Expat moms following their passions

When I started working as a freelancer, I suddenly discovered that more than one expat mom among my mom-world acquaintances was quietly creating and running her own micro-business.

I realize I haven't written about this here yet, but this year I started to actively think of my professional self as a freelance worker. And when you have something on your mind, the forces of the universe conspire to toss more of that 'something' onto your path.

That's how I discovered that every other expat mommy friend I had here was either already running a micro-business (possibly on a very informal basis) or was thinking about starting.

Discovering the 'mom-preneurs' around me

In part due to restrictions imposed upon them by their environments and in part due to their mobility, these women weren't traditional 'entrepreneurs' in that they weren't building brick-and-mortar businesses with investments in offices and equipment and staff.

They were freelancers or independent consultants. Their 'investments' were in getting training and qualifications, and in setting up online presences to announce their services. They were photographers, English coaches, color analysts, computer trainers...

These mommy-friends were mostly 'trailing spouses': they came to a foreign country for their spouse's jobs, required by circumstance to take a break from their own careers and settle down as stay-at-home moms.

There they were now, though, taking the opportunity to re-imagine their careers and branching out into new territory.

Making your passion your work

In these days of the 'self-realization' ideal, the career advice one hears often is to find something that you love doing...and then make that your profession.

(Here's a practical approach: The Myths and Realities of ‘Doing What You Love’. Or, of course, you can actually work for the sake of the money and there's nothing wrong with that.)

But it's actually not that easy to identify what you enjoy doing, that you are good at, and that provides something that other people want/need and would pay for.

In my case, I've been a stay-at-home mom for almost four years now, most of which time I've been 'working' as a volunteer editor. There I was, laboring away 20 hours a week for no pay, because I was having so much fun—and it finally clicked: I actually *like* doing this. This is what I do when I'm left to my own devices.

It took me more than half my life to just get to this starting point!

Advice for mom-entrepreneurs

A slew of sites offer inspiration and advice to expat moms who are embarking on their own businesses.

I can't say that I've followed all the advice (finding a mentor, for one!), but the points sound solid. Certainly worth checking out!

...And my favorite site...

Saving the best for last, though, my favorite resource for expat spouses or global nomads is:
The creator, Amel Derragui, is a business and marketing coach. She founded Tandem Nomads to help the many global nomad spouses ('tandem nomads') who are having a hard time developing their own careers while traversing the world to be with their partners.

The answer, you will realize once you listen to Amel, is to create your own portable business.

Tandem Nomads is, above all, a podcast, chock-filled with inspiring stories and practical advice for everything covering topics from finding the right business idea and the right niche, legal aspects to consider, how to do online marketing, how to scale up, and so on, so forth.

It's quite addictive :)


Popular Posts