Updated: Jul 3, 2019
The 3 stages of transitioning your mind, body & soul out of work and into creative entrepreneurship in motherhood.
If you feel the great paradox of being personally ambitious - as well as a dedicated mother, then you may very well have thought about quitting your job to find more quality time with your family and more purpose in your own life.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur of a soul-crafted business may provide more freedom, more life-satisfaction as well as a sustainable answer to the illusive question of how to find balance in motherhood.
But it is a hard, practical decision - because practical responsibility often outweighs the fantasies of becoming financially independent - and you just can't justify the risk of losing a steady paycheque (however soul-cringing the job may be).
Entrepreneurship can be lonely and extremely challenging. Not only do you have to constantly push through your own comfort zones - you have to deal with your conditioned habits on a daily basis and find a way to expand beyond your limiting beliefs...
...and that's why I truly love it.
Just before I transitioned from full-time work to entrepreneurship 2 years ago, I searched obsessively for answers to my discontentment, while still working my full-time job.
I wanted more freedom but didn't have the financial situation to let go of my salary.
I also didn't know if I would be successful as I am a creative person with wavering commitment but bold ideas.
Most answers from the internet came in the very appealing titles of ‘quit your job, become a digital nomad and move to a tropical island‘ - to which I read all pieces enthusiastically... until I realised that all the authors were young, single and could not relate to the conflict of fulfilling personal desire against parenthood. This is not a judgement, but a simple truth - and one I had to be very conscious of when seeking life-changing advice.
-Enter life-changing moment-
At the peak of my career working as a designer in Scandinavia's largest lingerie company, I went through a debilitating psychosis. The stress of being a mother of two young children, living as an immigrant in my husband's country & the superficial nature of my work knocked me completely off psychological balance.
Through my long recovery, I became determined to not let myself go again in this catch-phrase conundrum called 'living my best life' and became resolute in tackling this career change more holistically, more patiently and with resolute defiance to share it with other mothers once I had found out the secret.
Here are the 3 stages to quit full-time work and transition into entrepreneurship - and how to make sure it is a success.
I have been through each and every one of the following stages - and it took me 1 year in total to make the total transition. Of course, you can jump straight to the third stage if you feel inspired, but it depends on your financial situation, your connection to yourself and your partnership - so be assured to read all the stages in case there is something that resonates!
STEP 1 - Make full time work, work for you
Full-time work takes up most of the week, so fitting in dedicated entrepreneurship is immensely challenging. It will cut time out from being with your family and become the paradox to what you are trying to accomplish. There are some women I know who do both, but neither very well and find that family life and self care are the elements that slip most.
While in full-time work, figure out what it is you would like to do as an entrepreneur and create a positive mindset to the work you already have.
Learn about emotional detachment in the work place. Even when you dislike your job, you can create a healthier mindset towards it while you figure what it is you want to do instead. Read 'The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer (link below text) for a better understanding of how to do this - it has been a fundamental book in my own success as an entrepreneur and mother.
When you live in consistent negative energy because you hate your job, it transmits into everything else in your life, so be aware of how your work place is affecting your mindset. YOU get to change your perspective by seeing that your job is not you, but you currently need it to get to where you want to go.
Acknowledge the positive things about your job every morning as you wake up, even if it is just the income, and use this to detach yourself from the emotional drama that drains your vital energy.
Make sure you have a self care practice, even a simple one like making a mindful cup of tea after the kids are in bed. Meditation and physical activities should be a part of your daily life when you are aligning with your core values and desires as they help you find your intuitive guidance system. What you are seeking is confidence and clarity to make the transition into intentional living, where you get to choose exactly how you want to live. But this comes from letting go of your environment and becoming unconditional about your happiness.
Spend your evenings reverse-engineering your dreams. If you love to relax in front of Netflix after a long day, know that this energy takes up invaluable time that you can be investing in your future. Reverse engineering means finding someone inspirational, and laying out steps that go from their success to your start up. This way, you can follow the path incrementally - and in your own unique way.
STEP 2 - Go part-time & start investing in your idea
Part time work is often a 'meeting in the middle' for mothers, but you lose vital income and often don't work less, but have less time to work the same amount.
It can, however, give you a day or two a week to focus on spending time with your family and put your creative ideas into place.
Remember, exhaustion in motherhood is largely due to the lack of time we have doing the things we love.
In going part time, you may lose some income, but you will gain vital energy to start building up your idea. Being an asset in your job (relating to the new mindset from Step 1) affords you the option to ask whether you can do part-time with confidence. It might not work out, but at least you asked. You never know what your boss might say, especially if you have valid argumentation for your skills in the company.
Keep yourself motivated by focussing on the bigger picture. Your plan is to create a life you truly love and inspire your children with. Going part time can be an emotional release and allow you to be more mentally ready to step into entrepreneurship. If you have an idea of what you might like to offer the world, start prepping yourself with podcasts and content that resonate with your idea. Build your mind up for success right from the start by keeping to a daily plan that fits in research, reading and listening to inspiring content. When seeds of doubts trickle in, learn to evacuate them asap by countering them with positive affirmations.
Now that you have a little less traditional work in your week, spend that time aligning yourself with your inner guidance that brings clarity and confidence. This is not just about becoming an entrepreneur but in being a human. The more you find clarity in yourself, the more your idea will come into fruition. Spending time with your family, mindfully will affirm your ultimate goals. This is not a time to fully commit into your business plan, but to yourself, your family and your core values.
Start downsizing your life by learning more about minimalism. The less stuff you have to worry about, the more you will be free to pursue your dreams. Sometimes this means selling your house to get rid of a restrictive mortgage and moving into alternative housing or into a rental. And sometimes it means going through all the toys/books/household objects that are not used or truly loved and creating spacious places to express yourself in. Freeing your home from from redundant energies is an incredible way to start living with more freedom and can offer you money to invest in your business.
STEP 3 - Resign and commit to your start-up
So you are now in the position to give up your traditional work and step into the world of entrepreneurship. You have an idea of what it is you would like to do, whether it is selling a service or product online, writing a book, becoming a spiritual coach...this is the moment where everything in your life will change irrevocably for the better, but only if you keep going.
The main reason 90% of people give up on their entrepreneurship in the first 5 years is not because of the actual idea, but because they let small failures, rejections and self-doubt get in the way.
Learning from the many mistakes YOU WILL make along the way is the most important element of entrepreneurial success.
There are many ways to get out of your own way on the path to financial freedom but it starts with understanding that it is perfectly ok and necessary to make many, many mistakes along the way.
See your mind as the most valuable asset you own in gaining entrepreneurial success. A creative, positive mind combined with consistent aligned action is the recipe for overcoming all challenged while on the road to self-made success. The unrealistic expectations that most people have are what creates the most dissatisfaction when trying to get a business off the ground. Getting a publisher for your first book, your first paying client, your first thousand followers - all takes time, dedication and commitment to the bigger picture.
Learn how to separate your work from your family life and take moments to yourself. Burn-out is common in mothers and start ups because many people don't learn how to switch-off. Although there is a necessary change in routine at home and you may work later or wake earlier, make sure you are mostly PROactive in the morning (creating content) and REactive in the afternoons (replying to emails, comments). You are making this change for you and your family's future - but, in my books, family always come first.
Keep checking in with your WHY. Why do you want to share this message with the world and how will it help others? Keeping a spiritually aligned mantra with you will help on the rough days and remember to celebrate all the small acts of success. Too often we skip the little miracles and focus on what we are still missing - so take time everyday to acknowledge the obstacles you overcame that day.
Remind yourself that everything IS possible, but only when you let go of the outcome. When you focus too much on what you want out of your business in financial terms, you will miss vital lessons that come from the universe telling you which way you should go next for the best opportunities.
Consistent quality content + aligned actions + time = success
Most people want to have it perfect the first time. The business name has to be right, the logo has to be perfect, the Pantone colours have to be decided on... This is a sure way to never actually succeed as an entrepreneur. Do not let your perfectionism make you procrastinate from the task of creating more content. Stick to the 80%/20% rule where you accept that you only have to be 80% perfect and the rest is about marketing, adjusting and adapting.
Be routined, structured and use daily intentions - even as an artist, creative or medial. Mothers need routine to be able to have the freedom they desire. If you don't know what you are doing each day, you cannot feel the little successes that keep you committed, so stick to a routine and make sure the family understands your need for structure.
Now for the become a digital nomad and move to paradise part...
On my own journey, I travelled extensively for over 15 years and lived in some of the remotest islands in the world, including Savai'i in Samoa. When I became a mother and married a Dane, I never imagined staying in Denmark because I have a Southern Hemisphere soul and a free-spirit. However, the reality of moving back to the locations I used to live in were not conducive to the desires I now have for my children. I want my kids to have choice when they grow up, and that comes with parents who install holistic, inclusive beliefs through travel, but also grounding - as well provide them with an education they can choose to pursue when they are older.
I moved to central Portugal to live in an intentional community a few years ago on a quest to follow my ideas of unconventional living and took my young family with. It was the most incredible learning curve I have ever experienced. It was liberation, fear, expanse and restriction - and ultimately proved the realty of almost every travelling family on Instagram - and that is that you can move to paradise, but you will still have to change diapers, homeschool your distracted 6 years old, and prioritise the load of work it takes to become financially independent.
For now, the time spent with my kids is tenfold to when I was working, or travelling - and in the end that means more to me that anything else. The benefit of living in a commune in Denmark allows me to pursue my authorship without fearing the mortgage payments and connect to a tribe of people who are community-minded - and we have enough money now to travel adventurously every year to unchartered destinations.
Perhaps paradise is a state of mind in motherhood and its more about creating a life around those slow-moving-moments that make for exceptional happiness. For all the sunshine and beaches in the world, I would not give up my time to create books that I am deeply passionate about - and my time to be with my kids while they grow up.
This, to me, is how we find ultimate balance.
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