This interview with Monica Froese, from the blog, Redefining Mom, gets real. We discuss how motherhood changes us from the inside out, and sometimes it’s not pretty. We talk about how to start a new business when you’re a new mom because you can’t do things the old way anymore.
In part 1 of my interview, Monica and I talk about loving our kids, postpartum depression, the importance of taking care of ourselves, and what it’s like to start a new business even when your husband doesn’t approve.
If you are a business owner and a mother, don’t miss this one!
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Transcript – How to Start a New Business When You’re A New Mom with Monica Froese
Host: [00:00:03] Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast, brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian: [00:00:11] Hey everybody welcome back to the Blogger Genius podcast. I first have to say thank you so much for showing up. I am loving doing this podcast. I am learning so much from my guests.
Jillian: [00:00:22] So today, my interview is with a woman named Monica Froese, and she’s an online business strategist. So for this interview, I’ve split it into two parts.
Jillian: [00:00:35] I do this because the interviews are long but they’re so good that I want you to hear everything, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with a podcast episode that goes over an hour or so.
Jillian: [00:00:45] Would you reach out to me let me know whether you want them split, so they’re in kind of bite sized chunks or you’d rather them be full, hour to hour and 15 minute interviews?
Jillian: [00:00:59] So without further ado I bring you part 1 of my interview with Monica Froese, and if you are a mom with a business, you will love this.
Jillian: [00:01:10] My guest today is Monica Froese and she is an online business strategist and she predominantly works with mom entrepreneurs. So welcome to the show, Monica.
Monica: [00:01:21] Thank you so much for having me. I’m very excited to be here.
Jillian: [00:01:24] All right so first of al, you are one of our top affiliates for MiloTree, so that’s why I wanted to reach out to you because, then I looked at your site and saw that you were doing all this incredibly cool stuff.
Jillian: [00:01:35] But when I reached out to you, you said to me, “I need to get back to you because I’m about to have a baby.”
Monica: [00:01:41] Yes. It was like I think the week I was having her.
Jillian: [00:01:43] OK. And then you had your baby and then you reached back out to me, and then we were just talking, before we pressed record about having a baby. And for you this, is your second baby.
Monica: [00:01:55] My second, yep.
Jillian: [00:01:56] But what we were talking about, which I thought was so relatable was how hard it can be when you have a new baby.
The challenges of having a new baby when you’re running a business
Monica: [00:02:05] Especially when you’re running a business.
Jillian: [00:02:07] Especially when you are running a business. I was sharing a story about how I read all the books, my husband and I went into this we thought with our eyes open. We had our daughter and then it felt like our house burnt down.
Monica: [00:02:24] I concur with that wholeheartedly.
Jillian: [00:02:28] So you know you have all these plans and you and we were talking about this. Honestly how people tell you how magical and special it is to have a baby and a newborn. And for some of us it’s not so magical and special.
Monica: [00:02:44] Yes. So I have to be, I am careful when I talk about this in front of my 5 year old because she doesn’t have the ability to necessarily understand what I mean when I say certain things, like having a kid is really hard. I don’t want her to think, “Oh I’m really hard on my mom.”
Monica: [00:03:04] So I do try to be very clear when I when I state it, and I absolutely think that there’s like a general feeling that you’re given or at least I was given growing up and getting married that having kids was like this wonderful thing and it completed life and all of this stuff.
Monica: [00:03:25] And then I had my first and then my second, and I love them both dearly like I don’t look at them and think, “Man I wish I didn’t have you.” But I absolutely think it’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
Monica: [00:03:40] And I tell my husband all the time, I could work 90 hours in my business a week and find that a thousand times easier than having kids.
Jillian: [00:03:49] I have to say I agree, I totally agree. I think that people who don’t have kids will come up to it. You know a couple of friends of mine will say like, “Oh my god, is it like the best thing ever?” And I say well it’s not puppies and rainbows. For me though, it has given me depth and purpose and meaning.
Monica: [00:04:09] Yes I agree with that.
Jillian: [00:04:10] But not happiness, in meaning of wonderful happy moments and it’s like it’s joyous but it’s also the hardest thing. And I don’t think that that we hear that.
Monica: [00:04:24] We don’t. I don’t feel like I heard it at all, to be honest with you. I didn’t have kids super early, my first I had at 27 and I’m 33 now, and I had my second. So you know I’m like an average age nowadays I would say probably for having kids.
Monica: [00:04:42] But I was still one of the first in my group of friends that had kids. And it was super hard to articulate to them what it was like because I felt like everyone expected me to be like “this is amazing!” And I did not feel that way at all.
Dealing with postpartum depression as a blogger
Monica: [00:05:00] Now, I did have postpartum PTSD with my first kid. I had a very traumatic birth which I wrote about on my blog and stuff, which actually has led to a lot of opportunity for me just by sharing that because I’ve come to learn that that’s also getting a little bit more traction now I feel.
Monica: [00:05:16] But talking about postpartum is also one of those things that either treat it as taboo or just not something that you share with people. And so now I talk about it a lot because acknowledging it was a huge turning point for me in life.
Monica: [00:05:32] I mean that’s actually, if I had a pinpoint how I got into treating my blog like a business, was because I was diagnosed with postpartum 15 months in and then after a lot of therapy for it, I knew that I had to change my own circumstances. And that was getting out of corporate.
Jillian: [00:05:52] And if people want to find that blog post do you remember the title?
Monica: [00:05:58] I’m almost positive the URL is redefiningmom.com/postpartum-PTSD.
Jillian: [00:06:01] Got it. Got it. And how long did it last? It sounds like you came out the other end although, now you have another baby. How long did it take for you to kind of come back to yourself?
Monica: [00:06:17] So I thought after I had her, that my turning point was around the first year. But then my husband came to me and said, I really want my kids to be close together. And I thought I was going to gouge out his eyes, which was a big red flag that something wasn’t right.
Monica: [00:06:31] And I kind of knew something wasn’t right because when I went back to work, I saw all these moms that had multiple kids functioning way better than I was, and I’m like I only have one. Why is it so hard for me?
Monica: [00:06:45] I was just stressed out all the time. And then he asked for another kid, and I flipped out to put it mildly. And I switched doctors because of the doctor issue is kind of what led to the birth trauma.
Monica: [00:06:59] I got a new doctor, sat down with her. She almost hit the nail on the head. Within five minutes of talking to me like waterworks turned on and she she said you’re you’re definitely dealing with some postpartum issues and I thought that’s kind of crazy you know at 15 months postpartum, really?
Monica: [00:07:15] So she sent me to a therapist and then I would say around year 2 when my daughter turned 2 is really when I started to feel like myself again. And because of that I really did not want to rush and having another kid because it terrified me that that that it would happen again.
Jillian: [00:07:33] Yes. When I was pregnant I read this book, I don’t know if you’ve read it, called The Female Brain. It’s a really good book and it goes through how our brains evolve over time, and there’s a chapter on pregnancy and it talks about how our brains get completely rewired during pregnancy.
How motherhood changes your outlook on careers
Jillian: [00:07:52] And again I read it and I thought this is really interesting and then I had my daughter and I thought, oh my god. Because when I was a writer in Hollywood, I wrote movies and I was in the midst of writing a movie for Salma Hayek back when I was pregnant.
Jillian: [00:08:10] I gave birth to my daughter and had not finished my draft of my script and totally panicked. And here I popped out my baby. My birth was not terrific either I had a big C section and stuff. Not planned. And then I had this script to write. And literally everything shifted. Like I didn’t care anymore.
Jillian: [00:08:34] All of a sudden I had this person and I had to keep her alive. And it just like my brain changed. And it was really because of that, that I ultimately then wrote another movie. And I’m in the midst of it, and I remember thinking, oh my god, like a part of me would have thought this was so cool previously.
Jillian: [00:08:57] And I’m sitting in a meeting at Paramount and I’m thinking to myself, oh you guys, like yeah I like I don’t care what you’re talking about because I have a bigger job now. I’m Lainey’s mom, I’ve got to get home to her.
Jillian: [00:09:10] And I’m nursing, so like you know I’m like missing her and I’m like you know leaking, and I’m thinking, wow this is crazy. So I will say, for me again when I had my daughter everything changed.
Monica: [00:09:26] And so first, I did not know that you used to be a script writer which is really cool. Sitting in a meeting at Paramount. That’s a very cool fact.
Jillian: [00:09:36] It was much cooler before I had my daughter.
Monica: [00:09:39] Well, so you know I can completely relate on that. So I started my career pretty young. I started it while I was still in undergrad. Unbeknownst to me because I was I was on the path to go to law school.
Monica: [00:09:49] I actually got into Harvard Law and turned it down because I started working for a big Fortune 100 technology company while I was an undergrad and then I graduated early so I had this gap before law school started.
Monica: [00:10:02] And so I started full time. I transitioned from part time to full time. They came to me and said, hey you know we’ll pay you to get your MBA. And I thought oh OK, you know I could stay locally and it just my life just sort of took off in that direction.
Monica: [00:10:16] I worked at the same Fortune 100 company for 11 years, and when I said that when I was 31 people would be like but you’re only 31. I’m like yes I started when I was 20. It’s hard for people to like, how is that possible?
Monica: [00:10:30] But I got it while working full time. My MBA I was working full time and I was on the career path. Like even when I got pregnant it was like I had a one track mind. I was climbing the ladder. I knew where I wanted to go, and in my mind was like why else did I get my MBA if I wasn’t going to use it. You know, get to the suite someday.
Monica: [00:10:50] And then I had her. And nothing about my career appealed to me whatsoever. When I went back to work it was nothing but a burden.
Jillian: [00:10:57] Yep I totally know. It’s super super weird because I too was crazy driven and again, the weird part was that after I had my daughter, I was still driven but in a different way. I wanted more control over my life.
Monica: [00:11:20] That’s exactly it. And I’ve done a lot of thinking about this because I’m naturally pretty rebellious I would say. But I’ve always been straight and narrow. It’s so funny because my husband says, “You have so many opinions but you’ve always followed the rules in life.”
Monica: [00:11:39] I went to Catholic school my entire life up through college and I never got a detention. I never didn’t do my homework. If I got a B it was like the end of the world. I never missed a deadline at work. It just was.
Monica: [00:11:57] But I had this rebellious side of me that felt like I’m really sick of following the rules all the time. I was just burned out from constantly following the rules and I wanted to do something that was on my own terms.
Monica: [00:12:09] I think in a blog post when I quit my job I said, you know how crazy is it that I had to ask permission to go to a doctor’s appointment, like why do we have to ask other adults permission to go to a doctor’s appointment?
Monica: [00:12:23] So you know I just I knew. I did a live video on this group at one point about, I always had an entrepreneurial spirit because I did some crazy things even as a teenager to make money online.
Monica: [00:12:38] Like before like eBay was a thing, Yahoo Auctions was a thing. And I mean I was like 15 at this point, and I learned how to get good tickets from Ticketmaster and how the Ticketmaster system worked.
Monica: [00:12:58] I had an obsession in my teenage years with NSYNC so I would get really good tickets. Then I learned that people would actually buy photographs. This is with film. This was not digital. It did turn digital like halfway through this obsession.
Monica: [00:13:17] I would take pictures and sell them on Yahoo Auctions and make a ton of money. And I got good at SEO without even realizing it was SEO. I just didn’t realized what I was doing. And that sort of was at the beginning.
Monica: [00:13:30] But like my dad was telling me all the things I did as a kid. I had the thing with Lisa Frank stickers, and I figured out how to sell them to my friends. And just really weird stuff that I did.
Monica: [00:13:41] I found a book when I moved. It was a woman entrepreneur book. This had to have been like 12 years ago. And I took notes about all these different types of business things I thought of that would be a cool idea.
Monica: [00:13:57] And none of them are really relevant anymore because the world changed so much with the explosion of the Internet. But I just I think I always had that inkling that I was meant to do something else but I only knew one way which was to fall in line, to listen to authority and that’s just the way it’s going to be.
How motherhood makes you braver as a blogger and entrepreneur
Jillian: [00:14:17] Right. And I will say for me having my daughter, has made me braver because I don’t have as much time to obsess about stuff in my head.
Jillian: [00:14:32] That I kind of send the email. You know a brand wants to work with me and I go OK here’s how much it is. And I kind of gulp a little bit because you know what, my time is valuable and if they say yes, great. And if they say no, I’m going to forget I sent that email.
Monica: [00:14:49] Well you know, you are hitting on so many points I feel like I talk to my husband about all the time now that I just had my second. I have this thing where people are shocked that I wanted to get back to work so fast after having my second.
Monica: [00:15:06] I got 12 weeks the first time obviously because I was in corporate, and that’s just how it was where I worked. And then now, I think it was like week four. I was planning to take six weeks. And then I realized real quick that I actually needed to probably take eight because they don’t get their shots until two months. I can’t really expose her very much before then.
Monica: [00:15:27] So I was like I want to work at four weeks and everyone’s looking at me like, What are you talking about? You just had a baby, don’t you want to spend time with your baby? But I said the problem with me not working, first of all I’m very passionate about what I do.
Monica: [00:15:43] But second, I wanted to seize opportunities and not let the having a baby be a reason why I had a push things. Like even this podcast that I reached out to you pretty soon after having her, because it’s going to be really easy for me to just kind of fail.
Monica: [00:16:04] Having the baby and you know, “Well I just had a baby so I don’t have to work right now.” But I was going to miss opportunities if I if I didn’t like just start putting myself out there again.
Jillian: [00:16:17] Yes. And again because of the work that we do, like I’m in my casual pants right. And I have no makeup on and I can still do it. My brain still working, but I didn’t have to shower yet. You know and I can still do my job.
Monica: [00:16:38] Yeah, and in this world, when you get momentum which I feel like I’ve gotten in the last six months. Of course it always every momentum thing I’ve ever really had, I got two promotions when I got back from my last maternity leave.
Monica: [00:16:53] Well the momentum in my business really picked up in my third trimester this time. And so I didn’t want to lose that momentum because once you when you disappear from this world you’re just gone.
Monica: [00:17:05] So I kept telling my husband, I busted my butt for this, it would be a shame to just let it go and implode.
Jillian: [00:17:14] So could you talk then to a mom, let’s say who has a baby whose brain has been rewired whose priorities now. Like you know for me, hanging out with Salma Hayek was no longer cool, hanging out with my baby was what I wanted to be doing.
Jillian: [00:17:33] And who’s kind of freaking out on the inside going, “What the hell has happened to me?” who’s probably really sleep deprived who you know has not seen a shower in a long time. Who has this feeling of like “where is my life going?”
Jillian: [00:17:49] And there is more to me than just being with my baby, even though that’s kind of what the world is telling me I need to be doing. But going back to my corporate job doesn’t feel right. What would you say to her?
ADVICE to a new mom who wants to work…
Monica: [00:18:04] I think along the way, like especially now my daughters 10 and a half weeks, she’s pretty new. And people are still telling me, are acting as if I’m not working because I have people in my life that just can’t wrap their mind around me working.
Jillian: [00:18:21] So wait I just have to say I have people here who have no idea that I still work. Just so you know it is because it doesn’t look like a normal job. And you know I can wear my casual clothes all the time.
Monica: [00:18:33] And they wonder what the heck you do on the computer all day.
Jillian: [00:18:36] No they think it’s cute that I have some sort of blogish thing. But anyway.
Monica: [00:18:42] Yes! And then when they find out that the blogish thing really makes me more than I made in corporate. They’re like wait, what? How did you do that?
Jillian: [00:18:48] Exactly. Exactly. But anyway so go back. Sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt.
Monica: [00:18:51] Oh that’s OK. So when it comes to you know being in that new mom phase, and you are just overwhelmed by everything — the lack of sleep, when you’re going to shower over things that you said. I personally find and this is what I tell people all time, is acknowledging it is step number one.
Why it’s so hard to ask for help as a new mom
Monica: [00:19:12] Acknowledging that this is not easy, and asking for help, because I did not ask for help the first time. I am one of these people that honestly asking for help stresses me out in a lot of ways. It makes me feel like well, if I ask for help and they do something for me that I’m going to owe them the favor and I feel like I’m in debt.
Monica: [00:19:30] And then what am I going to ever have time to pay back this debt that I ask for help in a bad way to see it. But I’ve noticed that a lot of new moms feel that way they just don’t ask for help.
Monica: [00:19:42] And so now, this time it’s like night and day. Last time I asked for nothing. And I felt like I was on an island. No one visited me. I was completely drowning in sorrow. To be honest with you last time it was just awful.
Monica: [00:19:57] This time I got up around week 4, that’s when I started saying I wanted to go back to work. But it also coincided with, I felt like I was starting to spiral.
Monica: [00:20:08] I felt like things were becoming unmanageable really fast for me because the first couple of weeks they kind of are a little drowsy and the sleep deprivation hasn’t really kicked in yet. Like you’re still able to function even though you’re not sleeping a ton.
Monica: [00:20:24] And then it hit me. My husband traveled for a whole week and it was my unraveling. So when he came home I had two options. And this is I think a lot of women reached this point. I either was going to hide it and try to make it work without saying anything and be miserable. Or I was going to speak up and tell him what I needed and get help.
Jillian: [00:20:47] So what kind of help did you get?
Monica: [00:20:49] Oh we got a lot of help. The first thing I did was you know I strongly feel like I went through, I changed my career intentionally so that I could build a flexible lifestyle that made me happier and part of that was being able to afford certain things which my business now allows me to do.
Monica: [00:21:10] So we contacted postpartum service and we started getting sleep support because I pump exclusively so I’m able to pump and someone else can feed her. And I start to wake up to pump because I’m on a schedule. But we got a postpartum doula that came in two to four nights in May. Because we’re recording at the end of May through like the last four or five weeks.
Monica: [00:21:33] And they sleep trained her which I didn’t even know it was possible, to be honest with you. But because for us what I’ve come to learn or feel like what happened was that when we wake up with her we’re kind of stressed about the lack of sleep because we’re overtired, we don’t know when she’s going to go back to sleep and it would stress us out.
Monica: [00:21:52] But the doulas that’s what they’re here for. They’re supposed to be awake. And they’re their sleep schedule they know they get to go home and they sleep because they don’t have a newborn.
Monica: [00:22:03] So she just became a really good sleeper a lot faster than my first and she’s giving us four to five hour blocks now versus like two to three hour blocks, which is a lot harder to manage for sleep deprivation.
Monica: [00:22:16] So that was the first thing I did this time, and honestly it was possible because of blogging I could not have done the corporate thing, it would have it would have broke us. It was way too expensive for what I made in corporate. So I owe that to my business.
Jillian: [00:22:34] Nice, nice.
Monica: [00:22:35] Also though, mymother-in-law is one of those that loves babies. She thinks babies are fabulous. And she knows my feelings on it. You know, my baby is fabulous but I wish she would sleep.
Monica: [00:22:48] So my mother-in-law took her a couple of nights as well. She just loved it. She thought it was the best thing ever. There’s part of me that thought, I am a terrible mother that I’m letting my baby my newborn be taken care of by other people, and I like what’s wrong with me that I that I’m allowing this to happen?
Monica: [00:23:08] And then I’m like well, someone said to me, I can’t recall who it was, that someone said you know there’s no trophies handed out for the person who sleeps the least as a mom.
Jillian: [00:23:18] Yes. Yes.
Monica: [00:23:20] And they’re right. No one’s going to reward me at the end of this for being out of my mind, sleep deprived and not being able to cope with this. And if I thought I’m still pretty much in the middle. But I strongly feel that getting sleep helps me to stay away from the postpartum.
Monica: [00:23:38] I called it a black hole last time, that’s when I felt like I was stuck in a black hole and I would do anything to avoid feeling that way again. So if getting sleep and allowing my mother to take baby or hiring someone because we were able to do that this time helps me, then it why would I not do it?
Jillian: [00:23:56] Right. When my daughter was born I had a babysitter for her because I was writing scripts and stuff like that. But I also believed I needed time that was mine. I needed time away and I too had that guilt of like wait Idon’t want to be with my baby 24/7.
Jillian: [00:24:14] And then I came to the realization that I was a better mother when I had these breaks because she would come home and I would be able to love her, love on her even more because I missed her.
Monica: [00:24:29] Yes.
Jillian: [00:24:29] Because I was drowning in this monotony of like, oh my god, you know the experience I would feel, is like I’d have this newborn. And it’s like a half hour would go by and I would think oh my god what am I going to do for the next 23 hours and 30 minutes?
Jillian: [00:24:49] Like how is time going so slowly? And so to have a break and come back. I was so recharged that I came to the realization I’m a better mother for it.
Monica: [00:25:03] And everyone recharges differently. So I don’t recharge by interaction with others. I call myself an outspoken introvert.
Jillian: [00:25:12] I like that. I am too. I am too.
Monica: [00:25:15] I’m socializing with you right now and this is not a problem for me, but if I do back to backs like this in a day, if I did let’s say three or four hour long calls and then immediately when I was done it was like OK here’s the baby. It’s your time now. You’re tapped in as a mom. That doesn’t help me at all.
Monica: [00:25:37] So I have to be intentional with how much interaction I have. I’m working so that when is my time to tap back into being mom. I’m not overwhelmed by her and I have come to learn that about myself.
Figure out your rhythms as a working mother
Jillian: [00:25:51] Yes, I do think again just what you said is so important, which is understanding your rhythms as a mother. Understanding what feeds you, because being a mother is so exhausting. It sucks everything out of you.
Jillian: [00:26:07] Now again, it is also, it has given me purpose and meaning in a way that I am so happy that I get to have. And so it’s that thing of like, oh my god it’s also one of the best things I’ve done in my life. It is one of the things I am most proud of.
Jillian: [00:26:28] It’s given me so much, I understand humanity in a way that I don’t think I would have if I hadn’t become a mother, it’s so profound.
Monica: [00:26:41] Yes it teaches you how to sacrifice too.
Jillian: [00:26:45] Yes, like it stretches you in ways that you never would get stretched. And it forces you to grow up and it forces you to confront your own issues and like it is magical in so many ways and so difficult.
Monica: [00:26:59] And you know it’s not just for moms too, because my husband, like I said my mother in law thinks babies and children are the best thing ever. She couldn’t imagine being anything but a stay at home mom.
Monica: [00:27:12] She had no passion to work outside the home whatsoever. That’s what she wanted to do. She had four boys. She loved it. So my husband was raised with, that’s what moms like to do. Right. And then enter his wife who was like the exact opposite.
Monica: [00:27:28] There was a time when I had my first that I actually thought I wanted to be a stay at home mom and that I mean I have since reneged really hard against that.
Monica: [00:27:39] I don’t want to be a stay at home mom but you know for him, that was a super hard adjustment and I took it super personally, like why do you want me to be something I’m not?
Monica: [00:27:50] And then what I’ve learned with him too, which helps him is that when he’s alone with the kids. So we’ve discovered that, he is a terrific father. He is so in tune to the girls and he loves them dearly, but he can’t keep the house functioning and take care of them like I can.
Monica: [00:28:08] So when he gets overwhelmed like if I’m on a business trip or something, and if he feels frazzled with just all the moving parts, then I’ll say, do you want to do this full time? And the answer is always no.
Monica: [00:28:27] It’s like so if you don’t want to do it full time, why, just because I’m a woman, should I want to do it full time?
Jillian: [00:28:32] Right. Right.
Monica: [00:28:33] We all have different things that light us up and being a mom is just one of the things that lights me. It’s not the only thing that lights me up.
Can a new mom start a blog or business and quit her job?
Jillian: [00:28:43] So OK so let’s go back to, I’m a new mom, right. But now everything is just different. But I want something for myself, and if I quit my job we lose that income. But I’m overwhelmed because I now have kids and I’m kind of lost.
Jillian: [00:29:05] But I’m hard working, but I can’t seem to get my shower in for the day. Could I then start some sort of business?
Monica: [00:29:15] Well so the first thing is and it’s no matter how you look at it it, the first thing you have to do is just start because there will never be a good time for a side hustle or starting a blog, especially if you’re already working full time.
Monica: [00:29:33] Which I did. I started this and I was working full time. There is never a good time for it to fit in and you’re going to have to make tradeoffs and sacrifices for it to happen.
Monica: [00:29:42] So I give up a lot of social engagements because part of me would rather just work. And then the other part of me is, that’s the only time I have. Right.
Monica: [00:29:52] So I would say that we changed our lifestyle quite dramatically when I decided that I wanted this to be a thing. And so Saturday mornings for example, he took over sole childcare and I would leave. I had to leave because otherwise if your kids see you then you’re still there.
ADVICE: Be willing to make sacrifices
Jillian: [00:30:14] Right. Right.
Monica: [00:30:16] So I would just leave the house and I did a lot of nights. I worked until really late at night. I actually, I would take days off, I would use my vacation time at work to take days off to work on my business because I already had childcare. Because I should’ve been at work.
Monica: [00:30:36] And I learned real fast, and this kind of comes with, I have a corporate marketing background so ROI – return on investment was always a good thing in my life whether it was corporate or business. I just learned to give up the tasks in my business that weren’t producing revenue especially in the beginning.
Monica: [00:30:54] I do a lot of stuff now that is not necessarily revenue driven, but necessary to move forward. But I also have a little bit more time than when I was in corporate.
Jillian: [00:31:03] So what would you say if I am a new mom and I want to start a side hustle? Walk me through what you recommend.
Monica: [00:31:14] Well first you got to get your spouse on board. If you’re married or whatever you have to get them onboard first.
Monica: [00:31:20] Honestly I strongly feel that that’s your first move because if you just dive in and then inform them later right.
Jillian: [00:31:27] Right, like “Hey you’re staying home this morning while I go work on my business.” Like what? OK.
Monica: [00:31:31] And most partners will not understand why you’re doing something that doesn’t have an immediate payoff. So I had this, my husband and I, when I pulled the plug on corporate, I had the backbone all set up, like the website had been up for three years.
Monica: [00:31:49] I didn’t touch it for long periods of time in there, but I had some cool opportunities that came to me just by having a website up. I wasn’t even actively blogging and I got to go to the White House. I got invited to a working families event under the Obama administration, and I got to meet him. I got to go in the West Wing right outside of the Oval Office.
Monica: [00:32:07] So it was it was a pretty big deal just because I had a website that was up. I barely touched at the time. So when I pulled the plug on corporate, I was not making my corporate salary. It wasn’t an exact tradeoff.
Monica: [00:32:22] Like OK now this month I’m bringing in the same amount. Luckily for us we were able to save and finagle things so that I had a little bit of ramp time.
Monica: [00:32:31] But my husband expected it when I pulled the plug on corporate that I was going to be way more present at home because I didn’t have a “job.” And for five months we butted heads like crazy.
Monica: [00:32:47] And I had this thing that happened I called Decision Fatigue. I did not realize how many decisions that you actually make when you run your own business in a day.
Monica: [00:32:56] So things I would typically decide for the house, I was burned out. I was physically there, but my brain was just fried and I would dump stuff on him, I’d be like you just decide. I can’t I can’t do thing.
Jillian: [00:33:12] I call that “mental load.” My husband and I talk about it all the time, just like, oh my god my mental load is so high right now even to decide what shoes to wear.
Monica: [00:33:23] That seems so silly, but it’s it’s a real thing and I learned that real quick, in the five months when it became like my full time thing. So now I help, when I talk to moms who are just kind of embarking on this journey, I tell them the number one thing — you have to get your husband onboard or your spouse or your partner.
Monica: [00:33:43] And you have to articulate that, one, you’re not going to see money instantaneously. You have to ramp up, there’s going to be a ramp up time, and two, you have to ask directly for dedicated time to work on it.
Monica: [00:34:01] Where you’re not point person in the house or the parent, and you have to put it on the calendar. I always say, put it on the calendar because if it’s not on the calendar, it’s like it doesn’t exist.
If you want to start a blog or business figure out your finances first
Monica: [00:34:13] So once you do that and you can get them to buy in, and then you need to run your finances, then you’ve got to figure out how much do I have to make? If you are working, what is the tipping point that will allow you to quit your job and your budget.
Monica: [00:34:26] Can you put extra money away until that, you have to figure that part out. Because people don’t do these two things because they think a lot of people are skeptical that it will actually become something, so they just put it off.
Monica: [00:34:42] And the truth is, if you don’t figure out your finances it will never become something because you don’t know where you stand then.
Jillian: [00:34:50] Right. Right. And that’s uncomfortable. Becoming a mother is a lot about learning to be OK in discomfort. And this is another one of those places where it’s uncomfortable.
Monica: [00:35:04] Very. I mean they are tough conversations. And I would say and my husband would probably agree, that I dug in my heels pretty hard, and he did not like it at all. It wasn’t like this, I think a lot of times people read these stories about bloggers make it big and then their husband comes home from his job to work with them.
Monica: [00:35:27] My husband has clearly said he has no ambition to do that. Still even though I’m making a lot more than I was the day I started right, he does not want to do it. He wants to travel in his job which complicates our schedule because as my business is taking off, he still want this career path to be on his trajectory.
Monica: [00:35:47] And he was not like the love story of he just fell in love with my business, and we sailed off into the sunset. We fought a lot about it.
Jillian: [00:36:01] OK so then what? Let’s say I’ve done this, and I’ve got a six month runway to make a business to prove to my husband that this isn’t just a pipe dream. Now what? What are some of the easiest ways to start bringing income in?
Jillian: [00:36:18] So I put up a blog, I get that up and running. Now I have no people. I don’t even know what I’m doing. Where can I quickly make money?
Jillian: [00:36:29] OK that’s the end of Part 1. Yes, I left you on a cliffhanger so please come back next week and learn how to start making money from nothing.
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