{Mama + Biz Owner — On treating your business like a business, part VI.}

We’re back with another “mama + biz owner” post and this time we’re featuring Jaima of Ring Around the Rosie. I think it’s absolutely incredible how she + her family are able to pull happiness out of some incredibly challenging life events. Read on to see what I mean, and don’t be surprised if some of Jaima’s persistence settles into your day-to-day, too.

My name is Jaima and I blog at Ring Around the Rosies. I am a mommy to 2-year-old Elizabeth and a work-at-home mom who blogs to empower women to create healthy, balanced homes. And I also have a part time business as a social marketer for Shaklee (the #1 natural nutrition company). I started my blog and began with Shaklee just a year ago in August, 2011. To say that it has been an absolutely amazing year would be an understatement.

I started my business kind of out of desperation. It was a very, very low point in my families life. In October 2009, the we found out we were pregnant! My husband and I had been managing a small, high-end remodeling company in Connecticut for 4 years, but we were both suddenly let go the day we informed them I was expecting. We began living out of savings until Andrew could find a full-time job, and we decided that I would stay home as a stay-at-home mom, which was all I really ever wanted to be. Then, Christmas, my mom and brother were killed in a car accident 9 hours after we arrived in Tennessee for Christmas. I never went back to Connecticut and to make a long story short, between Andrew not working and moving expenses, we had depleted our savings and were living off credit cards. He thankfully found a great job here in Nashville the month Elizabeth was born. A year later though, things were still very bad. I was severely depressed, we were not even living paycheck to paycheck, I was rapidly gaining weight, and yet I knew that I was created for so much more. We agreed that I should look for a job, much to our desire for me to stay home. After a handful of resumes, I came across Shaklee and hesitantly decided to begin my business. I had wanted to blog for years, so I decided to use my blog to market Shaklee online, and also build a community. Thank God I did! This is definitely what I was created for! I am so passionate about helping other women! And in just a year, it has allowed us to pay off $38,000 in debt, and double our families income! The true reward, of course, comes from helping others and seeing them meet their goals (be it financial or health-wise).

Every day is much different. Earlier this year I was able to hire a mama’s helper to come Tuesday and Thursday for 4 hours at a time. That is when I get most of my work done. I try to get up 1-2 hours before Elizabeth does to workout, check emails, prepare breakfast, and have a little time for myself. To me, having just 15 minutes to myself is so much better than waking up groggy to a crying baby ready to be changed and fed. After breakfast, we have some sort of “learning time” where we do some sort of hands-on learning / sensory play. Now that she’s 2, we’re working on identifying and writing numbers and letters, but before it was colors, shapes, simply building blocks, sorting, etc. Afterwards,  I try to clean up and do daily chores while she plays independently before lunch. She thankfully naps from 12:30-2:30, which allows me to blog, make calls, and do my social media. After she wakes up, we usually have a snack and then play outside if it’s nice before preparing dinner. Andrew usually gets home around 4:00, so we have quite a bit of time to play together, go for a walk, or do chores. After dinner, we have a pretty strict routine with Elizabeth that includes cleaning up, bath, prayers, and bedtime. After she is in bed, I sometimes get in a few more hours of work or training while Andrew does school work,  but we try to spend that time together.

We keep a pretty tight routine. We don’t follow it minute to minute, but we try to do things in the same order every day. I also developed this calendar system for us, which is now out-dated, but it worked really well.

We currently live in a 900 sq ft home (crazy, right?) because we still have our house in Connecticut. In 900 sq ft, there is just no place for a designated office, so we converted an old camper into my separate office! I absolutely LOVE it! When the helper comes, I actually feel like I am leaving for work. While I thankfully don’t have to actually get in my car and leave, I have to go outside the house. It has been a blessing because I am able to truly focus. When I was just working from the kitchen table, I was constantly being distracted by the dishes and laundry, but now I can go to my office which is always clean and just work.

I no longer work on the weekends unless something is urgent. I sometimes travel out of state on the weekends for different conferences, but I try to keep the weekends as family time. I think that in any business, whether corporate or working from home, family should always be a higher priority. I try to spend as much time as I can with them. After all, they are the reason I’m doing this!

If I could offer any advice to other working moms, I would say cut yourself some slack. I had a really hard time deciding to hire a helper. Even for just 8 hours a week, but my business literally doubled when I was able to focus just on that and set certain work hours. Treat it like a business and it will produce like a business. Treat it like a hobby, it will produce like a hobby. Don’t be afraid to delegate things so that you are able to focus more on using YOUR talents on income-producing activities or spending that quality time with your babies!

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SHARE WITH US: If you’re a working mom, too — what advice would you give to other working moms? What kind of encouraging advice have you received? Share with us below!

Comments

  1. 2

    says

    You are an inspriation. I am so sorry for your losses and what your family has had to go through but to tell you the truth, many other families go through the same. You positive attitude and faith is God is something to be admired. I thought I was organized until I read your blogs. I am totally jealous. As a mother of two grown sons who are still living at home due to economics, I only dream of being able to be a SAHM & W again like when they were small. Maybe I will gain the courage to step it up and start an at home business, as you have, making enough to quit my very part-time job, yet be available to my elderly mother who needs me from time to time at a moments notice. Thank you for blogging and sharing your life.

  2. 3

    says

    Thank you for sharing your heart! My sons are 13 & 10 & I was a stay at home mom until my youngest went to 1st grade. Then I began working at their school. Then my hobby of sewing went biz. I’m doing both! It requires extreme organization skills to do both & run a household & sports etc.

    My days were planned out when they were tots very similar to yours. I love that your place of biz is a camper. That rocks!

    Again thank you for sharing your story & I am so sorry for you losses!
    Katy

  3. 4

    says

    Jamia & Gussey Sews…Great story, thanks for sharing! I love the idea of going to work in your trailer, perfect:) Also very good advice about treating your business like one and the results you will have verses a hobby smart words, I am always learning even at 53! I have a home alterations business and an etsy baby shop. I have my 23 daughter and granddaughter living with us now and it is difficult to find that focus time that I was used to plus the little one is a very curious one and always wants to be doing what I am doing, but such a love!! I am blessed to be able to be with them both and right where Gods wants me serving. Look forward to checking out your blog, God Bless, Melissa

  4. 6

    says

    Great advice. I especially love this-” Treat it like a business and it will produce like a business. Treat it like a hobby, it will produce like a hobby.” Thank your for sharing your story and being so honest and open. You’re an inspiration Jaima!

  5. 7

    says

    Thanks so much for sharing Jaima. I have just loved watching you bloom since we first met in February at BlissDom. Keep being an inspiration to us all!

  6. 8

    says

    Truly and inspirational entry. Thank you for introducing your readers to such a strong, incredible woman. I can’t imagine all that you have been through, but I love your positive attitude.

    Oh, and the shed is really cool!

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