Boss Mom of the Week: Elizabeth Thompson
Elizabeth Thompson in her own words. I’m a writer, an editor, a wife and, a mom and step-mom. I live in San Antonio, Texas with my husband and our blended family of 5 kiddos, and a one-eyed yorkie. Originally, I grew up as a missionary kid in Mexico, where I lived until I graduated from high school. Once I moved to the U.S., I attended college and earned an Undergraduate degree in Communication, and Master’s degrees in English and Literature. I am currently completing my Editing Certification through the University of Chicago.
I have been passionate about reading since I was 7-years- old, when I taught myself to read and write in English by reading and re-reading the entire Nancy Drew series—up to that point I could only read and write in Spanish. My love affair with reading began there and has been a driving force in my life, both personally and professionally, ever since. Having left my corporate job of 15 years to raise my family, and start my own editing firm, my hope is to help you find and refine your voice as a writer so you can share your story with the world—because your story matters!
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Tell us a little bit about your family and your Boss Mom journey.
I have been married to my husband, Steve, for a little over a year. We have a blended family with 5 kids…yes 5! Their ages range between 18 and 9. I only brought one kiddo to the party, and my hubs has 4. Because of addiction issues on the other parent’s side, Steve and I were awarded custody of his children BEFORE we even got married, so I decided to leave a six-figure income to stay home and raise the kids full-time. The adjustment from being a successful, independent single mom of 1 little boy, to a mother of 5 that stays home cleaning toilets and washing 25 loads of laundry a day, was TOUGH! I had high hopes for myself, but within a few months I realized I needed more. I knew I had made the right choice for our family and Steve’s kids, but I needed something that fulfilled me in a different way. I brainstormed many home-based business ideas, but ultimately landed on the one thing I always thought of as my dream job: getting paid to read—editing! I was lucky enough to be friends with Natalie Gingrich, who introduced me to the Boss Mom community and I immediately fell in love. Pretty soon after I had a call with Dana, and she, as she always masterfully does, asked me the right questions that led me to not only start my business, but through her Academy, I was able to grow it enough to repay the Academy costs within the first 2 months. My business has been incredibly successful in a very short period of time, which I attribute to Dana, the ladies in the Academy, and the entire Boss Mom community. It feels good to know that I am in the right space, doing what I love, and getting paid for it—without sacrificing being able to be there for our kids.
What are some of your favorite go to meals when time is tight and dinner MUST get on the table?
My kids’ favorite go-to meal on those busy, hectic nights, is Cheese Ravioli Lasagna. I use frozen cheese ravioli (no need to cook in advance, just use frozen) and layer it with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce – just like lasagna! Bake it at 350 for about 30 minutes and that’s it! One night, I ran out of garlic bread so I used hot dog buns and lathered them with garlic butter and they were a hit! Also, since I grew up in Mexico, I can always put a slammin’ taco night together in no time. Tortillas, your choice of meat, chopped tomato/onion/cilantro/peppers and lime, and that’s it. In order to feed 7 people every night, I have to be organized and have a meal plan, but I keep basic staples to make a quickie meal when my day doesn’t go as planned.
Where do you go for inspiration?
Well, I am a total introvert and need my alone time so I can get re-energized and inspired. My two passions are books and food, so I tend to go to bookstores, cooking classes, farmer’s markets, pick-your-own farms, etc. These are the places that make me feel most creative and happy.
What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs, etc.)?
I am a little late on the Podcast train, but I do LOVE the Boss Mom podcast! In terms of reading, which is my thing, I have several books I am editing so I am definitely reading those. I am also an avid fiction reader just for pleasure and the most recent and current books I have going are: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, and The Doctor’s Daughter by (our very own Boss Mom) Vanessa Matthews. Yes, I have at least 3 books open at any given time.
What is one piece of business advice that you’d give to a mom just starting out?
Take baby steps. If she is like me, she is an over-achiever that wants to conquer the business world overnight. She wants to launch her website, blog, podcast, and on-board 20 clients in the first week. But, if you slow down, get advice from an expert (ahem, Dana Malstaff) and just focus on the next 2-3 steps that will move your business in the right direction, you will have the ability to grow in a smart, measured pace, with a lot less stress, debt, and likely, less mistakes. Fast isn’t always the answer to building and growing a business. Sometimes you have to go slow, to go fast.
What are some of your favorite quotes or words to live by?
What you should know is that I have a very sarcastic sense of humor and love a good snarky, kick-you-in-the-ass quote, like the one from the great Maggie Smith “You are a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do.” Every time I start to have a pity party, I remember these words. It helps, or at least makes me laugh.
In one word, sum up your life as a Boss Mom.
What are three core values of your business and how do those values relate to your motherhood?
1- Patience. I have to always remind myself to be patient, mostly with myself and my own expectations of where or what I should be as a mom, and in my business. As a step-parent in a situation where there is so much I cannot control, patience with myself, my husband and the kids, is so important—something I work on every day.
2- Hard work. I was raised in a very unique way, where hard work and work ethic was THE most important value, and have carried that throughout every aspect of my life. As a mom, especially in a blended family with many outside and sometimes destructive influences, it takes a lot of hard work to keep the family train on the right track. There is joy in hard work, but sometimes its just work that needs to be done.
3- Humility. Because I am an OCD perfectionist, I know I fall short of my own expectations in my business on a daily basis, and that is ok because it keeps me humble and aware that I have so much to learn and paths to travel in my life. As a mom that is figuring out how to be a stay-at-home and raise 5 kids, I know I am and already have screwed up many times over, so staying humble and not knowing it all, or having all the answers is a great place to be in.