(This article pairs well with a glass of wine and the song
Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise by the Avett Brothers)
Does staying home mean abandoning your professional identity and perhaps more importantly, your paycheck? As modern moms, we are are facing a challenge new to our generation. We are expected to play every role as before (mother, wife, daughter, friend, etc.) along with financial contributor and sometimes even breadwinner. How does one juggle it all without completely losing sanity?
Working outside the home works for many, many moms. And I did go back to work, as a high school English teacher when my first daughter was 16 weeks old. As I taught that year I had a growing desire to stay home. But what was I to do? Our family faces what many do — both spouses must work to help support the family. My husband is a teacher and coach and there was no question that I had to work; which I was fine with. I love utilizing my brain, offering value and contributing financially.
But what if it was possible to do both? To work AND be a stay at home mom? When I started making a list and searching for ideas on how I could accomplish this dream of mine, I had a hard time putting pen to paper. I could become an online teacher, but even with a degree and experience in PR and English, my hope of finding a job that would pay enough from home dwindled. Then it donned on me to open an in-home daycare, which allowed me to stay home that following year with my daughter. I have continued this small business of mine, along with finding a new passion in Young Living to supplement income, which leads me to wonder what else my future could hold in my career.
What if I wanted to utilize the skill set that I’m passionate about and went to school for? Are you in a similar boat? What if you’re so done with your nine to five? What if you’re family is struggling to make ends meet on one income? What are your options? That’s a lot of questions, but hopefully I’ve got some answers. As I’ve been teaching this to myself I decided, hey why not join me on the ride?
So after research and talking to a few professionally savvy mamas, I’ve devised a plan. If you are ready to truly become your own boss, keep a toe in your respective career pond and work remotely—read on.
Here are 6 Steps to Become Mom Boss Babe:
- Figure out what you want to do — dream big! If you really want to start from basics, take a personality test. This phase in your life is a great time to dig deep and either reconnect with what your passionate about OR completely change gears. Being at this fork in the road gives you the opportunity to do something completely different than before (if you’d like). Be brave. After you read through your personality test results, it is time to figure out how you marry that with a skill set that allows you to work from your computer. Pick one that you would enjoy doing and then get trained to be a ninja at that skill. Sites like Lynda, Udemy, Coursera, and EdX offer hundreds of online classes, many of which are free or low-cost (usually less than $100). You are only a click away from the education you need! Need some encouragement? Facebook has a zillion groups for any niche trade/skill you can think of. Join one … or a few. They can help you get your feet wet, answer questions from people doing what you want to do and help inspire you.
- Next step is to set up a sole proprietorship. *gasp* I know this is super intimidating, but it is not nearly as big as it sounds. Start with baby steps: What do you want your business name to be? Is the URL available on GoDaddy? This is where you officially start your journey — where YOU become your OWN boss. Let that sink in a minute. Feels good eh?
- Time to set up your own website. Great places to start are: Wix, SquareSpace or if you’re savvy, WordPress. Pretty awesome that building a website is now super cheap (even free) and incredibly easy. Literally, your 7-year-old could probably do it. It wasn’t that way even a few years ago.
- Start applying to contract gigs that you’re a good fit for. There are many sites that would be worth looking through including HireZUU, MomSource, HireMyMom.com, UpWork, CorpsTeam, Apres, LocalSolo, Power to Fly, Toptal, etc.
- Business cards. These are important. If you plan to do any networking and want to be remembered, you need something snazzy. You can create beautiful, unique biz cards using Moo to help you stand out in a crowd. Got those in hand? Now it’s time to strut your stuff. No really, it’s time to attend those networking events you keep clicking, “Interested”, but this time actually go. Check out the various Meetups in Austin and networking groups, like the Young Women’s Alliance. Get yourself out there! Find another entrepreneur mama that will go with you!
- Rock it and pat yourself on the back. It was a lot of work to get to this point, but now you’re in control of your time and your future. Maybe write down your “why” and post it somewhere you can see it everyday. Get up, show up and work hard. You can do this.
By following these six steps, you can commit to a happier, more fulfilled, more valued, utilized, understood mama worker bee. I can’t wait to hear your story six months from now! It may seem daunting, but our generation is filled with strong women and if there is one thing you don’t want to mess with it is a mama bear.