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“My greatest lesson has been to stop attaching my worthiness to my business.” Here’s Carrie Madormo’s #MyMotherHustle Story. When and how did you begin your business? Give us the backstory! 

I started my freelance writing business in 2013 after becoming a mom. At the time, I was working full-time as a nurse and attending grad school part-time. I had thought that I would always work as a nurse, but once our daughter was born I couldn’t bear to leave her.

On my maternity leave, I started Googling ways that nurses could work from home and, once I learned about health writing, dove right in. Now, in addition to my writing business, I provide coaching and programs for fellow work-at-home moms.

Tell us a little about your family. 

I’m married to my best friend Tim, and we have a 6-year-old named Charlotte and 2-year-old named Jack. We’re also expecting baby #3 this November!

What were the biggest challenges you’ve faced or lessons you’ve learned since starting your business? 

My greatest lesson has been to stop attaching my worthiness to my business. I now work because I love what I do and I’m proud of it, not because I feel like I have to prove myself.

How does motherhood affect or influence your business? Your creativity? 

Motherhood is my greatest asset. I have had some pretty rough morning sickness with this pregnancy, and it’s forced me to be more creative and figure out how to work without expending so much energy.

What advice would you give to a brand-new creative entrepreneur? 

TRUST yourself. Your ideas are magic, and we spend way too much time second-guessing or comparing ourselves.

What advice would you give to a brand-new mom? 

You’re already doing a great job! Give yourself tons of grace and relax a little.

Ready to tell YOUR #MyMotherHustle Story? Submit it here.

Carrie Madormo is a business & wellness writer for internationally recognized publications. She has been featured in Working Mother Magazine, USA Today, and the Huffington Post. She now helps fellow mothers launch their own dream careers from home while being fully present in their joyful lives.

Carrie’s mission is to support mothers in coming home to their families, their dreams, and themselves. She replaced her full-time nursing income by writing and blogging during her daughter’s naptime and now shares her expertise with women around the world. Follow her on Instagram at CarrieMadormo and on Facebook at Sisterhood of the Hustlin’ Mamas. Make sure to check out her Coming Home Collective.

The post My MotherHustle Story: Carrie Madormo appeared first on MotherHustle.

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“Community today, especially in the online business world, is about relationships with people who we may never meet in person. Community now has no borders.”

Community doesn’t quite have the same meaning it did when I was growing up.

And for that, I’m forever grateful.

Living in suburban Pennsylvania as a kid, community meant that we could run through the neighbors’ yards on our way to our friend’s house. It meant that we ruled the neighborhood, winter and summer alike, and that we were safe hiding out in the woods. Girl Scouts. Halloween parties.

When we moved to Arizona, it meant dog-sitting and babysitting for the neighbors because we all knew one another. And it meant my parents spending weekends at the tennis club with their friends. Writing letters to my friends back in PA. Spending long weekends at sleepovers with friends.

Of course, this is all pre-internet.

Today, life looks a lot different. Thank goodness (for the sake of my livelihood)!

Community today, especially in the online business world, is about relationships with people who we may never meet in person. Community now has no borders, when it comes to your physical geography.

When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, community was all about who lived next door to you or down the street–and we were all so sheltered from learning about other cultures and different types of people.

Both in Pennsylvania and in Arizona, my immediate community was primarily white middle class. That’s who I saw every day and that’s who I grew up with–my friends and neighbors.

There was little diversity and I knew little of the lives of others in more diverse communities.

As much as we complain about all the distractions, thanks to the Internet, those distractions are exactly what have created a global community and global marketplace that has the potential to make this world a better place.

My daughter is growing up in a more diverse world and has a more well-rounded and tolerant view of the people and world around her than I ever did.

Thanks to the Internet and to my intentional action to introduce her to diversity, she’s able to grow up in a global world even within our immediate community.

Without the Internet, I wouldn’t have a business.

Without my business, I’d still be working that day job that ate at my soul. So as much as I complain about the time-suck and distractions (and sometimes lack of privacy) that is the social media world that we live in today, this connectedness has broadened my horizons and helped me to build relationships and community far beyond what I ever thought possible.

I don’t always love it, but I’ll be forever grateful for the eye-opening experiences I’ve had thanks to the global community. 

MotherHustle panelist Abby Herman is a content strategist and content coach for small business owners, helping to get her clients’ written message out to their audience, in their own voice and on their own terms. She specializes in working with female-owned, service-based businesses to generate ideas and strategies that help to move their businesses forward with content that attracts the perfect clients. Abby firmly believes in the power of educating and empowering business owners so they can grow their businesses without breaking the bank. Community over competition is truly her jam!

When she’s not crafting words or coaching her clients through their own writing roadblocks, you can find her exploring the mountains near her home in Phoenix or finding new ways to get her teenaged daughter to take a break from the school books and technology. You can follow her on Instagram,YouTube and Facebook.

The post From Backyards to Borderless: What Community Means For An Online Mompreneur appeared first on MotherHustle.

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“ALWAYS listen to opinions, but NEVER let anyone change your mind about what YOU think is a good idea.” Here’s Lorena Garcia’s #MyMotherHustle Story. When and how did you begin your business? Give us the backstory! 

The idea of Majka was born about two years ago after I had my son. I quickly realized that motherhood was way more challenging than I expected. I went back to work two weeks after having my son and, with work and the pressures of new motherhood, I quickly saw my health and energy decline.  I was making wrong food choices and lack of time and energy did not help.

That’s when I realized that though the supplement/health industry is saturated, there was no one really paying attention to the needs of new moms. I was tired of going through Whole Foods and examining each label to see if it was safe for me and my baby.

After a couple of months, I was determined to create Majka and partner with a friend to make it come to life!  It took us two years from idea to actually being able to launch the product. It has been an incredible learning experience. Through Majka, I have discovered how amazing the mom community truly is and can’t wait to meet and help more women during this special time.

Tell us a little about your family.

Yes!  My family is everything to me! I have been married for six years. I got married at 26 and waited four years to have our first (and only, for now) baby.  The road to motherhood was hard. I had a couple of miscarriages, but now I know everything happened for a reason because I was meant to have Diego. Diego is now 2!  He is my biggest love and biggest source of inspiration! I am determined to make this world a better place for him.

My biggest challenge right now is work-life balance. I am passionate about what I do with Bloguettes and Majka, and I love spending time with my family—so the struggle is real!

What were the biggest challenges you’ve faced or lessons you’ve learned since starting your business?

There are so many, but here are some:

  • You have to work smart and hard. Owning a business has no time off and it’s 24-7, that’s why you have to love what you do!
  • You will never satisfy everyone and that is okay. In the beginning, I stressed about everyone liking our products, but I quickly realized that creating a perfect product is impossible. You have to focus on creating the perfect product for your target customer.
How does motherhood affect or influence your business? Your creativity?

It affects it in many ways. My team has had to adapt to my work schedule. Sometimes I am not available during normal 9–5 hours, but I am working super early in the morning.  

It has also influenced my perception of working moms, and I want to make sure that our business is accommodating when the time comes and our employees become moms. I can’t believe the lack of support there is for working moms in the U.S.

What advice would you give to a brand-new creative?

I always say the same thing, but I think it’s soooo important. ALWAYS listen to opinions, but NEVER let anyone change your mind about what YOU think is a good idea. If you have an idea that you truly believe in, go for it! You are the only one that would have to live with the consequences and that “what if” feeling of not doing what you really wanted.

What advice would you give to a brand-new mom?

Never think it’s selfish to take care of you. Your family depends on you, so look at it the other way around! Your family needs you at your best, so prioritize your health and well-being so you can better take care of the people you love. Never look back, always look forward—don’t think about going back to who you were, but think about who you want to become!

Ready to tell YOUR #MyMotherHustle Story? Submit it here.

Lorena Garcia is originally from Mexico City. She permanently moved to Phoenix in 2009, met the love of her life and ended up staying there. Quickly after completing her MBA, she realized that entrepreneurship and branding were her passion, so she co-founded the company Bloguettes.

After having her son, she went back to work quickly and realized that not taking care of herself had a severe impact on her health and well-being. She decided to create Majka, which she co-founded with a good friend with the mission to provide effective, clean, and nourishing products to help new moms feel amazing. Follow her on Facebook at Love Majka and Call Me Lore and on Instagram at LoveMajka and CallMeLore. Make sure to use the code ‘lovemajka’ for 20% off your first order at Majka.

The post My MotherHustle Story: Lorena Garcia appeared first on MotherHustle.

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“Community can lighten the load of emotional labor.”

Community is our destiny.

The need to join with others for support and fellowship resides at the cellular level, coded into our DNA. This is why, since the beginning of time, we have been coming together as friends, family, neighbors, political parties and religious groups.

For mothers, a community built from meaningful relationships with other moms can protect our mental wellness.

The amount of work it takes to organize the logistics of a household, as well as care for the emotional needs of our family, can easily overwhelm even the strongest of women. Having a community of other mothers that we can share our experiences with is essential in healthily processing the frustrations and the burden that comes along with this work.

Community can lighten the load of emotional labor.

However, we must be thoughtful about the communities we build and how we participate in these communities. Haphazard participation will not bring about this benefit. Additionally, when communities get hijacked by our egos and built from shortcuts, the meaning is lost.

Here are three principles of healthy communities that can maximize our mental wellness:

#1: Healthy communities value meaning over multitude.

The best communities are not necessarily the biggest ones. It can be easy to get sucked into a popularity contest, but what makes a community great is its ability to provide opportunities for meaningful interactions between members.

This is much more likely to happen in smaller communities. Look for communities in which the opportunities to have meaningful interactions are abundant.

#2: Healthy communities value deep discussion over gossip.

Gossiping is appealing because it’s a cheap and easy way to connect in the moment. But once that momentary connection passes, we are left with nothing. It simply cannot sustain a relationship long-term because it undermines trust.

A community in which gossip is prevalent likely lacks the depth and meaning to support a real connection. Look for communities in which discussion sparks contemplation about big ideas and important topics.

#3: Healthy communities value authenticity over conformity.

One of the greatest gifts community has to offer is fulfilling an individual’s need for belonging. Communities that require conformity, changing to fit in, undermine this important human need. Look for groups that not only allow and accept you for who you are, but also value the most authentic version of yourself.

In modern motherhood, it can be hard to find the time for relationships outside of our immediate family. But community is not a mere luxury, and it’s even more than a priority.

It’s what we were born to do.

When we are intentional about the communities we build and how we spend our time in them, we can maximize the goodness that community has to offer, making it the ultimate antidote to stress and overwhelm in motherhood. 

Kelly Stanley has an M.A. degree in clinical psychology and is a certified professional life coach. She has been a psychology professor for 12 years and a mother for 13 years. Her coaching practice, Rising Up, provides mental wellness coaching to help moms deal with the mental load of motherhood. Follow her on Facebook at Rising Up Coach and on Instagram at RisingUpCoach.

The post Community: The Antidote to Stress + Overwhelm in Motherhood appeared first on MotherHustle.

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“We can be strong, independent, free-spirited and still we don’t need to do any of this — life, motherhood, entrepreneurship — alone.”

I never needed community until motherhood and entrepreneurship.

Or perhaps the more accurate statement is: I always had community until motherhood and entrepreneurship, so I never knew I needed it.

After the birth of my daughter, I quit my 9 to 5 and established my copywriting business. I was so focused on being successful as a mom and as a writer that it took me a long time to realize I was missing community; those daily connections with people who become part of the landscape of your life.

I didn’t realize how much it mattered until I didn’t have it anymore.

Throughout my life, I’ve never been much of a “joiner”. I never feel compelled to sign up for committees or join teams or be part of a group. I’ve always been totally fine with this — it fits both my independence and my introverted nature.

But there’s this thing that’s changed: I feel how deeply I crave connection and how much I identify with certain groups: Moms. Women. Creatives. Spiritual seekers.

It’s become clear to me that as strong as we are, we’re never as strong alone as we are together.

I realize that I need to be part of these communities, and it isn’t so much about “joining” something as it is finding something.

When my life no longer supplied me with the communities I needed, I had to extend myself to find them. Over the past five years of motherhood and business, I’ve joined groups, attended events, signed up for group coaching programs, gone on retreats and cultivated new and old relationships (plus let some go).

Here’s what I’ve learned about community:

Communities can both extend us and isolate us.

They extend us because there’s power in collective thought. There’s comfort in knowing that you’re understood. There’s magic in collaboration, and compassion, and kindness.

They isolate us because they cause us to forget that we’re even part of a community. We start to think that everyone thinks like us, cares about what we care about, views things in the same way. The same force that lifts us up can begin to keep us stuck.

Communities can both ignite our drive and dampen it.

When we’re surrounded by people who get it and who believe in us, we feel unstoppable.

When we spend too much time looking at what all the fabulous people in our community are doing, it can stop us from taking our own action (and even worse, we can start to feel unworthy).

Communities can provide the resources we need to succeed or leave us lost.

When our communities are made up of meaningful personal relationships with people, we gain access to connections, we build confidence, we have a sounding board, we go further.

When our communities are made up of virtual relationships that don’t extend beyond Twitter shares, Instagram hearts, and comments in Facebook groups, we eventually realize the community we thought we had is actually at the mercy of an algorithm and is missing soul and real-life meaning.

So what’s the solution?

Cultivate meaningful relationships.

That doesn’t mean you have to live near each other and hang out every Wednesday. It means that you develop personal relationships within your larger communities that you feel make a difference in your life and work. Relationships might bloom on social media or via email, but if you want them to take root, take the time to talk face-to-face (real life is great, but Zoom and Skype count, too!)

Meaningful relationships can vary but they have one thing in common: they’re supportive. That doesn’t mean you’ll always agree, but it means that you always know the other person has your best interests at heart (none of that catty high school stuff).

My personal litmus test for this type of relationship: Could I send a random text to this person about work/motherhood/life and know they will totally get it/give advice/laugh with me AND would I enjoy drinking a slow cup of coffee with them? If yes, then YES!

Take your time.

Finding the right community of people is like finding the right pair of jeans: it can take a while, and along the way you might find many that don’t quite fit how you’d like. You might need to get a little adventurous and…

Branch out.

Think about all the facets of your life and business, and seek out communities that feel like a good fit. You might not find everything you need in a single community. Find Facebook groups, attend events, travel, work in the coffee shop instead of at home– whatever feels good. When you extend yourself, you’re more likely to find the variety of perspectives that will help you grow.

Psst … don’t forget your real life.

Last week, I finally walked over and introduced myself to the person who has lived behind me for the past seven years that I’d never met. In this internet-connected world, don’t forget what’s outside your own door. You never know who you’ll need to borrow a cup of sugar (or a bottle of wine) from.

Work on your own $hit.

When you feel that twinge of envy over someone else’s success, it’s not about them. It’s about you.

If your communities are making you feel down about what you have (or haven’t) accomplished, check in with yourself. What’s making you feel less than? What do you admire about the person or program or course or whatever it is that’s getting you all green-eyed?

The things we admire in people are traits we have hidden in ourselves; the things we’re jealous of in others are great indicators of what we actually want for ourselves. Use all that as fuel for your own work, and transform your envy to inspiration. If they can do it, it’s proof that it’s possible. Get it, girl.

Create your own.

The very website where you’re reading this article is a perfect example: when you can’t find what you need — create it. What that looks like is up to you (it can be as simple as a few girlfriends you gather for a new book club or as big as a world-changing movement).

We can be strong, independent, free-spirited and still we don’t need to do any of this — life, motherhood, entrepreneurship — alone. We’re better together, and it’s much more fun that way.

MotherHustle panelist Stacy Firth is a writer and content strategist who helps moms who are small business owners and solopreneurs create online content that keeps it real. She also leads workshops that help mamas lead a lit-up life, and is mama to two. You can find her on her website or on Instagram at @stacyrfirth.

The post Here’s How To Find Real Community In Motherhood + Business appeared first on MotherHustle.

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“Our communities, both local and broader, thrive because of our unique ideas. That’s how we got to be on the business-owner path!”

Creak. Rustle. Crack. WHAM!

Just this morning, one of those background stories I had apparently been telling myself all along cracked open right in front of me. I almost felt as though I could see it.

Let me back up.

You know how we all tell ourselves certain stories about ourselves, the way the world works, and everything in between?

We mostly create these when we’re young, and we gather evidence to support them throughout our lives. But, we’re usually oblivious to the stories and the evidence-gathering until someone points it out, or if we do some serious self-reflection, or if one taps us right in the middle of the forehead.

Cracking open these stories is part of what creates space for change and transformation.

My story this morning was blatant: You won’t be accepted as a trusted and knowledgeable person/professional unless everyone agrees with you, or unless everyone likes you.

Do you see what I see? I see fears about acceptance and belonging in my community and beyond.

By “community,” I mean lots of things.

I mean the people who live around me, the people with whom I have a profession in common, and even the MotherHustle community. Community can be a geographical term defined by physical boundaries, but it’s also a broader social term. And at its core are belonging, ownership, and membership.

Sometimes the people in our community share our ideals; sometimes they do not.

We can choose to connect and interact regardless, making our community rich and diverse and strong. Rich and diverse and strong.

Can we feel belonging even if we have opinions different from those of others in our community?  Can we be accepted as relevant, knowledgeable, and valuable even if we’re not the same? Can we be respected even if someone can’t imagine being friends with us?

Yes. Yes. YES.

The daylight shining on my long-held, subconscious-until-this-morning story opened up that part of the lens through which I experience life. Once I noticed it, I could start to see, even in one day, all the ways I was working around that story.

When we are aware, we can start to make some different choices about how we interact with some of our ideas and beliefs.

Our communities, both local and broader, thrive because of our unique ideas.

That’s how we got to be on the business-owner path!

And I’m going to go ahead and say that it’s okay if you’re not liked by everyone. If I’m not liked by everyone. I don’t want to hide away from my communities and shut down my truth. And you know what? You don’t need to either!

Phew. Feels good to take the pressure off.

MotherHustle Panelist Emily Souder is a mama, author, and clinical social worker in Maryland. She provides therapy to pregnant women and new moms who are experiencing anxiety or depression, or who are just needing some help adjusting to this new time in their lives. She is married, has two children, and loves spending time outdoors. Follow her on Facebook at Nesting Space Therapy LLC and on Instagram at Nesting_Space. Make sure to check out her book here.

The post Making Room For Discomfort in Community appeared first on MotherHustle.

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When your goal is to be THE best, others are the competition. When your goal is to be YOUR best, others become your community.

Growing up, I suffered from a bad case of “the best-ism.”

This terrible affliction causes one to always strive to be the best at whatever she is attempting to do.

In the classroom? Needs to be the best at any project or subject. On the field? Needs to be the best at the sport — regardless of if she likes playing it or has any natural ability to do so. Amongst a peer group? Needs to be the best, the most perfect, the most liked, the most everything in order to feel OK.

“The best-ism” is a horrible condition. Because newsflash: there is no such thing as the best.

The entire concept of being the best is completely subjective, so having the best be your goal is completely unattainable. It’s basically like deciding that you want the job title of Queen of the Universe. Sure, keep striving for that — but it’s never going to happen, and you’re wasting your energy.

I learned this way too late.

Striving to be the best in any given situation had some major negative consequences. First, it made me put an insane amount of pressure on myself, all the time — which kept me from truly enjoying situations that could’ve just been fun.

(I distinctly remember sitting out from dodgeball in elementary school because I knew I’d get “out.” And — this is so embarrassing — my mom had to pick me up from a birthday party once because I had lost musical chairs.)

It also made me view everyone else as “the competition.”

(Because if I was going to be the best, I, of course, had to be better than all the other people around me.) It made me view others’ successes as a detriment to my own; others’ wins as my loss. And that’s really, REALLY sad.

This case of “the best-ism” continued from grade school through college and into my adult professional life, where, as a director at an advertising agency, my case of “the best-ism” was a positive attribute in many ways. If you wanted to win the client, you had to be the best. If you wanted to move up as high as possible and get that raise, you had to prove you were the best.

Maybe I was one of the best there. But I was also miserable.

It’s not until I became both a mom and an entrepreneur that I realized what an unwinnable battle I was in with myself and my best-ism. Because both motherhood and running your own business teach you really quickly that there is no best. There is no winning. There is only doing what YOU can do to the best of your own ability, each and every day.

That’s when I learned the difference between striving for THE best and striving for MY best.

When your goal is to be THE best, others are the competition. When your goal is to be YOUR best, others become your community.

As soon as I stopped framing my life goal as being the best there was in the world and started instead looking at how I could be my own best version of myself, I started to naturally seek out community. I connected more deeply with mom friends. I started MotherHustle as a weekly email for other mamas in my agency world. I joined a mastermind. I added more mama voices to the MotherHustle mix.

I became less isolated, more connected — and I enjoyed my work and life more.

That’s what community does. It takes you out of yourself — out of your own head, your own worries, your own selfishness — and applies that wasted energy to a bigger cause. It opens your eyes to experiences you miss when your blinders are narrowed. It puts your own goals in context. It allows you to make an actual impact outside of your own personal circle.

If I’ve learned anything from being a mom and a boss, it’s that community over competition is more than a popular phrase — it’s a necessary lifestyle.

If you want to not only survive motherhood and entrepreneurship, but also ENJOY them, you need a community to help you do that — and you need to be helping others do the same.

That’s why I’m so excited to be exploring all things community this month on MotherHustle.com.

You’ll be hearing from some amazing mom bosses and learn how they’ve made community part of their lives and their businesses.

So mamas, I want to know: what does community mean to YOU in your own daily motherhustle? What do you value in a community? Has your need for community changed over time? 

Share your stories of community with us, in the comments below or over on Facebook and Instagram. Because cherishing community is the best way for us to grow in our own version of our best, together.

Emily Cretella is the founder of MotherHustle.com, as well as the copywriting and content marketing firm CursiveContent.com, where she helps clients create + share stories their audiences love.

She adores being mom to her two little ladies and drinking obscene amounts of coffee from mugs with pithy sayings. Find her on Instagram, and learn more about ways you can collaborate with MotherHustle. 

The post From Competition to Community: Finding My Place as a Mompreneur appeared first on MotherHustle.

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“When we get past the looks and focus on the feelings, we can begin to see success even in the littlest things.”

A few years ago, I co-hosted a podcast all about success. Our tagline was “serving up a fresh perspective on success.” We wanted to show women that success was different for everyone and that we all, at times, struggled to feel like we were successful.

{While we are no longer podcasting, you can find She Percolates on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher Radio and find all of our episodes.}

Given that we interviewed more than 70 women on success and then spoke about success weekly on a second episode, I should be an expert on the topic. The reality is—success is elusive for an Enneagram One perfectionist like myself.

While motherhood changed my career path and so many parts of my life, what I viewed to be successful did not change.

So I spent the first two years of motherhood feeling like a failure.

If I am being honest, I still have those feelings where I don’t feel successful. I still have those feelings where it seems like everyone else has their junk figured out. A career, a family, a big house, weekly date nights, family vacations—and it all seems so effortless to them. I know that is not the case. I know that their highlight reel is what I see.

Being a perfectionist has caused me to feel like I am still searching for and reaching for success.

As a perfectionist, I don’t necessarily need everything to look perfect. Oftentimes, for me, it is about how I spend my time, how long it takes to accomplish something, and how a situation should go.

For example, I oftentimes feel like when my daughter is at preschool or at parents’ morning out, I need to spend every single free moment doing client work because I need to get the most out of that time. I need the day to be structured and set up in such a way that I feel like I’ve done all the things because, to me, success feels like getting it all done.

My need for my projects to be perfect often leads me to abandon them.

As a project starts to come together, if it doesn’t go according to my plan and doesn’t look or feel how I want it to, rather than presenting a non-perfect (in my eyes) finished product/project, I will just stop.

Motherhood and perfectionism are also a tough pairing.

While I am thankful I don’t stress over milestones with my daughter, what I do let get the best of me is how our day goes and what we did. My success as a mother is tied to whether we did something fun or whether she watched too much PBS Kids. When I lose my temper and yell, I feel like a failure.

Here is what I have learned about success since I started researching it back in 2014: it changes every single day.

As you shift seasons, jobs, transition into motherhood, etc., it will change. What doesn’t change is how you feel when something feels like a success. 

When I was fresh out of college (13+ years ago!), it seemed like success was always big and grand. But as I get older, I am learning it doesn’t have to be. 

A few Mondays ago, I woke up feeling overwhelmed after a tough weekend with my daughter, and I was smack in the middle of two weeks of solo parenting while my husband traveled for work.

I decided I was going to spend the morning cleaning up the house, doing laundry, meal prepping, and organizing a few random spots in the house that had gotten a bit out of control. I also cut three hydrangeas from our yard to brighten up our dining room.

I felt so much better after I spent the morning doing the tasks that sometimes feel annoying and mundane. It was a reminder to me that sometimes the things we think are chores and hard work actually produce a lot of joy and accomplishment.

But, more important, it was a reminder to me that success looks different in different seasons, but feels the same.

When we get past the looks and focus on the feelings, we can begin to see success even in the littlest things.

MotherHustle panelist Jen Hatzung is a business strategist, podcaster and founder of Abundant Affirmations who lives in Norfolk, VA with her naval officer husband, toddler and dachshund. She can be found drinking copious amounts of coffee or wine (depending on the time of day) while making lists and strategizing when she can fit in her next run.

She currently co-leads her local MOPS group, has her own direct sales business selling lipstick, and does the preschool/naptime hustle helping small business owners with their online engagement. If there is any time left in the day she has her nose in a book or watching HGTV. Find her on Instagram.

The post Perfectionism + Success: Managing Both in the MotherHustle appeared first on MotherHustle.

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“I remind myself that if I want my kids to put 100% into everything they do, I should do the same.” Here’s Jewel Newsome’s #MyMotherHustle Story. When and how did you begin your business? Give us the backstory! 

I began my business in March of 2018! I started to become tired of my regular day-to-day job. Putting on my uniform every day and working with people that wear the same uniform as me has become an eyesore and has even made me miserable.

Wanting more for my life, I started picking up freelance personal assistant jobs and really putting my heart into what my client needs. From there, I got back in touch with my love of helping people. I remembered that one of my good friends was an aspiring actor, so I helped him build his portfolio and professional website with professional modeling photos and headshots. After his site, I took on the role of public relations manager for a young woman I met through an old friend. I built the website for her event planning business, helped her hammer out some business details, and even still act as an advisor for her from time-to-time.

I’m still in the business of building people and their brand, whatever they want it to be, but I’m currently working mainly as a writer.

Tell us a little about your family.

I’m the mom of two fun, silly, sweet babies. My daughter, Gemma, is six years old and my son, Luke, is one year old. I also have two nephews that I consider my own babies.

These four are an absolute hoot. They light up my life, to say the least. I love to laugh and they have been the only ones to really make me have a belly-aching, tear-jerking laugh. Of course, with the sweetness and silliness comes the stubbornness and sarcasm—but they really are my favorite people in this whole world.

What were the biggest challenges you’ve faced or lessons you’ve learned since starting your business? 

The biggest challenges I’ve faced, so far, have been more with my writing. I’m very passionate and honest when I’m working on something I absolutely love, so I’ve had to learn how to curb the amount of emotion I include in my work.

How does motherhood affect or influence your business? Your creativity? 

Motherhood influences my business and creativity in a very sincere and pure way. I’m a big believer of putting my heart and soul into everything I do, but there are times when putting in 50% or 25% of my creativity is tempting. Then I remind myself that if I want my kids to put 100% into everything they do, I should do the same. Children learn by example, so in order for them to lead positive lives, I should lead by example. 

What advice would you give to a brand-new creative entrepreneur? 

An important piece of advice I’d give to a brand-new creative entrepreneur is to never lose sight of why you started.  It’ll keep you going. That fresh-faced, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed motivation can keep a business thriving and growing for a lifetime. You should never forget why you started.

What advice would you give to a brand-new mom? 

For a brand-new mom, I’d tell her that parenting doesn’t come with a handbook. I’d also want her to remember that she should do parenting in a way that she’s comfortable. Everyone’s going to have their own take on how she should raise her children, but the only opinions and thoughts that matter, regarding her child(ren), are hers.

Ready to tell YOUR #MyMotherHustle Story? Submit it here.

Jewel is a military-trained administrative assistant that’s using her skills to enhance her online presence through social media, personal assistant gigs, and more. Born and raised in New York City, she’s no stranger to big dreams, determination, and the hunger for more; more knowledge, more strength, more experience, and more excitement. Also, as a mom of two, conveying the importance of daydreaming, hard work, and always being ready to learn has become a message she keeps in her daily conversations with her children. Follow her on Instagram at Watch.JewelGo and on Twitter at WatchJewelGo.

The post My MotherHustle Story: Jewel Newsome appeared first on MotherHustle.

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“When the ebbs and flows of your family are working in syncopation with yours, then you know you’re killing it as a mom (and hustler).”

When I first became pregnant, I was told that getting married, settling down and putting off school and work would make me a successful mother.

I knew in my heart that it never would.

As women—and especially as mothers—we are told what success is, we are told who is allowed to be successful, and we are told when we can and cannot work toward success. It’s exhausting listening to so many people tell us what progress looks like.

We need to define it for ourselves—not as a collective of strong women, but as empowered individuals.

So what did I do? I sat down after giving birth, reflected on my life so far, and started making some massive changes.

Those changes included confronting the demons in a horrible marriage, finishing school on my terms, raising my newborn in a healthy environment, and doing all the things that made me feel happy and prosperous.

It took five years of hard emotional and mental work for me to figure out the five things that defined my own success. My mindset had to change in a variety of ways, too.

Here are the five steps I took toward success — perhaps they will help you begin the journey toward your own defined state of success, too.

#1: Go Toe-to-Toe With The Unhealthy Aspects of Your Life

For me, this meant facing my ex-husband and demanding marriage counseling and therapy. Our relationship was not good. He was controlling, demanding, abusive … and when I gave birth to my darling son Fox, I finally saw all of that. My ex-husband opposed the process and was even worse to me, so I left after he stormed out.

This situation was unhealthy for me mentally and emotionally. For you, it might mean you need to fix unhealthy eating habits, or stop dwelling on the past, or denying yourself to heal from postpartum depression. Whatever your unhealthy habit or relationship with another is, you need to confront it—or it will hold you back from everything good.

#2: Lay Out An Action-Focused Plan With Short & Long-Term Goals

I’m serious when I say you need to vision board your life. Before you think, “I’m too spontaneous a person for that to work,” let me say I am, too. The struggle I’ve had with getting used to the idea of creating a vision board or roadmap is I want to live life freely and without bars, but that doesn’t help me retire down the road—nor will it help you.

Giving your life a little direction is great for the spontaneous and free-spirited. We all have goals anyway, right?

Here is what you do, whether you’re going to use Pinterest or a journal:

  • Create a list of short-term goals. Short-term goals are things more along the lines of goals you set within a time frame of 12 months or less. If you want to start a website for your side gig, then you’d create a short-term goal of having it completed by the end of three or four months. 
  • From there, build a long-term goal (for example, reach 50,000 page views per month by your second year) and then subsequent short-term goals that will help you get there. These could be things like creating a free guide for users to download, write two blogs a week, or start an email course series.

Short-term goals can even be things like signing up for college, paying off debt under $6K, or getting you and your kids involved in group activities to beat some of the isolation you might be experiencing.

Whatever goals you set, the critical part is that you set them and create a roadmap so you can easily navigate your free-spirited self towards achieving those goals.

There’s nothing that makes me feel more successful than knocking out my to-do list or goal list!

#3: Measure Your Happiness

How does one measure happiness? This part of your journey in becoming successful can be difficult to track.

Even when we are at peak levels of satisfaction, we may feel a little unhappy because of one thing or another. So, my suggestion is to get a bit more science-ish about it. According to Psychology Today, your happiness levels can be tracked through behaviors.

I started journaling my positive and negative behaviors each day and then, at the end of the week, would look at which behaviors I exhibited most.

When I had this really awful client last year, I could feel myself acting angrily toward my friends and family because I had no other outlet to get rid of that negative behavior. I would get annoyed and irritated easily with my son, and as a result, he was also angry and irritated.

After tracking my behavior with this client during a week of direct contact vs. non-direct contact, I could tell that it was literally because I could not deal with them. I was an angry person because of this client, and I needed to change my circumstances. In short, I let them go, found new right-fit clients, and am much happier.

When it comes to success, we know we’re successful because we’re generally happy. If you’re feeling like you’re exhibiting less-than-ideal behavior, start tracking that behavior with a simple journal, or even use your planner. It’s a simple way to resolve negativity and begin walking on sunshine again.

#4: Guard Your Time

As you grow as a leader and hustler, you need to begin to use your time more wisely. How you define that, again, is according to your goals and your needs.

An easy tip for being great at spending your time wisely is doing what you’re really great at and giving the baton to others who are great at the things you’re not. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. Your time is precious!

#5: Make Your Family’s Happiness a Priority

This is the most important one. Remember the saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?” It’s the most accurate thing in the world. Our behaviors directly affect every single person around us.

Whenever there was a weird vibe in my house growing up, we all knew that something was wrong with one of the people living there and we needed to do our part in rectifying the situation.

Kids are incredibly perceptive and have a deep connection with their parents. If your kids and partner are drudging around the house and are distinctly irritable, unhappy and frustrated with you—it’s a sign something needs to be fixed.

Some signs your family’s happiness might be out of whack are: you are overworking yourself, passing over someone’s needs, or you’re unable to have an in-depth conversation with a family member. When it comes to children, this would be classified as your ability to sing with them, read a book, and play.

As a rule of thumb for myself, I do daily check-ins with Fox. I’ll say things like “I love you” often and ensure he’s happy by literally asking him. When kids are experiencing any emotion, they will tell you. These days, Fox asks, “Mom, you happy?” I’ll reply, “Yes, I am! Are you?” Simple questions like this to our younger family members make check-ins easier.

When the ebbs and flows of your family are working in syncopation with yours, then you know you’re killing it as a mom (and hustler).

In the end, how you choose to define your success is up to you. Sometimes success means you woke up and got dressed, other times it means you were supermom and perfectly balanced work and life today.

Following these five steps, for me, has made me feel and be more successful today than I ever have in my life so far. The world around you is bursting at the seams with possibility, and you have all the power you need to take the right actions in creating a life filled with success.

Seize your moment, and take what’s yours!

Sarah Bettencourt has spent the last eight years conquering the digital social world and developing ways for small to medium-sized brands overcome marketing obstacles through creative ideas and strategies. She runs Mother of Marketing to rescue 9–5 workers from the chains of their desk jobs and help them understand how to “break the wheel” by realizing their potential and transform into a sustainable brand. Mother of Marketing offers the core class, “Idea to Brand,” group/one-on-one coaching, and customized education plans based on an individual or company’s needs.

 Her son Fox was diagnosed with a severe speech disability in late 2016 and said “mama” for the first time only a year ago, and this year was diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism. He’s her little dragon, and he will tell you the same. 

 Follow her on Instagram at MotherOfMarketing, on Twitter at BlondeSpotSarah, and on Facebook in her Mother of Marketing Community.

The post Overcoming Obstacles + Defining Success As a Mom Boss appeared first on MotherHustle.

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