Being a Mompreneur is Hard Work
This goes out to all of my fellow mompreneurs and hard working mommas. In light of the celebration of Mother’s Day yesterday, I wanted to remind you just one more time that you’re doing the best that you can, and that is beyond good enough.
When I was pregnant with our daughter, I didn’t post a single picture on Instagram of my baby bump. A lot of it had to do with major insecurities that I had about other people’s opinions–especially due to the fact that I was having a child out of wedlock. But also, I would be lying if I didn’t say that my approach was done in large part to the uncertainty of how my male counterparts in the industry, as well as my clients, were going to take the news. I feared that they would automatically assume that with a child, there was no way I was going to be able to operate at the same level that I was currently.
At that point in time, I had been in business for two and a half years, and fought harder than I ever thought possible. I had turned my little dream of building a successful company, and impacting athletes’ lives into a reality. I still have to pinch myself at times to make sure it’s not one of those dreams you wake up from. I’d be totally lying if I didn’t admit that there were times that I wanted to give up and go get a traditional nine-to-five job. It’s scary to be held responsible for not just the well being of a tiny little human, but on a deeper level their care, support, nurturing, safety, and of course, unlimited diaper supply.
I’ll never forget when a sports agent caught wind of my pregnancy, and my master plan of keeping the news hush hush was ruined. The first thing he said was, “How the heck do you think you’re going to continue running your company while also raising a child?”. Yep, those exact words. I mean I can’t totally blame him, because frankly it was the same thing that I was thinking too, “How the heck am I going to do this?” Regardless, he could have opened with a congratulations at least…
“How the heck do you think you’re going to continue running your company while also raising a child?”
As the critical comments, such as the one I mentioned above, began to trickle in, I made up my mind to use them to fuel my drive and determination. I do also have to give credit to the extremely powerful bond that is created between a mother and her unborn baby during pregnancy. It was the combination of these factors that lead me to make two promises that I uphold to her every single day: 1. I would do everything in my power to provide a life that most people only dream of and 2. I would never leave her.
Just weeks before I delivered, I signed the lease to open my company’s first official office in the heart of River North (for those who aren’t familiar, let’s say it’s a trendy neighborhood in the heart of Chicago – and with “trendy” comes a price tag). I expanded my team and began to stack the deck for LW Branding 2.0 (mompreneur edition). The same year that my daughter was born, I grew the company 200% – that’s both from a revenue and client standpoint. I received national recognition in the Associated Press, MSN, and the Huffington Post, and was live on NPR and CNBC. I signed my biggest name clients to date, increased my impact, and got really good at time management; it’s one thing to run a company, manage a team, and handle numerous clients, but adding in the needs of a tiny human and daily pumping on top of the usual administrative tasks brings on a completely new layer that nothing can quite prepare you for.
You see, once I got over the fact that I wasn’t going to allow other people’s opinions or doubts control who I was going to become (AKA my new title as boss mom), I leveraged my newfound mentality into one of my greatest assets. Not only did I become more efficient, but I found out that I had more love to give than I ever knew possible, my patience increased, and I discovered a more meaningful reason to get out of bed in the morning.
I think that it can become so easy to operate from a negative mindset, and automatically assume that new unanticipated paths with their many responsibilities (such as becoming a mom), are going to slowly hinder any last chance you may have to grow. This could not be further from the truth. I’m going to let you in on a little secret here–moms have superpowers that are incomparable–these can be used to getting results that may have seemed otherwise impossible, faking it till you make it (because Lord knows we all need to play this card at some point or another), and pushing past challenges that could easily get the best of others.
It’s not just about dreaming big, because as I have come to find out, the dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately, not including tax. It’s about defining your life, however it may be that you want it to look, and then deciding to go all in, and making it work. Don’t look around. Don’t worry about what others are going to say. And don’t you dare start playing the comparison game. Just do you, but make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, and that you have a very clear understanding of your WHY.
“The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately”
Being a mompreneur brings with it the best of both worlds. Not only am I granted the chance to realize my dream of building my own business from the ground up, but I am so incredibly blessed to have a WHY that pushes me to work harder and dream bigger than ever before: my daughter. Here’s to all my fellow mompreneurs out there, and the WHYs that fuel your work. Mother’s Day may only be officially celebrated once a year, but the hard work and the hustle that takes place the other 364 days is equally as important. I see you, I respect you, and I love you.