09/28/20

THE MOMPRENEUR DIARIES | IN THE TRENCHES

My heart sank as the sound of the baby monitor let out the cries of an eight month old Hudson, and my to-do list was once again put on hold as the dreams of a productive Saturday afternoon working on my new photography website faded with another nap time that lasted less than 30 minutes.  

 

I was a first time mother, still had a full time job as a second grade teacher, and my photos were mediocre at best at this point (Seriously.) And while my son obviously was my number one priority, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I wished I could be both. I wished I could be the mom I wanted to be AND the business owner I so desperately wanted to be as well. 

 

I was in the trenches of new motherhood.

 

Just a month or so removed from breast pumps and milk stains on my t-shirts and the fog of postpartum depression just slowly beginning to lift. Combined with the stacks of school papers that piled up week after week, and the demands of caring for an eight month old that had completely flipped around my world upside down. Combine that with also trying to be a good wife, and it’s no wonder those days were kind of a blur.

 

Because I was also in the thick of brand new entrepreneurship.

 

I had just taken a one-day workshop called “Momtography,” to learn the basics of using my Canon Rebel T6i. Armed with the little knowledge I had of shooting in Manual, an extremely cute model in the form of my son, the support of my husband to pursue this new “side hustle,” a desire to resign from the classroom life that was keeping me away from my baby for hours on end Monday through Friday, and a whole lot of blind faith, I had just officially started my new photography business.

 

I look back on those early days and all I can remember was just how incredibly overwhelming they were. Mixed with the lack of sleep, also came a lack of knowledge on just how to grow a new business. As the only entrepreneur in my family and my friend group, I fondly began referring to myself as an accidental business owner. 

 

But what I lacked in knowledge, I made up for in gumption. I’ve always been a very jump now, look for the parachute later type of person, and this was no different. I sought out educators who had built the type of business I aspired to and started soaking up every last bit of knowledge I could. Business basics, posing ideas, marketing strategies. You name it, I owned a course on it. Armed with copious amounts of coffee, I would play these online courses in the background while I cooked dinner, gave Hudson a bottle, or folded insane amounts of laundry.

 

And it worked. Because fast forward five years later, and I am now running a successful wedding photography business. I’ve since resigned from teaching, and the majority of my days are spent splitting time between mom and CEO duties. 

 

 

So how did I get from point A to point B?

 

Well to be honest, there are a MILLION and ONE things I could tell you about. So much goes into running a successful business AND being a mom at the same time. Almost all of the education you need is out there. 

 

EXCEPT ONE THING.

 

No matter how much I sought out educators who were growing their business and raising families at the same time, they just weren’t out there. Sure there are some freaking AMAZING educators who I admire SO STINKING MUCH, but the fact of the matter is, they all grew their business BEFORE having kids. They didn’t go through the growing pains of just starting out while also hooked up to a breast pump. By the time they had reached the point of starting their families, their workflows were well oiled machines. Many of them already had teams of people. A lot of them are husband and wife teams. And with mature businesses, they have resources that a brand new business owner just doesn’t have access to yet. 

 

No matter how much I wished for the type of content I needed, it just wasn’t there.

 

The type of content that didn’t lie and say it is easy to grow both an infant business at the same time as growing an ACTUAL infant, but that it IS possible. The type of content that had insight to what I was going through both on the business AND motherhood front. The type of content that offered practical tips and tricks for making it just a bit easier for the life stage I was in. The type of content that acknowledged that there would be days that felt so overwhelming I would just want to quit. And most of all the type of content that offered inspiration for the really really tough days, so that I didn’t actually follow through on that whole quitting thing.

 

And so this blog series was born. Every Monday, I will be offering my very best tips, tricks, advice, and overall thoughts on surviving the trenches of being a mom to young kids and a new entrepreneur at the same time. Because it’s possible to do both, but you DO need systems, support, and a whole lot of time saving hacks along the way.

 

 

And if this blog series helps just ONE person, well then, I will have done my job. Because if there’s one thing I know about BOTH motherhood and entrepreneurship, it’s that we’re not meant to do it alone. And you, my friend, are not alone. 

  1. Billi Owen says:

    Kate, you truly are inspirational and even though my kids are older I’m still trying to navigate a full time job, side hustle and spending as much time with my kids before they leave the nest! I look forward to these helpful trinkets of information and your spirit really makes me feel empowered to continue to put the work in and educate myself as well! Keep up the amazing work and I’ll be following along on your journey weekly!

    Xo,
    Billi

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