Last month I had the honor of chatting with Martine Wilky. She has the same mom-first approach to life as I do. And I love it! Martine is someone that I discovered (or she found me?) on Instagram not surprisingly as she offers coaching for that platform and has over 15k followers! She is consistent, persistent, and motivating. Oh, and adorable, I might add. Read on as she talks about how to get past the pressures of parenting and running a business.
1. What do you do?
I am what the therapist calls a serial traumatized human.
My life was super hard growing up. I was abused and raped, but the most traumatizing event for me was when my brother committed suicide. I was the one who found him and tried to bring him back to life but he didn’t survive.
I had to work on myself so I started living instead of surviving. This became my mission in life; to help others do the same with their life. I became a Ho’oponopono & Law of attraction coach. (Ho’oponopono is the ancient Hawaiin practice of forgiveness.)
Through my practice, I have helped hundreds through their suffering to achieve a life of their dreams. But it wasn’t an easy journey getting to where I am today with my business. I launched an online program that only sold to 13 people. I was crushed an didn’t know what to do. What I learned was that the community was the key to success in unlocking an achievement with course launches, so I started learning more about Instagram. I went from 750 followers to more than 15k in less than 3-months! Because of this success, I now also teach female entrepreneurs how to kill it on Instagram by using their own unique voice … and they don’t have to be naked, haha!
2. What's your zone of genius?
I get lost in teaching and feel totally complete and at my best when I am there.
3. How do you manage running a business and raising a family?
My daughters are 12 and 14 years old now. When they were little, I let my career define me. I cared more about working than parenting, which led me to having a nanny, a cook, and a cleaning lady. I knew that I wasn’t my best self or the best mom to my kids. I was pregnant eight times to finally have the honor in becoming a mother to my two daughters.
I was letting that chance fade away so I knew I had to make a drastic change in my life (and perspective) in order to be the mom I wanted to be. So I quit my job. I left the money for the love of my children. I was finally present and invested in their life. This was finally my chance to get to know them better and it was incredibly fulfilling.
Running a business and being a mom puts you in a position to constantly make choices -- the choice to prioritize your work or your kids. The options to choose to be a mom and an entrepreneur and losing a little bit of yourself along the way. For me, I put my kids first and I am ok with that. I will always have the time to build a business, but I won’t always have a second chance to be a mother. Life goes by too fast.
“I will always have the time to build a business, but I won’t always have a second chance to be a mother.”
Deciding to put parenting first doesn’t mean that I don’t run my business or prioritize me-time, it is just that when it comes time to schedule things (life things), I put my daughters first.
You see, life is like a game of Tetris. Blocks fall at you faster as you move through life. Some pieces fit, others don’t. The better you become at putting the right fitting piece together, the more you can advance in life. As a mother, planning my schedule means putting mom duties first, and everything else second. Sometimes the pieces fall into place by themselves, other times you have to force them. I don’t let parenting happen - I make space for it!
4. How do you overcome the guilt of being a mom and an entrepreneur?
I don’t feel much guilt anymore. When I didn't listen to my inner voice, I would get anxiety and panic attacks because I knew I wasn’t at my best game as a mom. I changed the way I felt by changing the way I play my life’s game of Tetris. Instead of having a perfectionist way of doing everything, I choose what is realistic and what gives me a feeling of success. Success by my own standards, not what others or society expects of me.
When someone tells me that my kids have the most incredible emotional intelligence at their age, I know that I have succeeded. No online program, no coaching session, no speaking events can bring me the feeling of success but my amazing Maryka and Mya-rose! I am there for them and what I am teaching my kids is that you can live a fulfilling life.
As an entrepreneur and mom of girls, I wanted to set an example for them and teach them that they can have anything they want, and not *just* be a good wife.
They are invested in my career too! They love coming to my talks. My youngest is also my number one photographer! My oldest has the most incredible talent in graphics and she also now takes clients. I learned that the more I let them see my business life, the more they understand that I have a passion that makes me happy (and makes us money) and they see how I help others.
I don’t feel guilty about my work-life balance because I created my life this way. I planned it, scheduled it, and show my girls that I am happy and successful because of the planning.
5. Where does most outside pressure come from with respect to raising your family and running your business?
I think that for me the pressure always comes from outside my home: my mom would rather see my house in order instead of a messy cool vibrant home like it is. My family and friends that don’t understand my business and think that I speak Chinese when I do talk about. They don’t ask me about it because they prefer to not embrace that part of my life. The pressure of not making that over extra time for a last minute friend invite or that one hour phone call my friends expect me to make. One thing I learned is that you will never be perfect in the eyes of others but you can make your own perfect.
“You will never be perfect in the eyes of others but you can make your own perfect.”
6. Do you have any tips for moms who are new to entrepreneurship?
Being an entrepreneur means you now have the choice. It sounds glamorous but really it means that you can be lost in so many things so…
Be smart, plan, rest, enjoy life.
Who is going to run your business if you are down with depression because you didn’t take care of you?
One of my mentors Martin Latulippe always said that it is better for your company to work on yourself than on your business. The truth is that when you are doing well, the rest will follow.
YOU WILL FAIL and that is amazing. Failure means you’ve learned. While it may be a tough lesson, you now know that to/not do next time.
Don't define yourself by what others expect of you. Instead, take a minute to work on your own definition of an entrepreneur working mom.
Ask for help. We tend to want to do everything but there are people who love us waiting for a sign to jump in and contribute to our mission.
I know, if you are in a relationship or married, your lover might not take care of the kids like you do. Don't waste time and effort at trying to change your spouse. Let them be the parent and don’t try to « parent » them. Your kids came into your family so they can receive both of your parenting skills. Yep, that is right, even if sometimes it feels scary! Lol
My daughters know that when I am away, they tend to have more free time, more dinners out, more mess! They have the extra food fights, the games, the ice cream before dinner and it is what they need to balance their life!
You will have to let things go. We all try at first to do it all but the only thing that it will bring you is a feeling of not being good at anything.
Allow you to be seen: Oh my god, that one for me is still ongoing. I am very deep into that because I have imprinted in my programs the false belief that I am not lovable, good enough and in so many sides of my life it is healing but I still very shy to be SEEN, to put me out there. I work hard and deserve the right to be seen, to make videos, to take pictures even if the whole me just wants to stand in the corner of a room and be invisible. I know that when I let this fear win, I am not serving my mission.
Be authentic: if you are trying to only be the « best version of yourself » in your copy or on video it is not going to work. People need access to your real you. That way they can feel related to you. I know it is scary but this is the best way to reach your ideal customer. When you feel your heart is talking, you are in the right place.
Also, work out! I know it is the first thing we tend to let go to make more time but see it as an investment. Your brain, your energy, will be at his best.
Meditate or breathe, you have to take care of that soul of yours. The one who drives you to be an amazing human.That soul that will attract your customers. People will buy you as a human before your product so work on your amazing soul.
Stop focusing on the « how», who cares how everything comes into place, the important thing is that you have faith that everything will work, no doubts.
Make entrepreneur mom friends so you will find support and talk with someone who can speak that entrepreneur language. It took me a long time to understand that part and wow, it changed my life. The most amazing is when all the kids become friends. And from around the world! Surround yourself with the people that uplift and support you.
Play Tetris with your life and define your own block for YOUR family!
About Martine Wilky
Martine is an author, a coach, and a speaker. She helps entrepreneurs gain momentum on Instagram and coaches people on how to free themselves from their emotional sufferings to finally live the luminous life they deserve.
Find out more about Martine on her website or through he Ho’opnopono training (French only).