O Style | A Dream Within A Dream
Being in business as a mother feels like the movie Inception.
I am L.I.T.E.R.A.L.L.Y. building a dream within a dream.
I am working on my goal to get my creative endeavors to a place of sustainability because my dream is to see them flourish creatively and financially, while raising a small human and prioritizing my child’s wellbeing, education and overall needs, at all costs so when he’s ready to live out his dream, he’s got all the building blocks and foundation to get him there.
If you’ve followed me since I first launched as a personal stylist, you may remember personal stories I shared on the many reasons why I decided to launch my business and switch career, motherhood being one of the biggest and ultimate factors.
My son is now 6 years old and if you ask me what’s the hardest thing I’ve faced as an entrepreneur, after deep reflection, I would say the hardest things aren’t the risks that I took or the fear I overcame to try something different, but the sacrifices I have to make now to ensure that our child’s education and future is continuously well nurtured and how these sacrifices very often impact the feasibility of being in business.
Just writing out the word ‘sacrifices’ makes me feel funky, even ‘guilty’ inside because as mothers, we are not ‘supposed’ to talk about them because it is expected that they come with the decision of becoming a parent. The same goes for entrepreneurship or being in the workforce (or not), period. We knew what we were getting ourselves into. All were choices we choose to make so we have to roll with the punches and be quiet about it and keep moving.
Then I get reminded by Brittanny to step into my greatness —and in the case of this post, to feel empowered to share the hardships and challenges and sacrifices I face as a mom entrepreneur. Here’s how she explained it:
“You are serving absolutely no one by downplaying all the good things you've done. You may think that you're modest or humble, but what you're actually doing is minimizing how much work you've done to get to where you are. When another woman looks up to you and says that you are her motivation, and you respond with "oh no, it's not that serious" or "it wasn't that hard" or any other excuse to minimize all the work you've done to get to where you are, you are telling her that it is easy. That woman may now lose confidence because she is struggling to grow her business and busting her ass and doing everything she can to succeed, and for you to say "oh, it's no big thing" where does that leave her?”
And where does it leave us? Where does it leave me when I dismiss my wins and play humble or cover up the sacrifices as if they never existed and play strong and modest?
When it comes to talking about hardships and challenges as working parents, I believe there is a difference between talking about it by sharing your realities and experiences to create awareness, along with community and connection, and then there’s talking about it with the intent of complaining and venting, which rarely feels good for anyone involved or listening. I think it’s important to differentiate the two.
It’s safe to say this post is intended to fall in the first category. Now that this has been established, I can move on to what I’ve come here to say.
THIS SHIET IS HARD.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve taken on full-time jobs (while working on the business at lunchtime, in the evenings and on weekends), then tried going full-time on the business...to then realize that the inconsistency in income was creating more instability, more stress, therefore negatively influencing creative flow and inspiration. So last spring, I decided to get a part-time job because I needed some aspects of my life to have some security and for me (and my husband) to feel peace of mind knowing that our son’s access to a good education, resources and opportunities wouldn’t be negatively impacted by my business.
It was motherhood that inspired the launch of my business. And it is motherhood and unconditional love that continues to be in the driver’s seat. So yes, building a dream within a dream requires making hard decisions sometimes. And ‘my dream’ for him will always come first. It doesn’t mean I can’t nurture mine at the same time, it just requires a lot of flexibility in the process and in the original vision, constant reconfiguration, and daily practice of acceptance, resilience, and patience on the journey.
My father used to tell me, “Olivia, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”
I take so much pride in knowing that I am doing whatever it takes to make shiet happen. Even though sometimes I don’t always remember that, and it is during those times that my husband and business partners will remind me of my light and why what I do, matters now and will later.
BUT THIS SHIET IS WORTH IT.
So yes, dreams are free… but remember this next time you’re having doubts about your business/creative project and life choices:
Dreams also cost money. Consider where and how you want to invest your financial resources.
Not every business owner’s life structure looks the same. Or should look the same. What works for them may not work for you, and vice-versa. Celebrate the authenticity of your personal journey.
As they say, “Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.” What really matters is your alignment with what’s meaningful and important to you.