Why I chose entrepreneurial life after having a baby

I don’t usually share that much about my personal life, but today, on my daughter’s birthday, I’m feeling nostalgic. I’m thinking back to the beginning of this entrepreneurial journey & I want to share with you how it all started & why I’ve made the choices I’ve made. 

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The beginning of a new adventure

This time 3 years ago we had a 3 hour old baby. I actually wasn’t holding her in my arms, we were probably at the time both in theatre.

I opted for a home birth, something I was (& still am) all for. Being in my own loving environment was really important to me. I didn’t want to feel like a patient & I thought it might help me to feel a bit more in control (hahaha).

We hired a birthing pool & I’d read up on hypnobirthing, so my emotion overall was just excitement, mixed with a sort of buzzing calmness, if that’s even possible.

But of course there were a few complications immediately after she was born.

I have never been more thankful for our outstanding health service & the speediness of ambulances. She wasn’t breathing properly so needed attention quickly.

My poor, exhausted husband frantically had to gather clothes etc & jump in a car to follow us to hospital. My daughter spent a few days in special care. At first I couldn’t easily see her as I had also needed medical attention involving a spinal block, so wasn’t able to walk until the next day.

 

Why am I sharing this?

 

Because I anchor my departure from corporate life to the moment she was born & the agonising 7 minutes of watching her turn blue, struggling for breath.


The Shift

One of my clients once described the journey her ideal clients make as being at a particular point of ‘The Shift’ – a term coined by Wayne Dyer.

She summarised for me how her clients aren’t necessarily at a specific age range when they’re likely to need her, but more likely at a certain point in their minds. She described how they want to let go of a life that doesn’t serve them & step into higher fulfilment & purpose – that they walk a line during The Shift & that’s when they need her.

I found this insightful & totally fascinating. In fact, I now avoid general demographic profiling for ideal client work because what’s more useful is understanding their emotional needs & how they align to you as a brand.

So this was all pretty deep stuff. Although I am not my client’s ideal client, I could relate to the feelings she described.

I’m pretty sure that when I had my baby & in particular, when I had to stand back & watch her struggle, I experienced a shift of some kind in how I see myself & how I experience the world. I felt a sort of departure & anchoring at the same time.


Birth of creativity

So of course, you’ve probably figured out that everything with my daughter was absolutely fine & we all came home after a few days.

And it was bliss to be home! What a strange & wonderful bubble it is in those precious early days.

Gradually we learned how to be parents (well, we’re still learning!) & also how to survive on very little sleep. It’s quite amazing what the human body can cope with. I spent a LOT of time feeding, sometimes I am sure it was all day & all night. So I used to do a lot of reading on my phone.

I read blog after blog after blog. I pinned & screenshot & daydreamed brand styling. I let my mind & heart wonder freely without the 9 til 5 routines that had become so normal.

I can remember other NCT mums saying to me I was completely mad to be thinking about work. But that’s what was so strange – I really wasn’t thinking about work at all. I just had a thirst for learning & a new openness that I don’t remember feeling before. I found myself feeling even more creative.

Somehow, along this crazy & unpredictable journey of the most intense love there is…I’d discovered that I needed to use more of my mind than I had been using in corporate & I disovered a very real need to feel free & explore wider possibilities.


Back to work

A slight misnomer of heading there, as I never did go back properly.

I had a few Keeping-in-Touch days & initially decided to go back part-time, because I couldn’t bear the wrench of leaving my baby girl (again).

But….if I’m being brutally honest, I had probably made judgements in the past about part-time parent-workers. Judgements I’m not proud of. They didn’t do the hours I did. They were forever going on about picks-ups, being a taxi service & how busy life was. They didn’t seem all that happy & just came across so stretched…And they certainly didn’t ever occupy a seat at the boardroom table.

I just couldn’t identify with this way of life & felt uneasy about the prospect. I was ambitious, & all I saw with being a ‘part-timer’ was limitations. So I swore that wouldn’t be me.

I was actually pretty lucky & my boss approved my part-time work request. But, it was made clear I wouldn’t be able to hold the same senior position, because that needed a constant presence.

But I didn’t want to go backwards in my career…this just fuelled the fear of limitations.

I never felt so full of knowledge & energy, why would I want to muddle along doing the same old things I was doing years ago?  And I didn’t want to have just 2 days a week with my baby either & find myself living for the weekend.

So it was a bit of a stale-mate. I decided the best course of action would be a third option: something entirely different.


The birth of my business 

Now I do feel there’s something else I should share.

Running my own business has been in the back of my mind for many years. All the years really. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family & believe there’s a spirit of doing it your own way & deciding on your own life that lives in all of us.

So my husband & I agreed it was time for me to let this entrepreneurial spirit free.

I had one client already lined up so I was able to hand my notice in feeling like I had a bit of a safety net. 

Business for me has been just over two years now & it’s been an interesting time! There’s SO MUCH you have to learn the hard way, like how it feels to really put yourself out there. To say ‘look at me look at me, oh & buy from me!’ feels utterly uncomfortable.

That’s because I’ve now learned the new lesson…it’s not about me. Never has been. It’s about where I can bring value, who needs me, what I can do for them. It’s about meaning & impact. It’s about grabbing the life you have with both hands, not forever wishing time away while counting down for the weekend or plotting your next career move.

It’s only this recent rebrand to The Brandologist that I finally feel like I’m setting this zeal for entrepreneurial life truly free. Like I might be somewhere close to achieving career fulfilment AND being present for my daughter.


Permit yourself to think big

As I continue to think big about my own life & how to give it meaning, I realise that having a baby has done exactly that. But not just in the normal way of becoming a parent, also in terms of tapping into gifts & seeking out a way to use them for others.

Whenever I waver, I have this anchor point of becoming a mum & feeling all of that love for my daughter. Having her has shaped the choice I made, the smaller choices I make every day & also the big vision.

I now know for certain it’s my role to help other business owners to play bigger. To help build a bridge betwen them & their ideal clients, so that those seeking them can connect through all the noise & chaos that is social media.

I want to help business owners to live their passion through their work, live the balanced life they choose (whether that’s time with family or for something else), AND to carve out a brand that lights them up.

What sparked your entreprenuerial journey? And how are you adjusting to the new way of life? I’d love to hear from you. Email me at cat@thebrandologist.co

PersonalCat Underwood