I am a mom of three small chidren, ages two, four and six. When I returned to work after maternity leve with my third child, I found myself thinking - is this it? Is this the job I be doing the same thing for the next 15+ years?
After much debate and discussion with my husband, I decided to leave my financial services job of almost 15 years, with no plan for what was next.
I spent the next 6 months learning how to play the drums for half of the day (see my earlier blog post Lessons I Learned from Making a Career Shift for more on that topic!), and the other half of the day I got to spend with my kids when they came home from school. One day my six year old was debating out loud what she wanted to be when she grew up, and finally she settled on "doctor, mommy, policewoman, queen”. At first I laughed, but then I thought, why not? Aside from the queen part which might have its own unique challenges :), why should she feel compelled to pick just ONE path?
I have always dreamt of starting my own business, but I never did because I was afraid I would fail…but if the time I spent at home with my kids showed me one thing, it’s that they are always afraid of failing! They’re afraid to learn to ride a bike, jump off the diving board, go on the monkey bars, attend the first day of kindergarten. I found myself encouraging a "growth mindset" in my kids (you can’t do that YET, honey!), but I was failing to apply those teachings to myself, and to lead by example.
I have also always loved working with my hands and being creative. One day, six months after leaving my job, I dusted off my old sewing machine and began working on a prototype for a sun hat I wanted to make. I signed up for Factory45, a virtual business school for fashion entrepreneurs, and in the six months since I started the program I feel I have learned more than I did through my BA and MBA combined.
My grandmother lived to be 98, and when I asked her if she had any regrets in life, she said she regretted not taking more risks. With that message in mind, I plan to spent this next chapter of my life striving to be a “mommy, marketing professional, runner, business owner and aspiring drummer" :) As part of my journey to start my own headwear business, I hope to encourage others, including my own kids, to pursue their passions freely and to "wear many hats".