After my daughter was born in June 2014, I took a flying leap into the unknown—the unknown of being responsible for raising a good person who would someday positively contribute to society, and the unknown of finding a new job that allowed me to be home with my daughter.
I could not imagine leaving my daughter with anyone. I surprised myself and my husband by not wanting to go back to my previous position. I was very ambitious and had enjoyed my job, but maternity leave had given me hours to assess my career trajectory. The prognosis was grim: my department had a flat management structure; I wasn’t using my true skills (writing, strategizing, and marketing) nearly enough; and, worst of all, I wasn’t happy.
Looking at the tiny person in my arms, I realized that I didn’t need to make a change for me, I needed to make it for her. I needed to show her that you could enjoy your work and have a passion for what you do. I wanted to give her the best possible version of myself. I discovered that version works from home.
After some scrambling, I found a job as a virtual assistant. The job was a blessing because it allowed me to see that I could manage my time while working from home, maintain a productive routine, and fulfill work priorities and personal goals. The job also satiated my love of learning because I worked with clients from all different backgrounds in a variety of industries. However, I didn’t want my earning potential or scope of work to be decided by someone else. So, I slowly built up enough clients to transition to full-time freelancing in March 2015. Then in June 2015, I set up The Sturm Agency and became an official business owner.
In 2017, I welcomed my second child—a son. I’ve continued working as a virtual assistant and marketing specialist while raising my two kids. I consider myself a full-time mom and part-time freelancer.
I have two children, a three-year-old daughter named Norah and a 10-month-old son named Miles. I’ve been married to my husband, Mike, for 8 years.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is finding the time to grow my business the way I want to. I have lots of ideas and am excited to help as many people as I can, but I only have so much time. It’s incredibly important to me to give my children my full attention during their waking hours, so my work is confined to mornings, evenings, and weekends. Although I appreciate that this is a season of my life, it can be frustrating to want to do more than I can.
Motherhood always comes first for me. I purposely work part-time so that I am able to dedicate time to moms’ groups, being a room mom at my daughter’s preschool, and enjoying their childhoods. My business is worked in the margins around my kids’ lives.
Being a mother has made me much more motivated than I was before kids. I don’t think I would have started my own business if I hadn’t become a mother. It sparked something in me. I feel like I’m already doing the scariest thing in the world—raising human beings—so everything else is easy in comparison.
Believe in yourself! I think a lot of businesses fail because the entrepreneur is unsure of themselves. If you think you can do it, and you learn as much as you can and work hard—you will succeed.
Be easy on yourself. Being a mom is the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. You will give so much to your children, remember to be kind to yourself.
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Erin is a wife, mother, writer, voracious reader, champion sleeper, board game enthusiast, and candy aficionado. She’s been working as a social media strategist, content creator, community manager, and freelancer since 2014. In her past life, she worked in a biotechnology company’s corporate library. The birth of her daughter in June 2014 inspired her to take a big risk and strike out on her own. She’s been working from home ever since while she raises my two children. Follow her on Twitter at APerfectSturm2 and on Facebook at Freelancing Mama. Make sure to check out her business website here.
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