Letting Go: My Journey to Entrepreneurship
Plan. Analyze. Play it safe. Did I say plan?
That was me in my former life. Emma, B.C. (before children). Don't get me wrong, I still had a lot of fun, travelled, tried new things, but all in a very calculated way.
And then I got pregnant (a month sooner than 'planned'). All of a sudden, I had no control over what was happening to my body, my emotions, and my appetite - seriously, there was never enough food around! And when my water broke almost 4 weeks early, it was a crash course in letting go. (Coincidentally, that same child is now obsessed with Frozen and I can sing 'Let It Go' word for word.)
Fast forward 4 years, add another baby to the mix, and you'll find a different person. I'm still a planner, and like things done a certain way, but it's no longer a need. I've learned to trust more - in myself, in others, and in what life throws my way. It's because of this trust, and ability to somewhat let go, that I find myself diving head first into entrepreneurship.
A year ago I went out on a limb and attended my first Mamas & Co. meetup. I was shy, didn't know anyone, and didn't even really consider myself an entrepreneur. My passion project and blog, focusing on helping families create healthier, greener homes, was just an idea with no plan. I left that first meet up, however, feeling like I could turn the idea into the plan. This amazing collection of mama entrepreneurs were pursuing their passions and showed me a new path to success and happiness. I was hooked.
And so began the roller coaster. While I was still on maternity leave, my son was not a good sleeper - day or night. So I chipped away at blogging and creating a website and figuring out services often during precious ‘alone’ time after both kids were sleeping at night. And when my son did take an elusive nap, instead of getting caught up on things around the house I was working on my business. This did not make things easy on my family. I ended up spending very little time with my husband when he got home from work, and our house got increasingly neglected which would stress both of us out. But I couldn’t stop. I had a new challenge, and a new outlet for creativity. And it consumed me. I had never been so focused (ok, maybe obsessed) with something in my life.
When I went back to work, it got worse. I would continue building Green at Home between the hours of 8pm and 12, sometimes 1am. Lots of women were building a business while working full-time, so I should be able to do it, right?
It turns out, I needed to stop comparing myself to what others were doing. I couldn’t do it all. Something had to give. I liked my day job. It was great work, with great people, and came with security and a good salary. But my wanna-be business with no work pipeline and full of unknowns was all I could think about. My husband suggested one day that I leave my job and give Green at Home a try full-time. He believed in me, and was willing to sacrifice the loss of income if it meant I was happy.
It took me another 3 weeks to believe in myself too.
And so, a year after my first Mamas & Co. meet-up, I've left my job to pursue my business and spend more time with my family. And because I wanted to help give back to the community that is helping me grow in ways I never thought possible, I'm now co-leading Mamas & Co. too. I don't know what the future holds. And there are days when I think I’m certifiably insane for putting myself ‘out there’. For stepping away from the known, the planned, and into the unknown and certainly unplanned. But with my pre-baby planning obsession, my post-baby trust in myself, an incredible support system of friends and family, and the Mamas & Co. community, I am letting go of my fear of the unknown. And I’m so incredibly excited for the journey.