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The Magic of Entrepreneurship – Doing it Your Way
But when I first became an entrepreneur, I wasn’t a mom or even married. I was actually just a few years out of the Army, and just graduated from University and began working remotely from home at my publishing job. The Publishing House eventually went under as we served only realtors and they were a dying breed at the time. (I learned a good lesson there about diversification.)
This was 2007, and the real estate crash was in full swing. My almost to-be-husband at the time, and I had bought a house at the height of the real estate market just two years earlier. Then went from making more money than we ever had to me being unemployed pretty damn quick.
I am sure in those days it was a common occurrence. What was less common is that I decided this freedom of working from home was too good to give up, and I decided to take my advertising degree and design skills and set out on my own rather than find a new job.
We had no kids at the time, but we did have a mortgage and car payments, so I was pretty bold back then, and looking back I commend my bravery (you go girl).
When I had my son at the end of 2008 things were a little different. I was not only this solo-preneur, but I became a stay at home mom too. This taste for working from home changed from “hey this is cool” to “I will NEVER do anything else.” And I meant it.
I can say I am lucky that I never had to “go to work” and leave my kids but it was not luck, it was pure intention and a ton of hard work.
I worked during naps.
I hired “nannies” to help so I could work and still breastfeed.
In these years I focused a lot on learning new skills to make me more valuable to my clients but also took a ton of online courses on how to actually make this business thing work. I had really been flying by the seat of my pants before this, and I really buckled down and learned the “how.” And it worked. I went from making $20k in 2011 to $56k in 2012 to over $100k in 2013. And continue to do six-figures every year. I finally felt like I cracked the code, I figured it out. It was awesome. (I don’t say this to impress you but to impress upon you that there is a formula and you can do it too.)
When the kids got to be a little older I realized these littles don’t want to hang out with me all day, they want to play, so both kids went to preschool at a local church for half the day. I went from cramming as much work as I could into naptime, or after they went to bed at night, to jamming it into those 3 glorious hours of preschool.
When my oldest started Kindergarten I hit another entrepreneurial milestone, and everything changed again; my husband left corporate and came to join me. We became stay-at-home, work-from-home parents. We figured out insurance and retirement and all those fun things when both parents are self-employed. I think it scared us for a while and we finally made the leap, and it was glorious.
He has since gone to start his own business, as well. He chose a business model that he has to leave the house, which has been pretty unheard of for me (I commute down the hall and am entirely location independent), so it has been interesting to see how his journey has differed from mine. Either way, we both continue to ride this business-building roller coaster and support each other in our business growth.
We celebrate the magic of being an entrepreneur. Never having to work for another, having this freedom and responsibility the cubicle nation doesn’t feel and the ability to earn in accordance with the effort you put in. It is amazing.
For me, it’s not as amazing as the feeling of being a mom-entrepreneur. I worked my ass off to be home for the kids and still build my thing, my business, my empire.
They aren’t latch-key-kids like I was growing up, I am here when they get home from school or as we are doing now home for the summer. I work smart, so I can spend time with them all summer (can you say all summer!!!)
It helps that I love my work. I love what I do and how I can help other business owners build their business and be successful. Sometimes I am busy with client work or busy with a new project, and I have to put in extra hours.
I work from the roller skating rink. I work from the trampoline park. I work from the fountain at the mall. And I work from our timeshare or hotels in the am before we explore the world.
And then, and here is the best part, I don’t work. I have this freedom to stop working and enjoy life.
To enjoy my family.
To enjoy summer while the kids are home.
To take a day just to do art with the kids or go to museums or hikes. Not a vacation, but a random Tuesday. And it feels great.
And there is no balance. No perfect schedule or routine holds it all in place. I try different things, some things work, and some things don’t. And what worked last year may not work now. It’s an ongoing, always learning process that I love.
And through it all, I am a proud entrepreneur and even prouder mom. If you’re a mom (or dad) stay at home entrepreneur I applaud you too. I celebrate your struggle and the magic of your entrepreneurial journey.
And if you’re just thinking of dipping your toe in this world I support you, and tell you it can be done; if you’re scrappy, if you’re willing to try, if you want it bad enough you can build a business that works for you.
Whether it’s to be home with your kids or just to be home or to build an empire and hire a team, it can all be done.
The magic of entrepreneurship is it can be done your way.
Here’s to creating the life you LOVE!
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.
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