The 4 Motivators Behind MY MotherHustle. What Are Yours? - by Emily Souder for MotherHustle
“I wanted to be a compassion-spreader. Not just because it feels good (and oh, does it ever!), but because it seems like the right thing to do.”

There are all sorts of reasons why we want to become our own bosses.

My rocket to mamapreneur had several boosters behind it. There wasn’t one single thing that drove me to start my therapy business, and there isn’t only one thing that keeps my creativity flowing.

Here’s the breakdown of my main motivators, from start-up to now:

#1: Connection, Hope + Help.

There are many mamas who are feeling alone in this world. Right now, at this very second. Imagine if you could reach out and touch them. Imagine if you could send a message of hope, of “you’re not alone,” of “you’ll get through this,” or of “it won’t always feel this way.”

That’s basically what motivated me to start my business.

I felt anxious and isolated in my early postpartum days after having my son. I felt blindsided, misunderstood and, honestly, pretty scared that things might feel uncomfortable forever.

That experience in and of itself was not the sole driving force behind the creation of my practice, but it did play a role. After climbing out of that difficult place and continuing to gain experience working with therapy clients, my vision of working with pregnant women and new moms took shape. Additionally, moms I spoke to on a personal level taught me how they had felt separate, worried, and sometimes traumatized.

My experience hadn’t been so unique after all. Mothers needed more support — and darn it, I was going to be part of that.

After having my daughter, I wanted to keep that connection going even though I wasn’t ready to start seeing clients again right away.  It seemed only natural to write a guide as a way of keeping that link alive.

Birth Story Brave was born out of the same motivators that led me to start my therapy business, Nesting Space Therapy.

#2: Compassion

Something else was at the core of my business development: compassion.

I wanted to be a compassion-spreader. Not just because it feels good (and oh, does it ever!), but because it seems like the right thing to do. The right way to human (that’s a verb, right?). The right way to raise humans. The right way to treat humans. The right way to be human.

By extending myself in a therapeutic relationship with clients, I could embody this. I could model it and teach it.

This compassion—not only for others, but for ourselves—is also what led me to write Birth Story Brave. We can be so hard on ourselves, and our self-talk about our childbirth experiences is not protected from our judgmental thoughts. Birth Story Brave is an invitation to do the opposite of criticize. It’s like a cozy living room in which to explore your childbirth experience. And there are no nagging guests or difficult-to-entertain people in that living room.

By extending compassion to moms, my hope is that they will learn to start practicing it for themselves and for others.

#3: Self-Care and Authenticity

Remember MotherHustle’s February theme? Part of the reason that I started my business in the first place and part of the reason I write, is for the totally selfish (constructively so) reason of self-care.  

I started on my self-publishing adventure soon after my daughter was born. Because obviously, having a newborn and toddler screams prime time to take on a new project. But for me it was. I need that space for creativity in my life, or I’m missing something.

#4: The Finance Thing

While I didn’t set a goal to singlehandedly provide for my family while doing so, one of my motivators for writing and owning a business was to help support my family. I already support my family in countless ways, especially since I mostly mom (isn’t that a verb, too?).

But for me, there’s something about contributing a little bit financially as well.

In coming to the end of this short list, I’ve noticed how the word count for each section got lower and lower. I’m not exactly sure what this means, though it sure seems suspicious in terms of importance, or at least the varying levels of passion I feel about my different motivators.

And in the end, isn’t that—passion—one of the main ingredients we need to light our mamapreneur fires?


Emily is a mama, author, and clinical social worker in Maryland. She provides therapy to pregnant women and new moms who are experiencing anxiety or depression, or who are just needing some help adjusting to this new time in their lives. She is married, has two children, and loves spending time outdoors. Follow her on Facebook at Nesting Space Therapy LLC and on Instagram at Nesting_Space. Make sure to check out her book here.

Author Photo Credit: Stevie T Photography

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