Mums in business are awesome. Driven, determined and hard-working. And I'm proud to be one of them.
This month I joined a Businessmums' Club with Motivating Mum. Along with a group of women running a diverse group businesses, from travel agencies (I totally dropped that one in so you can go and 'like' the Facebook page of one of my best friends in the world) to party printables, I talked about my goals for this year.
I thought I had it all sorted - my writing was a side thing and my business was my Human Resources work. It just sat like that in my brain: the corporate stuff was 'work' and the stuff I love was a 'hobby'.
When I started talking about my HR work, I stuttered and blundered my way through, aware that the faces looking back at me weren't reacting the way I thought they would. Was I being boring? Should I wrap it up? When I finished, the feedback was unanimous: they could see I was passionate about writing but pursuing HR work for reasons of safety and fear. And also, how was I planning on doing both with intensity, as well as looking after my daughter?
I knew they were right - it's what I'd suspected myself, especially as I sat there the night before writing instead of working out my 'business' goals. I had to choose which to pursue with everything I have - and I sure as hell wasn't going to give up my writing.
With their help, I started to see that my business is actually as a freelance writer.
What will it take? Alli asked me. 'Self-belief,' I said. And then I felt slightly sick.
I've had so many people talk to me about my writing, being incredibly generous with their time and advice. One successful freelancer gave me some straight-talking not long ago, and encouraged me to do the Sydney Writer's Centre's feature writing course. I did, and I loved it. (If you want Allison's career advice, you can have it too - she gives that same straight-talking perspective in her new book, Career Mums.)
But there was something holding me back. The ladies at the Businessmums' Club pinpointed it. And that sick feeling was the realisation that everyone else believes in me, and that I was too afraid to take that final step.
Me. I was the only one stopping myself.
I got home from the meeting to find the feedback from the last module of the online course. It was good, encouraging. I shrugged and I sent off two pitches to magazines. I received two rejections quickly - but they were nice ones, asking me to send more ideas through. Deep breath, and I sent more to them and to other publications.
I found myself published on Mamamia Travel - a huge step for me, writing about my passion. I've had two pipe dreams for most of my life: writing books and writing travel. This was the start of one.
Then I got a yes - a paid yes, something that in my mind solidified the fact that I can do this. I can actually make a career out of this, something I not only dreamed about, but that also works with my family.
Finally, I'm believing everyone - including you guys, who have always given me encouragement here on the blog! - and doing it.
My pipe dreams have found a home in reality - and it's a bloody wonderful reality, too.