Heather Holtschlag Case Study: Results


This video is part of a series of case studies featuring Heather Holtschlag. If you’re just joining us, I recommend you start here.

If you’ve been following Heather Holtschlag’s journey so far, you know she has a lot on her plate between raising two boys and ramping up her freelance business. That’s an important reality about being a mom and running a business that many women face!

If you read everything out on the web, you see so many success stories of moms running business and building their income doing what they love doing.

While I am inspired by these stories, I also want to hear and learn from the other side: those that try, but, for one reason or another, decide that it isn’t the best thing for them at the time. 

This doesn’t mean failure or quitting by any means, but it is the reality of starting a business. Sometimes, we have to decide whether this is really what we want and, more importantly, if this is the time to do it.

When throwing in the towel is the best decision and why Heather made this choice

As you all know, for the last couple of months we have been working with a mom and business owner, Heather Holtschlag.
Heather is a freelance writer who wanted to use her years of experience in public relations to start a marketing consultant business with a stream of local clients – something that she could make an income from while raising her two boys.

She is also an amazing mom and wife. After working with her on our mentoring case-study, she has made a courageous decision to NOT pursue her goal of launching her PR business, which is the best thing for her right now. When she is ready, FreelanceMom will be here to support her and help her rock it.

I’m sharing this with you because I want to share a story of the other side of starting a business: that this type of decision is real, but very few people talk about it.

Sometimes, you become too overwhelmed with everything that’s required to balance a business and the obligations of a young family.

Sometimes, you realize that something has to give.

Sometimes, you realize this isn’t the right time, or that you have to take a different direction.

And sometimes the best thing to do is to throw in the towel and re-visit plans when you’re are truly ready.

Heather said it perfectly: “It really IS okay to admit temporary defeat and no one is going to think any less of you.”

But I will let Heather explain what life has been like and why she is deciding to not seek more clients and change her business plans. I think you will appreciate her candor. I know I do.

Enter Heather……

I was so excited when I first began working with Lisa and the business coaches I met through her. Lisa was the “knight in shining armor” my business and professional life desperately needed. And the more I talked with her and emailed her, the more I learned and the more excited I became, though all along, and even prior to working with her, there had been the occasional thought that trying to launch a business while raising two young children might be too much.

I quickly pushed those thoughts out of my head and forged ahead.

And as I worked with her, my business began to grow in different directions and in different ways. I may not have been yet attracting my ideal client, but I was getting more and more business, and when one project ended, another one began.

Soon, I was attracting enough work to take up several hours a day. Which would normally be a good thing. But any mother who has kids at home either full-time or in preschool (you know…the school that lasts only two hours a day and is in session only two days a week?) could likely relate, it became too much, too fast.

In a perfect world, this is the ideal kind of situation. What better problem to have, right? But it finally reached a point of becoming overwhelming. My stress level started to rise, and I became “Grumpy Mommy.” I want my children to have a fun, memorable childhood. Thoughts of how they would tell their future spouses that their mom was “always working and really grumpy when she fell behind on things” began to overtake my mind, and I realized that I needed a break.

In talking with my husband, who has been my biggest cheerleader, I realized that I needed to significantly cut back. So, while I am still going to write for my local publications, as it is important to me to keep my foot in the door, I am going to take a break from proactively seeking new clients and even from taking on more work from current clients. My new plan is now to resume my business launch when my kids are in school full-time and I can focus more on me.

This, in itself, has been a huge life lesson. It has taught me that even though I have children who I put first and foremost in my mind, I still need to take care of me.

When life becomes overwhelming and too stressful, it’s time to make a change.

If it’s in the stars, there will be time in the future to focus on my business and what I would like to do with my life. I have also learned that it really IS okay to admit temporary defeat and that no one is going to think any less of you.

But for now, I want to put “Grumpy Mommy” in a time out and let “Happy Mommy” come out to play.

Thank you to everyone who has been following along on my business journey. I hope you picked up some points along the way and are implementing them as I have and are becoming a successful “mompreneur.”

How to scale down

Have you ever had to scale back your ambitions when life got in the way? If so, remember that no one can be superwoman! As your read, Heather’s decided to narrow her focus on smaller projects, like writing for local publications, so she can keep her skills sharp and her foot in the door.

As her kids grow, she’ll also most likely be mulling over all the lessons she learned through the mentoring calls with Jaime Tardy, so she’ll be ready to implement them when the time is right.

How about you? How will you be using the lessons we’ve learned in your own business? (Including this one, about knowing when it’s time to pull back and retarget your efforts.)