Today, we’re interviewing Jewel Gould of WhatAboutMommys.com. She was an Allstate agent and was getting very burned out with that, so she decided that she really needed to take care of herself. Out of that, she grew a whole business around helping moms take care of themselves. Her “What About Mommys” blog is not so much about crafts and beautiful sandwiches made with cookie cutters. Instead, it’s about health and self esteem and fashion and travel, all for the purpose of uplifting and encouraging moms. We talked with her about some things that moms can do to feel better and be better mothers to their children at the same time.
Jewel: I worked full time at Allstate for quite a number of years, and a lot of my clients were stay-at-home moms. But I always noticed they’d come in and they really weren’t placing much emphasis on themselves. That’s when the idea started to spark, because at that point I was a mommy of three. The moms would make comments like, “Oh, you look so good. How do you take care of yourself?” and all that good stuff. Honestly, though, it wasn’t until after I lost my mom to breast cancer that it fully pushed me out into doing it full-time.
Mainly, my brand is a blog. We blog for several different companies. What we try to do is encourage moms to take care of themselves by focusing on their self-esteem, their personal style, their health, and their fitness. We offer nutrition plans and tips and little tricks all geared to those areas.
Meredith: I know that, for me, it was a big transition moving from working full-time in an office, and then we moved across the country from Washington, D.C., to New Mexico. Then I started working from home as a virtual assistant, and any sort of self-care, like taking a shower in the morning, went out the window. Can you give some tips to people who are making that transition from being in the work world or being in a more adult-focused world to being in more of a virtual world where their kids are around them all the time, but they aren’t really seeing as many adults on a regular basis.
Jewel: I definitely suggest that you take some “me” time, whether you schedule a manicure or a pedicure, or you have a girls night out, or even if you just take a drive and leave your home. You want to set time aside for you, for yourself.
Meredith: What do you think the signs are for a mom that maybe she isn’t taking good care of herself and she needs to work on doing that better?
Jewel: I think one of the main signs would be just a state of being unhappy and flustered. More that anything, we emphasize the importance of your mental health, because if you’re not in a happy and healthy state, then it’s going to reflect on the way you take care of your children. It’s going to reflect on your patience level and all that good stuff, and I think that would be a good indication on how much you can handle before you get easily agitated.
Meredith: So if someone finds themselves on a really short fuse, what would be some of the first suggestions that you’d give to them to get right again with the world?
Jewel: I would suggest to just do something that makes you happy. We are all different individuals with different likes and dislikes. I would suggest that you go out and dance or get a gym membership or do something fun. Paint your toes, take a class — just do something out of the normal “mommy” life.
Jasper: Tell us a bit more about your personal transition in terms of moving away from that sort of paid corporate job to running this blog. How do you monetize it? And how is it going as a business in its own right?
Jewel: It’s going very well at present. To be honest, the transition was difficult, but definitely one thing I would say is that following your passion helps. I’ve always been passionate about health and fitness and just uplifting and encouraging others, so I think that drive really encouraged me. To be very honest, though, the first couple of months after I left my job were difficult, because I’m used to being a working mom pretty much working a nine-to-five job, not at home with the kids that often. What really helped me was just my passion for doing it. Now, we’ve
built several partnerships. It’s fun. And more than anything, what really keeps me going is just seeing lives being changed in a positive way.
Meredith: How did you know when you were ready to actually quit your job? Did you have a transition where you started this and you were still working full-time and then do it that way? Or did you just decide one day, “I’m done”?
Jewel: It was a transition. I was still working when I started this. It’s funny, because all I did was start a Facebook page, and I would post stuff, all relating to those topics from health to fitness to fashion. Then it just started blowing up. It could be something simple. If I posted something about working out and gave a little schedule, they’d tell me, “Oh, that helped so much.” People would inbox me about my fitness tips and share how they lost weight. That’s when everything started sparking. From there, I branched out into the blog, and then I left my job.
Meredith: When did you know it was time to do that?
Jewel: For me, my job just started to become very frustrating. I was really good at selling insurance policies and I loved my clients, but I started leaning more towards my blog than my job. I didn’t want to go to work anymore. I just wanted to do my business. That’s when I knew that was the end for me. Then, as mentioned earlier, my mom passed. She and I had always discussed me owning my own business, so this is also a tribute to her.
Jasper: Do you actually run that out of your house?
Jewel: I do. Yes, everything is from home.
Jasper: How did you manage that, because that’s a big transition in itself, isn’t it? From being in an office environment to juggling kids and business all in the same place?
Jewel: Yes. My husband actually remodeled our study, so that’s my little area where I have my computer. But to be honest, I’m very on-the-go. For instance, I’m finishing up a blog post while I’m in the car waiting to pick up my kids. Or I’m tweeting something when I’m out at the park while they play. But it’s definitely all day while I’m with them and while I’m not with them. It all just depends.
Jasper: And how did you manage the actual infrastructure in terms of learning how to blog and all the computer side of things? Did you know that already or did you have to learn all that to create this?
Jewel: Honestly, it’s been a whole journey of learning. I actually learned a lot on my own, because I’ve always been into the whole internet world. My job entails me being online a lot, so I would research stuff. Initially, when I started, I created my own website. Then, as time progressed and I started reaching out to different brands, I actually had someone recreate everything. It was and is a learning process, even now. There’s so much to learn with blogging and getting a following and the connections. It’s just a lot to learn.
Favorite Book: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey
Favorite Resource: Google
Want to get a free audiobook version of the book recommended by this week’s guest? Click here to download it
Jewel Gould’s top tips for mom’s to help them look after themselves:
1) Eat Clean – at least on 80% of the time (splurge days are okay)
2) Schedule in “ME” time
3) Your relationship with your partner is important so schedule in date nights.
4) Spruce up your look with some bold lip color
5) Positive affirmations – don’t speak negatively about yourself.
Guest – Jewel Gould – What About Mommys
Let’s see, I am a mommy of three, so yes I’ve seen, smelled and experienced some interesting things. LOL! I have always had a very passionate desire for health, fashion and the overall well-being of others. My beloved mom was my ultimate role-model. Her faith, love and free spirit was the most genuine that I have ever seen. My sissy and I would always play dress up in her amazing clothing. She told us to always portray style, class and grace in whatever we represented. In my teenage years, I struggled immensely with low self-esteem. She truly helped me break that horrific cycle by simply placing little nuggets or “self-esteem pills” as I like to call them all throughout my room. She would use post cards with notes reassuring me of my worth. My favorite one being, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. When she passed from breast cancer, my world felt like it came to an end. I decided to channel my pain into a more positive outlet, because I knew that was what she would want me to do. I chose to target mommies because I noticed that mommies needed to feel uplifted, appreciated, and just good about themselves.
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