Laura White-Ritchie is a start-up coach on BrainyFeet, a graphic designer at LauraGetsGraphic and an unschooling mom of 3-year old twin gilrs, a 17-year old daughter and a 20-year old son.
For over a decade, whe has worked to help people get out of the office, create the work they love and start living life on their own terms. She’s helped hundreds of solopreneurs and would-be non-profits decide if their idea is doable, create a plan to launch it, carve out a market niche and tap into social media.
I had the opportunity to interview Laura White-Ritchie from BrainyFeet to learn more about her business. Here’s the interview.
Q: Tell us about your company?
BrainyFeet.com - I’m a lifestyle business advisor working primarily with people who are home employed and home schooling or would like to be someday. I help people figure out how to earn a living doing what they love so they can live the life they choose.
I also paid the bills for years doing graphic design work. I still take on the very occasional, very special client at LauraGetsGraphic.com
Q: When did you start your business? Was it pre- or post-babies?
I’ve been doing some form of this business for the past 10 years. I decided to transition from a local business consultant to the online world in the summer of 2010. I launched BrainyFeet.com in the Fall of 2010.
Definitely post babies. Owning my time with my kids has always been a primary motivator for self-employment. Well, that and the fact that I completely loathe the life-sucking 9 to 5 lifestyle.
Q: What are some of your thoughts on business plans? Any tips?
My focus is on family-centered business. One of the most important things any family-centered entrepreneur can do is create a foundation that ensures your hopes and dreams for your business take you in the same direction as your hopes and dreams for your family. Too often, entrepreneurs, have mutually exclusive visions for their ideal family life and their ideal business growth. When they don’t mesh, everything is out of synch. That disconnect can manifest in many unpleasant ways like overwhelm, fear, doubt, resentment…all of these feelings are warning signs of vision clash.
Q: What is some advice you’d give to women who want to start a business from home with small children in her midst?
Drop the guilt. Seriously, you’ve quit your job and upended your entire life so you can spend more time being a hands-on mommy to your kids and still have a life you love…doing work you love. That’s GREAT! But then, you layer on all of this guilt. Somehow “spending more time being ” becomes “spending every single moment” being a hands-on mommy.
That’s all well and good you’re a financially supported stay-at-home mom…but you’re not. You’re an entrepreneur. You have a business to run. Be real about that. Be okay with that. Stop feeling guilty when the need to get things done means you have to hide in your bedroom/office or go to a coffee shop or leave town for a few days.
You’re still a hands-on mommy. You’re still an amazing example of independence because you’ve claimed the freedom to choose when you’ll work and when you’ll be fully present with the kids. As an entrepreneur, you now own that choice. It’s insanely liberating to know that. So feel that and let go of all the other crap. It will eat you alive.
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