If you’ve ever wondered how to balance two careers and have a pretty amazing life all at once, look no further than Danielle Leeke. This influential juggler of careers owns San Francisco event planning and production company, On The Run Events, and is part-owner of The Brick Yard, an SF-based sports bar. Ink & Well has been lucky to call this lady a client, a friend, sometimes keeper of secrets, and ALWAYS an inspiration. This Q&A will motivate you to go for what you want. Even if what you want is everything.
Job Title(s): Owner, On The Run Events, event planning, and production company, and Operating Owner of The Brick Yard.
Writing is weird. As a recovering English major, I’m still trying to discover how it fits into my life. I graduated college with an iPhone note full of ideas for future screenplays, novels, and short stories, and eagerly told anyone who asked that my post-grad plans consisted of one thing: writing!
And then I got my first job.
I landed a gig as a writer with what I refer to now as a “content sweatshop.” Instead of turning in papers to kind professors, I was writing mindless copy for picky clients. Instead of researching the impact of the industrial revolution on William Blake’s poetry, I was researching—rather frantically—the difference between a Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy so I could write ten blogs for a bankruptcy lawyer by noon. The rigorous demand for content at work quickly left me with zero bandwidth to pursue any of my own writing in my free time, and I quickly became bitter towards the practice in general.
We’ve all had to spend time working jobs that are not our dream jobs. Maybe it’s right out of college; maybe it’s after a painful layoff; maybe it’s during a season where you are still trying to discover what you were created to contribute to the world (which is like basically all the time, right?).
Whatever season of life this job falls into, it’s not a coincidence. In my limited professional experience, every single experience you have in the workplace, whether it’s scooping ice cream or filing expense reports, will come full circle at some point. My first big girl job was certainly not my dream job. However, the things I learned throughout my time in that role proved invaluable wisdom down the road when I was ready to transition to a new role.
Having made the transition into motherhood almost two years ago now, there are still some things that surprise me. I’m still shocked at how fast a toddler is, how quickly we blow through Goldfish Crackers, and just how little sleep a kid can survive on. But most shocking of all is how my relationships continue to change and evolve as my life continues to shift and mold around my growing family.
I think when I had Maddy and got pregnant with baby #2 just 18 months later, I knew a change in my friendships wasn’t far behind, but I didn’t really know what that meant. Mostly because I knew I was changing, but I wanted to make a big effort to stay as focused on friends as I could. But it’s hard when 90% of your focus is on your child, and the other 10% (which, by the way, is only freed up when you have childcare or the child is sleeping) must be split between work, chores, and a laundry list of other things. As your own needs start to fall further and further down the list, how on earth do you keep yourself available for friends?
Rose Moore is one cool chick. In fact, she’s someone you want to be friends with on Facebook and follow on Twitter just to keep up with the great things she’s doing. Unwilling to let work lead the way, Rose seems to have figured it out, wrapping her work seamlessly around her life. Wife of a chef, she works when her husband does, allowing them to actually (gasp) spend time together. She’s someone who perfectly embodies the Ink & Well Mission and we can’t wait to share her words of wisdom with you.
Mia Hopkey lives in Los Angeles CA. She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and lover of Hello Kitty. When the baby goes down and she’s not “second shifting” her day job, she enjoys melting into her couch and watching Keeping Up with the Kardashian (Big Brother if it’s the summer), trolling Instagram for fashion inspiration, and group texting with her best friends. She eats paleo, loves SoulCycle, and believes a little dirt and germs is good for the soul. She’s one of Ink & Well’s most inspiring mommy friends and we can’t wait to share her secrets with you!
So, I feel like when you set out to write about something, you should probably have that thing figured out. Full-disclosure, I do not have this figured out. I am in the throes of dealing with massive, routine killing bedtime fits that are threatening to take away the last shreds of sanity I have. But the thing is, I have to work. No matter how long it takes me to get Maddy to sleep or how long I spend feeling like I’m going to die before sleeping in a ball in the corner of my bed because my tiny toddler takes up almost my entire queen-sized bed, I have to get up, face the day, and push my business forward.
Today, we’re thrilled to bring you some encouraging words by NY area business owner, Brittany Pepper of One Pickled Pepper
. Not only does this chick rock the baking world, she’s also the proud mama of three awesome daughters: 7-year-old Olivia, 3-year-old twins, Madelyn & Charlotte. Follow One Pickled Pepper on Facebook
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I knew I wanted to start my own business after my first daughter was born. I wanted to be on my own schedule (and hers). I wanted to be able to provide for my child(ren) while still being able to be that stay at home mom I always dreamed about.
I started small. I started cooking and baking for my friends and family and I loved it. Then I started baking for friends of friends…got a DBA title; made a facebook page;…2 years later my business started getting more demanding. It was terrifying at times. Wondering if what I was doing was worth it. Would this work? How many people REALLY loved cake? What if I fail? What if I DON’T fail. What if I soar! Then my twins came along (they are now 3–talk about terrifying!).
Today started with Maddy waking up at 5:30, which is never fun, but I stayed up late last night to spend a few minutes with Jimi before bed, so those first yells of, “MOMMYYYYY,” stung like little bees. Jimi got up and shuffled into Maddy’s room, and as baby #2 wiggled in my belly, I heard him in the monitor talking to her, urging her to go back to sleep just for a little while. She was having none of it, and minutes later, he was making coffee, and she was crumbled in a ball sobbing outside my door because she wasn’t able to carry 14 stuffed animals and she wanted help. I peeled myself out of bed, opened the door, knelt down, and opened my arms. She fell into me, and together we carried all 14 of her stuffed animals into my room so we could all watch a movie together. It wasn’t long before she had spilled juice on my sheets and spread cereal crumbs everywhere before asking for pancakes. . .which she fed to the dog.