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Creatively Balanced Women in Today's Marketplace

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In my travels from Maine to Florida and back again from the fall of 2010 to today, I noticed how creatively the women I've come across are combining raising children or helping their grandchildren and/or elderly parents and coming up with great ways to make money to bring more income to their family budgets. As time consuming as raising children or helping parents/grandchildren is, there is a science to planning all the priorities in their lives. Even in this economy, I've noticed that many of these women are doing very well.

I could be writing about the fact that more and more women are making it to CEO and other executive positions and women's salaries are rising and closer to what men's salaries are as we've made our way into the 21st century. That is very good news in the business world and hopefully will be much more equal sooner than we think. But there's another way women are making sufficient and even lots of money starting their own small business that actually allows these women to work from home and use their creativity and/or have fun while working and earning extra money to help the family sustain a decent living. I've met at least 10 women from different parts of the eastern seaboard who are designing, editing, baking delicious and nutritious foods, making pottery or other works of art, creating idea circles that think of regional and communal ways to earn a living. These women all have family responsibilities in one-way or another. Most have children that they want to be around for when they come home from school and others are care givers to grandchildren or elderly parents. All these women have figured out ways to earn and take care of family priorities.

I'd like to share a couple of the women's experiences with you in this article and the first I'd like to write about is my daughter, Megan. Aside from her being my daughter, I have to say that Megan has shown the world, so to speak, that she can keep her education and career going while raising two beautiful girls with her husband, Jake, who is continuously supporting all aspects of their lives. This family knows how to balance work and family life. Megan makes it look so easy, but I know how hard it must be to keep everything going in the family household: Working from her home office and making a decent living and contributing very well to the family income, raising two girls and putting them on a healthy, learning routine throughout the day (with the help of her husband, of course, and the grandparents, friends, and great neighbors of which are all very happy to support) and is not afraid to ask when she needs help, and finally getting involved in her community and networking with people who generate ideas for business needs and ownership. Megan is also an artist and when she has spare time, spends it on making beautiful pottery (and she encourages her daughters to join in to her gardening and artwork to give them a well-rounded education). Megan is a great example of the new generation's entrepreneurship!

I have another example of a woman who is doing many things to keep her family unit going and thriving. She lives in the south and has the most beautiful piece of property by the Blue Ridge Mountains. She and her husband, after searching for a great place to settle, finally found their dream home. Having visited them a few times now, their place truly is a dream come true. They have two beautiful dogs and they are surrounded by ponds, woods, hills, wildlife of all types and wonderful hiking areas to enjoy. Her husband works long hours and keeps things going, but the economy hasn't allowed for many choices. So, this very good friend of mine decided to find some creative things to do to keep money coming in and also take care of her elderly mother's needs. She has come up with many creative ideas to keep afloat. In addition to being a talented writer and editor, she bakes the most wonderful cookies and treats of all kinds for bake sales, friends, gifts for special occasions and everyone I've ever spoken to about her baking skills have said that they'd spend a fortune on her goods. She also has a part-time job and meets lots of interesting people in a beautiful resort that caters to animals, which is her passion. This woman knows how to balance life and work, and is the reason why she is such a positive and delightful person to be around!!

I have at least eight more stories that I can write about and I continue to hear more because I'm focused on searching them out. I have learned a lot from these women, having to balance owning a business with my husband and our own families, and traveling to help my elderly parents in their final years so they can maintain their quality of life. Here's what I took away from being aware of how women are doing these days...the women I have met:

  • Knew exactly what was most important to them and why.
  • Knew how to prioritize their time and try not to overbook their days.
  • Set learning and goals in order to learn and grow while keeping the family unit going.
  • Knew how to ask for help and support, with respect and dignity.
  • Were able to communicate at high levels in order to let everyone know what's going on.
  • Asked questions and did the research.
  • Were well educated and went for creative ways to enjoy their work.

I hope this article will inspire other women to do what they love as much as they can. Men too, because I know how happy my own husband is doing the work he loves. It's not just for women that I write this article, but it is encouraging to see so many creative women out there in the world!

Thanks for reading!

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Lorraine Twombly
Priority Learning



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