Are you wishing you could control your work schedule and spend more time with your babies? Have you wished you could find a way to make money on your own, but don’t know how you’d have time to start something amidst all the chaos in your life? On top of that, you might not even think you have a skill, talent, or ANY CLUE of what you’d do! If any of the above is screaming directly at your heart... you’re EXACTLY in the right place!
Join your host Dana Graham (a health insurance broker turned successful newborn and family photographer… as bizarre as that sounds), as she picks the brains of women like her who have given up the security of a corporate job in favor of creating their own business venture to allow for more precious time at home with their littles. Each week, enjoy a different interview with a mom who has made the leap from a 9 to 5 to entrepreneurship in ALL different fields; from realtors, to health coaches, to etsy shop owners. We’ll hear the what, why, and how of what they’ve built, and how in the world they're doing it with their kiddos in tow! If you’ve already started your own business, join us as we continue to motivate you each week with step-by-step, TANGIBLE action items to make your business as efficient and successful as it can be… with your family, motherhood journey, and mental health at the top of the priority list.
SO, grab that huge pile of clean-but-not-folded laundry or the stack of dirty dishes, plug your headphones in, and get ready to be inspired Amidst The Chaos.
From County Government Employee to Professional Organizer, with Jessica Luck
Anyone else feel like they keep seeing these beautiful before and after organization photos, shows and videos, then immediately get the urge to do it all yourself? Somehow the idea of doing it sounds great, yet, I’ve never made much progress. BUT, after talking to today’s guest, Jessica Luck, founder of Inspiring Organization, I finally took the leap in organizing our back porch. Not only do I feel a weight lifted after decluttering and organizing, but I had the most amazing talk with Jessica!
This episode starts with Jessica’s life pre-organization, where she was a stay at home mom with her 4 kiddos while her husband was in the Marines. She then transitioned to a full time county government employee with hopes it would give her an in at her ‘dream job’ (or so she thought) as a social worker -- she has always had a heart and passion to serve others.
Jessica tells me about the BIGGEST SHOCK that ended up sparking her decision to start Inspiring Organization. You’ll have to listen to find out -- it's a good one!
She gives one of my favorite pieces of advice, reminding everyone not to let a lack of business experience derail you! There is SO MUCH info on YouTube, internet articles and social media coaches -- if you have the idea in your heart and mind, it's achievable!!!
Jessica breaks down the timeline of her business, the REAL highs and lows -- think months with no clients, followed by those with packed schedules. She reveals how she figured out the seasonality of her business and when she felt she had true success (pssst, it took a while and that's normal!)
We finish up (are you still reading and listening?) with the details of her business and the process she uses. It's not ALL organizing and perfectly symmetrical bins! She leaves us with tips for those looking to get into organizing themselves -- though she drops some knowledge that everyone can benefit from!
Find out more information on Jessica, Inspiring Organization and our full show notes here.
Oversaturated Markets and "Finding the Need" for your business
This week I am breaking down the difference between the NEEDS and WANTS in your business.
I have talked to and heard from so many people who want to do something or have a business idea based on something they love to do -- but you have to ask yourself IS THERE A NEED?
The goal in starting a successful business should be finding the balance between something you love and the need in your market space.
In this episode, I break down two different paths and how you can strengthen your brand through both. I give actionable tips for those who have an idea that no one else does, as well as those who have an interest in something many others do too!
Weather you have found the need or still have to lock it in, make sure you DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! It takes people so long (hand raise over here!), so get going and do it!
For full show notes, head to our episode page here.
From Co-Op Parent to Toy Library Owner, with Lisa Bourven
I’ve found that one of the biggest obstacles people (women, in particular) have when thinking about starting a business is not realizing their hidden passions and talent. My guest this week is the perfect example of someone who allowed an idea to grow, did the work to set herself up and launched a business she is proud of!
Lisa Bourven is a mom of two in Northern Virginia and the founder of The Toy Nest; a toy rental library -- yes, just like you rent books, you can rent toys!! What I found most inspiring was that Lisa hadn't been sitting on this exact idea for years, she didn't have an extensive background in the toy library space (though, does anyone? ha), but she saw a need, listened to her intuition (and all her mom friends begging for a solution) and decided she needed to start this!
Lisa breaks down her background, starting with her career in retail operation and executive management. After she took a break from the corporate world to have kiddos, she continued to find work and passions to focus her energy into. Through this wide range of work and life experiences she was able to gain insight into how women and mothers thought, what their pain points were and what they needed.
She started googling for a solution-- just like the rest of us do!-- and saw that the idea of a rental toy library existed, but not near her! Lisa set out to change that and open her own.
Just like most plans we make, it didn't go according to the timeline she had laid out! Setback after setback arose, but she continued to push through and opened in March 2020 -- YES, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC!!
Lisa explains the importance of not having to do everything at once. She also reveals her biggest piece of advice, and, take it from me, you’ll want to pay attention!
Lisa gives specific and practical advice for those who are looking to find a career, or side gig in something they love that also makes sense for their family financially. She also gives a raw and honest update on how she is feeling mentally with everything going on - and I doubt she's alone in her feelings! Regardless of the current situation, she tells me how she is being proactive about her future so she is not stressing and scrambling later (I need tips on this ha)!
View full show notes here!
What If I Don't Have Time For Self Care?
The trend of self-care is EVERYWHERE. I swear every influencer, CEO and entrepreneur is lecturing me on how I MUST make the time for myself. Even my husband asks if I'm working out and getting some solo time. I’m sorry, what? Do y'all not see that I am running a business, with two toddlers and a husband abroad? What time do I have?! And many times the typical self care ideas (like getting my nails done or reading a book) actually stress me out more because I feel like I'm not as productive!
So, what’s my solution? I have started changing the dialogue from Self Care to Self Attention -- I am paying attention to how I am feeling and why! A few months ago I sat myself down and decided to have a brain dump of EVERYTHING taking up space in my head (any short term worries, meals to prep for the kids, business goals, etc.) each and every day. I do this as soon as the kids go to bed and I feel productive and cathartic as I’m not in communication with anyone (tip: put your phone and computer in the other room)!
Consistency can be an issue, so commit to this for just two weeks and give yourself the grace to build up to it! I find night is the best for me and have added it into routine post kids' bedtime. Some people like the mornings and if that works for you, please do it! I don’t find this works well when kids are awake because the goal is to have your mind CLEAR. Maybe try nap time or after drop off. Heck even sitting in your car works if you have that time!
Work up to 5-10 minutes if you can. Start where you are and trust yourself to just sit and get all the mental build up out. Getting more clarity is going to help so much for the next day, and you’ll start to notice when you don’t take the time to do it, you feel off!
View full show notes here.
From An Electrical Firm to Real Estate Agent, with Stacey Caito
Stacey Caito is a leading Northern Virginia realtor and mom of three. She spent the early stages of her career as an assistant project leader at an electrical firm and has been a full time realtor for the past few years. She began working on her realtors license when she found out she was pregnant with her first child (just over 5 years ago - HOW is that possible?!), but she didn’t make the jump right away! Stacey was running double duty (really triple when you add in being a mom to a growing family) for almost 3 years before making the leap and transitioning to a realtor with Samson Properties full time.
Stacey takes us through her mindset and career path these past few years. From the initial moment she wanted to make the transition (it was before her first daughter was even born!), to her certifications and building her business. We talk about Stacey’s goal in transitioning to realty and how she chose that career, when she didn’t have a background in it before diving in. We walk through the tips Stacey uses to help grow her business to this day, and best news, they aren’t crazy expensive sales tools! We chat about obstacles and surprises that came along with this move from the corporate world, as well as some myths about being a realtor -- Stacey does A LOT more than just turn a key and show pretty houses! Finally, we dive into how Stacey’s day to day schedule has changed, what she has gained from this freedom and how she has had to work harder than ever to achieve flexibility. Plus, you will hear Stacey’s favorite part of her day -- and I'm pretty sure all the moms out there may know exactly why she chose it!
Visit full show notes here.
From Insurance Broker to Motherhood Photographer with your host, Dana Graham
I dive into my back story this episode so you get a real sense of who I am! 5 years ago I had my dream job, financial stability and an awesome team that supported me. After having my daughter and realizing I would be missing a lot of her firsts, the idea of finding a way to contribute to my family while spending more time with her started to grow. I pushed it aside until I was pregnant with my little man, which forced me to really take hold of my need to be with my kiddos. I took a leap of faith and decided to start (what I thought was) a small photography business.
Through the past 5 years, I have hit some major highs and some big lows, but all along, I have been able to gain control of my personal and professional life. I have figured out a process to make this business work and allow me to spend time with my kids, watch them grow, and be a part of their day to day. None of it is perfect, most of it did not go according to my initial plan, but it's grown to something bigger and more fulfilling than even I thought it could be.
Visit full show notes here.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Are you ready to quit your day job??
When I started the journey of entrepreneurship, I listened to podcasts nonstop (still do!) for business advice but I would’ve paid good money to hear from an everyday mom who ditched her 9-5 to pursue her passion and ask her HOW ARE YOU MANAGING... TRULY? And that, my friends, is what this podcast is all about!! No fluff from industry experts that seem leagues ahead of you, but instead advice from real and relatable women who discuss their own journeys. It’s a must listen for anyone yearning for MORE! ❤️
As a new first time mom, I related to all of Dana’s feelings about wanting to be with her babies but also having to provide income. I can’t wait to listen to other episodes and hope to find more inspiration from her!
Just love listening to Amidst the Chaos! Dana is an amazing host who provides such relatable content that everyone needs. It’s honest, fun and super helpful to hear how not only Dana has managed to succeed in motherhood and business. I can’t wait to listen to more! Highly recommend.