When I was 12 years old, our family moved from one school district to another. While my younger sister quickly made friends in our new neighbourhood, there weren’t any kids my age that lived close by. I spent that first summer hanging out with eight year olds, more often than not. That was the summer of performing Spice Girl dance routines, my burgeoning obsession with Victoria Beckham, and the overuse of the expression “Girl Power!” anytime and everywhere!
Perhaps it was our amazing dance moves or the on-cue lip-synching, or perhaps it’s something that’s always been within me, but I’ve had an “I can do anything” attitude as far as I can remember. I’ve always had huge dreams and I never thought that any of them were impossible. Over the years I’ve realized that you have to dream big and work hard, and success can be achieved.
I’ve always hated working for others. I don’t like taking orders, especially if I think my way is best (which it usually is). No matter where my career would lead me, I knew without a doubt that I would have to be the boss. It was always what I wanted, even as a bartender or a hair stylist, my goal was to own a restaurant or a salon – not simply take home a paycheque every week. I wanted to make my own schedule. I wanted to run things.
And so I did. I was an event and wedding planner for a few years, I then moved on to being a cupcake and wedding cake baker, I did real estate for many years throughout, and have always loved the thought of being a writer, and have even started getting paid for some freelance work. I want to do things I’m passionate about, things that I am good at, and I want to be successful at them. The definition of a female entrepreneur: a strong woman who works hard to do things she loves – and gets paid for it!
But trying to balance self-employed work with babies became overwhelming, and left me grasping for straws. So, instead, I stepped back a bit, and I helped my serial-entrepreneur husband with his growing businesses. I am the ‘backbone’. I create the websites, the graphics, the business cards. I do the bookkeeping, the accounting, and the payroll. I write emails and invoice people and answer phone calls. It’s exhausting, but we’re creating this world of ours together, and it’s hard, but happy, work.
So imagine my shock when I overhear my daughter speaking about me to a friend, something along the lines of “my mom doesn’t work, she just stays home all day.” You could have seen smoke blasting out of my ears! I wanted to shout – Are you kidding me?! I don’t work?! What about all those hours sitting in front of a computer when I’d rather be hanging out with you? What about the writing I do? The hours toiling away while you’re at school? All this while I’m raising your baby brother and trying to run a household, and make sure there’s dinner on the table, and laundry put away – why do you think I only clean the house once a week?
Through my daughter’s eyes, I was a boring stay-at-home mom that was continually stressed out. It crushed me.
It wasn’t her fault, of course. It was mine. While I was busy trying to keep it all together, I had forgotten to have conversations with my daughter about my passions, my dreams, and the things that I had done and accomplished. I never told her the excitement I felt when we lived in Vancouver and I sold cupcakes at the baker’s market and catered to weddings and corporate events. I never told her that when we moved, I had to admit to myself that the market wasn’t there and, defeatedly, closed down. I never told her that I was always thinking of what I could be doing next. And all the things I was working for now – I love writing and blogging, so I turned it into a something that I was getting paid for (that’s a job!). I even do websites when I have the time!
I want to be a role model for my daughter. I want her to know that with hard work and heart and soul, she can do anything she dreams of. Anything she desires can be hers. I want her to know that I work hard – for her, and for my family. I want her to know that women can do anything men can do, if not better! Female entrepreneurship is something that I’ve been so passionate about for so long, and I decided I have to bring it to my blog.
Writing about self-employment isn’t always easy or fun. But it’s through failures and missteps that we learn. It’s through community that we encourage each other. And it’s passion that keeps us going. It’s that little bit of ‘Girl Power’ from twelve year old me, to the knowledge and strength gained over all the years of working hard at doing things I love while creating a life I’m ecstatic with.
Every Monday I’ll be writing about entrepreneurship – it could be about mom-work balance, or business plans, or marketing strategies, or whatever sparks my entrepreneurial interest at the time. And I’ll share more on a new project I’m working on, that will hopefully come to fruition this summer.
Want to be inspired? Check out these exciting sources below for motivation, smart thinking, business sense, and passion!
+ Female Entrepreneur Association + provides a ton of resources and inspiration
+ Braid Creative and Consulting + branding & business for creative entrepreneurs
+ Kyla Roma Creative + design & strategy for passionate doers
+ Danielle LaPorte + discovering true desires to map out your life
+ Hack to Start + podcast & blog for unconventional entrepreneurs