I recently watched a TED Talk entitled”Can we all have everything?” By Anne-Marie Slaughter, then read her first article in The Atlantic where she discusses eloquently why it’s still tough for women to attain work-life balance. Most girls are challenged at some point in their careers by nature’s strong call back home, to care for children or parents.
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In her case she was leaving her job as the first woman Director of Planning in the US State Department to be with her children, when she asked herself “Who wants me ?”. Her unique conditions may be unusual, but her story is familiar to a lot of women. I greatly admire her for this conclusion, but it was one for which she received an immense quantity of criticism, largely from other girls. She now works from home and gains in the precious time spent with her children, while still fighting for the cause of equality and more flexible working conditions for women through her articles and talks.
She has no regrets. I can relate to her issue once I think about my own story. For several years I ran my own successful company, a small luxury hotel in the South of France. I loved my job, but everything changed when I had two kids. I struggled to handle the constant wrench between kids and work, so I finally sold up to join my spouse on his horse ranch where we could share the workload. I thought, but then the true wake-up call came last year when my youngest son was diagnosed with Leukemia.
Time to get a serious reality check! While sitting beside my son’s hospital bed I needed to take stock of my situation. I was a mom of 2 young boys – one with a critical illness. I was approaching fifty, out of shape, short on money and residing in rural France where my mother tongue is barely spoken. The area I live in happens to have the highest unemployment rate in the nation and the major business is fruit picking. Oh, and incidentally, I can not leave the house because my 5 year old has just had a bone marrow transplant.
Necessity is, indeed, the mother of innovation. Twenty years ago I’d have been up the proverbial creek without a paddle, but now the Internet has opened up a variety of chances for people in my situation and, indeed, anyone who needs the flexibility to work at home whilst remaining connected to the external world. Now even girls in India have the ability to run highly profitable online businesses from their villages – unthinkable only a decade ago. I might have attempted to do something on my own, but reinventing the wheel could have taken up valuable resources and time.
After much search engine research I had been lucky enough to associate with an internet community of affiliate marketers who supplied me with the tools and taught me what I want to know about setting up an internet business. I required no prior experience and did not have to have my own product or idea to get started. For my situation – that was excellent. Setting up my own online company was a game changer. It’s not a’rags to riches’, nor an overnight success story. R
ather it was a story of a person facing adverse odds finding a way to construct a respectable career and earnings stream, in between numerous medical crises, home moves and twice weekly visits to the hospital – everything from a house computer. For me this was a salvation. I’m truly excited about the future and exploring the near limitless possibilities that lie ahead with an online company. I’ve built a private skills base and a stage I can re-purpose for all types of other online companies in the future.