Self-Employed Self-Destruction

To say that being self-employed is complicated is a massive understatement. Independent of your business infrastructure, marketing, deadlines, and promotion, is the minefield that is….tax law.

After coming home a brand new graduate with a shiny doctorate in my pocket, I found myself entirely without structure for the first time since pre-school. I could do whatever I wanted, I was living with my parents until I figured things out so I had minimal expenses…It seemed the entire universe of possibilities was open to me. So naturally, I tried the quintessential millennial thing; I made up my own business (entrepreneurship) and dove in head first (guessed at everything).

Shockingly, I did well. Really well, $75K in contracts later, I had more work than I knew what to do with and no idea how I was going to keep going. Needless to say, it all fell apart pretty quickly. A combination of naivety and the cold, cruel reality of business lead me to shut down my business like a condemned building and retreating back aggressively into the familiar.

During my days as an entrepreneur, before I really realized how bad it was going to get. I had it. I had what I needed to become a Choice Mom: Money in the bank, support, connections in the community….I just couldn’t quite pull the trigger. My business was less than 6 months old, I had no idea how to sustain the volume of contracts I’d gotten, and I had no idea how to be a single parent.

And so, despite my instincts that were screaming at me “Do it now! Do it now!” I compromised. Doubt crept in. What if I don’t keep making all this money? What if I’m not cut out to be a single mom? What if I can’t find my own place and support myself and my child? What if I meet someone if I wait a bit and not have to do this alone?

All those were good enough questions to lead to the next chapter…or maybe a slight interlude: Foster parenting. After all, what better way to find out what it’s like to do it on your own than to foster a child in need?

I moved out, got certified, passed my home inspection, and 72 hours later, I had a 4-year-old in my house and it was all downhill from there…


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