My friend and mentor Kelly McCausey is running a Stretch Yourself Challenge Workshop for the month of October. This has been a great event for me to participate in as I tend to become paralyzed by fear and thoughts of not being good enough. This challenge has encouraged me to push myself out of my comfort zone. The encouragement that I’ve received from other participants has been a great help too.
As part of this challenge, I am taking part in a cross blog conversation with my friend Alicia Jay from newVAadvice. Alicia has been a big source of encouragement as well as a wealth of information for me on newVAadvice. I highly recommend you follow her for resources and encouragement if you’re just starting out!
We’ll be asking each other questions and posting our responses on our blogs. So be sure to follow newVAadvice to catch the entire conversation! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section and we’ll work it in the conversation for you.
Alicia got the ball rolling by asking:
“Marya, I’ve found that hearing other women’s stories about how they started their online business is often inspiring to those wondering if they can do it as well. What’s your “why” for starting your business? How did you decide that working from home was right for you? Tell me your story and what you do.”
I worked in corporate America for ten years, coming home to be with my family in 1992 after I had my first child. There never was a question about my staying home, even though it meant a big cut in household income which is tough in a place like New York City where the cost of living is so high. The only work at home options I could come up with back then were direct sales opportunities, which were not a good fit for me because I am an introvert!
I went on to have three more children, several of whom have special needs. Homeschooling and taking care of them consumed much of my time until recently. My two oldest have graduated, my youngest son attends public school, leaving me to just homeschool my 15 year old. I started to think about what my next act would be. As a special needs mom who also struggles with a chronic condition, going back to a 9-5 job is not an option for me. I am always going to be a caregiver and needed to find work that would give me the flexibility that I needed to be available for my family.
I launched SuncoastMomma a year ago. This blog is devoted to special needs topics, health and wellness issues and emotional/spiritual wellness for people who are hurting. I recently launched SuncoastVA. My specialties are freelance writing, social media management and support for bloggers.
The toughest part of this ventures has been learning to create a positive mindset and believing in myself that I could learn to do anything that I put my mind to. Then there is the part of believing in myself enough to market myself! I’ve found the community around Solosmarts to be most encouraging.