From Stressed Out to Super Mom Entrepreneur: An Interview with Carolyn Dickson
She has two children, a thriving business, and she runs a yearly conference to help other women follow in her footsteps.
But she wasn’t always living a supermom life.
At one point Carolyn was dealing with a colicky baby, postpartum depression, and a career that she had to be put on hold as she dealt with a harder life post-birth than she could have ever imagined.
So how did she get where she is today?
1. She never gave up
Sure, Carolyn could have said “I’m exhausted, I’m dealing with so much. I’m just going to sleep and forget about work for a while.” But she wouldn’t let that happen. She knew that she wanted to work so she made it happen.
Carolyn researched for herself, used the contacts she had, and built up her business on her own. And she did all this with a baby strapped to her.
“Sometimes I actually put her in a pouch, I got running shoes for my house and I would walk for two hours and make phone calls and literally just walk her around the room and that’s how I would sometimes do my business,” she shared.
2. She used her resources to her advantage
When she first began working again after the birth of her daughter, Carolyn wanted to know “Who do I go to to say ‘what do I do?’ and ‘I need help.’” When she couldn’t find anyone to help her, she took it upon herself to find the answers.
“I’ve always done self-training. I’ve always gone to courses. I’ve always tried to better myself, learn more. I went back to some of the courses I had taken…and thought ‘let me pull some of the strategies and kind of change them up a little to work for me as a mom,’” said Carolyn
Not only that, but she leaned on those around her to help her to achieve her dreams as well.
“I had a great business partner at the time who would literally, no word of a lie, would come over and walk my baby in the pouch so I could make some calls and feel like I was getting stuff done. He would come over and support me so that we could do meetings at my house. Even if I had to leave and breastfeed, he would continue the meeting for me,” Carolyn said.
What a great man!
3. Her children are the CEOs of their own companies
“If I go to my daughters school event, I don’t bring my phone. If someone calls and says I couldn’t reach you, ‘Oh I was in the meeting with the CEO,’”she shared.
Carolyn continued to explain that “I look at my children and my husband now, and it took a while to get here, but they’re CEO of their own company and I would not, if I had a meeting with an IBM CEO and the CEO of Royal Bank calls me and says that he wants to meet with me, I’m not going to call the IBM CEO and say ‘Sorry I can’t meet with you, Royal Bank wants to meet with me.’ I’m gonna say ‘I’m really sorry, I’m booked at that time, but here is a bunch of other available times, can any of these work for you?’”
Instead of feeling the need to justify the important time that she needs to spend with her children, she makes them a priority and brings them up to the same level of importance as she would her work.
“I have to choose that when I am with my kids, everything else shuts off. They feel I’m 100% present with them when I’m with them. That’s more powerful than being around all the time and never being present… It’s not about spending a ton of time, it’s the quality of time,” Carolyn shared.
4. She always planned ahead “The night before I would try and take 20 minutes to a half hour and write down my list of things to do for the week and pick 5 things I could do each day.”
Planning. Kind of sounds like a joke when you have kids, but Carolyn planned to have distractions by getting things out of the way as soon as possible.
Carolyn said that “It was really about organizing my time, being efficient in the time that I did have, because you never know exactly when that was going to be, especially when you have a colic child.”
5. And of course she prioritized, because you can’t do it ALL
Carolyn always tried to make her to-do lists as realistic as possible and prioritized them in order of importance, “My top 3 being the money-makers, [I would] really get at them as soon as I had the opportunity, regardless of how tired I was. If I could get through that I could take a nap.”
Instead of thinking that she had to do everything, Carolyn understood that she needed to work, be a mother, and keep her sanity, so she allowed herself time for all of those things, instead of burning herself out.
Besides becoming successful in her own rite, Carolyn chose to share her success with others. She has become the kind of person that she wished she had to look to during her time of struggle.
“I felt really alone when I needed that help and it was a horrible, horrible, horrible feeling and I didn’t want other women to have that. It doesn’t need to be that way. It doesn’t need to be this difficult. It doesn’t need to be that we don’t help each other,” she shared.
One way she’s done this is through her Super Mom Entrepreneur website, a site dedicated to helping women balance their business and home life. Thanks to Carolyn, no longer will women need to choose one or the other, or struggle on while trying to juggle both, now they can thrive in all areas of their life and they don’t have to do it alone.
Carolyn has also created a one day conference called I AM THE BOSS. It has three parts to the day. In the morning she has a talk show segment where she interviews other inspiring women in business. Part two has a keynote speaker, and part three provides training for the women. Her conference is now in it’s third year and has truly inspired and changed women’s lives, all in one day.
Carolyn is truly a super mom entrepreneur and thanks to her, you can be too!