Name: Tara Jefferson
Blog: The Young Mommy Life
When did you start your blog/business?
I started TheYoungMommyLife.com in 2008, when I was a mommy of one with one on the way. It was my attempt at an online journal that would eventually inspire other young women who found themselves living a similar life. My new venture, The Renaissance Suite, combines all my loves -- inspiring women, writing, public speaking and teaching. Everything I do is in service to other women.
What triggered you to pursue your dreams and begin creating the life you want?
Actually, getting laid off from my PR job (my first one out of college) helped kickstart my dreams. I had always anticipated being self-employed at some point and had a side hustle of writing and editing outside of my 9 to 5. Once that was taken away, all that remained was my side hustle, so I chose to invest in myself, rather than go through the motions of finding another 9 to 5.
What do you enjoy most about living life on your own terms?
I love the freedom to rock with however I'm feeling. If I need a mental health day, I take it. If something in my business isn't going well, I tweak it. I feel like I have the power to transform my life for the better and there's no better feeling.
How are you living out your purpose?
By being unapologetically me. I used to shrink so much and so often that it has taken me a while to understand who I really am, underneath all the titles of wife, mommy, writer, etc. But now I live my life truthfully, and I invite other women on that journey with me.
Describe an a-ha moment.
Sometimes you don't know if what you're saying and posting on these social networks is even reaching anyone. A couple years ago, one of my readers published a book and dedicated it to me, saying she never would have had the courage to pursue one of her goals if I hadn't inspired her. That's still a top 3 career highlight right there.
What does being free mean to you?
Being free means having options. And I do. So I feel really grateful. I think everyone should have options, which is why I do the work I do.
What has been your biggest challenge pursuing your purpose?
Fighting self-doubt. I'm learning to block out the negative forces.
What does your ideal day look like?
An ideal day is any day where I wake up rested. Because from there, I know I can do anything. I'm learning how important sleep is to my well-being.
What’s one thing that you want people to know about you or your business?
That I've always wanted to help people. Always. When I was younger, my favorite game to play with my sisters was "Homeless Woman," where one of them would stand in the hallway and pretend to be homeless, and I would invite them into my bedroom and feed them. Service is part of my DNA.
What is your biggest fear? And how do you overcome your fears?
My biggest fear is probably waking up at 60, 70 and realizing that I didn't do half of the things I set out to do in this lifetime. I get over that fear by reminding myself that life is short. It doesn't seem that way when you're a kid, but as an adult, you see how fast time passes and you're in awe. I try to make the most of my experiences.
How do you stay encouraged?
I read a lot and recently I started going to therapy. It's been so beneficial, having someone to talk to about my life, and give me feedback on areas where I could improve.
What are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of my babies, of course. I think they are wonderful human beings and I am amazed every day by how much they know. Their future careers will blow mine out of the water, that's for sure.
How do you support other women?
By really listening to them and reminding them that they do not have to play small in this world. So many women I encounter are hesitant to say what they really want, whether it's "No, this relationship is not working for me," or "I think I deserve a raise." They are biting their tongues and suffering through life as a result. I try to help women become their own biggest cheerleaders and I start by leading the way in my own life.
What is your favorite affirmation or quote?
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style" --Maya Angelou
What’s your favorite book?
I have too many to name, but right now, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah is at the top of the list. She's just brilliant and it makes me want to scream into a pillow how dope her writing is.
What exciting things do you have planned for 2015?
I am working on a 2015 Retreat for moms and a slew of ebooks, webinars and courses to help women bloom in every area of their lives. My first book, The Good Life: Pep Talks for Stressed Solopreneurs, is out now.
You can learn more about Tara….
Show Tara some love and let her know how her story inspired you in the comments below.
The Chasing Free feature is designed to spotlight women who are living in purpose, pursuing her dreams, and creating the life she wants by doing what she’s passionate about.
Monthly, I'll introduce you to women that are unapologetically living life on her own terms. She's a solopreneur, blogger, small business owner, she may even have a side hustle until she’s able to do what she loves full time. She’s doing the darn thing! And she openly shares her journey with the BeFree Community to help inspire others to be free.
If you or someone you know is living out their dreams and want to be featured on the blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!