your head clear
Do Some Talking:
Spending most of your time around children and new mums can have a big impact on your social abilities. When you have fallen out of the habit of talking to to other adults or professionals, it can be daunting to step into a meeting, and you may feel like your communication skills are lacking, when most of your conversations revolve around CBeebies and the basic needs of a toddler. This is really just a matter of confidence, and the best way to tackle your fears and calm your nerves is by talking to a couple of people before your meeting. Having a brief phone call, for example, will put you into the right headspace for handling a meeting.
Food, Drink, and Sleep:
Not a lot of people realise quite how much something like food or sleep can impact their ability in a meeting. When you haven’t eaten enough, are dehydrated, or are running on nearly no sleep, it will take a bit longer for thoughts to come to mind. With this slowness ad brain fog, it could be hard to get yourself taken seriously in meetings.
As a busy mum, it’s not always easy to take care of yourself and get sufficient food, water and rest, but if you want to do your best in a meeting then you need to try. You may not be able to live like this all the time, but you should focus on the days right before your meetings. This can be a great way to handle these elements without changing your lifestyle.
Hopefully, with all of this in mind, you will be feeling inspired to start taking full advantage of the time you have before your next meeting and you will be fully prepared to get in there and make the best impression that you can.