My business started about a year and a half ago. A very dear friend offered me a position in her company, and I knew it would be an income step down from my then current position. (I’m so thankful for that friend. She was a ROCK for me during my first few months on my own).
At this point, I had been running a successful direct sales business for two years, but I could feel my fire going out for that particular business. I had been considering doing a little bit of design work on the side, but wasn’t exactly sure. I felt like I didn’t have a calling. Then I listened to the audio version of Jen Sincero’s book, You Are A Badass, and things just clicked.
But, the universe has a funny way of pushing the limits. Within four weeks of quitting my job, my husband lost his long-time job and we found out baby #2 was on the way. All of a sudden, I went from “let’s see what can happen” to being the main breadwinner for our GROWING family.
It was the scariest time of my life. I got my first job as soon as I turned 16. At times in my life, I’ve had three jobs at once. I was raised by a single mother; I was taught to be self-sufficient. So, being a family without a “real job” was terrifying.
I only ended up working with that friend for about nine months. I knew after the baby arrived I wouldn’t be able to do everything. So, I took that opportunity to build my dream business, and I am still doing so!
My family is finally complete! I’m married to an incredibly funny and supportive man, Blake. He has been seriously amazing while I build this business. Every time I’m ready to turn my back, he’s there to force me to stay put. We have two children. Our spirited daughter, Elizabeth, is four. Our newest edition is Carter – he’s only 9 months old, but has the biggest personality.
Most of my struggles have been mindset. Funnily enough, I didn’t even think about “mindset” before I started my business. I had never even heard of it. But learning to trust myself, believe in myself, have confidence in myself – THOSE have been the game changers for me.
Motherhood has made me a better person all around. If I wasn’t a mother, I would have thrown in the towel and gotten a job at Starbucks when my husband lost his job. But I have these tiny people depending on me. It’s not just me working all the time, it’s their mom. I mentioned my single mom earlier, and it’s no fault of her own, but she has to work a lot. I wanted to break that cycle.
Be fearlessly authentic. When you are true to yourself, your beliefs, your mission, your style…that’s when you see yourself growing as a woman and entrepreneur. You will NEVER see progress when you are trying to be like someone else.
Lean where you can. I’ve always hated asking for help. I feel terrible for needing alone time to focus on work. But, it makes me a better person all around, especially as a mom. When I’m trying to make Play-Doh pancakes and email clients at the same time, I get frustrated and snappy. And, the person who suffers is the tiny human who doesn’t deserve it. There are so many people in my life who would gladly babysit, if I would just let myself lean on them. Asking for help isn’t a weakness!
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Erin Alexander is a married 30-something who spends her days chasing two little blondes, a golden retriever, and an orange tabby cat. She is also a small business owner, web designer, brand strategist, and blogger. Follow her on Facebook at Erin Alexander Design Studio, on Instagram at erinalexanderds and on Pinterest at Erin Alexander Design Studio.
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