I was at the pool yesterday with the kids trying to cool off in the over 100 degree temps we are currently having in Columbia, South Carolina. My daughter makes new friends in .2 seconds so when she befriended a couple of boys her age, I introduced myself to their mom and we got to chatting. Eventually the subject of “what do you do” came up. She was a special education teacher for the last 16 years. Honestly, so noble and wonderful, right? Then she turned the question to me. “What do you do?”
For months I’ve been trying to nail down a clear answer to this question. Even my best friend, Jodi – who I’ve known forever – didn’t have a clue what I was doing for actual secular “work” until just a few days ago when I called her specifically to address that.
Up until last fall, it was clear. I was a property manager for an apartment community. That had been my career path for the previous 8 years. I had managed a few different communities under a few different companies, but the job was the same for 8 years. This sounds cocky, but I could run a multi-million dollar portfolio of multi-family housing with my eyes closed. For seven and a half of those eight years I loved every aspect of my job. I loved my peers. I loved my mentors. I loved my residents. I loved my companies. I loved my employees. I felt good about what I was doing for the greater good. I was providing homes to families in a transitional phase of life while managing others’ assets that they were saving for their futures. And then in the last six months I felt miserable. I had become a person for everyone to take out their ultimate frustrations on. I was a mouthpiece for our corporate team and being micro-managed to the inth degree. I was unable to manage my team the way they needed to be in order to not disrupt the corporate “vision.” I don’t blame my superiors. When money is at stake things becomes irrelevant. Including values. And since I had created a pretty decent side business with Senegence, I left it all behind.
Fast forward several months later and things have evolved in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
I write a blog – you know, the one you’re reading right now. I am a regular monthly contributor for the Columbia SC Mom’s Blog. I am currently enrolled in training to get certified to become a Barre Fitness instructor with MUV Fitness in Columbia, SC. I sell Senegence Make-up and Skincare.
But, what is it that I do? I am a mompreneur.
Definition of mompreneur: a woman who sets up and runs her own business in addition to caring for her young children.
You may be wondering…”What does any of this have to do with an actual career path? ” Or “but, really, Brandi’, what do you do? ”
With my personal blog of A Brand New Day, I generate income from affiliate sponsors who I align myself with. I promote and review products that I genuinely use and love. If a reader happens to click on a link or a product I am promoting and it results in a purchase, I generate a small commission from it. Not every link is associated with an affiliate sponsor because I am still new in the world of influencers and bloggers AND most importantly, I want to remain open and honest with my readers and followers.
With my role as a regular contributor to the Columbia SC Mom’s Blog, it is a voluntary position. It has been LIFE CHANGING. Through this amazing online parenting resource I have found my dearest friends locally and been able to attend great events and support my city all from writing posts that connect with me with other moms!
As a Barre instructor, I receive a small amount to teach per class and I also receive a complimentary membership to the gym that I attend regularly. Not to mention the added benefit of teaching something I truly enjoy!
Selling Senegence make up and skin care is also directly related to how much I sell on a daily basis. Most of my profits are invested directly back into inventory, but I do make some commission from Senegence for the team of women I assist in being Senegence distributors.
All of these small amounts add up, but are not equal to my annual salary as a property manager. It has definitely been a budget adjustment for the family and my husband has had to bear the burden to being a sole income provider. This is why it is vital as married partners to communicate what our goals and dreams are. You see, I have a dream and that dream is not centered around money. I actually lost my dream for a time and it’s been wonderful to find it again.
That dream is….to EMPOWER women.
To one day become so skilled and seasoned of an entrepreneur that large companies seek me out to come and speak at their conferences for a source of motivation and inspiration for women associates. To write a blog or even a book to be a source of encouragement and refreshment for women to rely on. To lead women to finding their dream.
So, what do I do?