I was recently invited to a media event for a company called Futurpreneurs.
Basically, they loan young entrepreneurs (ages 18-39) money to help get their businesses off the ground. Perhaps even more important than the loan is the invaluable mentorship these young entrepreneurs receive from volunteers in the business community.
I and a small group of journalists went to visit one business—a yoga studio—and then we went to a Freshii franchise to learn about how the franchise owner got her business up and running.
As we sat around the table eating our salads, we each took a turn introducing ourselves. Everyone sounded accomplished and important. I began to panic when we approached my turn. What would I say? That I have a journalism degree and an MFA but I can’t manage to balance a full-time job and kids, so I chose to freelance from home? It sounded lame when I went over it in my mind. It was embarrassing, even, but it was the truth so I went with it.
Instead of nodding their heads disinterestedly and looking at me like I was pathetic, they all applauded me for making the choice to work from home.
“I wish my mom would have been home to bake me cookies,” one journalist said sincerely. “She worked all the time.”
“It’s amazing what you’re doing,” said another. “I really admire you. It sounds like you have a great balance.”
I sat up a little straighter. I’m in awe of all the working mothers who manage to do it all. I never thought leaving my job as a magazine editor to freelance and be home for my kids was courageous. I never thought of myself as being brave enough to take a leap of faith that I could be a mother and write.
As it turns out, many women are faced with the same realizations as me. They aren’t able to give 100 percent to corporate jobs and motherhood, so they end up taking similar leaps, starting businesses of their own. Futurpreneurs funds lots of single moms and moms who discover a business niche during maternity leave. They leave their steady jobs to start something new—something that’s all their own. It’s their way of finding balance.
How do you find-work life balance? Did you start a business or go out on your own once you became a parent?