When my daughter was 14 months old, her dad left us for another woman.
He also left behind the mortgage on a house I hated, the concept of child support, and his role as a father. I got to keep a waitressing/bartending job that exhausted me and barely made ends meet, a baby who clung to me all her waking hours, and a body, heart, and mind that was steps away from a complete breakdown.
The silver lining was that I was given full custody with no other parent in the picture, and I realized I was getting the opportunity to decide- all by myself– how we wanted to live our lives- this little girl and I.
Because I’m a list-person I made a list of what I wanted for us.
On my list was:
- Financial security and abundance
- Flexible work I love that gave me ample time for my kid, myself, and for our life
- The ability to travel with my kid, and home school her
- A deeply involved community
- A home we love that I don’t have to struggle to pay for
- Self-care that feeds my body and soul and makes me better at everything else I do
And thus the concept for owning my own business was conceived.
It took a few years to get out from under the avalance of financial stress, and more than a little work. I waitressed nights, began visioning In Arms Coaching (already knowing that I wanted to help other women climb out of similar holes), and as the Kid started a few hours a day of nursery school, I began building IAC.
A HUGE aspect of getting back on my feet involved learning to listen to myself again. Learning to trust myself. Learning to take care of my body, my mind, nurse my heart back into shape. Learning to be clear about my goals, get support, take time to nurture myself.
As I healed I built my biz. I hired a biz coach. I looked at layers of crap and fears and old beliefs that I was carrying. I got clear about who I wanted to be working with, what I wanted to be offering. I signed clients, and those clients referred more.
Six or 7 years later as my next relationship ended, I found myself presented with an opportunity I had been PRAYING for for years – the opportunity to take my Kid and myself out of New York City and move to Portland, Maine – a city I had wanted to move to for years.
And I was terrified. It meant moving all by myself (with no partner) – myself, my Kid (who was 8), our two pit bulls, and all our stuff. It meant getting an opportunity to pull the Kid out of school (which she was hating) and home school her. It meant moving away from my mother, who was co-parenting with me. And…it meant a chance to start all over.
I moved. It was scary, challenging, and my biz took a hit as I refocused and took a few weeks off to resettle.
And I reached a mini-epiphany: all the beautiful work of life coaching (which was what I had been offering women) was only available to women who had the ability to support themselves. Having an income doing something that at the very least doesn’t make you burned out, crazy, and overwhelmed is the bare minimum that we all need to create lives we love living.
In other words: I find it an absolute essential that in order for us women to step up and own the fuck out of this planet, correcting what’s wrong, healing, raising kids who will contribute to the fight, being leaders, owning our power, supporting and nurturing each other…we HAVE to have a GOOD income, doing what we love. We have to have the skills and empowerment and tools to do what we feel we’re here to do. And make money at it.
Following my heart, I re-branded to turn IAC into biz coaching for women who want to make good money, doing what they love, without compromising all the other parts and pieces of their life.
Since moving, I have enrolled the kid in an amazing private school, found love and gotten engaged, adopted another pit bull, and bought a home by the water. I passionately continue to gather kick-ass women together in various forms to support each other and be supported.