As I was playing online games with friends last week, I was complaining that I haven’t been able to get my running mileage back to where I was just 18 months ago.
One friend quickly shut me down: “Maybe it’s because you just birthed a child and started your own f*cking business.”
Oh, right. I did do those things.
When I was pregnant with Maxwell last year, I remember reading a section about work in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” It cautioned new moms not to jump into a new career or new venture with a new baby.
I’m so glad I didn’t listen to that advice. While I was learning how to keep a tiny human alive and trying to function after waking up 5 or 6 times every night to feed that tiny human, my business partner was also nurturing a baby: Our new business.
Write Connections | strategy + design was officially incorporated in October, and that was only possible because of Jess’s drive and passion (it’s a good thing that one of her many superpowers is filling out paperwork).
By December, she had built up the work pipeline enough for me to join full-time.
The past six months have been exhausting and challenging. Each day, we learn something new about how to run a business effectively and how to deliver the best level of service to our clients.
They’ve also been the most rewarding six months of my life.
Working for myself means I can take a break from work at 10 a.m. to go for a run with Maxwell in the hopes that he’ll fall asleep for a nap in his stroller. It means I can attend every one of his doctor’s appointments (and there are a lot of those, as he is hard of hearing) without worrying about using all my sick time. It means I can work on projects while he snoozes on my lap.
And being part of Write Connections is just as rewarding on a professional level.
Owning a small business was never something I envisioned for myself. I graduated Indiana University with a degree in journalism, honestly believing I would spend the rest of my career as a newspaper reporter. I spent five years at newspapers in Kentucky and Indiana, mostly writing about health and education.
I loved meeting so many new people and having the opportunity to tell their stories and give voices to the voiceless. But the job also came with late nights spent at school board meetings and angry (and nasty) emails from readers.
After surviving one too many rounds of layoffs, I made the switch to the nonprofit sector. The job at ADEC, a nonprofit that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, brought Jess and I together. Our team worked to tell the stories of the nonprofit, the people it serves and the people who work there, with the goal of bringing in donations.
I’m proud of the work we did at ADEC, but even more proud of what we have built together through Write Connections.
The work Jess and I do with Write Connections mixes the best aspects of each of those previous jobs and challenges me to expand my creativity and skills on a daily basis.
I love the variety that the job and our clients bring. We have the chance to help restaurants, theatres, nonprofits, politicians and small businesses achieve their goals.
Together, Jess and I thrive when we have the chance to brainstorm a strategy and execute it, whether it’s building a new website, designing an advertising campaign or managing social media accounts.
The past six months have been a fun and wild ride. I can’t wait to see what the next six months (and beyond) have in store for us.