Hey there Mama. I see you. I feel you.
Have you ever found yourself sitting at your desk, daydreaming of a change and wondering what type of business you could start to earn enough money to quit your job and provide you the flexibility you want for your family?
Have you ever found yourself rushing to daycare school, trying to beat the pick up timer, and feeling like there had to be a way to make this better? There had to be a way to stop living by someone else's schedule.
Or have you ever left work even just a couple of minutes late to find out there were two accidents on the freeway between the office and the kids' school and had that momentary panic attack and worry if you could even make it on time? And then check Google Maps obsessively all the way there (haven't we all?).
When you're working a high-pressure career position or in a job with a long commute and raising a family, it can be stressful. I know. Man, do I know. I commuted 34 miles each way for years. I remember stressing if someone scheduled a late meeting. I remember worrying I wouldn't make it home in time to meet the nanny who needed to get to class or her waitressing job on time. I worried about it all because that's what we do as moms.
And so many times, I thought, there's got to be a better way. I knew that I wanted to work for myself, but as much as I knew about marketing and client management. I knew nothing about starting a business, and honestly, I was scared by the thought. How could I consider giving up a good income and impacting the family in that way? I thought it was irresponsible of me to walk away from that paycheck and take a pay cut to do something for myself. Most of all, what if it didn't work out? What if I took the risk and couldn't make any money? Then what would I do?
As you know, I took the risk a few years ago, and I'm here to tell you, it's the best thing I've ever done for my family and myself. I seldom worry about making it to school in time for pickup. There are days when meetings run late, or there's an accident on the freeway because that's real life, but 99% of the time, there's no worry about beating the clock.
You can go out on your own. You have to figure out what you can do to make money. How do you figure that one out?
Let's start with the basics.
Think about your skillset and daily tasks more than your job title right now. What is it that you do daily? Do you meet with clients? Do you design projects for clients? Do you work in HR or an Admin role? How does your skill set transition outside of your current office or cube?
If you currently create something for clients, offer counseling or coaching, or teach something in your corporate role, you can very likely take on one on one clients. You can do what you do for your company for yourself, out of your home, or a co-working space. This can be a quick win for some, there are very few start-up costs and you may be able to do it on the side while you prepare to transition out of your full-time career. You may be able to do this solely through word of mouth, referrals, or your network to get started. You'll want to build a website but you don't have as much upfront work and investment as some of the other options.
You can create an online course and teach others to do what you do. Maybe it's not tied to your corporate career but rather a passion or hobby that you're excellent at and think others would want to learn. This option takes longer to build up but can work great long-term, especially if you want to be location independent someday. You'll have more start-up costs here because you need a website, course platform, weekly content to attract and nurture an audience, among other items.
Do you have a particular skill or hobby? Do you make the most beautiful cakes for your kids' birthdays or plan amazing parties? You could open a local business for either OR you could create an online course and teach others how to do the same thing. Your start-up costs and time will vary greatly here. Do you want to open a brick and mortar location in your town or create a small local business out of your home? You'll need a website and social media for either option. If you build it out of your home, your start-up costs and time will be much smaller than if you want to start with a brick and mortar store.
If you are creative, you can freelance and provide your writing, editing, design, programming, etc. services to multiple clients via a freelance marketplace such as Fiverr, CloudPeeps, LinkedIn, or others. This is likely your fastest and least expensive way to begin building a side business. You'll need to pay for memberships with some of the freelance marketplaces and they'll likely charge you fees for the work you get through them but you don't have to build a website first or create content each week or open a store. You can start freelancing almost immediately.
There are ways that you can transition out of your current position and make money. Some are faster than others. Maybe you want to start out taking on freelance work or one on one clients as you build a training program or local service business. Think about what you want to create for your life and work backward toward the goal. Maybe in time, you'll have worked three or four different types of businesses before reaching your ultimate goal.
In five years, what do your life and business look like? What's the work-life balance like for you? Are you working 20 hours a week or 50? Are you picking up the kids after school, or are they staying at aftercare and you're rushing to get there by closing time? What do you want for you and your family?
You don't have to give up your career or income to find the time and flexibility you crave. You can do both. I know you can because I've been doing it for the last two years. My son was so young during my corporate career/working mom life that he doesn't remember mommy ever working outside the home. As far as he knows, mommy has always worked from home and been there when he needed her. He has no recollection of all the mornings he didn't see mommy because she went to work before he got up. Trust me; mommy remembers every one of them with sadness and guilt.
I cherish the fact that I can get him up each morning and tuck him in each night. My workdays are consolidated into the hours that he's at school and an extra hour or two in the early morning or late evening, as need. I do things like writing this blog post at 6 am, but it works for us, and it can work for you too. If you're dreaming about it or frustrated because you can't figure out how to make things better in your current situation, start thinking about what type of business would be the most interesting to you. I'm working on a class for you because I've talked to so many working moms who struggle with the same issues that I did. I'm developing a course that will teach you how to start a business and market it so that you can get out of this constant struggle. You'll be able to use your education and experience and earn a good living working for yourself and have the flexibility you need for your family. Let's work together to put an end to the mommy juggling acts.
Let me know what type of business is the most interesting to you right now. I'd love to hear from you.