When ‘Throwing in The Towel’ is The Best Business Decision (Mentoring Case Study)

Today, I wanted to share an important update with you and something that talks to the reality of being a mom and running a business.

This is real and something very few people talk about

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.

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 public relations business and have a stream of local clients that she could work with and make an income while raising her two boys.

She is also an amazing mom and wife and 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, because, as I stated earlier, this is real and it is really what can happen, but very few people really talk about it.

Things like when your business launch doesn’t happen or you become too overwhelmed with everything and realize that something has to give or when you realize this isn’t the right time and you have to pivot and take a different direction.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to throw in the towel and re-visit our plans when we 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……

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

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.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns FreelanceMom.com, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.