Building A Business in the Face of Infertility - by Carolyn Keating for MotherHustle
“From the elation of seeing that extra line on a little stick to being admitted to the hospital, I’ve experienced the lightest of highs and the lowest of lows, loving and losing in a way I never realized was possible.”

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a planner and have always given intense thought to every major milestone in my life. From college to career to dating to marriage I had a plan.

So when it came time for my husband and me to have kids, I figured it would be as easy as everything else. When it didn’t come as naturally to us as every high school health teacher said it would, I was at a loss.

WTF was taking so long?

Almost two years into our journey, I found out I was pregnant. It was Christmas time, and I remember thinking it was the best gift to give my husband. My planning brain kicked into overdrive and things began falling into place. Until our world was rocked and we had a miscarriage.

My husband and I have now gone through this rollercoaster ride a few times.

From the elation of seeing that extra line on a little stick to being admitted to the hospital, I’ve experienced the lightest of highs and the lowest of lows, loving and losing in a way I never realized was possible. In the midst of all of this, I did something that my planner self never really saw coming.

I launched my business.

It had been in the works for some time, and I was determined not to let anything sideline my plans. But trying to build a client base and gain visibility in the marketplace is really really hard when you barely have the energy to get out of bed, let alone try and have cheerful conversations with people.

On the one hand I was feeling very lucky that if this loss had to happen, it was occurring now rather than of during my corporate days because with all of the travel and commuting that came with my former position there I would’ve had to share what was going on which is something I certainly wasn’t ready to do.

On the other hand, launching a business in the midst of all this loss left me feeling like the ultimate failure in both my professional and personal life. Some days it literally felt like the walls were closing in all around me. I began questioning myself and my decisions. What made me think I could run a business? Why did I think leaving my cushy corporate income behind to start from scratch was a good idea? How am I ever going to grow my business when I’d rather be doing anything else? (And by anything, I mean taking naps on the couch with my dog.)

Some days I feel like I’m an absolute rock star, while others, I struggle to keep my head above water.

It’s those days, the ones I don’t accomplish much (if anything), that are the hardest because I’m constantly beating myself up for not trying harder or working more to reach my goals. It took me awhile to acknowledge and embrace the fact that both my body and mind had been through A LOT and I don’t need to power through simply to find success sooner. It’s perfectly ok to give myself some grace, and I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that my business might not grow at the rate I planned. But if that means that I can ride this emotional rollercoaster and come out somewhat ok on the other end, then I’m going to do just that.

This is only the beginning of my motherhustle story and, while it’s been a doozie, I know that the pieces will fall into place eventually.

Whether you’re on the path to motherhood, are a hard-working mama or just starting your journey, remember that regardless of the roadblocks that are thrown at you, you’re not alone. You are one of the strongest people I have yet to meet. I promise, you are more resilient than you realize.


As owner of Wholesale 4 Creatives, Carolyn Keating helps small, product-based businesses with their wholesale strategy and business plan. She dives deep into each client’s specific needs and helps them set the foundation for a profitable business. She also teaches how to sell to buyers and retailers because she knows how hard it can be to connect with a new buyer and sell a product without feeling coming across as salesy or pushy. Join her Facebook community, The Wholesale Collective

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