I wanted to write a little bit about managing your career with balance - or how I try to do it. I left Corporate America in late 2009 to focus on my teaching career and entrepreneurial pursuits. I also had a second child during that time and am now the proud mom of two children, wife and owner of a large house with many crazy tasks and more. Oh and of course, I own and run my own business, work as a substitute teacher for the NYC Board of Ed and am an adjunct at CSI with two courses starting next week...
Each day is a balancing act; I wind up spending a little too much time on my social media accounts promoting my business, “meeting” with clients (virtually at times, hence the quotes) and planning content, events and more for my business. I also spend time working on my teaching career –planning my lessons for my college courses and working on my certification for NYS in math grades 7-12 while maintaining relationships with the local schools who call me to come in and sub for them.
Added to this are the other stuff – keeping the house in order, managing the meals, handling extra-curricular activities/homework/etc for the children and more.
Being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 job and in no way when I left Corporate America was I thinking I would be taking a “break” – I knew that with my education, background and experience that I had an interesting path ahead of me but I was not sure exactly where that path would lead to and if you had told me even 6 months ago that I would be using my talents and speaking skills making videos for a YouTube channel and blogging every day to share my content and words, I would have thought you were crazy.
Even with all of the advances and great stuff I am working on, you deal with the "mommy shame brigade". Recentl, another woman said to me, “Why don’t you work in the city anymore? You have your degrees, you are wasting yourself.” It is always interesting that other woman can be the hardest “critics” of what you do and how you do it despite them having to deal with the same societal pressures and decisions. I did not defend myself; though that was my first instinct. I know what I am doing – I am building something that I can do flexibly, without traveling to Singapore (yet) and by continuing to layer in the “triple duty” of teaching and working towards certification, I have multiple opportunities and career choices while I build out my business.
As an entrepreneur, you know that there is always the possibility of failure. I joke around a lot that I am just waiting for something I do to go "viral" because I make a mistake - and I am only half-joking because it is something that actually does scare me. Also, having my face and thoughts be so out there - there are times where I just want to scale it back and "hide" but then I take my minivan with my face on it for a ride and say, "Screw it; I deserve to be here and I have a lot to share with people to help them so I am going for it..."
You know when you are out there and entrepreneurial that there is a possibility of failure. And I have failed; a few times already. But the teacher in me just says, "Well, that is how you learn - if you do not ever fail, you never learn" and then I go about my day and keep trying. I have launched this business idea in different iterations and with way less technological options – like, launching a web site and having almost no way to promote it without paying the money to list it with Google (like at the time over $600++) or with a print ad in a local newspaper or more (also $$$) – I have a post about the increases in technology and how it makes owning your own business so much easier in this decade than it was last decade (see it here: http://www.thenextstep1234.com/blog/technology-for-small-businesses).
What do you think about being an entrepreneur? Did you have a dream of being your own boss and running your own business? Did you see the class I offered at Wagner College Office for Lifelong Learning on how to be an entrepreneur and to go from zero to launch? Happy Hunting and please click here for more information: http://wagner.edu/lifelong-learning/entrepreneurship/.
Lisa Vento Nielsen