How I Financially Survived Divorce by Starting a Business
After my divorce in 2011, I moved out of my family’s four-bedroom home and rented my own apartment for the first time in my life. I had two small children and wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to afford the $1,100 monthly rent, daycare and other household expenses on my own.
I was determined to gain financial independence and create a great life for my children and myself. I brainstormed ideas for part-time opportunities that would be flexible hours and would work around my parental schedule. In my situation, the hourly rate at the local mall just wasn’t going to be worth my time.
Seize the OpportunityAs I was unpacking boxes after my move, I was contacted about an exciting opportunity. I was an avid runner and my local parks and recreation program stumbled across my personal blog at www.runningdivamom.com. They were looking for someone to lead their upcoming running program and asked if I was interested.
It was so surreal; I was going to get paid to run and share my passion with others. The next week, I laced up my running shoes with twenty-five strangers, as they struggled to jog for one minute at a time. Over the next nine weeks, they became stronger and their confidence soared and they finished their 5K race.
Not only did the group members change; but I changed. I gained leadership skills for the first time in my life. People (other than my children) were looking to me for guidance and support. I was being seen as the “expert” in the sport.
The relationships also kept me active and social when I was alone and the children were with their father. Through this new opportunity, I gained many friendships and running buddies.
Build Your NetworkAfter my first stint as a running coach for my local parks and recreation program, I was approached by other programs and running stores to lead similar groups in their areas. Over the past two years, I’ve helped more than four-hundred individuals on their journey toward running and fitness.
The experience coaching these program helped me eventually start my own business. I now coordinate my own running programs and events through Running Diva Mom.
Starting my own business has been the most flexible way to supplement my income. I have been able to set my own hours and structure my groups around my family and my day job.
I’ve also been able to control how much time I spend coaching. One would think that having too much business would be a good thing, but when you are trying to work it around your preexisting obligations, your free time can become quite limited.
I have worked to create balance between all aspects of my life – and learned to say “no.” Most importantly, I’ve been able to keep my children the number one priority in my life.
Starting a Business That’s Right For YouIf you’re interested in starting your own business and contributing extra money toward your family, find something that you are passionate about and something that you want to share with others. If you are passionate about your product or service, your customers will see that and want to be involved.
Do you like to sew? Create a custom clothing line on Etsy. Do you enjoy organizing or decorating your home? Post flyers around town, announce on Craigslist, offer to help others organize their home. Have a passion for pets? Offer to help dog walk in your neighborhood. Are you a baker? Publicize your services by starting at bake sales and spreading the word.
There are plenty of opportunities to make that one thing you love to do into a lucrative day job. The goal is to never give up.