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From Homeless Single Mom to Million-Dollar Business Owner: ‘The Key Was a Mindset Shift’

This entrepreneur struggled to get her business off the ground as a single parent to two small children, but she refused to give up

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When I was two months pregnant with my second child, I started a new business selling promotional products to businesses in my city. I already owned a consulting business at the time and had a lot of international clients, but it required a week of travel each month. The travel had been challenging as a single mom with my young daughter, but I knew it would be impossible to manage with two children.

My plan was to build up the new business with local clients and create a life that didn’t require travel and made a bit more sense with two young kids. The new business was promising, but unfortunately it didn’t grow quickly enough to create the income we needed by the time my son arrived. 

As an only parent, the pressure was on to keep the money coming in  no matter what else was going on. A small matter, like creating a human, was not going to slow me down. I was sending out quotes to clients and working on orders right up until midnight the night before my son’s arrival. And I was on my computer less than 48 hours later, from my hospital bed, chasing up orders and sending emails.

Over the next few weeks, there was still far less money than there were bills to pay, so I started selling anything we had of value: furniture, clothes and eventually most of my jewelry.

When he was four weeks old, I started going on interviews for a day job to help cover the bills. I remember trying to fit my recently pregnant body into work clothes with varying degrees of success. In every interview, I was very careful not to mention that I was a single mother to a a six-year-old and a newborn. No potential employer was going to look at that as a promising combination.

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