{FAMILY} This Is My Success Story

Some may think that leaving a “dream job” with the Vancouver Canucks to pursue a part-time writing career is more of a cautionary tale that a true success story, but I’m proud of the path that I’ve chosen.

Yes, the money pales in comparison to that of a full-time corporate job. And yes, freelance work can be fleeting, but I love what I do.

For many, the recipe for success includes a showy salary, a nimble nine-to-five, and a sumptuous collection of stylish suits, but thats’ just not me – that’s not my definition of success.  At least not anymore.

I’ve walked in those shoes, and I envy the women who continue to walk down the path towards career success. For many years I was driven by an impalpable desire to advance my career – to move up, earn more, lead more and thrive more in the workplace.

I can’t put my finger on exactly what changed – what shifted my drive. Was it the kids? Was it my rediscovered love for writing? All I know is that I woke up one day, and suddenly, I didn’t want that kind of success anymore. I just wanted to write. To mom. To help small businesses to succeed, and to take life day to day.

It sounds simple. And to some – it sounds totally lame. But that’s me – at least for right now.

This is my success story.

For more on how blogging was the first step towards my redefined success story, listen to my interview with Martin Strong on Roundhouse Radio: LISTEN NOW (Note: I start at the 14:25 mark)

Blogger

Interview on Roundhouse Radio at the 2016 Vancouver Mom Top 30 Blogger event

The Reveal: My Updated Home Office

I recently asked for your advice on which prints I should buy from Minted.com to refresh my home office space, and your feedback was very helpful. Not surprisingly, one of the four options took the lead with an astounding 65% of the votes! It’s no secret that yellow is my favourite colour, so of course the yellow prints were the art pieces of choice.

Before I reveal my updated space, I will first share the obligatory “Before” photo:

Office Decor

The space was quite drab with no personality or touch of colour, and I had a very bland and generic set of photos on my wall which needed updating.

And now, without further adieu, my bright and beautiful home office space:

Office Decor

 

Office Decor

For under $100, I was able to brighten my work space with some unique prints and fresh flowers, bringing out my personality and creating a clean and colourful setting where I can embrace my creativity while working at home.

I love how a touch of yellow can bring a smile to my face!

What do you think of my new home office space?

 

5 Things To Consider Before You Quit Your Day Job #WAHM

Two years ago, I was sitting at my desk at a full-time office job, daydreaming about finding a more balanced life. A life where I could be present for school drop offs & pick ups and participate in parent volunteer opportunities, but where I could also continue working in a career that I loved. At the time, I didn’t know that there were other options. I thought that I had to choose between my career and staying home full-time with my children, and the latter just wasn’t an option for me.

When I started to crunch the numbers and think more seriously about my options, I came to the conclusion that I could explore part-time work opportunities, as long as I was willing to make a few sacrifices. Now that I’ve transitioned from a full-time office-dwelling career, to a part-time work-from-home job, to an all-over-the-place work schedule as a self-employed mompreneur, I thought I would share with you 5 things to consider before making the shift from WOMO (working mom) to WAHM (work at home mom).

1) OPPORTUNITIES ARE SCARCE

It’s one thing to decide that a part-time job will work for you and your family, but quite another to actually find part-time job opportunities! Unfortunately, it’s still not the norm for companies to create part-time opportunities that accommodate family life.

Tip: Find and secure a part-time job before you quit your full-time day job.

2) MONEY MATTERS

Part-time hours are great, but part-time pay is not. If you find a part-time work opportunity with a fabulous company, you’re on your way to living the dream. But it’s important to remember that fewer work hours means less income for your family.

When I made the transition, I thought that the money we would save from taking our children out of daycare/after-school care would compensate for the lower salary that I would be bringing in. What I didn’t take into account was the fact that I would actually need time to work, and with young children in the house, finding the time to actually get work done would be next to impossible. I also hadn’t accounted for extra costs like Summer camp.

Self employment is even more challenging because in most cases, your income and hours become unpredictable.

3) SUPPORT IS KEY

It takes a village. When you have children, it’s important to make sure that you have the support you need from your family and friends before you decide to work from home and/or start your own business, because your decision will affect others more than you realize. Your partner/spouse will need to be involved in some of your cost-cutting plans, and the lack of structure that comes with self-employment will leave you relying on help from family and friends.

4) JOB SATISFACTION

Before applying for and accepting a part-time job opportunity, it’s important to really think about whether or not the actual job in question will satisfy your needs. The appeal of a shortened work schedule can sometimes blind you from what the actual job entails. Before you take the job, it’s important to ask yourself: will I still be doing work that I love?

5) LONG-TERM GOALS

It’s not only important to ensure that the career change will satisfy your personal needs, but it’s also important to consider your long-term goals. Where do you hope to take your career? If your desire is to move up the corporate ladder with an organization, chances are, those senior-level opportunities will go to the employees who have made a full-time commitment to their work.

Working from home can be rewarding in many ways, but it’s important to see beyond the daydream before making the  decision to change your career. Do your research and take the time to plan before you commit to a new lifestyle. Remember that there are always pros and cons to both sides of the working world – do what ultimately works best for you and your family. And if you have any questions, I’m here for you!

WAHM

Readers: Help Me Update My Home Office Space

I’m so fortunate to be able to work from home, but since having baby #3, I haven’t had the opportunity to work out of my home office, making it difficult to duck away for focused writing and uninterrupted work.

To give myself a little motivation and to get my creative juices flowing again, I’m hoping to update my drab work space by adding some colourful pieces to the walls. Here’s how my home office currently looks:

home officeBoring, right?

After browsing through a great site called Minted.com, I’ve come across some great pieces that I think would add a touch of colour and provide some creative inspiration to my office space, but I can’t decide which ones I like best so I need your help! Here are my top picks:

OPTION A: YELLOW TREES & QUOTE

home office

 

Yellow has become my signature colour, and I have a thing for trees and inspirational quotes, so these two pieces would be the perfect fit for my less-than-fabulous office walls.

OPTION B: HONEY BEE & DRAGON FLY COLLAGES

home office

 

These colourful collages caught my eye – each feature excerpts from famous fairy tales and the mix of bright colours would definitely brighten up my work space. The image on the left is a honey bee, which would fit perfectly with my personal brand.

OPTION C:

home office

 

These photos would be a great reminder to take time to enjoy the outdoors, and the quote and bright hues fit perfectly with my personality.

OPTION D: FOIL PRINTS

home office

 

These beautiful gold foil prints would look lovely on my walls. The image on the left is the symbol for Sagittarius (my sign!), and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco represents one of my favourite travel destinations and reminds me of adventure.

What do you think? I’ve included a poll below and would love for you to take a moment to provide your feedback!

Which art pieces do you like best for my office wall?

View Results

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More About Minted:

Minted is a marketplace of independent artists. They use digital technology to allow consumers to discover great creative talent, making Minted a place where artists can learn, gain exposure, and build their businesses. Their site includes beautiful stationary, wall art, home decor and business card artwork, available for online purchase. To learn more about this great resource, visit Minted.com.

 

Disclaimer: I was provided with store credit at Minted.com in exchange for sharing my love for their site, however the ideas and opinions are my own.

 

Why You Don’t Have To Be A Leader To Be A Leading Mom

When I went to my first Leading Moms event in 2012, I was a bit skeptical.

I was working in the corporate world, trying to climb the ranks to a senior leadership position. At the time, I didn’t consider myself a ‘leader’. I wasn’t supervising staff, and I wasn’t a key decision maker in the company.

I worried that not carrying the title of Director, VP, or CEO in my job, made me an imposter – a wannabe leading mom.

When I attended the event, my skepticism was immediately replaced with awe and inspiration. As I listened to the personal stories of the diverse lineup of speakers (ranging from Premier Christy Clark, to local clothing designer Nicole Bridger, to mom rapper Monica Morong), I didn’t feel like a wannabe at all, I felt like part of a community – all moms and leaders in their own way.

Every year since then, the speakers have been equally as diverse, inspiring, and extraordinary. The event has not only provided me with a venue to take in inspiring stories from leading women, it has given me a space to connect with like-minded moms, and to explore my own inner leader.

Each year, I walk away with inspiring quotes such as this one:

Leading Mom

You don’t have to be in a corporate leadership position to attend Leading Moms. You just have to have the desire to connect, to be inspired, to laugh, and to learn.

A leader can be defined as someone who “has great importance, influence, or success”, and as mothers, don’t we all fit this description in one way or another?

Leading Moms has become a highly-anticipated annual event, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us this year.

Leading Mom

Check out the 2016 Speaker Lineup

Want to join me? Use the code LMBITSOFBEE for $10 off your ticket. Buy your tickets by August 31st at an early bird rate, and enjoy $50 off a facial from Skoah.

BUY TICKETS NOW

Event Details:

Leading Moms
Friday, September 23, 2016
9:30am – 2:30pm
Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St. Vancouver BC)
leadingmoms.ca