I dedicate this blog to my supportive hubby, Jeylan, who is celebrating his birthday today. 💕

I believe motherhood really teaches women to be stronger and more loving than we could ever believe we were capable of. 

It was 2015 when I gave birth to my ball of fire, Liam. He was the loudest and biggest baby boy. I had to walk what felt like 100 meters, involuntary shaking from pain, from my bed to the nursery and back, to nurse him in hourly intervals. It was also the same year that I persevered with exclusive breastfeeding. I succeeded in completing the 6 months even after going back to work. Our office was 2-3hrs away from our home, that was, if there were no traffic. Safe to say, it was tough and I feel proud and I celebrate the fact that we did it! But that’s a story for another time… Maybe!

For today, for my first ever blog, I wanted to share with you, how motherhood also taught me courage and how it helped me find my true passion in life.  

I was a young HR professional when I started my family. I knew it wasn’t the job that was meant for me, but it paid well and I’ve learned to love it because I’m a natural servant (INFP, anyone?!). I’ve gained so much from my experiences and the work turned life friendships that I have been blessed with. It was also because of my HR family that I was able to successfully complete my 6months ebf journey.  During my HR stint, I didn’t stop looking for other opportunities to express my adventurous side. I became a member of a group of mountaineers and we went to hikes and even outreach programs in the mountains.

I fell in love with this activity, and it was also through this passion that I became close to my now husband. I also enrolled in Archaeology in UP (HA!) because I’m extreme like that. As much as I wanted to pursue that path then, life had other plans for me. I’m still thinking about it though, perhaps when my kids are in college, we’d go back to the world of digging and science…

 

MOTHERHOOD: JUMPING WITH HEAD FIRST

When I finally gave birth, I accepted my new purpose and mission. To raise this wonderful being that has been created and delivered through me into this world. So with the growing longingness to be with him every minute of the day, and with my career then feeling less and less fulfilling at the time, I made the jump to leave the corporate life! Admittedly, I didn’t know what to do afterwards, I tried to find better work but with the horrendous traffic and painstaking recruitment process of most companies, I’d go home to my bub who had been crying all day, and it just killed me!!!

 

 

MOTHERHOOD IS EXPLORING IN DIFFERENT WAYS

I eventually decided to do some online tutoring job for a few days. It was exhausting but it was fine. After some browsing in FB, a former colleague from my first job posted about working at home and how she enjoyed better pay and lifestyle being with her kids. I messaged her about it, and learned that there were opportunities out there. I would say I am grateful to Anne, because she introduced me to another friend, who was looking for referrals as her current agency employer was looking for candidates for virtual assistants. Long story short, I got hired as a trainee.

So my life changed. Work never felt work since then. I was having so much fun. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though. I was also taken aback by the volatility of jobs in this industry. People could just get fired as quick as they got hired. And coming from the HR background in the PH, my oh my, was I shocked. I just had to get my straps on because I knew then, it was going to be a wild ride. I knew I had to be cutting edge, to always be on top of my game, to learn as much as I could, and bring all the customer care experience I had developed here into the work I was doing. Because only those who pursued excellence, will be staying in the long haul. There were no labor laws and regulating body to shield anyone from complacency. No problem, I got this!

As a result of this commitment, I quickly booked my days with work, and clients singing praise of my performance allowed me to get more referrals. Then a new layer of complexity in the ever exciting world of motherhood was born.

MOTHERHOOD: ALWAYS A BALANCING ACT

 Many moms and moms-to-be dream of working at home. It’s the best of both worlds! Until it isn’t. I’ll give you a list why and how based on my experience, so it’s easier, because mommy brains!

  1. When I was in corporate job, I could go to work, focus on one thing only (work), shut down your computer, log off and be done for the day. Spend the night (or morning) with my family. But when I started working at home, the divide became blurry. When there were launches and projects, I could not -for the life of me- shut the work brain down until I knew everything went well!
  2. Because I was always home, I have rarely gotten the opportunity to bond with other humans my age, so I fell into depression. I didn’t realize how social in person connection mattered to me until it was (almost) gone.
  3. I was really passionate with what I was doing, so even if I was home for a time I fell into the trap of being always available to my clients. Some of them were very respectful of boundaries, but some really became too dependent on me to “save” them. I got burnt out because of this.
  4. Do you know Murphy’s law? More time gained by the fact that I was no longer traveling to and from work, afforded me the capability to get more jobs. And with that my friends, is the trap of being work at home. I got to see more opportunities with my free time TO EARN, instead of being with my kid. The irony, right?

While I was learning all of these by experience, these pitfalls of being a work at home mom became also my reason for finally, building my own business. I was working at home, but I was treating my life as if I had 2 separate jobs. One for my agency and some clients, and another as a mother and homemaker. And that created more dissonance in me than the 2 were more divided. I had to find a way to not lose myself in all of these…

MOTHERHOOD: BECOMING PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER THAN MYSELF

 

I saw this ad/post about building your freelancing business even without the expertise. This particular post struck because, first it was a fund raising for a child who had to undergo heart surgery. 100% of the proceeds went to her operation. Secondly, we were students of this mentor who taught how to land clients without applying for an online work in any platforms for freelancing. I wasn’t able to complete those exercises because at the time, I gave birth to my 2nd child and when I came back from maternity leave, I got promoted.

When they opened again the program (this time not for just a month-long exercise), I enrolled again and made the commitment to practice the teachings.

First breakthrough was from treating myself as an employee to an actual business owner. Only that my business was online, but the process of creating opportunities and sales should be the same. That changed everything. HEADS UP!  This program I’m talking about is now OPEN for ENROLLMENT! Let’s smash your #freelancinggoals together! Click here for more info >>> http://joanequitay.com/freelancing

In the mornings I served my company, in the afternoon I spent time with kiddos, then in the late evenings, when they’re already asleep, I would listen to the lessons and build my network. I have developed the muscle of working on my business. 3 or so yrs passed I still have the calendar notification from my cell, to build my business. I would sleep when my husband arrived from work. He worked midshift. Rinse, repeat. With this routine, I was able to create my lead generation process that when I had the chance, I finally delegated some parts of it to someone else.

I built my network, I approached people and names in the industry, I pushed my self waaaay out of my comfort zone and took my husband and kiddo with me during freelancing events whenever I could. I was awkward but felt I have unlocked something great. 

Four months later, I got an offer to co-run another agency. This gave me another breakthrough. I have had the best learning opportunities as I have worked with some of the top online business managers. The following year I searched, talked and closed clients. I managed teams and clients and projects. Stretched was an understatement. Now that I am on my own, I cant help but feel proud of what I have accomplished. 

I have learned so much from all the partnerships and collaboration that I have had honor to be part with. My co-working dates have been special mastermind days for me. I knew I had become part of something great. Something new but that could really change the course of my life, of my family and of the people around me.

 

FIRST A WOMAN, THEN A MOTHER, NEXT A BUSINESS OWNER

While I was writing this part, my daughter Leia (now almost 3) asked for her hair to be fixed. I’ve enlisted my husband’s help (bless him!) to keep her entertained while I was trying to get this creative juice onto writing.

I wanted to dedicate this part to where it all boils down for me.

I’ve invested a lot to help me go back to myself in this crazy world of momprenuership.

First and foremost, I honored my desire to be productive. To become part of something, to achieve something for myself. I live with the mom guilt each day because I’m human, but I try not to let that keep me in the dark, hiding my greatness and sheer drive to support other business owners in their own missions. My therapist once told me, don’t punish yourself from being a driven entrepreneur, for all you know, your kids will look at you with admiration for pursuing your passions and still being with them in their journeys. Shine your light to others! 

I also became responsible for my own happiness and it goes without saying, a happy mom, happy baby. 

 If you’re a mom or mom-to-be, a gentle reminder also that there are seasons in life that we choose to honor, and if you’re just starting your new journey, I know without fail your heart will lead you to where you should be. Be proud of it. Don’t force it to become something else right away. In times I have let my heart take me, are those times I have felt I was in the right place. I also have had to learn that being a good mom does not equate sacrificing mom all the time. Asking for help, honoring your boundaries and receiving support from husband, relatives and even from paid staff are all part of responsible parenting.

Lastly, there’s no point in trying to make this work if I didn’t stop and define what success meant for me. I took responsibility for my “busy-ness” or “chill days” because, if I wasn’t achieving those in the way I wanted to, I didn’t have a business, I just had a job. If I didn’t take control of who and what I am working with, then there’s not much difference in working in the corporate for someone else. This also meant charging for the  value of my service.

Finally, my experience taught me that keeping my passion for learning, making meaningful connections and understanding that selling is just desiring and delivering the best results to help more people, I could never go wrong.

 

 

I’m Joane, I work as an online business manager and Ontraport specialist. I create systems for 6-figure coaches and mentors so they won’t have to worry about running their businesses! Click here to explore working together!