female reading books

They say life is a journey rather than a destination and my short journey has taken me through different breaks and turns all of which have lead me to this point. If you asked me on January 1st of 2015 what my plans were for that year I wasn’t going to say quit my job to become a stay at home mom but in September of said year I gave birth to our first child and she filled our lives with so much joy, sleepless nights, and dirty diapers. All I wanted to do was be home with her in my arms and love on her all day but it didn’t take long for me to realize I couldn’t do that and fulfill my longtime dream of working for the United Nations and eventually becoming an Executive, well except the UN was going to be based in my living room.

For the first time I had a desire to stay home with my daughter and eventually homeschool her but what would I do for work though?

I didn't have a plan, I wasn't ready for this new change, plus we were $25,000 deep in debt and really wanted to be debt free (check our last week’s post to see how to start a small business debt free). We needed more income not less or at least so we thought. I wanted to support my household financially, help get us out of debt quicker but I wasn't willing to get a job outside my home. Even though I knew the UN wasn’t going to work out, I wasn't going to give up on my other dreams. I had to figure out a way to rethink my dream and reinvent myself. So, the next couple of weeks Dami (my husband & business partner) and I spent a great deal of time searching the internet for jobs I could do from home with my Master’s Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences to enable us to hit my goal of staying home with our daughter and paying off debt. We found NOTHIING which was sad but not shocking due to the kind of field I was in. We had to drop our preconceived notions and simply do a general “work from home job” search, which yielded more results and encouraged us to keep looking. I also had to figure out how to package the skills I had attained over the years and transfer them to a potential “new field”.

female working on laptop and drinking coffee

In January of 2016 I ended up landing a work from home job as an ESL teacher (English as a Second Language). I had never taught English before and the online teaching environment was equally a new territory for me so I took various trainings online and became certified to teach English as a second language. With the knowledge and experience I had attained, I was able to double my income within a year and exceed what I earned per hour when I worked full-time. I also learned many other beneficial skills during this time such as creating PowerPoint Presentations which I loved so much more than teaching that it prompted my husband to suggest learning how to code. Of course, I stubbornly refused to try it, till I finally budged and coded my first “Hello world”. I quickly fell in love with the creativity programming afforded me and I also loved the intellectual challenge. I enrolled in 2 online programs and spent the next 6 months learning how to develop websites using different programming languages. 7 months, thousands of lines of code and a great support system finally lead to the birth of Brickcastle Designs our family owned Digital Marketing Agency that specializes in Website and Graphics Design.

woman trying on glasses

We are fortunate to live in an age with unprecedented access to information and if someone like me with a Master’s Degree in Family and Consumer sciences could reinvent myself while raising our soon to be 2-year-old daughter and our newborn foster daughter, almost anyone can do it. I am no superwoman in fact I have described myself as lazy to people several times, however, one thing I’ve learned this past year is “if it is important to you, you will find a way, if not you will find an excuse” -Ryan Blair. What started off as a very scary journey has become so beautiful and I wouldn’t trade my journey to reinvention. For many years Dami and I had wished to own a business, we talked about it and kept wishing till we learned that if wishes were horses, beggars would ride Ferraris. Nothing changed till we put in the work required.

Here are a few steps I took on my journey to reinvention.

  • Start with your Why, know it and define it? Why do you need to own a business? Why do you need to get out of debt? My “Why” was what kept me going through those seemingly endless lines of code and the frustrations that came with things not going my way.
  • Set goals and make them specific, measurable & time bound. This enables you to track and assess your progress.
  • Do the work!!! You must do the work required to get your desired outcome. You won’t lose weight if you don’t eat healthy and workout. You can’t wish away love handles or wish to be a successful entrepreneur without doing the work, except you are Aladdin.
  • Practice affirmation. Learn to give yourself a pat on the back or an attaboy if you’re southern. Notice I said give yourself. No one can encourage you more than you encourage yourself.
  • Allow yourself to learn, fail and learn again. "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."- Alvin Toffler

What changes have you dreamed of making in your life and what steps are you taking?