Entrepreneurs Make Great Solo Parents (and the other way around)
I’ve been an entrepreneur from as far back as I can remember. When I was a little girl, I asked my dad to climb trees to collect mistletoe so I could sell it. I also had bake sales, garage sales, and one time I even put on a carnival in my neighborhood. I called the local newspaper to cover the story, and we made the front page. That was my first piece of press!
So I’d always known I wanted to start my own business when I got older. And in 2007, I launched my company SPIbelt. SPIbelt stands for Small Personal Item belt, and I came up with the idea while jogging in Austin and needing a place to keep my key besides tucking it into my bra.
I ran SPIbelt from my apartment during the first year of business. From there, we quickly became an internationally distributed fitness accessory for runners, fitness enthusiasts, travelers, and anyone on the go. The work was non-stop and often exhausting, but I loved every minute of it. My entrepreneurial spirit was thriving.
Today, I have help running the business and we are lucky to have 15+ dedicated employees who believe in the SPIbelt and my vision. It’s amazing to see your business flourish, and I know it’s successful because, in the beginning, when I was all by myself, I gave my business everything I could possibly give.
From Entrepreneur to Mom
Just like I knew I was going to run my own business from an early age, I also knew I always wanted to be a parent. When I was 36 years old, I made the decision that I was going to have a baby on my own if I was still single by the time I turned 38. It was a big decision to make, but why should I wait to do something I’ve always wanted to do just because I hadn’t found a partner? I didn’t wait for someone to help me with my business, and I didn’t want to wait to have children.
So I began researching what it meant to become a parent on my own. I explored all of the different options available to have a child as a single parent. I got familiar with the lingo; we like to call ourselves “Single Mom By Choice” or “Choice Moms.” And I even joined the local Single Moms By Choice (SMC) group to meet women just like me who understood the desire to have a child on their own.
If I was to become an SMC or a Solo Starter, I wanted to be the best and most informed one I could possibly be.
After the birth of my son in 2010, I took a couple of weeks of downtime. But when I returned to work, my son returned with me, right by my side. Running my own business gave me the flexibility to bring my son when I needed to. It also helps to have an excellent support system, and when I couldn’t bring my son to work, my mom would watch him. It took a little bit of adjusting, but I knew that no matter what situation arose, I would figure it out and everything would turn out okay in the end.
As an entrepreneur, when you don’t have the answers, you figure it out! The same concept applies to parenting. You’re not going to have all of the answers all of the time. But that’s okay. When you’re faced with a challenge as an entrepreneur, you don’t give up and roll over. You take it head-on and figure it out! As a Solo parent, you do the same thing. You come up with a solution and manage the situation.
Entrepreneur Solo parents might appear to be taking on too much. How can one person handle running a business and raising a child? But underneath it all, it’s what keeps us ticking. Our tolerance is higher. We’re used to having full plates. It’s what we thrive on.
Perhaps this is also the reason why we have such a hard time asking for or accepting help. We’re so used to doing it all on our own, we wouldn’t know what to do with help in the first place. But I’m learning that it’s okay to admit you need help every now and then.
Anything is possible. You don’t need to rely on someone else to make your dreams come true. Regardless of whether your dream is to run a business, become a Solo parent, or do both, you can make your own dreams come true. You just have to believe in yourself, and you’ll figure the rest out.