This is a guest post by Shannon K Wallace of shannonkwallace.com
This is for all the Mama’s In Business out there as well as for those who are still dreaming of breaking free someday.
By now you’ve heard it so much, that you’re quite sick of being reminded about how once you have a kid that everything will change.
Or that you should enjoy the peace and quiet now because soon you won’t have time for yourself anymore. Perhaps you’re being asked questions that thinly veil concerns about the inevitable end of your career now that Junior is around.
I know, it’s not exactly uplifting!
Just because that’s how it works out for some people doesn’t mean that it has to be that way for you though. In fact, with the right mindframe and a little bit of ingenuity you can use this fleeting period to birth two creations: a little one AND a business. At least, that’s what I did.
Now, I’m not the next 6 figure Internet Marketing Guru. In fact, I’m far from rich. However, since having our first daughter last year I have moved from being a full-time cubicle dweller, to being a part-time cubicle dweller with a website, and finally, to Freedom. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t had a child.
I’d like to share a few tips from my own journey in hopes that they can set off a spark in your life!
- While you’re on maternity leave, there is a lot of time where your mind is free to roam. Instead of scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed while nursing or zoning out while rocking that bundle of joy to sleep, take this time to think deeply about the things that you love and feel passionately about in life. Come up with some areas where you have a little bit of knowledge. What you’re looking for is a second love because this is where you’re going to find your ground. Even if if it seems dumb to you, there is someone out there looking for you and your Paleo Freezer Meal expertise.
- Many employers give special allowances for new moms returning to work. Talk to Human Resources and see if there’s any possibility of shifting to a part-time schedule. Even if it’s only for a short while, this is a great time to get some momentum started and will also ease your transition back to work. I was allowed to work four days a week for six months upon my return from leave. Building my business on that amount of time was slow going, but it gave me the start that I needed.
- Talk realistically with your partner about daycare. I don’t know about you, but where I live two kids can easily cost $2,000 per MONTH for daycare. I don’t even know the point of going to work at that price. If you can get started now, your business can open up new areas of flexibility that can help limit these costs when you’re ready for Baby #2. Seriously, use this as your driving factor! That’s how I got my hubby on board and how I kept myself focused when I really just wanted to give up.
- Realize that this is about so much more than you. Think seriously about what kind of role model you want to be for your kids. You will be teaching them what it means to take control of their life. Do you want them to see you as an empowered mama who can make things happen in life? Or do you want them to see you trudge home from the office day after day feeling unhappy and unfulfilled. I know what my answer was.
- Look around for additional money sources and get creative. Credit cards, lines of credit, retirement accounts. Got some equity in that house? I know no one wants to go this route, but don’t rule this out before you decide whether or not it would be worth it in the long run. My husband and I chose not to tap into these options until after I left my job. I have to say, I have been glad to have that cash on more than one occasion. (Naturally, you will need to decide what’s right for you and your family. I am not a financial advisor.)
- Don’t give up!! The only way you fail is if you give up. The good news is that giving up or pushing forward is completely within your control. So, whatever you do, keep going–even when it begins to suck! Shortly before my six months of part-time status was over, our meager savings ran dry. With no money coming in from my biz and a complete FLOP of a launch, I sat down and ugly cried then went back to work full-time as a cubicle dweller. I kept on going though on the weekends and within two weeks signed three high-end coaching clients!
- Set yourself a realistic goal that will signal when the time is right to take the plunge. When I returned to work full-time, my husband and I agreed that this would happen once I signed three coaching clients. It was scary and awful. I shook, I cried, I even got physically sick from the stress. But, I wrote that resignation letter and I left. Freedom!
- Don’t try to do everything. Working full-time, with a part-time business, and trying to raise a young child without some kind of support WILL burn you out. (Helloooo, adrenal fatigue!!) It’s not worth it. People are more apt to give new moms a little bit more of a break in life so make sure to take advantage of that while you can. Also, self-care is an important part of your work routine.
From my experience, the most important part of the process is figuring out the groundwork and getting CRYSTAL clear about what you were put here to do. This is going to completely inform your business and lifestyle moving forward.
Going into business with something that is anything less than an absolute passion is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t LOVE it, then you’ll eventually lose interest and it becomes just another job without the cubicle or the chatty coworkers.
When you’re in the growth stage, your biz becomes your “me time.” (And, yes, there are ways to do this in a healthy manner.) I work all day, I take care of my family, I go to bed, I do it again. This only works because I’m doing something I love, love, LOVE. You’ll know you’ve got it right when your “work” is more like play and it leaves you energized rather than drained. (Seriously, this very evening I had the choice between watching the latest episode of Heroes with the Hubs or editing this blog post. The blog post won because I can’t get enough of this!)
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This was my experience of birthing a baby and a business in the same year. I got pretty lucky in that I had an employer who was pretty liberal with me and a husband who supports me taking this risk. But, there were factors that worked against me as well (poor health and limited finances).
So take a look at your situation, find what you LOVE, and take a chance on yourself. I can’t wait to hear where you take this!
Shannon K. Wallace is a first-time mom and a Transformational Intuitive Coach. She works one on one with women in order to help them identify and make the shift to a life filled with joy, happiness, and spark! As a “mumpreneur” there is a special place in her heart for mothers who are dreaming of getting started with their own business. Email her for a free Discovery Session and begin to get clear on the life that your soul truly wants you to live.
Do you want to make the shift, but don’t know where to begin?
Access Exercises One and Two of the Life Path Decoder program for free here.