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Lauren Golden: “You don’t have to choose between family and financial security!”

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If Mama’s not happy, no one’s happy,” sums up the influence mothers can have on their families. Many matriarchs carry much of the workload for ensuring other members of the household are happy and content. Shuttle driver, meal planner, cleaning service, healthcare provider, income generator; the list goes on and on. It’s easy to see why some moms feel overloaded and even desperate for something different. 

According to Lauren Golden, founder of The Free Mama Movement, there’s no shame in wanting something more. “Moms can admit that they want something outside of their family and work,” she said. “It’s their dream, and mine would have never started without my kids, and now I serve moms.”

The Stilwell, Kansas, wife and mother of three knows exactly how exhausted moms can become when they wear too many hats for their families. She enjoyed a successful corporate career and was excited to get back to it after her 11-week maternity leave for her first child. But by the time her second child was born, she was overwhelmed and exhausted. To add to her anguish, she miscarried her next child. She was miserable and left her job to work from home as a social media manager. However, in a short time, she groomed her company into an incredible success. But something was still missing for her.

Freeing Mamas
“I had freelanced for about two and a half years as a social media manager when I had this really strong feeling of ‘what if The Free Mama wasn’t really about me, and that I was really supposed to teach people how to do this,’” she commented. “I’ve proven that this works for me. I’ve quit my job and compensated my full-time salary working half the hours I was working.”

In 2017, The Free Mama Movement was born and today it boasts a blossoming community of tens of thousands of women who don’t want to pick between family and monetary security. “Our mission is to make sure no mother has to choose between family and financial stability. I help moms ditch their 9-to-5 job to work from home and live a totally awesome, guilt-free life,” she remarked. “We do a lot of personal development because starting a business is not for the faint of heart. But working at a job you don’t like is hard and starting a business is hard. So, I say pick your hard. We have several courses and coaching programs on how to start a virtual business from A to Z, following my proprietary FREEDOM Path.”

Lauren adds that clients don’t have to have an idea of the type of virtual service they could offer in their business. She can assist them in identifying the profitable skills they already possess. She also offers an entire module that’s called the Quick Start Freelancing Track. It features 15 different videos demonstrating areas to consider such as virtual assistant, graphic designer, website creator, copywriter, Google ads manager, bookkeeper and more.

“All of our branding is to moms in a 9-to-5 job, but we do have men in the coaching program. We have even more men in our broader community, and we have grandparents. So you don’t have to be a mom to be a Free Mama,” promised Lauren. “We have many military families, because if you’re moving every two years with your spouse, it’s hard for those women to bring in extra income. Of course, we have lots of stay-at-home moms. Some are financially motivated, but many are also emotionally motivated. They want a deeper sense of purpose other than just motherhood.”

Choose Your Coaching
The Free Mama Movement boasts 34,000 followers on Facebook. Lauren has educated 4,600 students on starting businesses that will allow them to work from home and be with their children. Currently, she’s instructing over 200 people in her monthly Free Mama Squad, which focuses on accountability and business coaching. Because her students were asking for more instruction, she established a higher-level educational program referred to as her Inner Circle of Life. This intimate group, which offers a continuous membership, currently serves about 28 students. Before the pandemic shut down travel, Lauren hosted a Free Mama Meet Up in Colorado, which helped to kick off her best-selling book, The Free Mama: How to Work from Home, Control your Schedule and Make More Money. The book is available in print, audio and e-book on Amazon.

Lauren shares that her strategy for The Free Mama Movement is offering on-demand training in which Mamas can discover opportunities for creating a virtual business that “lets you choose what to do, when to work and how much you want to earn.” She claims that through her method, mothers can replace full-time income in part-time hours with the skills that they already possess. However, she’s quick to point out that The Free Mama Movement is not built on network marketing or multi-level marketing. She cites a report by Jon M. Taylor, MBA, PhD, president of the Consumer Awareness Institute, that says 99.71 percent of the people who try those programs will lose money attempting to sell products to friends and family.

“Many times they’ve already failed in network marketing and then they come to me. That’s why personal development is important to us,” Lauren noted. “When women fail at multi-level marketing programs, they have poor self-esteem, but we build them up and get them started again. I remind them that success is the culmination of many mini wins.”

Advice for All Mamas
Not every mother wants to get into virtual, work-at-home businesses. Some are quite happy with their jobs outside the home. For all mothers, Lauren shares that a huge factor in your equation of success is your spouse or partner. She advises solid, proactive communication with him or her to share your expectations and boundaries so that together you can maintain a functioning household. “You can’t do it all, but we’ve created this society that has women taking on the role as people-pleasers,” she stated. “That’s simply not possible. I use the DROP method in my life and share it with my followers. The acronym means:

“Delegating to a spouse or someone else. Have a conversation to help with tasks and ask for help. And don’t forget to ask your children. I gave my them simple chores at two years old. Empower your kids.

“Remove obligations to others. Don’t take on the role of a volunteer if you don’t have the time. But don’t forget that a ‘no’ right now doesn’t mean no forever.

“Outsourcing. I hired a cleaning company for my home and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. In fact, statistics show that you’re happier when you have the extra help. Maybe it’s not a cleaning crew, but another service that you employ.

“Partner up. Don’t be a superwoman, but you can be a hero to your family and awesome to others by collaborating. For instance, partner with your neighbors to watch your kids for a bit, but don’t forget to reciprocate to them.”

Not Stopped by COVID
While the pandemic dealt economic blows to many businesses, Lauren reports that The Free Mama Movement experienced huge growth as clients sought out her skillset. While many were at a low point in their lives with a loss of income, she theorizes they gained a perspective on what they needed to move forward on the path that they wanted but were too afraid to pursue.

“I had so many people join our community over the last year who had been forced out of their jobs, which they couldn’t control. It’s amazing how many of them stepped into our community, and they weren’t feeling sorry for themselves and they weren’t complaining,” she noted. “They had the awareness that ‘I’m hoping that this is the best thing that ever happened to me because I didn’t like my job anyway.’”

Now that she’s built her successful enterprise and mentors other Mamas in their dreams of starting their own businesses, Lauren offers this piece of advice for those wanting to start on their own. “I always say that you have to suck at something before you can be good at it. Perfection is not high on my list of expectations because it can be used as a delay tactic,” she said. “Some think that everything has to be perfect before I can make that leap. I say that you need to care more about yourself than what other people think of you. Don’t wait until you think you have everything in order. Get your business going now and then perfect the process.”

As she enjoys the fruits of her successful business, Lauren relishes the fact that she’s helping many Mamas realize the goal of providing income to the family while running a successful virtual business from their homes. She especially enjoys the ability to stay at home herself, a dream that she didn’t think was possible just a few years ago.

“Make up the story of where you do want to be in life and that will help you in your process. Remember, dreams don’t come to fruition by themselves; it’s your actions that make them come true,” Lauren said. “One of my favorite quotes is that life doesn’t happen to you; it happens for you. And don’t ever forget that you’re a good mom, whether you stay at home or work outside of it.”