The [Not-So] Simple Start To #MyMotherHustle - BY Emily Cretella
So, how did this whole #MotherHustle thing happen? Sit back and I’ll tell you a story, mama.

I started my business while sobbing.

I was working long, intense hours as the Director of Strategy at an advertising agency — four days in the office, one from home. I had a nearly 1-year-old daughter. I never slept. I couldn’t think. The mom-guilt pressure was off the charts.

Yet, I kept going. I didn’t see an out — because I wasn’t looking for one.

I had always been an overachiever. A #LeanIn-er. I knew I wanted to continue working once I had kids, and I knew I was good at my job. So, work was work. It was what it was. Life’s hard and then you die, right?

No freaking way. 

And then, I was given a gift. A gift that I didn’t recognize as one right away.

I first saw it as a hardship, an unfair woe-is-me moment, when now I know it was the opening of a door that I had simply never seen before:

My agency bosses scheduled an HR meeting with me. And I had a gut feeling I knew what it was about.

“I know they’re going to tell me I can’t work from home one day anymore!” I cried to my husband the night before the meeting. “I just know it!” I could not fathom spending one more minute away from my little girl. The guilt was already so heavy.

As my poor husband tried and failed to calm me down, I added: “And I think I’m pregnant!”

Fast-forward a few hours and not one but two stops to the local drugstore to test the merits of various pregnancy tests, and it was confirmed: I was pregnant.

I had a 1-year-old. A brand new house. And no clue what to do.

The next morning, my other hunch was confirmed: office policies were changing. No more working from home. In the meeting, I nodded, smiled. And then, with early pregnancy, mama- bear hormones raging …

I quit.

Looking back at that moment now, it seems inevitable, and serendipitous, and sound. But at the time, it was terrifying. When you’re in a moment, there is no gift of hindsight. No relief of reflection. There’s just the overwhelming presence of now. And you either have to live in it, or run from it.

So, scary as it was, I jumped in. I began my copywriting business with zero plan. Scarce work. No business sense.

I was terrified. But I was exhilarated.

This unplanned, rash step opened up an entire world I never knew existed — one I would never have found if I hadn’t literally been shown the door. I finally felt like my work, and my time spent away from my daughter, was purposeful. I felt fulfilled rather than drained. I was on uncertain ground, but I was HAPPY.

A few years into my business, I had another idea: I wanted to help other creative mompreneurs make the leap away from the 9-5 and into their own businesses.

I always thought about the other mamas I worked with at the agency. The ones who couldn’t pick up their kids from school. The ones who missed the band concerts. The ones who were so incredibly brilliant and caring and creative, yet were stifled within cubicle walls.

I started MotherHustle for them.

It began as a weekly e-newsletter. For more than a year, I sent out my stories along with tips and resources that I was using to build my business.

And mamas liked it.

To a point where I knew that MotherHustle wasn’t my story alone. It was the story of all creative mamas working to build a business and a life that fulfilled their own version of success. So it needed to be told by more voices than my own.

We launched MotherHustle.com in June 2017 with a panel of eight amazing creative mompreneurs who each contribute a themed essay each month. We also welcome guest expert mamas and share the #MyMotherHustle stories of how some bad-ass mother hustlers started and grew their businesses.

As fulfilling as I thought my copywriting business was (and is), MotherHustle fills a void in my creative mama life that, again, I didn’t know I had.

Connecting with other mompreneurs, learning your stories, and hearing that you feel less alone by reading our words is simply the best, most unexpected outcome of this entire entrepreneurial journey.

So that’s the [not-so] simple of how this whole thang got started — but I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a passion project that keeps you fulfilled? How do you reconcile it with your business and your family? How do you keep it all SIMPLE, mama?

Share in the comments below, or over on Facebook or Instagram.


Emily Cretella is the founder of MotherHustle.com, as well as the copywriting and content marketing firm CursiveContent.com, where she helps clients create + share stories their audiences love.

She adores being mom to her two little ladies and drinking obscene amounts of coffee from mugs with pithy sayings. Find her on Instagram, and learn more about ways you can collaborate with MotherHustle. 

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