When I graduated from junior college in 1998, I was ambitious and ready to conquer the world with my Associates Degree. I had a Paralegal Certificate and a plan. The goal was to build a world class paralegal service that offered forms preparation, court runner services, and field collection services for small companies. Since this business was going to be funded by me, I had to keep by employment in the call center environment. One other thing, in 1998 I have birth to my 3rd son. So, I was going to build a company from the ground up with my own money and raise 3 sons. What was I thinking?
Express Professional Services remained in business for almost 15 years. There was no way I could afford to hire employees. I didn’t want to bother with loans and credit cards. There just became a moment when I realized, I needed to choose employment or self-employment. I chose employment.
I often ask myself was I overwhelmed, or just distracted. When I look at other successful small businesses, I can unequivocally say I was distracted. Running a business takes all of a person. Working an 8-hour job and giving 100% to clients is impossible. In addition, what kind of mother was I being to my 3 sons. I took them with me to client’s houses, to the office, and to court. I made more than enough to support myself with my self-employment. I was just distracted by work, new shiny things from the combined income, and my own guilt as a mother if I was unable to provide for them.
Here is the thing, once you establish a goal you must stay focused on the prize. This will require tunnel vision and lonely days perfecting business plans and platforms. Even when I started Communications Camp, I listened to some of my prospective vendors and clients. I decided I needed to refine the branding and establish the product.
It is easy to become distracted right now especially in this economic and political climate. It is just as important to understand your goal and why it is important to you. This way you can eliminate distractions that can diminish the longevity of your brand. Small businesses begin with a dream, then move on to a goal, and end with a true-life reality. This reality can be yours if you understand what your distractions are and eliminate them, stay positive and pursue your dream.
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Being a mom in 2018 is vastly different than being a mom in 1972. To meet the economic needs of a family these days, most mothers must work. It is typical for a mom to prepare breakfast, lunch (or at least know how the kids will eat), dress their kids, and equip their kids with school supplies right before dashing off to work. While at work, the cell phone is being monitored for emergencies. Once out of work a working mother will pick up her kids, take them to afterschool activities. When she is finally home, she still must go over letters from school and make sure homework is done, while making dinner. When this is finally done, she can sleep just to start all over again the next day.
We are certainly not June Cleaver anymore. It is so common for women to work versus the 60’s and 70’s where it was common for the mom to stay at home and manage the household. There is no sympathy for the demands of a working mother.
There were times when I worked an 80-hour week when my sons were younger. I also went to school. When I was finally able to see my sons in the evening, I still had to make sure they ate dinner, made sure they took baths, and still go over letters from school, and make sure homework is done.
I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon. Therefore, moms need to figure out how to work smarter to work less hard. Now before anyone misinterprets what I am saying, I am simply saying for the sake of being sane and healthy let’s figure out how to give our super mom cape a rest sometimes. The question is not “can we do it all”. We have already answered that question and the answer is “hell yeah”. I am proposing that we review all options and opportunities to make our life a little easier.
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Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor