Applying mom skills towards a new career
As all working moms come to realize, once you’re a parent, your kids tend to be at the forefront of your consciousness. And as all successful entrepreneurs know, the best business ventures are born out of a combination of necessity, knowledge and passion. What better way to build a new flexible career than by combining your natural skills and interests into a mom-centric business? Here are some ideas to explore, based on your personality, to get a little closer to finding the work and family balance you want.
If you love to write
The blogosphere isn’t the only option out there for aspiring mom writers. New and inexpensive publishing venues like ebooks, Amazon and self-publishing houses have made it possible to get your work in the hands of other parents–without a large investment or an agent.
Mother of three Richelle Krzak is the author of Kangaroo’s Shoes, a children’s book that she self-published and promoted, thanks to a supportive community of schools and libraries that were excited to help local talent.
“I wrote the story and partnered with a freelance illustrator who was interested in developing work for her portfolio. I researched self-publishing outlets, ultimately selecting one that provided on-demand printing that allowed me to set my own list price, control the initial investment cost, and retain the best percentage of author royalties.
In about five months the characters came to life, and I invested less than $500 for production.” Her book was named a finalist in the International Book Awards 2011 in the children’s book category, and is now sold online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
If you’re a connector
Being socially comfortable is a gift, and for lots of new moms, finding a circle of friends who also have kids isn’t easy. If you love being in the center of the action, start a “mom social club” that hosts events for moms and kids, as well as “moms only” nights out. You can charge a small fee for membership and attendance, and even consider partnering with a local charity or school. You just might find a new career as “mom club” promoter.
If you’re a savvy shopper
If you’re a gifted bargain hunter, your promising business venture may be in the kids consignment industry. Weekend “pop-up” kid consignment events are gaining popularity, because consignors can make a better profit selling there than directly to a consignment store, and shoppers enjoy steeper discounts. Start out as a consignor at a few events to make some extra money and understand the “inside” of the industry. If it’s a fit, you can eventually move into the role of event host.
If you’re active
Working moms know what a struggle finding time for fitness can be — but active people love company! If you have a passion for fitness and motivating others, start a mom workout team in your area. Experiment with “niche” offerings like training for an upcoming race, or even offering fun family fitness classes. Keep your costs low by renting space from a local gym or parks and rec department. (Make sure to have participants sign a waiver so that you are not liable for injury.)
Working Mom 3.0
The modern woman is redefining what it means to have a successful career. Rather than feeling torn between climbing the corporate ladder and having a happy family life, many women are choosing to merge the two and transition careers from a traditional role to a more flexible one. Working Mom 3.0 is reinventing the definition of “working mom,” as office hours are held at home and revolve around nap times.
This column begins by chronicling the experiences of Stephanie Taylor Christensen, a former marketing professional turned self-employed stay-at-home mom, writer and yoga instructor, as she strives to redefine “having it all” on her own time and terms.