Guest Blog by Laura Zukosky, a recent graduate of the Hay There Social Media Training Program
Our world is upside down. At the moment, you may feel like you are at the center of a powerful vortex and everything is swirling around you just out of reach. Just know, you are not alone. There are women all around you dealing with similar circumstances of job loss, a dream to achieve a career goal or to just leave corporate America behind and become a freelancer or consultant. If this sounds like you, it is time to channel your inner warrior in order to conquer your fears. In the words of Zig Ziglar, “F-E-A-R has two meanings, ‘Forget Everything and Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.”
As a group, mothers have come a long way with Work+Life Integration. Outside of their full-time jobs, warrior mothers of the past hosted parties and hawked Tupperware, candles, Pampered Chef and jewelry. Traditionally, this was viewed by society as cute way to socialize and make a little cash as a side-hustle. But what was the side-hustle really saying about us as women? It proved women rely on their own strengths and discipline to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit.
Whether it is being a part of a multi-level marketing business or starting a new freelance gig, women have moxie. Our collective “fighting spirit” is even more apparent as we seemingly bear the brunt of navigating the choppy waters of pandemic era parenting. For the most part, we are holding up and weathering the storm. However, these experiences have taught us how to adapt and get more creative.
So, if you are thinking of starting out on your own? The best advice is: Just start.
First, what are your interests?
Do you have something in your background, your education, a part of your childhood dreams that you can envision yourself doing? Maybe you have insanely good organizational skills, communication and writing skills, untapped creativity, financial skills, or just the ambition to try something completely new. Go make yourself a cup of tea, jot it down and let it sit overnight.
Second, find some inspiration.
Commence your search with remote jobs and the field you are interested in. This will help you define the types of requirements and/or skills needed in that type of role. Websites such as Après, FlexJobs and Fairygodboss are good starting points. Think like a consultant and don’t get hung up on the full job description. Treat it like a simple information gathering session. The purpose of this exercise is to provide a preliminary draft of what you like about the work, not the job itself.
Third, if you need to upskill, there are plenty of master classes and videos on YouTube. There are excellent, affordable programs that serve as apprenticeships. Check out Hay There Social Media if you are interested in social media consulting.
If you see a topic that interests you, subscribe to emails to get a feel for the company or proprietor. Research certification programs fully before committing financially as you may be able to build your own skill set without spending the money. You will be surprised at the plethora of free webinars and TED Talks that exist in the industry or field that speaks to you.
Finally, believe in yourself and ask for help.
Support that inner voice and notice those intuitive hits. By putting the ball in motion, you start manifesting your thoughts into words and words into action. Now this part is where many women get stuck, some call it Imposter Syndrome. Imposter syndrome is where many of us feel our ideas and skills are not worthy of attention. The psychology is actually an unwarranted sense of insecurity, but it can be difficult to combat because we think we are alone and suffer in silence.
Remember, it takes motivation and discipline to develop a business plan. Take advantage of the free time you may have in the morning. Yes, set the alarm clock a little bit earlier and get cracking!
Take advantage of free services like SCORE.org who have over 10,000 volunteer business mentors ready to help entrepreneurs. If you need accountability, try a monthly membership to The Cru where you get matched up with a diverse circle of women who meet monthly and help you set and achieve you business goals. If you want to stay local, join a local non-profit as a volunteer or board member and start networking!
Everyone’s journey is different; no two pathways to a successful business plan is alike.
Keep in mind, every female entrepreneur trying to make it while raising kids has her moments of living in her pajamas, eating PB&J off of their kid’s plate and vowing to exercise without the time or energy to do it. There are good days and days where you feel like you have not accomplished a single thing but getting the horse out of the barn is the most difficult part.
One thing we do know: Women are strong and resilient. If you struggle on your own, start seeking others who are willing to mentor or coach you. Join their circle to help you stay accountable while elevating and celebrating your progress. Your warrior spirit will prevail, let yourself fly!
Laura Zukosky is a mama to four kids and three dogs, who – when she isn’t exercising or taking care of her family – is growing her social media marketing business while living in the Work + Life Integration Nation™. A graduate of the Hay There Social Media training program, Laura has expertise in writing and communications, as well as a background in law and small business development. Contact her to discuss your small business social media needs today, via LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/laurazukosky.
Such great advice! Thank you for sharing these wise words. Warrior mamas unite!