My Story: Becoming an Entrepreneur
I live in Toms River, NJ with my husband Dan, a construction Project Manager; our four-year-old son, Will; and our two mischievous retrievers, Guss and Maggie. My business is a public relations firm that handles mainly entertainment and non-profit clients. We handle a wide range of PR initiatives such as event management, launches, cross-promotional partnerships and brand building. I employ freelance publicists who primarily work from home so the hours and schedule are flexible and conducive with family life.
Before I started my own business from home, I commuted into New York City where I served as a corporate communications manager for a very well known publisher and multimedia company. Prior to that, I managed publicity for a television network. For 10 years I had a fulfilling, fast-paced career as an entertainment publicist. However, when my husband and I decided to start a family, that lifestyle was not conducive to small children. And, having lost my own mother when I was in college, I knew when I became a mother my children would be the number-one priority in my life.
My son was the inspiration behind my business. I started freelancing at night when he was an infant. I would write press releases and newsletters in between late night feedings. I wanted to contribute to the household income again so that my son could have a more enriched childhood. Music classes, swim classes, gymboree—it all adds up, especially when you’re trying to survive on one income.
Since I started my own business, I juggle my work around my family which is very different from when I worked in corporate America. I schedule conference calls and meetings around my son’s life not the other way around. And because I have a great network of other publicists who are in the same situation, the juggle works. (PR is one of the few careers that’s female dominated.)
I make more money now then I did when I was commuting into Manhattan—more as my base salary and more because I’m not paying expensive costs like gas, parking, public transportation and extra taxes because I work in a different state then I live.
I believe that I'm a better entrepreneur because I am a mom and I’m a better mom because I’m an entrepreneur. Happiness is the key. I enjoy and appreciate what I do much more which in turn gives me confidence in both my professional and personal life. And not having the pressure of, “How am I going to pay for mommy and me classes this month?” is a huge weight off my shoulders.