Today I want to write to all those dreamers out there. Those at-home-parents with a spark of an idea. Those wanna-be entrepreneurs, on the very threshold of something big, with their foot extended, just about to take that first step…when guilt sets in.
Guilt over adding something to your already overwhelming life. Guilty over carving out time for a business when the days already feel too short and too rushed. Guilt over the decision to invest in yourself. Guilt over that nagging feeling that you should just stop dreaming and find a way to be happy playing with the kids all day.
I get it. I feel that too.
But hear me now, you wonderful dreamers.
Thinking of yourself and taking care of yourself, is not selfish. Seeking personal happiness and joy and fulfillment is not selfish.
In fact, I would argue that starting a tiny business, and spending naptimes growing and understanding that business has made me a better mother and wife. And it has nothing to do with the money. I’m better because I’m happier.
Like it or not, we are modern women. Many of us have advanced degrees and worked professional jobs before marriage and kids. And we were good at what we did. We got paychecks, we figured out challenging problems and we were praised by those that saw us in action. And all of that felt good, didn’t it?
And then we got pregnant and everything changed. Yes, we love our kids. Yes, we love taking care of a home and giving of ourselves to our families, but we are still those modern women.
Even though we love our families, we need something that is OURS.
Very often I have wished that I could be 100% fulfilled by my work as a mom and wife. But I’m not. I need more. Maybe that sounds selfish or cold, but being honest about how I am and what I need is likely the greatest gift I can give my family.
Mom needs to be happy and ultimately mom needs to find that happiness for herself.
And I’m not alone in this need. The life of a full time at-home parent is a bit treacherous. It is so easy to just totally give up on ourselves–to stop getting dressed in the morning, to limit our reading to our Facebook feed and to eat two huge spoon-fulls of peanut butter for lunch.
It’s easy to get lost in this at-home-parent gig.
I know I have been preaching and preaching about it, but in order to stay grounded and happy, many at-home parents, myself included, NEED a passion project. We need something to keep us sharp and driven.
Here is a story to illustrate what I mean–and very likely the root of my passion for helping you and other Nap Time Entrepreneurs.
Let me tell you about my sister Maria. She is a mother of 5, a homeschooler, a military wife, and one of the most stubborn people I know. And, as you can see in the image below, a huge dork.
This past summer all of my sisters and our kids gathered at my parent’s farm for a week and I started to notice Maria sneaking away to thrift shops and returning with huge boxes of books. She has always been a bookworm, but this seemed a little excessive. Finally I asked her what this was all about and, timidly, she explained that, even though it was silly, she had started a used bookstore online. It was simple and run exclusively through a Facebook page.
She told me all of this and then looked at me, sheepishly, expecting, I think, that I would laugh at her or roll my eyes. Say something like, “why?”
But I didn’t. I didn’t laugh because I thought that what she was doing was AWESOME. Buying used books and selling them online was the PERFECT micro business for my sister. Like me she loves thrifting and, being a homeschool mom and book-aholic herself, she could easily zero in on books worth purchasing and reselling. And have I mentioned that she is an organizational genius. Seriously, you should see the excel spreadsheets she’s got.
So the business she started, played to all of those strengths and loves. Genius.
It also so happens that at the time she started this little Nap Time Entrepreneurial project, her husband was very busy and, living on a new Military Base and far from family, she was feeling a bit lonely. Of course nothing can replace a husband, but all those books and spreadsheets kept her busy and happy and those tough months were a little bit better. Plus, not only was the work enjoyable for her, but very quickly she was turning a profit. It wasn’t a ton of money, but it was money she had earned without having to leave her children, for even one minute, in the care of someone else.
In recent months a lot has happened to my sister and her family. Like many military families, they are currently in the process of moving and a while back she liquidated her stock of books through a massive sale. Until they are settled again her shore is on vacation and, when it feels right, she will likely head back out to the thrift shops near her now home, and get her shop up and running again.
I hope that little story inspires you. There are a million micro businesses that could be started and run during the in-between times, during nap time or after bedtime. And the benefits of these ventures are REAL. With very little investment we can create a business we are passionate about, one that plays to our strengths and interests, one that can keep us motivated and sharp during these years of babies and traveling husbands and yoga pants. And finally, as nap-time entrepreneurs we probably won’t end up on the fortune 500, or even replace our husband’s income, but there is a good possibility that we will make some money–enough to cover groceries or pay for a yearly vacation–and isn’t that so much sweeter?
And, as a reward for reading all the way through this post, I have something special to share with you. The past 3 months I have been working my tail off on a full-fledged eCourse that will walk you through all of this. From thinking like a business owner, to knowing your customer, to setting up shop, to creating a profitable product to running a REAL business, it’s all in there and it is made specifically for at-home parents.
It’s called The Naptime Entrepreneur
The course includes nearly 30 instructional videos, 30+ pages of valuable worksheets and a built-in community so that as you go through the materials you will have a safe place to ask for feedback and look for support.
Going through this course will help an at-parent set up a profitable business the right way, no matter what type of business you want to create. Please, allow me to share all of the lessons I had to learn the hard way, so that your path to success is short and sweet.
The course will be available for only one week, beginning on May 1st, at which time I will be offering it for the absolute lowest price it will ever be offered. Since the course is brand new, I want to get students through the course at a low price now so that I can work out all the kinks, and then raise the price in the future. But don’t worry! If you join the course now you will have life-time assess and be able to enjoy all the updates as they happen.
So, mark your calendars! Starting May 1st we are really going to make this business happen.
I can’t wait!