Your Mommy Brain, Your Money Brain And Feeding Both
Six years ago, Alison Stuckey had lost her ability to dream: her husband was a victim of the 2008 financial crisis and she was moving towards depression. She had finally transitioned from working nine-to-five after 5 years and adjusted to being a mother. But there was always something missing in her life.
Alison began to realize that she was caught up in societal expectations and this was not working for her.
“We look at what our parents and their parents did. This just isn’t working anymore. It’s a different time,” Alison confessed.
The most difficult part for Alison was stepping out of her comfort zone. Leaving the world of nine-to-five was a major challenge. Alison’s reason for leaving the corporate world so many people inhabit was that she had to be there for her children, not to mention that she could never find a spot for herself in this environment.
Alison defines herself as “first and foremost, a mom and a wife,” her family is the most important thing. Following the birth of her first child, she felt that she was being forced to make a choice – to sacrifice either her child or her job. She chose her child, then children. Unfortunately a single income is not enough to support a family in a large city and Alison had to consider returning to a job and workforce after 5 years.
Around this time, she was approached by a university friend and jumped at the opportunity to start her own business with Arbonne, a health and wellness networking marketing company. The new opportunity offered the flexibility she needed to focus on the most important aspect of her life – her children.
“I needed to be there for my daughter. She needs her mom around. I can’t even imagine what she would be like as a person if I wasn’t there,” Alison shared.
It wasn’t easy starting over – Alison experienced considerable self-doubt. Confidence came gradually from certain realizations and primarily from personal development.
“I was terrified. Would it work? Could I do it? All my fears surfaced. But I always knew I was capable of so much more than I was doing. There was always this thought in the back of my head that there is more for me out there. More I have to do in life.”
Helping her through this was the way she viewed failures. Alison does not look at failures as standing alone, but at the way someone deals with them.
“I look at them as a positive as opposed to a negative because it’s really the way you deal with them that determines what your future is going to be,” she said.
The best part of leaving a nine-to-five existence, Alison says, was the flexibility that came with it. She could set her own schedule and expectations.
“If somebody’s sick, I don’t have to call my boss and ask for time off. I usually give myself the time off,” she laughs.
She also enjoys being in control of her future.
“No one else is dictating my future. I am in charge of it and it will be whatever I make of it. I am not under somebody else’s control, working to someone else’s expectations,” Alison said.
Regarding expectations, Alison rails against stereotypical societal expectations and norms.
“There are so many things being thrown at us: our kids, our careers, even our physical being; be this way, look this way, weigh this much.”
Her proposed solution is to reclaim our lives.
“We really need to be our own person, especially as women.”
With the flexibility and freedom her business allows, Alison has found time for both her family and an incredible career.
“I set an example for my kids, especially my daughter, that I can be successful, building an amazing business that is going to be a legacy for them, and also have presence in their life, to be there for them when they need me.”
Alison’s advice to women is to connect with successful and positive women to discover the path they took through much the same circumstances. Embodying the entrepreneurial mindset, Alison says that if you can dream it, you can do it.
“The only thing holding us back is ourselves,” she shared.
While she’s not certain of what she will do in the future, Alison has her eyes on the big picture.
“We are all put on this planet for something great. I still haven’t determined exactly what that is, but I know there is something bigger I want to do.”
Speaking about her business, Alison views it as a gateway enabling her to do other things.
Indeed, Alison seems to be continually discovering herself.
“I realized recently that I want to start a charity and it is going to have a women focus.”
In short, it is clear that there is no clear path to success and in fact, no single path to success. A well-paying nine-to-five job may very well be one person’s idea of success, while Alison finds it a compromise disrupting her life.
While the details will vary for everyone, there are a few bigger ideas that we all can apply to our professional lives. Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you pursue success:
1. Don’t let society tell what you should be and how to get there Do what you want and be what you want. Live your dream.
2. Set your own expectations Only you know what you want to be in life. Through self discovery you will figure that out.
3. Move out of your comfort zone Challenge yourself to do better. Always.
4. Keep trying The most successful people in the world have failed many times and kept trying new methods and approaches.
5. Learn from your mistakes Don’t brood over them for weeks on end, instead absorb the lesson and move on. Improving.
6. Decide what’s important And focus on it. Prioritize and devote more time to the activities you truly value.
7. Get help Connect with people who share your concerns and be inspired by their stories.
The idea to pursue the success is meaningful and worth to think deeply. All of these ideas are simply and almost all of them I have already known on class when I was undergraduate student. However, it’s difficult to implement and I only did some of them. It’s good for me to think about these ideas again and keep them in my mind. It’s helpful!
Well said. As a second year student, I can definitely relate to conflicting priorities. It’s really not at all clear at times what we should focus on. One of my biggest lessons from my freshman year was that it is crucial to reach out for help if you need it and not to fall into the trap of wanting to do everything by yourself.