This post on “Transition” is written as part of a collaboration with Jill and Jamie of postmodyrn, an electronic magazine dedicated to the 4th Trimester experience. The 4th trimester? You know those oh-so-exciting first 6 months after you give birth.
We were paired to work on a project called coLAB – a collaborative project between three communities: Latina Bloggers Connect (that’s the L), Alt Summit (that’s the A) and Be Blogalicious, (you guessed it, that’s the B). Bloggers from all three communities have been working together this summer to come up with some great projects to share.
After speaking with the Divas of postmodyrn, we all agreed that this summer was one of transition for us all personally and professionally. This week we will be bringing you stories of transition on our respective websites and social media outlets and encourage you to share your own stories of transition – as women, mothers, friends, the list is endless.
This summer I made the transition to being a full-time entrepreneur and working from home. My last day of full-time employment for my former employer coincided with the end of school year. I had visions of summer fun dancing in my head. Road trips, picnics, field trips – you name it. My 7 and 3-year-old and I were going to have a blast!
The first two weeks were great. Being the great boss that I am, I immediately gave myself two weeks “off”. I didn’t actively pursue any new work and only worked about 2-4 hours each day – before my children got up and right after they went to bed.
In July, life happened. I had some health issues that totally derailed my schedule. My attention and focus were off, so I made an executive decision and gave myself the month off. (I’m one awesome boss, if I can say so myself!)
Being prepared is vital. Have an action plan in place. And a Plan B, C, D and throw in E, F and G for good measure. Some questions to ask yourself:
- What are my income goals? What will I need to make to sustain my household?
- How will I make my money?
- When, where and how do I want to work? (Make sure you schedule yourself off days!)
- Who will be my support system?
This leads to a lesson I learned quickly in transitioning to a work from home mom – how important it is to have a savings built up. Ideally, you’d want 6-9 months of expenses saved up as a cushion. Even if you’re not planning to leave your full-time job, having an emergency savings is wise because life happens, Divas. Having a cushion allowed me to not stress (too much!) and focus on what was really important – my health and my household.
Even with a savings plan in place, I need to bring in money. The balance in my savings account going down is not a fun feeling for me. Thankfully, I had low-cost electronic products in place that were purchased regularly and my t-shirt collection was, also, generating regular sales. It’s essential to have income-generating products in place from the start and promote, promote, promote! Some ideas include:
- an e-book
- a webinar
- an e-course
- a tangible product like a journal or t-shirt
I’ll be honest with you – the one thing that meant the most to me during this summer of transition was the awesome support system that I have in place. It’s quite an eclectic group of DIVAs – bloggers, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms, “traditional” work-force moms, mentors, mentees, coaches, accountability partners. Having a great support system to encourage, motivate, inspire, support and hold you accountable truly makes a difference. My support system is online and off. They recognize how awesome I am and remind me of it when my faith in myself starts to falter or I feel like “OH. MY. GOODNESS. WHAT IN THE WORLD HAVE I DONE!?!?!?” It’s a humbling and endearing feeling to know you have people that will text, email, call or just show up to give you a hug and encouraging words.
And, now, here we are. Almost at the end of the summer and I survived. The transition was not the walk in the park that I had envisioned, but we survived it and we had some really great moments doing it. I learned a lot about my family, myself and the direction that I want to take my business. And for that I am thankful.