Meet the #motherhustlers: Marybeth Santos
Marybeth Santos is a blogger, mom, wife, domestic engineer. In that order. Except just imagine a HUUUUGE space between wife and domestic engineer because that comes in DEAD last, ok?
Tell us about yourself, your business, and how you got started!
I’m Marybeth and I write the blog Lifestyle For Real Life. I started the blog almost 5 years ago. I had started reading blogs like Young House Love for fun. I think I’d probably found them on Pinterest somewhere and I loved following along with their DIY’s and seeing how they’d made over their home.
At some point, I read a post about how Sherri and Jon had both QUIT THEIR JOBS to do blogging full time and I think my eyeballs almost feel out of my head. I had no idea that was a thing. I had no idea how to do that thing either, but I wanted in.
So, yes, I’m in this for the money, lol. There was never a time when I felt like, “Hey writing is fun and I like home stuff, I should express myself through a website that I create from scratch.” From day one I had in the back of my mind, “This is going to be what I do with my life and I’m going to make money from it and as a bonus, I’m going to love every minute of it”.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I’m going to answer this in a sort of backwards way.
My daughter, she’s 13, just started “working”. She helps out at softball clinics. She came home from “work” the other day and she said, “I’m so lucky, I have something that most don’t adults have. I have a job I actually like”.
Now that just happened a few days ago, so that instance, in particular, isn’t what inspired me to start a business, but it is the sentiment that has made me work on this business of mine for five years. Four and 3/4‘s of which I didn’t actually make enough to cover my expenses.
I want to work at something I LOVE doing. I want that for me, and, I also want it for the example it will show my daughter. That’s what inspires me to wake up early and stay up really late every night.
What struggles do you face when it comes to balancing your work and family and how do you deal with them?
I don’t struggle with balance. I’m not saying that I have balance, I’m saying that I’m completely out of balance when it comes to work and family, I just don’t see it as a struggle.
I have two kids and husband, a part-time job and a home to maintain. Adding a small business into that mix is never going to be balanced.
However, I also think balance is overrated. I’m throwing EVERYTHING I have into the blog. So, yes, other things suffer. My husband now hates the sound of a keyboard. My kids complain that I blog all day. My house is a borderline disaster.
But, they are all rooting for me. They stand behind me 100% and while they sometimes pry the laptop out of my hands so that they get their quality mom/wife time, they understand how important this is to me. And that means more to me than having a balanced life.
What do you think is the secret to raising a healthy business and a healthy family?
I don’t think I have an answer for this! I don’t think an answer to this exists. Having my husband pick up where I’m falling short is super important. But, I don’t think you need that to succeed.
I think it’s having the burning desire to make it work that is the secret to a healthy business and a healthy family. Everyone who tries this is going to have a different reason for not being able to do it. Babies, husbands, time constraints, lack of skills… There are a million ways you can fail at this.
If you really want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to overcome all of the things that are holding you back. You really will, but you have to WANT it.
What is one piece of advice you could give to help other mompreneurs out?
You’re going to be scared, like all the time, so be comfortable being scared. You’re not going to know what you’re doing, like, 90% of the time, so be comfortable with not knowing what you are doing.
Find as many people as you can that are doing the same thing as you are and cling to them. My husband is great, but he has no clue what I’m doing when I’m tapping away on the keyboard.
You need people who understand what you’re trying to build and have a familiarity with the work that you’re doing. People that speak the same language. You most definitely NEED this and if you are an introvert like me (big time introvert, can’t even do facebook), you’re going to have to step outside of yourself and find these people, because I would 100% not be doing this if I didn’t have a great handful of people who are doing it separately, but right along with me. If I read what I just wrote before I found my people I would never, ever have agreed with myself. But today me is right. Find your people.
And, yes, that was more like three things. I get carried away.
What words of encouragement do you have for your fellow mompreneurs?
I had no idea how to do any of what I do right now before I started. Never even took a business class or a computer class in college.
If you think that you can’t learn, you are wrong. It won’t be easy, but you can do it.
Do you have any great / inspiring stories from your own experience that you would like to share?
Every day I get to sit down and do a thing that I love. I write things that make people laugh and cry. I write things that people read and then make things from! Like wreaths! I once wrote more of an essay type blog post and my Canadian friend’s husband said I had restored his faith in America. And I get PAID to do that.
Any fun facts you want to share?
Oh, yes and this is something that I’m excited to share with every #motherhustler.
I shave the back of my head.
Here’s why. I saw a picture on Pinterest of this girl who had her hair up in a bun and the underneath part of the back of her head was shaved and even had cool lines shaved into it. I LOVED it. So I took the picture to my hairdresser and had her do it.
It’s the best thing ever. First of all, you stay way cooler (like temperature-wise, not like “cool” cooler). Second, when you put your hair in a ponytail, you NEVER HAVE HAIR on the back of your neck! You only need to have moderately thick hair to do it, too.
Where to Find Marybeth
You can read more about Marybeth over on LIfestyle for Real Life and follow her on Pinterest!
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