Hustle and Family: The Struggle is Real
Juggling a new business and a family is not an easy task. My son was two years old when I went freelance, and we couldn’t afford full-time childcare, so most days it was me and the dude held up in our little NE Portland apartment all day. I’d be working at my computer, drinking more coffee one should consume in a day, him playing with trains, and watching TV. It was a lot to wrap my head around, but I wasn't about to go back to a 9-5 grind. During this time I listened to a lot of Erykah Badu. So much of her music revolves around being a parent, working your passion, taking time for yourself, and the ins-and-outs of being in a relationship. I don’t think I could have gotten through those days without her to sympathize with me. Music is therapy.
Before I was freelance, my energy was limited. I could only do so much because I had to save every ounce I could muster to go to a job I hated. However, when I started working towards my passion, my energy was limitless. I could stay up until 2 am designing a logo, get up at 7, drive Justin to class, juggle the kid, work, and do it all over again the next day. I didn’t care. The joy I felt was abundant, and it gave me the fuel I needed to get the job done. As hard as it was, in retrospect, I’m proud of that little slice of time. My partner, Justin, was in school at Portland State University and working just enough hours to keep his health insurance at Starbucks. Financially it was tight, but we were happy. I was living my small biz dream, Justin was happy to be in school and finally moving closer toward his career, we were raising a fantastic kid, and living in one of the most beautiful places in the US. It was rich in love and experience. While it was a struggle at times, we pushed through, and now Justin is employed at UT, and my business is still trucking along. It was all worth it.
Often I hear people say, “I can’t start a business because I have a kid(s).” That simply isn’t true. While children do add another element to the equation, they also give you the energy and momentum to keep going. Like, you don’t want to disappoint and fail them kind of energy. Once I became a parent, I found you can’t make your kids an excuse for not following your passion. If you’re not happy, they're not happy. I wanted my son to see his mom working her passion so that when he gets older, he’ll know that where there's a will, there's a way. I know it’s cliche, but it’s the truth.
If you've been on the fence about starting a small business, below are three helpful articles you can check out to get some ideas going that might work for you. If you decide to take the plunge, call me! I’d love to help in any way I can.