Confidence as a Mom-preneur and as Myself
Something that I have struggled with since making the choice to stay home and making the choice to start and run a business from home is having confidence in myself. It may seem crazy to think that an entrepreneur would lack confidence. In fact I’ve always felt that confidence is one of the strengths of an entrepreneur which makes my struggle even harder to accept.
I think all stay at home parents go through this when we leave the mainstream workforce. Staying home with newborn twins I found that I became lost in a world of diapers, feeding and naps. I completely lost touch with the outside world. I felt like I literally crept out of a cave when the kids were about 6 months old. They kids were eager and happy to face this wonderful world of opportunity; I on the other hand wasn’t so sure where I fit. As they grew I found that if I wasn’t with them, I didn’t know who I was or how to act. My confidence as their Mom was intact; but my confidence as just “Kara” was nowhere to be found.
Starting CandlesAndSuch.com seemed to be my way of claiming myself again. Not as a Mom, but as myself. Something to be mine; a product of my hard work. What I found was that by working at home, I was still hiding in my cave. When the kids were little, I hid behind them. Now I hide behind my lap top.
I didn’t realize that my confidence was starting to go until I attended a large e-commerce convention. I couldn’t wait to go. I looked forward to the education, the networking and of course the “alone time”. It wasn’t long before I realized that I was not used to being in the “workforce”. I tried to network, but I was unable to really break out of my shell. Call me on the phone to talk business and I can’t shut up. Put me in a room with hundreds of other entrepreneurs, and suddenly I’m speechless. I think part of my struggle is the fact that I did not finish college. When I am in a room with a bunch of MBA’s I struggle to see where I fit. Personally I feel that that a solid education is a combination of school and hard work in the real world. But that thought doesn’t help me when I have to answer the question…where did you get your business degree, and my answer is, I didn’t. Suddenly I don’t feel confident enough to voice my business opinions.
I’m working on this issue with my confidence, now that I realize that it is a problem. I’m hoping that by taking small steps to leave my cave more often will help me take the confidence I have behind a lap top into that real world again. I know it is still there I just have to reclaim it.
Do you struggle with this too? I would love to hear how you have overcome this issue in your daily struggle to balance life and work.
Kara - I think the first step in igniting your confidence is to never, ever utter the word "mom-preneur" again. This term automatically diminishes entrepreneurs. Yes your a mom - and congrats! But you're also a business woman. This is a term that has to go away.
For me, it seems almost impossible to separate me - the mom from me - the entrepreneur. Both are 100% part of who I am no matter what I am doing. I became an entrepreneur because I am a mom. It is very easy to hide behind your kids or even your business for that matter, but I've learned that in order to achieve the success I desire and reach my own personal and business goals I have to stand behind my business or kids rather than hide behind either one of them. Knowing that forces me to be confident in both areas of my life.
Hey kara! Great post. You should proud to be a mom-preneur first and business woman. Your home and home members have made you qualified for business and you have been saying that. I appreciate you for this adventure because you perform both role in your life. Really you have busy world.