Want to be happier? Maybe it’s time to quit your job.

be happier quit your job

In case you missed it, 2016 is the year of the female entrepreneur.

More and more women are taking their professional lives into their own hands and starting a business.

So what’s so appealing about being a business owner anyway?

Do moms who own a business work fewer hours?

Not necessarily.

Do they have fewer responsibilities?

Not at all.

Do they have less stress at work?

Definitely not.

In fact, most business owners would probably say they work more hours, have more responsibilities and carry more stress about their companies than employees do.

But the one thing I’ve learned from 9 months of interviewing working moms is that those who work for themselves say the biggest perk is the freedom and flexibility it brings to their lives. Heck, that’s exactly what I was looking for when I left my 9-5, too.

Moms who run their own businesses are able to put their family first when they need to and clock the extra hours when it’s convenient for them. Also, most entrepreneurs have a passion for their work that makes it not feel so much like, well, working. This brings them more satisfaction at home and at the office.

It turns out my small community of real working moms fits into a bigger theory:

Entrepreneurs are among the happiest people.

This has been my motivation behind starting this blog all along: to take the guilt out of being a working mom and reveal the happy, fulfilling lives we can enjoy as kick-butt career women and super involved parents.

You may be thinking I’m nuts. You love your job. You’re doing fulfilling work and you have an employer who values you and understands that you’re a mom first. {Go you! Seriously, share where you work with other mamas!}

But maybe when you read that you immediately stopped and said to yourself, “Wait! I want to be happier! Should I quit my job and start a business?”

The truth is, being a business owner isn’t for everyone. And that’s okay.

Perhaps you just need a new job at a company with more flex-time. Or a better boss. Maybe staying home with your kids as a full time mama would bring you more happiness.

But it’s possible that you’ve always had the entrepreneurial itch and simply don’t know how to get started.

I’ve been working through this over the last few years myself. When I took a leap of faith and quit my job last fall to go out on my own it was terrifying! There were so many things to consider…what if no one buys what I’m selling? What if I fail? What if?

Here are 3 things to ask yourself before pursuing the entrepreneurial life:

1. Do I have a good idea I’m passionate about?

There’s no point in quitting your job to start a business if you don’t know what your business is! Two things are going to be important to your success. First, make sure it’s a good idea – meaning someone will actually pay you for it. You’re going to need to make money, ya know? Second, make sure it’s something you believe in. You’re going to spend a lot of time working on it, so it will help if you don’t get sick of it two months in.

If you have your good idea and your passion ready to go, it’s time to nail down the specifics. What products or services will you offer? What will you charge for them? Where will you sell them? Who is your ideal client? Step 1: write a business plan.

2. Am I prepared to work my butt off?

Entrepreneurs may be happier, but no one said they have it easier. Especially in the beginning. Starting a business will not be a walk in the park in your yoga pants sipping lattes. {Okay, maybe if that’s what you want to do you can carve out the time…it’s about flexibility, remember?} You will need to work hard to make things happen and drive your company forward. You may need to hire people to help you, which means that you’ll need the money to pay them. Without that steady paycheck from your day job, the pressure is all on you to perform. So make sure you’re ready to put in the blood, sweat and tears to get your business off the ground.

3. What is holding me back?

You’ve been sitting on your good idea for years. You know you’re a super hard worker. So, why haven’t you gotten off the bench yet? When I quit my job, I was the primary bread-winner {my entrepreneur husband’s business was doing well, but much of the money was reinvested back into the company}, the family was on my employer’s health insurance and our savings wasn’t quite where it needed to be. I felt an immense amount of pressure to stay put and be the stable one.

While all of those excuses are valid, the decision to become an entrepreneur or not came down to one simple word: fear. Ultimately I decided I wasn’t going to let a word stop me from going after what I wanted.

I want to hear from you! Do you think your work-life plays a role in your overall happiness? Has fear ever held you back from going after what you wanted?

SIDE NOTE: Let me end by saying that I am a firm believer that happiness is choice, first and foremost. The authority to chose happiness in life is yours alone. So whether you’re an entrepreneur, super hard worker, full time mama, or all three, I hope you find happiness in whatever you pursue!


“Unless you try, you’ll never know”

tips for working moms

Q&A with Lainie Sevante Wulkan

When I had the pleasure of spending the day with Lainie Sevante Wulkan at the FemCity Day of Positivity a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to pick her brain for tips for working moms.

Like most entrepreneurs, Lainie hardly fills her days doing just one thing. In addition to co-owning her company with her husband, she’s the President of FemCity Albuquerque, one of the largest chapters of the national female networking group boasting over 550. {If you’re not familiar with FemCity, check it out!}

Most recently she added author to her list of accomplishments with the publication of her children’s book, Finn’s Giant Leap. {I’m giving away an autographed copy on social media, so be sure to check out my Instagram and Facebook pages to enter to win. Your kiddos will thank you! Like Finn’s Giant Leap on Facebook while you’re at it!}

Self-promo time. Tell me about your business.

I’m a Media Executive and co-own a business called Cinder Cone Media Worldwide with my husband, Film Composer and Music Producer, Howard Wulkan. Cinder Cone is the umbrella for The LAB Recording Studios, Zeta Global Radio, an online conscious talk show with listenership in over 50+ countries, Cinder Cone Records, an independent music label with distribution via Universal and Cinder Cone Events, conscious global event productions that make an impact in the world.

If you weren’t doing that, what would you be?

I am SO in my passion with my business, it’s my second love next to my husband and two daughters. {Oh, and 9 pets.}

When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I grew up with a single mom who primarily was a serial entrepreneur. She had everything from a clothing store, to antique shop to doing home jewelry parties {back in the day when direct sales weren’t even a home thing yet} and eventually direct sales with every product out there. Being self-employed was pretty much all I knew. I have had a few corporate jobs in my long career, but they’ve truly felt the most foreign. Helming the ship is definitely where I am most comfortable and feel the most free to be me.

What’s the best part of running your own company?

The best party of running my own company is being able to make my own schedule. I have a lot to juggle between my children’s activities, my pets’ needs, the business, and multiple travel schedules. Having the flexibility to work out my schedule as needed and even fit some “Me Time” in there is invaluable. There are those days where it’s like, “today is the day. I am getting a massage and buying a new toothbrush.” The freedom to do the simple things is so important to me. I’m accounted for by so many people – my family, my staff, our artists, our sponsors, our clients, the press, etc. It’s about the balance and finding the time management to handle it all with grace and know that I have the ability to say NO when needed.

Tell me about a time you failed in business and how did you overcome it?

Unfortunately, failures have occurred through my career. Yet, after wounds heal and reflection has allowed its time to bring greater awareness, failure truly does teach. Some of my biggest failures have been in trusting to a fault in people that haven’t been aligned with the same integrity wheel I roll on. As a result, I’ve had ideas “conveniently borrowed” {or should I just all out say – STOLEN} and have watched some projects grow without proper credit.

I overcame it with grace. I learned that no one wants to hear a squeaky wheel, victim vent. So I’ve learned to trust a different way. I trusted in the belief that the truth always prevails and that a leopard doesn’t change its spots. If someone was dishonest to me, most likely they will be that way with others and exposure of the true path always shows. So I overcame obstacles as such through patience, trust in the universal laws of karma and also garnered new levels of discernment I would have not mastered had I not had the experiences of those failure opportunities.

What is a typical day like for you?

What I love so much is that every day is different and I never know what to expect. One day I’m interviewing leaders that are changing the world or kids doing extraordinary achievements at such a young age {like today’s show for this Saturday’s ZGR show}, to an impromptu dance party with one of our hip hop artists and their entourage. It’s never the same and I wouldn’t change it. So much creativity abounds at Cinder Cone and it’s a wonderful environment for my own children to have that exposure to the arts.  

tips-for-working-moms1How has motherhood affected your professional goals?

I strive to create a business the girls can be proud of, have fun with it, and if they want, be part of it. My own mother with her multiple businesses needed my help as a single mom. I didn’t have a choice but to be part of it. As a mother, you either learn from your parents and model that behavior to your own family or you do the exact opposite, learning how you once did things, found out what worked, what didn’t and chose a different course. I believe motherhood stared me more into a new direction I wanted as an entrepreneur. Also, having such a creative business allows me to work harder to create the flexible schedule so I can be there for the girls to go on trips when we want and have more opportunity to be at the events they need me at.

If your girls take away one thing from you running a business, what do you think that would be?

I believe my kids are learning the art of flexibility. Our business and I’m sure most self-employed businesses are not 9-5 M-F. Sometimes we work weekends, nights, long hours, holidays. While we do our best to keep to a normal business schedule, there’s nothing normal about the entertainment business. I’d want my children to know that there’s no one shoe that fits all. That everyone finds the path that works for them and they will too. There’s nothing wrong with a set work schedule and paycheck. We teach acceptance of all, everyone. We honor Oneness and Consciousness. My biggest dream is they see that the work we do at Cinder Cone is to help move the world forward in a positive way.

You’ve recently added children’s author to your resume. Tell me about it.

Ahhh. My most cherished project yet. Finn’s Giant Leap came to me in a “dream” or more like I woke up in the middle of the night and got a “message” to write this down. The story poured out of me. I never had any thought to write a children’s book. Yet, now, Finn is such a part of me and soon the world.

The messages are universal for kids and adults: believe in yourself, dream big and know all that we’ve ever needed is already inside. Finn learns patience, humility and victory. He learns the power of friendship. We ALL need friends we can trust and count on and seek being understood. We all are curious even though we are told what’s right and what’s wrong. Yet, we still need to figure it out for ourselves. So many life lessons shown through the eyes Finn the frog and his fairy friend, Syana.

It’s a magical story I can’t wait to share with all. Whether kids are 2 and 3 and just look at the beautiful pictures or they are 10-12 and get the messages, there’s something for everyone and I believe all will be touched by Finn’s Giant Leap. Then comes the sing along CD in October. Now that’s going to be AMAZING! All inspired messages from the book plus an audio narrative of the story by yours truly!

With so much on your plate, what keeps you sane?

Do you know how often I get that? Daily. The other big question is, “do you sleep?” The answer to that one is yes, I LOVE to sleep. I keep sane by living a life of excitement and joy. I get to share all my achievements on a daily basis with my husband. We’re like two little kids, especially when the work day is over and it’s just him and me playing guitar and writing/singing songs together. It’s a magical time to collaborate. I am also an avid book reader and love all things spiritual and esoteric. Meditation and journaling are also in my sanity tool box along with gourmet cooking with both my daughters.

Do you have any tips for working moms?

My best piece of advice for other working moms is to be IN JOY! Do what makes your heart sing and keeps your vibration up high. If you’re a doer, GO DO! Never second guess yourself {i.e. am I neglecting my children by working or any other should’ve, would’ve could’ve.} If you are called to self-express through an endeavor besides mommy hood, GO FOR IT! You’ll feel great about your accomplishments and that joy will reflect in your parenting. Happy Mom, Happy Child! Too many people are always concerned about what others think, say, do. I say, wait for that purpose in your life that lights you up like a Christmas tree and give it a shot. You can always back off if it’s too much. But, unless you try, you’ll never know.

I’m on a quest to having it all. Do you think you have it all?

Excellent question and it can be answered differently each and every day in all honestly. Remember asking me what a typical day like? Ditto here. Some days I say YES, I am exactly in my lane and I love the direction I am in, our family is in, our business is in, etc. Then there the days when it feels all too much and I want to check out to the isles of Trinidad and worry mostly about if I should put on SPF 30 or 50. Chances are, I’d get bored and want to jump back into the fray again. I love the balance of my life – the excitement and the calm, the unknown and the known. I think there’s never a final moment of having it all when you are a dreamer like me. There’s always something else to bring to the world. The ideas never stop. And I wouldn’t change a thing!

Want to be interviewed for #workingmomwednesday? Contact me to find out how.

My Pregnancy after Miscarriage

pregnancy after miscarriage

This month I received a sobering reminder that it’d been one year since my miscarriage.

Usually my Facebook memories oscillate between semi-embarrassing college posts and photos of my two children. But when last year’s announcement that we had lost our baby at 12 weeks popped up, I sort of went numb.

I couldn’t bring myself to reread it, let alone the hundred plus comments that followed.

As I sat there not reading but no longer scrolling through my newsfeed, I thought about just how much can change in a year.

It took a year to get pregnant with my daughter, our first child.

I peed on so many sticks that year, praying for a plus sign, only to start my period an hour later. I remember how devastating it was each time to know that I would have to wait an entire month just to go through it all over again.

And then, twelve months after we first started trying and the day after a trip to my OBGYN to discuss our options, I got a plus sign.

My pregnancy wasn’t easy. I suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum a la Kate Middleton. I was hospitalized for dehydration and had to take anti-nausea medicine well into my third trimester just to keep some food and water down.

The labor and delivery wasn’t much prettier, but 23 hours later I was holding my beautiful little girl.

Unlike the year of infertility and excruciating pregnancy, my daughter’s first year of life flew by in an instant. And not long after she turned one, my husband and I were thrilled to find out we were pregnant again.

Sickness ensued.

This pregnancy seemed much harder, because it turns out that running after a one-year-old while trying to swallow your vomit is pretty gross. And yet, I cherished those nine months more than I had the first time, because, no longer a rookie parent, my heart ached in loving anticipation for this second blessing coming my way.

My son was born 4 days before my daughter’s second birthday.

So much can change in a year.

The summer after my son turned one we took a family trip. Somehow in a hotel room with two napping toddlers, my husband and I found a way to get frisky. A few weeks later that plus sign popped up once more – but this time it was met with surprise, and right on schedule a few weeks later, extreme morning sickness.

As much as this third baby was unexpected, I quickly became attached and enjoyed making plans for our party of five. Unable to hide my nausea, I let family, friends and work know about our growing family.

It was at my first doctor’s appointment at 12 weeks that we learned there was no longer a heartbeat.

Even with my husband by my side, I have never felt so alone.

For months after the miscarriage, I wouldn’t even talk about having another baby with my husband. The idea of putting my body through another pregnancy to end up without a baby again was too much to consider.

A family of four we were meant to be, I told myself. I would try to convince myself that I shouldn’t feel so devastated, because I was fortunate enough to have my two babies at home. I constantly reminded myself again how lucky I was.

The truth is, my pep-talks weren’t working, and the months that followed didn’t get any easier. And a friend and neighbor’s growing belly was a constant reminder of what I was no longer meant to have.

As my precious lost baby’s due date approached, my emotions were unpredictable and almost unbearable. The whole experience had been so personal, and while my husband offered boundless support, I continued to feel incredibly alone.

My kids celebrated their second and fourth birthdays just weeks after we were supposed to welcome baby number three. I thought I had gained closure after the due date had passed, until two months later we were shocked to learn we were pregnant again.

I should have been thrilled! Elated! Or, at the very least, I should have felt something, right?

Yet from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I’ve felt completely detached.

I have no doubt that this has been my heart’s way of protecting itself. What if something goes wrong again? If I’m not emotionally attached surely it won’t hurt so badly.

Just like clockwork, I started throwing up at 6 weeks. Other than the fact that I struggled to keep food down all summer, I nearly forgot that another baby was coming.

At my first doctor’s appointment, it took the nurse forever to find a heartbeat and I didn’t even flinch.

How had I become so cold and shut off? Was I a bad mom? When was I actually going to care about this baby?

And then a few weeks ago I started feeling those familiar flutters. The flutters grew into movements. The movements grew into kicks and elbows that I can not only feel but witness as this baby grows inside of me.

My mind is beginning to ease. My heart is filling. And – thank goodness – my expanding stomach is no longer nauseated.

By the beginning of 2017 we will welcome a new baby into our family. Unlike with my first two, this time we decided not to find out the gender. The truth is, it really doesn’t matter. We are ready to become our party of five. And I can finally say I’m excited for all of the changes that will come with the new year.