Balance is Everything

My life is NOTHING like I imagined it would be when I started college so MANY years ago.  My major was decided, my classes were picked and my career path was 100% determined.

Like many other women out there, my career has taken LOTS of twists and turns throughout the years and much of that can be attributed to my burning desire to not only be successful, but to also become a MOM and have a family, too.

I wanted to be a lawyer. I had the brains, I had the grades and I had the desire….UNTIL….I took my first job as a Corporate Paralegal at one of NYC’s top law firms and I learned a lot more than writing briefs and filing complaints. That job taught me…even though I was years away from having my own…that FAMILY was more important to me than “success.” And more importantly, that job had me convinced that I couldn’t have both!

You see, like most high-powered, corporate positions, the employees at my firm (and more importantly for me), the WOMEN, gave their jobs 100% and worked long hours. In the halls, I could hear whispers of over-worked, well-payed, beautifully dressed women wishing they had more TIME. Time for their husbands; Time to start a family; Time to be home with the kids they had. These women had the BRAINS, the MONEY, the POWER and the SUCCESS, but all they really wanted was more TIME!

As the years unfolded for me, and I started a family of my own, I took different positions with different companies and also seemed to be chasing TIME. But what I realized was that what I was really chasing was BALANCE.  A balance of work-life and family-life that left me feeling successful, fulfilled, happy and full of purpose. And I came to understand that in order to find the BALANCE that I personally needed, I would have to work for myself!

Being self-employed is not for everyone.  It has many amazing benefits, like tons of wiggle room in terms of child-care, a flexible work schedule and the ability to take a “leave” anytime you want. But it also takes a lot of work and some soul-searching, too. It takes PASSION, organization and creativity.  To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to know what you want to BE and DO and HAVE and you have to have the desire to put in the effort to go out and achieve those goals.

Today, I am a self-employed Holistic Wellness Coach and I have created my life AND my business around what matters MOST to me: a work-family BALANCE where I am emotionally fulfilled and financially successful.  I wake up each day and get my kids ready for school, have the freedom to get in a work-out almost daily and am steadfast in my “work” hours so that I can guiltlessly put my business to rest when it’s time to shuffle the kids around to activities after-school, cook (or heat up) healthy dinners for my family, take part in PTA events, volunteer my time for a local charity, have date nights with the hubby or network with fellow moms doing the same kind of thing! I’d say that’s a pretty good BALANCE, don’t ya’ think?!

So, if you’re stuck in a job that doesn’t make you HAPPY because you want more TIME for your family, understand that what you really want is BALANCE and understand that you are not alone. That balance is out there.  But only YOU can decide what matters most in your life. Only YOU can find your passion and decide to make a change. Only YOU can take the plunge to start a new career path that gives you the ability to create your life around that balance.  And only YOU know if you have what it takes to be organized and creative and determined enough to achieve your goals.

If you have had experience in making a change from Corporate-America to a Home-Based business, please comment or share your experience here and let us know how it has changed your life and helped you find your BALANCE.

Jackie Catalano is a self-employed Holistic Wellness Coach that loves to spend her time with her amazingly supportive husband of 15 years and 3 kids (ages 13, 11 and 6). She works to help busy moms create healthier lifestyles for their families with her business, The Healthier Happier Way (, enjoys training for various fitness events, volunteers to help sick children in Monmouth and Ocean County (via the and organizes family friendly 5k race events at the Jersey Shore as Race Director at MacTort Racing (

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