#078 What’s possible when you walk out of your 9-5 ~ Mia Francis-Poulin

#078 What’s possible when you walk out of your 9-5 ~ Mia Francis-Poulin

You can listen to this podcast episode on iTunes or Spotify.

Research shows that mothers of kids with disabilities are unemployed and underemployed at much higher rates than mothers of kids without disabilities. 

It isn’t just that kids with disabilities might need additional time (and financial resources) from their parents. Our current systems of employment do not offer the flexibility and supports that parents need in order to succeed at work and at home. 

This week on the podcast, R&A Creative Co. CEO, Mia Francis-Poulin and I talk about how her family life led her to make the bold jump from the corporate world to a home-based business that allows her to meet her kids (and her financial) needs. 

So many of us are either struggling to make employment work or are experiencing the financial strain of un- or underemployment. 

It might just be possible to find another way just like Mia has. 

Transcript

Genia:
Welcome to the Good Things in Life Podcast. I’m Genia Stephen. I’ve met hundreds of mothers, of kids with disabilities over my lifetime, and been friends, colleagues, and acquaintances with dozens and dozens. You know, after all my mom’s been surrounded in vault and involved in the parent advocacy movement since I was really young. And I grew up with moms of kids with disabilities all around yet. When my son was born with disabilities and medical complexities, I realized I really had almost no role models of special needs moms who took care of their kids and had successful careers that they found fulfilling. And that helps support their family financially. I was really lucky because I had a mentor and friend who encouraged me to figure it out. And over the years I’ve sought out and found many mentors to guide me. And now I want to pay it forward to you because let’s be honest.

Genia:
Many of us are living on the edge financially. If we saw a way to earn some money and support our kids, it would be a blessing. Did you know that Good Things in Life has a free Facebook group? No, I’m not surprised. I’m still learning how to build a strong, engaged community on Facebook and how to let people know about it. It’s not like we’re taught this kind of thing in school. We have to find those teachers mentors and role models to help us. Today’s guest has been a mentor role model teacher and blessing in my life. Her course is helping me figure out how to build an active, engaged, good things in my Facebook community. Mia Francis Poulan is a mom of two special needs advocate and content marketing geek, native to New Orleans, Louisiana. She’s an alum of Tulane University where she received her BA in English, as well as the University of Texas at Dallas, where she received her.

Genia:
Master’s in emerging media and communications. Having worked in digital marketing for the last near-decade. She became a corporate dropout when she left her nine to five and launched RNA creative, a marketing agency for business owners, looking to increase revenue by adding a new digital product and service in their business. She’s the host of the mama, build your empire, excuse me, mama. Build your empire podcast, which is dedicated to mom bosses who are growing their businesses while raising their kids with special needs me. I thank so much for joining me today. I’m really grateful. Oh my goodness. Thank you for having me on the show. I’m just like, Oh, I’m so great. Well, why don’t you start by sharing a little bit of your story.

Mia:
Yes. Oh man. So let me just start off by saying that where I am today is not at all how I imagined my life would pan out. I had from before I even left a college, probably in middle school. I remember picking up a book and learning about writing and how to write for money and copywriting and thinking, you know, being this huge book geek that I am that I was gonna make my money somehow a career knowing how to write. And that was my whole entire goal in life. And so from a young age and as growing through, growing up and learning what that really meant I had this vision right out of college that in eight years I was going to be a CMO of some big company, you know, running the marketing department, taking shots, you know, in my power suit every single day. And now I still go to the office, which is in my house. And I’m usually in yoga pants and a tee shirt, unless I put on my business top for the zoom meetings.

Mia:
So life is really, really, really different. And what really changed that was first when I got pregnant with my first son. And so my husband and I we’ve been together for, Oh my gosh, it feels like forever. At this point, we’ve been together for 11 years now. And we were both very focused in our careers. My husband has a very technical job. And I was climbing that ladder myself. And we decided we wanted to start our family one day, expand our family and things were going great until 27 weeks. I go in for an appointment and everything’s not great. And so that kicked off a long at the, at the very, the very beginning of the concrete year of just change and, and everyday challenges as my, my son, my eldest was in the hospital for that first year of his life.

Mia:
And the plans that I had, which was okay, I’m going to take off from work for, you know, a month being luxurious a month before I give birth. And then after I give birth, I’ll sit with the baby for three months and then put him in daycare. And then I just go about my business and pick up the baby when I, you know, as I can’t do this whole thing. Well, that just was not a reality on any planet anymore. And so I had to figure out how to manage my ambition of continuing to progress in my career, which was something that was really important to me. That was something I’d been dreaming about since I was a young child while also managing the responsibility and the love and the desire, and then Frank, the need, frankly, the need to be there for my child in a very, very intense way. Um cause he had so many different medical complexities going on.

Mia:
And so I tried going back to corporate and I tried it for like two and a half years. I tried to manage being a mom of a child with medical complexities and having nursing and having all these doctors and specialists and things like that. And also trying to be a productive employee. And at the end of the day, it just didn’t work out for me. And so for a variety of reasons, so I decided to do my own thing. I decided that there everything is, if there’s a way to figure out everything, right. I firmly believe everything is figureoutable right. Even before Marie Forleo actually turned that into her book, title book. Yup. I’m sure she said she actually did say that for many years, but I just adopted it as my personal mantra that everything is figureoutable because it is you figure out a way, even if it’s uncomfortable you figure out a way through. Right. And so for me, what that looked like was starting RNA, creative company and branching out on my own and redefining what being a CMO and actually now a CEO, what that actually looks like.

Genia:
Right. So when you were making that decision, I mean, you’ve already said that you were fully committed to I can figure this out mantra. But I imagine that that was also really scary. Like you’re, you’re an American, you know, before we started recording, we were talking about the just the cost of medical insurance. If you are not employed by a company that offers good medical insurance, you know, so here you are, you’ve got this very young child with all these medical complexities, you live in the States and you walked away from a corporate gig. So which I’m sure the insurance was not the only scary part about that, but I’m just wondering if you can, like, was it all like hopeful unicorns and rainbows or like how did that feel at that time?

Mia:
Oh, no, I’m pretty sure I’m. So when, as I was walking out of my office, because I actually had a very dramatic departure from my corporate job, which that’s a whole nother episode. But I, I really very suddenly made the decision. I have to leave my job and I have to leave today. And it was due to things that actually happened with my children. And so and I knew I had to be much more accessible to them on a day to day basis. So it was starting my business with something that I was thinking about for months, I had laid the runway and the groundwork to depart from my job, but I’m still nowhere near ready to them to make that leap when push came to shove. And so yeah, the insurance part was incredibly scary. Especially now it seems like premiums for insurance just continue to go up, up, up for a family. And so that was something that, you know, how my son going to still see all of the specialists and things like that. And you know, does that mean that my spouse is kind of gridlock to his company because they have insurance there and what would that mean for his career?

Mia:
Can I figure this thing out really that little lingering doubt in the back of my head, but I had to really stay positive and stay focused on the immediate goal, which for me that was okay. Step one for place corporate income. That was step one. But yeah, no, that day I left my job, I’m pretty sure I went home probably with some tears and a bottle of wine and just gave myself that evening to figure out and wallow in my sorrow for this life change. That was scary, but also exciting. Yeah. Yeah. For sure. So you’d have the groundwork laid, you’d been thinking about this for a while. And what were you thinking? Like what was your vision of, for vision for your company at that time? So the main things that I wanted out of being able to work for myself was one time flexibility.

Mia:
I needed to be able to, if my son had to, had to urgently go to the hospital, I don’t need to check in with a boss and say, this is where I’m going. And this is what I’m doing. And this is why I’m going to be gone for the next couple hours. And I didn’t want to have to do that because you know, real-life I actually had to do that. That’s hurting point a, you get that call, Oh, you know, little ones go into the hospital and I’m rushing out the door instead of rushing into a meeting. So I was over that whole thing. But also I wanted to be able to know that there were proven ways to make money and the route that I was going down. But also it, it felt within the skill set that I had.

Mia:
So I know how to write that’s if there’s one thing I tell people, if there’s one thing that I know how to do, I know how to write. And, and I’m a pretty good marketer. Like I feel like I’m a very, very good marketer and I’ve worked on some really exciting projects just using my strategic brain. So I knew that I wanted to one for ease of being able to create something on my own. I wanted to stay in that vein, but then also I wanted, I wanted to be able to keep my skills up. Like, I didn’t want to just say I was a marketer and a writer for all these years. I love doing this thing, but now I’m going to just completely drop it. I wanted and needed for myself to be able to continue to use that skill. So using my skills, using my brain, having that time freedom, but then also a proven method of being able to do those things.

Mia:
And so what that ended up looking like was an online business. Something that I can do that is I don’t have a storefront. My office is in my home. I don’t have to contend with having employees necessarily. Although now at this point with the agency, I do have contractors to help me with the delivery of things. But I wanted it to be something that I can start myself. And then as I chose, and as I created this vision for the future, I will be able to grow it into something else.

Genia:
So what does that, I mean, I’m, I’m just, I’m still really at the very beginning stages of learning about what marketing means, but what does your business look like? Like what do, I mean, I know what you do at least somewhat because you’ve been teaching me, but when people are hearing, while you run a marketing agency and you’ve talked about writing, but what does that mean? Like how does that translate into a business?

Mia:
So how I explain it across the board is that I help people make more money in their businesses and in particular I help them make more money online. So what that ends up looking like is how do you, as a business owner, talk to people, what’s the message that you’re looking to get out? What is it that you’re actually looking to sell and why would anybody ever want to buy it? Right. And so that, and that’s applicable marketing is applicable, whether you are selling t-shirts or you’re selling, I don’t know, $10,000 software. So, so that’s, that’s the thing about it is that marketing it’s not necessarily just writing or just design or just strategy. It’s, it’s a whole, whole way of you, of how you do business. And so I helped simplify that for business owners so that they can then go out and making more money.

Genia:
So can you give me the example of some of your customers businesses?

Mia:
Yeah. So I primarily work with other service providers. So people who are providing services either to, you know, the regular average person, the regular consumer let’s say for instance, you are, you have a hair salon or you are an accountant doing people’s taxes and stuff like that. But also I work with people with other businesses who are selling to other businesses. So, folks who maybe they’re creating, they’ve created a software, or maybe they have a specific type of training program or course, or things like that, where they’re looking to teach other businesses how to, how to do other things or make more money in their businesses. So those are my types of clients. So,

Genia:
So you came into running your own business, like you’re, you know, with two degrees, you know, like you’re, you know, university educated, you know, graduate-level you know, graduate-level trained, you had years in corporate America in the marketing field is the kind of like, do you have to be you with all of your credentials and all of this sort of real high-level training and experience behind you in order to make some money from home?

Mia:
Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I have a ton of friends who are also started their own businesses online. Some of them, they have no college experience. And they’ve built entire businesses just off of the thing that they’re passionate about and listening to people saying, well, yeah, I want to know how to do that. Or can you show me how to do that? And they built entire businesses around creating courses or doing services for people. It’s, it’s the thing about the online world that I love about it is that it’s the great equalizer, right? There are so many businesses for years and years, decades upon decades that they’re run by people who have all this education. They have an MBA, right in order and a master’s degree in business to then go forth and start a business and get capital and all this stuff and get money to start a business.

Mia:
But when you have an online business, and this was especially true for me, because I was laying the runway, I say I was laying the financial runway, but I still was nowhere near ready to make that leap and leave my job. And so we had some pretty lean times, you know, in those early days. But the thing about online businesses is that you don’t have to have tens of thousands or even thousands of dollars to start offering your services. You don’t have to have this robust build built out marketing plan or business plan in order to get up and running. The thing that you need is you need something to sell to people. You need either a service or a product in a way to deliver that thing to people. And so that’s what I love about it. And I’ve seen so many people who, especially other moms who have kids with special needs, who have finally found that freedom that they’ve been needing and finally found the ability to financially contribute to their families in ways that a lot of them want to be able to do. But just the way that society is set up, it’s not set up for us.

Genia:
It’s certainly not set up for us. I wonder if you could share a couple of the stories perhaps from guests on your podcast of, you know, that mom, like you’re saying that doesn’t come from corporate America, it doesn’t have a master’s degree, but has found a way of earning some money, selling something either that they’re passionate about or that they, you know, have a you know, a skill in, that’s not like a super obvious business, like classic business idea, or that when you think about building a business, this is not necessarily like their ideas and their successful businesses are not don’t necessarily fall in that category.

Mia:
Yeah. Yeah. So I’m the one that immediately comes to mind. And you’ll, I think you actually might have her on your show later. Um but it’s my friend, Abby parrots she’s yeah. She I’ll tell I’ll her, tell her story more, more in-depth. But the thing that strikes me about her story is she was going through a really, really tough, tough time when her son got his diagnosis which was a very serious, serious diagnosis, a life-threatening one. And from the floor crying, as she tells us, she’s tells the world I’m not sharing anything super intimate. But, from the floor, trying to deal with that every day she, she got up and just started writing. She’s also a copywriter. And from there people were asking her, how, how do, how do you do that? How do you make, you know, Hunter a couple hundred dollars just writing an article or writing an email. And from there, she built out a very rudimentary course that people purchase for like a very small price.

Mia:
I think it was something like $97 for this initial course. And then from there that’s grown into, what’s now a very, very profitable business and she’s living her life exactly the way that she wants and needs to live her life to support not only her child with special needs, but she has like a lot of kids more than I do. So and, and she, her, her heart, I just, I love her heart. And so Abby’s, Abby’s story really catches me cause I, I feel the depth of where she was. And it’s just really inspiring, but the thing, here’s the thing I’ll say about this. Early on, I remember I was sitting in a conference room at my job after my son had gotten released from the hospital that long 300 day stay. And I’d gone back to work and I was sitting in a conference room just like working in the dark because I was, everything was so nuts and in reality, I needed to get away and make some phone calls.

Mia:
But I also was just surfing on the web for a while and swabs. I’m such a bad employee, but I was surfing on the web and something called me to search about special needs moms in protect moms who have kids with special needs in particular to special needs children in particular, sorry, I’m trying to get, get my tongue to use the correct language. And I stumbled across an article and it was basically saying that of mothers, not just parents that have mothers who have children with special needs, there is a dramatic decrease in their rates of one being not only being employed, but also underemployed they’re in the workforce, but they’re taking jobs that are not matching their skills or their desires or where they should be within their career. And it was a marked difference between even moms who have children who don’t have these medical complexities and definitely a difference between, you know, men fathers.

Mia:
Right. And that just really, that was just really struck me because I was sitting in here, you know, obviously not the best employee, right. But having really, really great ideas that really were moving the needle for the business that I was working for. And yet time and time, because I was not able to work until 9:00 PM or not willing to skip out on my child’s doctor’s appointments because I’m the one who knows what’s going on. You know, I wasn’t willing to do that. And so my peers are having all these opportunities to progress within their careers. Whereas I was stuck, still doing all of the things, but not having the title reflection or the pay, you know, have they reflected in my pay. And so that also had a piece to do with it was being able to say, knowing myself that I can figure this thing out like there’s a way to do this. Um it may be uncomfortable and maybe mean shifting things around in my life, but there’s a way for me to not be part of this statistic, right. To be able to take myself out of this statistic. Cause I was in it, I was getting that statistic.

Genia:
Hey there. Even if you can’t yet, imagine what you might teach in an online course, but you’re intrigued by the idea. I’ve got a resource for you. My go-to digital course creation, coach Amy Porterfield just released her new free 19-page ultimate course creation starter kit. You can find it by going to good things in life.org forward slash guide. It’s been incredibly helpful for me. And I wanted to make sure that you got a chance to download it for free. This guide impacts how to figure out your winning course idea and get the perfect topic that sparks interest and engagement from your community. It covers what to name your course based on the six different types of course names because you can’t let something like naming your course hold you back. And these examples will make sure that you’re past that potential roadblock and self-doubt and off to the races. This starter guide is exactly the kind of tool that will help you get from intrigued by the idea of creating an online course to excited about your plan for an online course. Again, you can access the free guide goodthingsinlife.org/guide.

Genia:
Yeah. It’s, it’s interesting. Yeah. When you, when you look at that research around employees and income levels and you’ve got, you know, you just look at sort of the classic childbearing women. Yeah. Even though you’re not supposed to be penalized in your career because you have born a child or are raising a child it’s statistically, the research is still very clear that women are penalized in their, in their career progression. And then you get into the category of moms who have kids with disabilities and it’s like that on steroids and there, but it’s not the only group of people who are experiencing that, you know, black and, and women of color, black women and women of color, experience that to a far greater degree than white women, for example. And you know, the, like, there’s just, we’re not the only group. But it is a really, I don’t know, I find it almost like the fact that it can show up.

Genia:
So consistently in the research is motivating to me in some ways that the problem is systemic, not personal. Like it has nothing to do with me and my capacity to manage more things or juggle more things. Or if only I could just, and it’s not, I don’t S and it’s also not like, because I have a child with disabilities who then is a unreasonable burden or drawn our family. Like there are some systemic issues here that make it, so, and there are some creative ways that we can, like, just like your, your story. This is what your story is about, right. Is just thinking like, okay, I can figure this out. And it’s not to say that all of the disadvantages that people face all of a sudden go away, if they decide to be creative or that the systemic issue seems to be systemic relevant issues to them, if they decide to be creative. But I hope that people feel almost emboldened to try to figure it out, because certainly it’s not going to be handed to you that much. We know. Yeah.

Mia:
No, absolutely. It’s not a character thing. It’s not a, you know, it’s, it’s the way that the system is set up and yeah, you’re absolutely right. I’m with you on everything you’re saying right now.

Genia:
Yeah. So I think that, that in my mind, that draws, that sort of brings me to thinking about imposter syndrome for moms that might be considering this. And I know, I know, you know, what I’m talking about with imposter syndrome, and I wonder if you could speak to that just a little bit, like what it is and how, you know, people might go about facing it.

Mia:
Yeah. So I always say that imposter syndrome is the disease of the capable woman because when you look at the data and researching this study is about imposter syndrome because I thoroughly feel imposter syndrome. And it has varying levels of intensity in my life, depending upon what’s happening throughout the day or the week. But in looking at the research of, of the people who coined this term imposter syndrome, they, the researchers noticed that imposter syndrome, which is basically this belief, it’s a false narrative, really this belief that somehow you will be found out, found out as a fraud at the thing that you’re, that you’re doing, that you’re not actually capable of achieving the results that you’re setting out to achieve that people will say point out and say, Oh, actually you are like really literally terrible at this.

Mia:
And that at any point in time, someone’s going to pull the rug from underneath you and be like, who are you to, yeah. But here’s the thing that those researchers that coined the sprain, this, this phrase found, and it was that a overwhelming majority of the people who felt imposter syndrome were actually high achieving women in this particular pool. It was women in academia. And so what they, what they believed was that the accomplishments that they had were not actually attributable to their personal knowledge or skills or anything, but it was that people are badass. People likes them and they are, they felt bad for them. And so I tell this story of like my me getting slapped in the face with imposter syndrome. So I actually started my master’s degree three months after my eldest was born. He was still in the NICU, still on a ventilator.

Mia:
And I went back to school and I tell everyone who listens. And if Sallie Mae wants to listen in on this, I went back to school to not have to pay my student loans. So that was the reason why I went back and got a master’s degree is because I needed to bring my monthly bill down. And it was a short term gain, definitely a longterm loss, but I enjoyed it. Right. And so I go through this master’s program two years, it takes me to get my masters. And at the end I graduated with a 4.0 for my master’s program. And for years I told, which is perfect. Right, perfect score is a perfect GPA. You can’t go higher. Right. and for years I told myself that I got these high marks and actually won an award. My thesis actually won an award.

Mia:
I told myself that the reason why I got a 4.0 is because my professors felt bad for me, that I had a sick kid that I didn’t go to that great of a school. So I wasn’t challenged academically, which my school is pretty good. Like it’s actually ranks pretty high, you know, in the grand scheme of things. Right. you know, go comments. I told myself, I told myself that that, because it was a smaller program that, you know, I got better grades, but if I tried to go that MBA route, I probably would have struggled more and you know, all these things. And I actually had to sit back and say, why didn’t I actually believe those? Could it be true that you did well because you just actually did well, you know, and that’s the first time that I like got a slap in the face about imposter syndrome and I’ve seen it pop, pop up over and over again through my entrepreneurial journey as well.

Mia:
Like how dare I ask for this amount of money to do this service from someone, or how dare I even put that service out there in the world? Like, why am I going to even try, especially at those beginning days where I didn’t have like, like a client success story to prove, you know, to back myself up with. Right. and so I, I kinda, it kinda was just like, how dare I? And then I ran across that research and I was like, well, actually I’m me to dare to do that because I know that I can help people in this thing. I know that I’m passionate about the thing that I’m good at. I know that I actually can help people. I know that I, my service is valuable. You know, even with the lack of, you know, initial clients to back that up, I know I can do this thing.

Mia:
And so it took a big, big, huge dollop of courage to be able to, to ask for those sales and to put myself out there, you know, getting visible. But in the end, you know, every time I, I, I took that step and I said, I’m doing this thing, I’m doing this thing. It helped me quiet down those voices a little bit more consistently. So, yeah. So are you cured? No, I don’t think again, it’s the disease of the, of the achieved high achieving, you know, of the, of the successful a woman, you know, I think that it’ll always be there. But now I have some tools in the knowledge to be able to say, okay, I know what that is. And to be able to evaluate, is this actually rooted in any truth or is this just some mind talk that I’m giving myself?

Genia:
Yeah, for sure. And the, I guess the takeaway that I really hope that listeners get is don’t let it stop you from trying, like, it’s gonna show up. I don’t, I don’t know anybody. I don’t know any female entrepreneurs anyway for whom they’re like, Ooh, no, I can’t relate at all. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Like it’s a thing. So if self-doubt is, is stopping you or you’re thinking, well, my ideas, just so you know, small or little or so many people know how to do this or this isn’t actually all that special that’s likely imposter syndrome. And it’s not a good reason to, to try. I think if I’m remembering correctly, the research also showed that men in that study overestimated I can’t remember exactly like whether I can’t, do you remember the wording behind it? Like what the measurement was, did they overestimated?

Mia:
They, they overestimate their, their, their skill, their actual, their actual, the quality of their skill, essentially to be able to, to do that, it’s like, they’re overly confident in their ability to do the thing that was that they were doing. And so, which I thought was hilarious and also yes. Yeah. I’ve see that every day.

Genia:
Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, I’m not, I’m not bashing men who are self-confident or who, or men who are shooting farther than, you know, what they feel or farther than maybe they ought to, you know, sometimes that stretching of yourself is exactly the way you’re going to get to that next step. But it’s, again, just that, that sort of reminder for people that for one reason or another, for many, many reasons, and we it’s a whole other podcast, whole other podcast never find a whole other podcast episode to dig into why this is so, but a lack of confidence in thinking that you could be successful and that you have something valuable to offer is to be expected.

Genia:
And it is not proof that it’s not evidence of reality. It’s, it’s a mindset issue that you, that will come up that just needs to be stomped on over and over and over again, in order to be able to move forward.

Mia:
Yeah. Yeah. And just really quickly to add, you don’t have to have all of the boxes checked. Like that’s something point, especially had to remind myself at the beginning of starting my business, because I thought, Oh, well, if I’m going to have an agency, I need to have a website. Or, you know, my biggest thing was I need to have employees on staff as a team to be able to put on this website before I can offer services to anyone as an agency. And now I still don’t have actual w nine employees in my business, but I have a whole team of people I can call on as contractors to help with the actual delivery of the thing that I do.

Mia:
And so a lot of people they get caught up with, Oh, well, if I’m going to offer something, I need a website. And it means I need to hire a website developer, or I need to learn how to do coding or stuff like that. The fact is is that you don’t need to have all of the boxes checked in order to get started. You don’t have to, you know, be absolutely perfect because perfection is, is a, a myth that we throw ourselves towards to keep us from doing something. You know, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You just got to get it, got to get started and see how it goes. I remind myself every single day.

Genia:
Yep. And that related to that is the idea of just in time learning as opposed to just in case learning, you know, so a lot of this process of, you know, you’re still managing, you’re not, everybody’s going to get a master’s degree too, especially when their child’s in the NICU. Um but like that, that sort of big jump forward is, is not required. Like you got during that master’s degree, a ton of really valuable just in case learning, which means that you learned about it, just stuff that might that you might need at some point in the future, but you can get started at home while you’re, you know, doing the laundry and the dishes and cleaning up and lists, you know, messes by just learning. What do you need to do first? You know, like what’s the first step in front of you and that’s just in time for when you need it kind of learning and you can continue to grow with that just in time learning. So Mia, if you, you know, if, if to the people in the audience who are listening that have no idea but the, I no idea what they might do or what that their strengths are. Don’t have a business plan in place, but who are interested in this idea that we’re talking about around trying to earn some income from home? What is that first box to check? Like what’s the first step?

Mia:
I would say, really outlining even if even writing it down, what are the things that you would like to do? And if you could do them and monetize them, you’d be happy doing so, you know, I have some, I have some friends, they, and it’s, it’s actually interesting how she’s pivoted with COVID and stuff like that are out in the world. But she’s also a mom who has a child with special needs and she organizes people’s houses. And she does that two days a week. And that’s how she’s able to bring in income. And it’s her business is virtual. She has a, has a Facebook page and she has a simple website.

Mia:
And she gets people in her local area to hire her, to come in and organize their closets or organize their offices. And she realized that she loved cleaning and organizing and that she likes creating systems for people within their homes. And that was something that she figured out how to monetize and, you know, she loves doing it. Like she loves doing it and that’s not something that’s, I’m gonna create a course. So I’m going to do this complex thing online. It’s something that was very simple that she was like, okay, I need to do this. I want to do this thing. What do I need to get it done? I just need a way for people to connect with me. I need a way for people to pay me and I need for a way to communicate what it is that I do. So I would say the first step would be figuring out what it is that you like to do. And then that thing that you can monetize,

Genia:
I would think actually that out whether or not you can monetize it, shouldn’t be part of your initial brainstorm. Okay. Like, it’s like, it might be hard, in the beginning, to figure out, like, if you don’t know anything about business, you might actually really struggle to figure out whether or not you could monetize it. Like your friend who likes to organize other people’s houses. I’m like, unless she’s organized, like creating like a cleaning business or something like that, like for lots of people, it would be hard to imagine the business she has now based on from, from when she started. Another way that I think is fun to do it. If you’re, if you’re experiencing imposter syndrome and you’re struggling to figure out what it might be is what do people compliment you on? Or what do people say is great about you? And it might be actually something that you can’t imagine turning into a business, but you can start with a list of things that people think are great about you, that that you actually appreciate as well. Cause there might be things you’re really great at it. Like you said, you don’t want to do that.

Mia:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Genia:
So Mia, if you had one message to impart to listeners about this idea of earning money from home, so you can continue to parent your kids the way you want to and need to, what would your message be?

Mia:
I would say to trust yourself. I think that a lot of the times, especially when we have children who have medical complexities and we have a ton of really smart people talking to us all the time and talking at us all the time about things that sometimes they’re over our heads, like our children’s diagnoses and what that all means and things like that, it can get, can become easy, not to trust your own ability to understand things and make decisions. And that’s why I’m such a supporter of, of let’s make sure that we’re strong advocates and doing the work of figuring out how to become advocates for ourselves and for our children.

Mia:
And somewhere in there that first year, while my eldest was in the hospital, I really my ability to trust myself and my ability to make decisions really got shaky. Right. And that belief was part of the reason why I decided to just go back to corporate versus trying to start a business right out of the gate, even though the writing was already on the wall that was going to work. Right. so I would say trusting, trusting yourself that you, it is, it is not easy understanding the things we need to understand, knowing the things that we need to know in order to be the parents that we are to our children.

Mia:
And so that’s a, that’s a powerful thing to understand about ourselves and our ability, our ability to figure things out, assess where we are, come up with a plan and take action on that plan.

Genia:
Yeah, I think that’s great advice. Mia, if people want to follow up with you, where can they find you?

Mia:
So I am on Facebook. So if you go to facebook.com/miathemarketer send me a friend request. I accept so many of them. And also in my free Facebook group, which is The Launch Builder Society for Women in Business. So if you’re looking to launch a business, come on and join, and that’ll be at a, you can either search Facebook for multiple for society, or you can go to launchbuildersociety.com and it will take you to them.

Genia:
Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much. I know I’ve learned just a ton from you and I really mean it. When I say it’s been a blessing to have met you and to have had your guidance and to have learned from continue to be learning from you. So thank you. I know others will find the same and I’m really grateful for you coming on the podcast and sharing your story.

Mia:
Thank you so much. It’s been an honor.

Thanks for Listening!

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Special thanks to MIA FRANCIS-POULIN for joining me this week. Until next time!

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