In the entrepreneurial world, sometimes going back to working a 9-5 corporate job can be seen as a failure. I am going to tell you about why it is not.
I have been doing my thing as a freelance marketer since April of 2017, shortly after I became a single mom and moving back to my home town. Before that I was self-employed for about 6 years. My decision for this was that I wasn’t ready to go to work full-time because of my daughter needing my support and the job market in Kelowna was… meh. Every time I looked at a job description of a position I think I would like, I realized I wasn’t quite qualified or didn’t have the right experience and I would disqualify myself from the running. I decided to learn what I could about digital marketing on my own and freelance these services out to small business owners.
Over the past 18 months or so, I have learned so much as a virtual assistant and marketing strategist. I have learned a ton about people - who my ideal client is (and who isn’t), how to work with different personalities, how to manage expectations. I have learned new skills that are an asset as a marketing expert - tech skills, strategies, analytics etc. I have learned what I love doing the most and what my super power is.
As a single mom, this “job” was perfect for me. I could make my own hours, pick my daughter up from school and help her through the transition of a new school and city and focus on what I really WANT to do - help people, use my marketing skills, make some money. The dream, right? Or was it?
It was perfect, but by no means easy. The freelance life is never stable. You always have to be on the hunt for new clients to ensure your income is consistent. You have to do the work but also do all the back end admin work of running a business. And as a mom, you have to juggle that dynamic which was always the hardest part for me. I had constant mom guilt if I was working from home because I had to remind my daughter - often - that she can’t disturb me. Her iPad was her baby sitter… a lot. And I hated that but had no choice because I reminded myself that the work I was putting in was for both of us. Anyways, that mom guilt of an entrepreneur is another story for another day.
What I didn’t realize was happening was that all my efforts and time spent in my business was setting me up for something else. A career. The dream was never to be my own boss, although that’s a nice thought. The dream was to do something I love and earn enough money to support my daughter and I. I am 100% an entrepreneurial spirit (it says so on my resume). I don’t shy away from that. For many creative entrepreneurs, corporate jobs have crushed their creativity so it has become a toxic word in the creative community. I get that. I always thought “9-5” was something to stay far away from if you want any sort of creative freedom in your life. It’s a box and not for the likes of me or people like me. The only way to be happy is to work for yourself.
But, I think I was wrong.
What I didn’t realize was happening was that I was building all the skills I needed to get the kind of career I have always wanted and I was networking with people that would help me get there.
About a year ago, I met a girl named Amy. We were both invited to speak at a Momma Collective workshop in Kelowna. We were kind of introduced on Facebook and she reached out to me to see if I could help her with social media. We hopped on the phone and hit it off immediately. She was also a single mom and was running a mini empire called Moga Moms - a community driven mom and baby yoga studio which has since moved to the online world. After my speel I remember her saying “you’re my girl.” And I was for that moment forward and she is mine.
Working with Amy, I was able to prove my skills in marketing firsthand and we worked together so well. She values my expertise and I am inspired by her drive. We are a great team. She is a busy single mom and maintains her day job in the corporate world while working on her side hustle to feed her passions. Yeah… just follow her on Instagram, you will see what I mean.
She posted on Facebook that she was looking for someone for her corporate team and I liked the post not thinking much about it. I got a text immediately and she’s said “OMG, this is perfect for you.” She wasn’t trying to be pushy but I was interested because the idea of full benefits, stable income, lots of holidays and working with Amy caught my attention. So, I said “let’s talk.” We did and I basically agreed just so I could work with Amy. “What’s the job again?”
When I met with Amy and the President of the company, Melanie - another powerhouse female entrepreneurial spirit, I knew I found home. I started the job immediately and was able to make an impact right away because Amy knew what I could do, she trusted me and let me stretch my wings. I do not feel like I am in any kind of box and I see a path for a long term career backed by the stability of a blossoming industry.
It’s only been about a month and the job tasks have been changing a bit here and there as we get in our groove, but I definitely feel like all the pieces of the past 2 years have fallen into place.
So, do I feel that I failed at life as an entrepreneur? Nah. To be, working my way to a place where I check off all my boxes of must-haves is success.
Financial stability. Check.
Using my super powers. Check.
Working with amazing women. Check.
Seeing my work have a positive impact on people. Check.
Flexibility to be a mom first and foremost. Check.
It doesn’t sound much different from what I hoped for in my freelancing business, does it?
Yep. I’ve found my home.
I am adjusting to the longer days but truthfully the consistent routine is good for me and something I struggled with as an entrepreneur. So, it’s been going great!
Huge thanks to everyone who has cheered me on along the way… hired me, engaged with me, listened to me. Love you all!
Moral of the story - know where you want to go and be open to possibilities the universe carves out for you. It might not be the path you planned on but if you can see your destination clearly, the path will be clear too once it presents itself. Keep working on the things you love and keep making yourself better in all aspects of work and life. <3