I am going to start this post by Backing up to 2004 –
I was working at my dream job. I had two healthy little girls and was travelling all over North America and to Europe a few times too. However I was suffering from no work/life balance, I was missing things left and right and paying a fortune for daycare. I wasn’t really very happy, I had constant stomach issues – which was diagnosed as ‘rumbling’ appendicitis at one point – and my relationship was in shambles.
I was the thinnest I had been since my wedding day. Less than 125 lbs.
I looked fly (!)… but felt like garbage.
I often tell women that after you have kids and you think your family is complete, that is when the really hard stuff starts to happen.
Reality sets in.
You have designed your whole life around training for the job you thought you wanted, and then you have a family and have to try to wedge that in. You keep adding to your life, and then spend the next 5 years trying to figure out how to manage it all.
Now that I have two daughters of my own, I will be encouraging them to think about all of it before they make the same career choices that I did.
My parents all had steady jobs – I say all because I grew up with two Dads. My mom was a teacher, had summers off, and always would have work so never worried about it. Maybe she wouldn’t choose that job today, but she had a steady income, and only one child to balance with working. I was groomed by my parents to go to University so that I could ‘have a career’ and get a job for the next 25 years, but balancing child-rearing was never really discussed.
Maybe they just didn’t think of it?
Now there are so many options available for women! Freelance work, contract work, working for a company with flexible hours or even working from home, depending on your industry. And if it isn’t your industry, there are plenty of things that you can train for that allows you flexibility! And freedom.
When I was in the depths of despair about my work and family life between 2004 and 2006, I dreamt of a better way and what that could be. I took some big financial risks and left my corporate job to open a retail store.
And that store was a pretty big financial failure – but it was a win in SO many other ways!
I spent a lot of money and time creating the perfect environment at the wrong time. Two short years later, I closed the store before I got into a really bad financial situation. Now I did learn some extremely valuable lessons from that experience – especially about business – but it created a huge debt for my family that took the next 6 years to pay off.
The main thing that I learned was that what I truly desired was flexibility.
After the store and my subsequent Direct Sales business, I started to get into a groove of working flexible hours, mentoring others, and fulfilling my creative desires with makeup and then blogging.
What I wish I would have known before going down that path, is what I truly desired for my life, what my inherent strengths were, and what entrepreneurship REALLY was going to look like for me.
And maybe how I could have tested the waters MUCH less expensively?!
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I am happy to say that in 2016, I am living the life of my dreams.