Mama Mia here I go again…. I recently shared a little snippet of my latest blogging collaboration as Brand Ambassador for Business Mamas, since then I’ve had a lot of questions thrown my way, not only about my involvement but my plans for my blogging future. A future that was looking rather precarious this week.
When my blog went out for the count, with a suspected fatal server error or a hacker attack in the early hours of Friday morning, it was the longest 58 hours 22 minutes and 15 seconds of my life. Not that I was counting or wasting the hours, hitting refresh and praying to the blogging gods that all wasn’t lost because who has time for that.
I was stressing to say the least, struggling to recall when I last managed to get around to backing up the entire Cpanel not just the blog and kicking myself at how unorganised I’ve become lately with how much I’ve had on my plate.
I contemplated what I would do, worst case. Worst case being my blog was lost forever and I would need to start again from an old back up or possibly scratch that idea and start from scratch. I became angry and frustrated. You could say I started to grieve. For a bloody blog. No less.
While I’m not terribly proud of each and every blog post, I’m proud of my blogging achievements and the blog itself. There’s more than a little piece of me here. It’s my place, it’s my space. Almost an extension of me and part of the family.
You could also say I’ve found my passion in life. It’s a love hate relationship at the best of times. With the blog down and not looking like it was going to be a quick or easy fix with a strong possibility that I would need to start over from scratch, these clearly were not the best of times but I wasn’t ready to give up on my little space here.
It has only been recently that I’ve started to feel like I’d found my blogging voice and the best of blogging times were unfolding.
A big part of that is my association with Business Mamas, an accredited online business school, who are going to be putting me through my business diploma paces over the next 12 months. Their online course, which I commenced this week, will ultimately change the direction of my business, my life and possibly the personal blog when I launch my new online business this time next year.
Now anyone that knows me and knows how much I’m already involved in, in a business sense, might be questioning my sanity motives but let me tell you, there is a definitely method in my madness here. Business Mamas have me looking at my business options in a new and improved light. It’s all part of the bigger and better picture for myself and my family (intentionally putting myself first her). It’s long overdue.
But was this, the momentary demise of my blog, a sign from the universe that I was heading in the wrong blogging direction? Whatever it was it certainly had me reflective and wondering if I shouldn’t just walk away. Perhaps run even.
Another part of me appreciated how far I’ve come and how much effort has gone into the blog and I wasn’t prepared to give up without a fight. Not my normal approach but since signing on to become a Business Mama Ambassador and commencing their business diploma, I’ve decided things around here both online and off are going to be a little different.
I must confess since marrying (20 years this November) and having three children (3 under 3), my career and you could also say myself in general, took a huge back seat to everything and everyone. I never intended for that to be the case but I married the love of my life and that involved more than a few moves (22 all up for me) mostly following his career and a bit of sacrifice career wise on my part. It was just a natural progression that I became the stay at home mother. It’s not how I originally saw my life pan out but it’s also not something I regret for a moment.
While I loved being a stay at home mother, I always felt like I needed something more. This had me dabbling over the years, taking on work and opportunities that presented themselves, to fit in around our family.
Family always comes first with me BUT my girls are now 17, 15 and 14. So the stay at home tag is long gone. So I’m saying…enough is enough is enough.
It’s time for me, to reclaim my life and put myself first.
It’s time, to stop putting myself and my career last.
It’s time to formulate a workable plan.
It’s time to achieve some kick ass business goals.
Why did I wait so long?
Basically I felt I had no real choice to explore all my options and my options, up until recently, were fairly limited. Needing to move constantly didn’t exactly make me an appealing prospect in the employment stakes. I was also stuck on a path of going with the flow which also meant putting myself and my needs and wants last.
Up until recently, hubby has been on specialised contract work and we’ve needed to relocate, sometimes at short notice, to follow the work. Family friendly work opportunities for myself, on an often temporary basis, were few and far between.
I did have all three in full time childcare at one point, we were forking out in excess of $750 per week (years ago now) and when you added the extra car, the career wardrobe and all the extras that have you haemorrhaging money because you are time poor and cut corners with the occasional take away for starters, it hardly added up.
Some weeks, I honestly felt like I was paying for the privilege of working. I’m sure you all know the drill. Then there’s the sick days and school holidays to take into consideration but I don’t need to tell you all that. It’s hard work trying to balance it all. It can be overwhelming.
So I stayed at home and took over the family finances with a frugal tooth comb. I dabbled with the online side of things trying to find the balance and a bit of an outlet for myself. I even had a successful online consignment store, back before eBay and the masses were only just warming to online spending. You could say I even had a blog back then, only it was in Newsletter form each week. Printed and hand delivered to clients and potential customers. Customers that often needed their hand held when dealing with the World Wide Web.
With each move saw a new reinvention, taking the opportunities that presented themselves till I eventually fell into Virtual Assistant and mystery shopping work. It just worked for our family and was something I was good at but it wasn’t necessarily my passion. When I started the blog almost 3 years ago, not only did I see the potential to expand on the VA side of things but I found my passion. I wasn’t convinced of the best way forward, I half suspected I might have been too old, too ugly and 20 years too late to the party with no real qualifications because none of what I’m doing now was around when I last hit the books. So I kept doing what I always do and went with the flow.
So what changed?
While hubby is still specialised his work is now permanent which means we no longer need to relocate at short notice, the girls are now older so child minding is no longer an expensive issue and you could say I have the world at my feet but time is against me and my qualifications are so far removed from where I want to be.
I suppose if I’m honest, I was lacking confidence to move forward. I was also carving that elusive work/life balance, the one where I continue to put my family first and foremost. It’s just who I am.
There was also a change in mindset.
I had more work than I could cope with, my family were struggling and life on the home front for the first time was chaotic. I’d always prided myself on this side of things and I found myself overwhelmed and less than proud. Something had to change. It was time to call in reinforcements.
Cue Business Mamas…
An online business school targeted to busy mums like me, that are keen to get their business off the ground or take their existing business to the next level, all starting with a firm foundation. A foundation to fit your lifestyle. A workable plan of attack among the family chaos. The Business Diploma will set me on the right business path, one that includes that family/work/life balance I know we all crave.
Isn’t it strange how just when you need it, the universe throws you a sign or a wonderful opportunity and you find yourself back on track. In this case business track but it’s also so much more. You really can achieve great things with the right tools and support and the business diploma is certainly ticking all the boxes and filling in all the gaps.
I’m really excited about what’s to come and will be blogging about the course over the next twelve months. I will be following my keeping it real approach to life and the blog. This will include the good, the bad and the ugly, which considering I haven’t studied for far too long, things could initially get ugly while I find my feet but the Business Mamas team and my dedicated coach/mentor for the program are certainly helping me ease into things so far.
If you are thinking about taking the first step to launching a micro business for extra cash or starting the next big business sensation to live happy, work happy, be happy, there really is no time like the present. You should definitely touch base with the Business Mamas team, where it’s all about you and your goals!
As brand ambassador for Business Mamas, I will be casing and undertaking their 12 month Business Diploma. You will be able to share my endeavours through monthly blog posts and various projects online and off throughout the year.