Blossoming a Business During a Pandemic: A Story of Creative Learning By Betty Williams

Like a lotus that sprouts out of the dirt, I too was able to come out of the pandemic a blossomed new being. I have learned a lot these past nine months, and am grateful for every hardship and headache. My biggest accomplishment: starting a business. All while caring for a six-year-old, an 18-month-old foster child with severe trauma, and being a newlywed wife -married shy of two weeks before the whole city shut down.

How was I able to maintain my sanity and start a business? I attribute that to two main factors: fight or flight, and my ability to slow down and not be caught up in the day to day noise.

My newly found business, Brillando with Betty, developed as a response to a question that always stumps parents and family members with children: what do I gift my child? Or any child for that matter. In June when stores were shut down, parks were still closed, and kids were cooped up at home all day with their parents my initial thoughts were; I want the raddest gift in the market, but what was it? I knew that I didn’t want it to be screen related and it needed to last a long time. Most importantly it had to be something parents could enjoy too. I started running out of fun ways to entertain my daughter, so I knew it’d have be fun for me too! Then it dawned on me: I would incorporate my knowledge and experience as a science and math teacher and create five mini activities my daughter could do at home. She would learn, explore and most importantly play! It so happens that my best friend’s son’s birthday is the day after my daughter’s, so I wanted to give him a rad gift too! She is a mother of three, so I knew I’d have to make this as fun and engaging as possible.

In retrospect, I say it was fight or flight that triggered my ideas; because there were two choices: find whatever toy on amazon, and have it shipped to my home. Or turn my creative gears at maximum speed, put my expertise to good use, and transform my concepts into a reality. I decided to do the latter.

One of my uncanny abilities; is to entertain kids using as little as possible. During the pause and slowdown of COVID 19 I was able to discover a way to put this talent to use. I am still a full-time working mom and am working remotely. But I no longer deal with the hustle and bustle of traffic, readying the family to leave the house, and getting dressed daily (leggings and no make-up are my go-to looks every day). Those routines that disappeared from my day to day, gave me time pockets for opportunity windows; that enabled me to start a business, and that has been a true blessing in itself.

My advice to mothers and women out there is: turn your hobby into a paycheck: do what you love; and what you are good at. There is someone out there willing to pay for the things you do for fun, or as second nature.

Some tips on transforming a passion project into extra income:

  • Write down things you love doing.
    • What can you create that comes naturally to you?
    • Look up that sentence followed by the word “business”
    • See how other people or businesses have monetized on what it is you do for fun
    • Set yourself apart, make a statement, package your brilliance and start making money mama!

I am available to connect and talk with any moms out there in the trenches who need help brainstorming on what to do as a side hustle; so feel free to reach out. You are one in a billion, you were put on earth for a specific reason, take this time to figure out your inner brilliance.

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