It was the summer of 2004. Facebook had just launched, a Blackberry was considered cutting edge, working from home wasn’t yet a widespread thing, and my identity for the last decade had been “single working mom.” Nicole, my twelve-year-old, was very active, so I learned by necessity to be a master multi-tasker. My little black planner was never out of sight.
To the outside world, I may have appeared to be a “do-it-all” super mom. Not so. Inside, I felt inadequate and guilty. Back then, the corporate world left little flexibility for attendance at day-time school events. Travel and in-office overtime were often demanded. As a Type A personality, my goal was to exceed expectations in the workplace. At the same time, I desperately wanted to be a more present mom.
After careful consideration, I made a life-changing decision. In July of that year, I left a steady, promising job and filed paperwork to form Marketri LLC.
Some people say that I was brave to make the leap, but I don’t think so. I had always thrived in work situations that involved a blank canvas, so that didn’t scare me at all. The greater risk for me was missing precious moments with my daughter that I could never get back. She was almost a teenager, and time was slipping away.
Marketri became an LLC on August 5, 2004, and my website launched shortly thereafter. I had a three-month financial cushion to land a client. Fortunately, The Curchin Group, a mid-sized CPA firm in Red Bank, NJ, liked my Big 4 background and hired me after two. Marketri was off and running, and more clients would soon come on board.
Today, as we begin to celebrate Marketri’s 15th anniversary, my heart is filled with gratitude. The company allowed me to be a present mom. Business meetings never trumped soccer matches, choir performances, and lacrosse games. I was available to have fun on school holidays and half days and nurse Nicole back to health when she wasn’t well. Sure, I worked crazy hard. But I got to say when. At a time when workplace norms and technology didn’t typically support work from home, my independence was everything. Feelings of empowerment replaced those of inadequacy and guilt. And while I might not have been able to “do it all” 100 percent of the time, I was able to come as close as a working mom can.
Nicole is now 27 and forging her own career path in an environment that is trending toward flexible arrangements and better work-life balance. Marketri has remained a virtual company, meaning all of our employees work from home so they, too, can maximize personal and family time. I have been able to make such wonderful memories over the years, and that gift is now being passed forward to our growing team.
Thank you to every client, employee, mentor, and sub-contractor who has helped Marketri LLC succeed! I am deeply grateful to have known and worked with you all.
Image Credit: Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash