So let me ask you a question.
When was the last time you were told something was going to cost, "X" and you requested a way lower rate? Like half off?
When your vet told you your pet's visit cost $100, did you pay? Or haggle?
When your cashier told you your groceries were going to cost $200, did you pay? Or haggle?
When your roofer told you your new roof was going to cost $4000, did you pay? Or haggle?
When your child's coach told you uniforms were going to cost $250, did you pay? Or haggle?
When the airline said your ticket was going to cost you $175, did you pay? Or haggle
When I started my own marketing + copywriting business eight years ago, my reasoning for doing so was purely selfish—I loathed the 8 to 5 grind. And I believed there had to be more to life than working in a windowless box that took far more from me than it gave. Things like...
Walking the dogs on a warm spring afternoon.
Drinking a beer at 3pm.
Traveling more than 2 weeks a year.
Strictly a self-imposed rule: Do not work in front of my daughter.
Not only because she has a killer side hustle brainstorming ways to increase daily screen time limits and playing on mama's computer totally qualifies as winning, but also because I don't want to be that mom.
My nose buried in my phone when she looks up excitedly, wondering if I watched her latest dance move.
My brain pre-occupied composing an email so it's instant mac and cheese for lunch again.
My energy dedicated to copy and strategy instead of books and tea parties.
And most days I do a pretty bang up job of parenting. Not to toot my own horn (alright, I'll toot it) but I consider myself loving, kind, and above all, patient with my kid. She makes it really easy. The child is more or less sunshine in human form. Ask anyone who has ever met her.
Granted there are rainy days.
It has been a tough week. You wouldn't think small breaks in routine would have such roiling impacts on day-to-day life. But it's Friday and I found myself scrambling for work time that I wasn't able to drum up Monday through Thursday due to various life circumstances.
Which meant the Tigger movie for her while I scrambled through a list of tasks I knew I had to complete before we could go to the park.
Listen—I don't want my kid to grow up thinking she's the center of the universe. But I DO want her to grow up knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that she and her daddy are at the center of MY universe.
I don't want to be a Lifetime movie "working mom" but I DO want to set a powerful example for her, proving that it's possible to run a business and still be a human who makes time for life and the people in it.
I don't want to spoil her with travels, but I DO want to teach her the beauty of running your own shop complete with location independence.
Today, when I prioritized my business over my little—something I strive to never, EVER do—I didn't feel like a good mom.
I felt like crap.
Today I was not the mom she deserved.
I don't think she suspects this inner turmoil, of course. Tigger movie? Hell yes, Al, pass me my juice and cheesy crackers and GTFO.
For which I'm eternally grateful.
All of which is to say that if you've ever felt like this? You aren't alone. It's a constant struggle wondering if you're doing enough or too much, isn't it, mama?
But then I take a breath.
Remind myself that an extra hour of Tigger today is unlikely to be what puts her into therapy 30 years down the road.
Complete my to-do list.
And walk the two of us over to the park.
Moming is tough. But if you're giving it your best in that moment then you also have to love yourself enough to forgive any slips and move forward.
She still smiles at me like I'm the best thing since that slice of pita I let her have last week.
So I must be doing something right—even on the days I feel I'm doing it all wrong.
You know how…
You set aside time to meditate because you’ve been told it’s an important tool of self-care.
Never mind that the closest you’ve come to practicing yoga is a totally unnatural reach for the brownie chunk that bounced under your couch.
And the closest you’ve ever come to stillness is a slow crawl in traffic.
But meditation…this is self-care you can handle.
I'm branding myself. 🤠
Not to remind myself where the eff I belong—although honestly since having a child, the reminder might prove occasionally beneficial—but rather to combine all my interests under one entity.
Truth be told having three websites—AllisonJanda.com, CurlyQMedia.com and Writerlust.com—is for savvy, ambitious women with time to spare.
Granted I still consider myself savvy and ambitious. But maybe also a little frizzy. Slightly tired. And a touch more maternal. Certainly, no time to spare. Which everyone keeps saying is only for 17 more years but I still call my mother at least 5 times a day to tell her what I ate and I'm 35. So.*
>>> WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU HEAR THE TERM “PASSIVE INCOME?<<<
That’s one that gets tossed into the arena a lot.
But even free money isn’t free, sister.
You’re a smart cookie.
You know this.
Money doesn’t simply appear in your bank account.
Overdraft fees on the other hand. Those little bitches sneak right under the radar, don’t they?
You ever find yourself thinking about grass? How it always seems to be greener on someone else’s lawn?
And I’m speaking metaphorically here because if we were talking in terms of actual nature, well—now seems like the right time to share that I’ve managed to kill a few succulents.
I researched pots. There was soil analysis. I spent money on miracle grow.
“But Allison, you can’t kill a succulent.”
“But Allison, succulents thrive in dry conditions.”
Well. Hold my Fairy Castle Cactus, Cathy.
“I’m debating if I should share it as a kick ass list or a kick a$$ list” her chat message read. “What do you think?”
This client had spent several hours collecting websites that offered free stock photos. She really talks up the use of visuals in blogs and on social media—so this was going to be a free gift she offered when people signed up for her email list.
Only trouble was—what words should she use to name it?
And if you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal? Who cares?” We have a lot of work to do. But that’s a blog for another day.
We live in an uncertain time. And I know a lot of you might be worried about losing your job in the midst of all this chaos. So in some ways, this blog may not have the most appropriate timing.
But on the other hand, I know that there are hundreds—nope—THOUSANDS of you out there right now working from home and thinking about how much EASIER it is than being stuck in a gopher hole in the middle of a windowless expanse called an office. How much LIGHTER you feel without your boss popping in every five minutes to critique your work. How much HAPPIER you are typing away at a computer in your home office or at the kitchen table with your kids nearby watching Frozen II for the thirtythousandth time.
And I know that if I were still in this job I'm about to describe to you, I'd be in that same place right with you. Wondering why I stay. But feeling obligated because money.
I don't want that for you.
I want better for you.
So I'll share my story in the hopes that it inspires you this week.
"I guess that's something I'd just do for free if someone asked."
These words were uttered by a close girlfriend of mine over coffee a few weeks ago. We were talking through some business ideas (because she wants to start one) and I was throwing out a variety of ways she could earn once she had built up a following.
Only she wanted to do EVERYTHING BIG THAT I WAS SUGGESTING FOR FREE.
Listen, sis. Money is a tough subject for a lot of us. As women, we've been taught that money is dirty. That we should feel bad asking for more money, awful for having money, and downright diabolical for spending it. That "things" should not make us happy and therefore money should not be important.