I recently came across an amazing project called “The Hot Mommas® Project”. It is a social venture that has won awards and, more importantly, transformed the lives of many women. They, in turn, have become female role models to countless women who have the talent but lack the confidence to succeed.
The project has taken the stories of over 300 women trying to succeed against the odds and created a sisterhood of storytellers. It then developed a curriculum based on the key success factors common to many of their stories.
I found three example case studies that illustrate some of the keys to success for moms working from home:
- Jacqueline Wales, the Scottish lass who developed a coaching program called “The Fearless Factor”.
- Elizabeth Lee Scherer, the professional writer who overcame her inner and outer demons.
- Jodie Daniel, the Aussie woman who left home at 15 and later worked at major corporate financial institutions in London before returning home to start a home-based business selling beauty products.
Their stories are riveting, not to be missed …
How To Rise Above Fear And Make Something Of Your Life
Jacqueline’s childhood was difficult. She lived in fear of her alcoholic father and her mother had issues of her own. So, she left home at 16 and, after a tumultuous decade characterised by drug-addiction, unwanted children and a failed marriage, she moved to San Francisco where she met her second husband.
They decided to have a child together, which re-kindled her fear of being a “good enough” parent. She had given up 2 children before. This one was going to leave Jacqueline before Jacqueline left her.
She was in the middle of an argument with her husband when she looked down and saw her daughter’s shocked face. That was her “aha” moment. She decided there and then to do something to understand her own anxiety, fear and self-doubt.
So, when in her forties, Jacqueline decided to write short stories. She also took voice lessons and became a lay cantor in several synagogues. She wrote two books as a kind of catharsis – one on coming to terms with leaving her first son and the other about the tragedies suffered by the women in her family.
At age 54, Jacqueline decided to learn how to coach and do motivational writing and speaking. She soon developed a loyal following of subscribers and her ideas culminated in her book “The Fearless Factor”. In it she teaches, from personal experience, how to get beyond fear.
[quote name=”Jacqueline Wales, ‘The Fearless Factor'”]
“Are you creating your own story, or are you living in someone else’s epic novel?”
Trust Your Instincts And Listen to Your Inner Voice
Sometimes people are born with a gift that cannot be ignored. For Elizabeth Lee Scherer, her gift is the ability to write powerfully, engagingly and persuasively. She found her gift almost frightening – what was she supposed to do with it?
Over time, she learned that she could use it to both satisfy her urge to express herself creatively and to help others. But she first had to find a way to satisfy her family’s expectations (that she should study a profession at university).
So, whilst at university, she studied political science and she also volunteered at a battered women’s hotline. This helped to give her direction in life. She realised that the chances of becoming a successful creative writer were not very good.
However, the analytical principles she learned in political science together with her drive to help women opened an opportunity for utilising her writing skills.
Today, Liz writes professionally about health topics with special emphasis on women’s issues and aging. With the huge growth in the digital world, her options broadened very rapidly. She has added internet writing skills, women’s magazines and webzines, and interactive advertising to her repertoire.
Liz was born into a privileged family in which happiness was measured in material terms. She had to battle her own self-doubt, rebel and trust her inner voice to be able to use her gift effectively. For her, success was something that happened inside her head.
The Only Person Who Can Hold You Back Is Yourself
Many teenage girls argue with their mothers from time to time. Some exasperated mothers eventually tell their daughters to “get out”. Jodie Daniel’s mother did, and so she obliged – she climbed out of the window with a bag of clothes at age 15 and never went back!
It didn’t take long for her to get her first wake-up call – sharing a home with other kids who were into alcohol and drugs. Most teenagers would have either got into the drinking and drug-taking scene themselves or returned home with their tails between their legs. But not Jodie. She consciously decided to avoid these traps and improve herself against all odds.
Although Jodie took some risks along the way, she always made sure that she was financially secure before doing so. She started working at a supermarket, and then she got a job in a factory, followed by another at a publishing company. Finally she got her big break. She was working as a temp employee at a financial institution and her two-week assignment was extended to a year. That experience led to various jobs in finance including three years working for various institutions in London.
But, what if she wanted to get married and have a family, she asked herself? Would all her hard work be wasted?
So, she decided it was time to return home to Australia and start her own beauty salon. That got her started in self-employment and she never looked back. She married at age 35 and had her first child two years later. At age 39, she was pregnant again and decided that it was time to sell the salon.
She wanted to continue providing financially for her family, so she started a home-based business selling the beauty products she had stocked in her salon over the internet. Initially the website was quite primitive, but she developed it over time into the very professional looking site, Ahava Active Deadsea Minerals. And, it provides a good income for her family.
Jodie’s dilemma today is whether to grow her business aggressively or focus on work-life balance. At 42, she would love to have a third child. She certainly doesn’t believe in chilling and enjoying the fruits of her labor!
Do you see the common thread in these three great stories? For me, there are 6 key lessons a working from home mom can learn from them:
- Most of us have personal demons of some sort. To succeed we have to learn how to rise above them.
- You will never know whether you can succeed or not until you try.
- Self-doubt exists inside our heads. The solution is in the same place.
- If you are fortunate enough to be guided by an inner voice, don’t fight it.
- We all make decisions that, in retrospect, may not have been good. Don’t dwell on them – play the cards you are dealt with right now, in the present.
- Every experience can be used to your advantage in your next venture. Sometimes it isn’t obvious how, but most of life’s lessons are transferable.
If you have questions or comments, we would love to hear from you – please use the comment form. And, if you have found this useful, please share it with others by clicking on one of the buttons.
To receive our free business plan template as well as more practical tips like these, please complete the form below.