The "Kick-Start Your Life" series on TODAY with Marlo Thomas is aimed at helping women get un-stuck and move on with the next phase of their lives. Here, Brooke Conley discusses beating depression and realizing that it's OK to use baby steps to start a new business.
When I wrote my essay for the “Kick-Start Your Life” series with Marlo Thomas, it was kind of like writing to Santa Claus. I have no money, I told them, tell me how to make some; I have an invention, tell me how to make it into a business; I three amazing children, tell me how to give them all the opportunities I want for them. I felt like the perfect life was a present that they could wrap up and send down the chimney. Well, guess what? Even TV can’t do that. Here’s what it did do.
The TODAY show sent Marlo Thomas to my house. Not only is Marlo Thomas an incredible woman with an inspiring career as an actress and activist, she is also lovely and kind in person. During her interview with me, she suggested that I was putting big obstacles in my own way. She was onto something. I was trying to make the perfect choice that would change my life completely. My expectations were paralyzing me, acting as obstacles to real possibilities.
Next they sent me to meet with TODAY Financial Editor Jean Chatzky. My financial situation, taken as a whole, was intimidating. But when Jean listed a few financial priorities like putting money in savings, and getting life insurance, I realized I just had to do them one at a time. I also did not have to make the ultimate career choice right away. Finding something part time while my kids were at school could meet my immediate financial needs. With that burden alleviated, I could work on my potential business on the side.
Jean also suggested I get my website up right away, which was something I had previously found daunting. My invention is for children and their families, but when I looked at parenting websites, they seemed out of my league and out of my price range. But then I realized, I could probably do a simple website with a monthly newsletter that I could write myself. Sproutsinthehouse.com is online now! And for once, I don’t feel overwhelmed but excited.
I feel I would be doing many women who are reading this a disservice if I did not mention the role that good mental health care has played in my life. Had I not sought treatment for my depression several months ago, with the support of my loved ones, I would never have contacted TODAY about the “Kick-Start Your Life” series. I would not have even written the essay. I would have remained insulated from the world, alone and suffering needlessly, unable to be the mother and partner that I knew I could be. Even this has been a process. But taking one step at a time, good things can happen.
Moms, have you ever started a new business or project and felt overwhelmed by the process? Do you have advice for Brooke on how you coped?