MOD chat: Niki Meadows Business & Project Manager
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m a single mom of three, who works from home full time, and homeschools. I’m just trying to keep it all together at work and home while still maintaining a sense of self. I play volleyball three days a week. I try to incorporate fun, play, and laughter into every day because it’s something we need as people not just as children. The more I laugh, the less seriously I take myself and I can be a better woman and mom.
What inspired your career?
Curiosity and love of learning and a desire to be challenged. I’ve never had the same job twice and only lasted 2-3 years at a job. I loved the initial challenge of learning a new role but once the learning curve ended and I couldn’t find ways to challenge myself, I’d get bored and look for something else. I’ve never been qualified for any job I’ve had by traditional standards- I didn’t go to college, I didn’t have experience… but I wrote well and was able to tie my work experience to the next job I applied for. I’ve always thought it takes the same amount of effort to interview for a $12/hr job as it does to interview for a $20/hr job and at the end of the day I don’t know if I don’t try. So that became a challenge I wanted to try- to land a good paying job even though I didn’t go college. So the desire to learn and grow is what paved the path for my career.
What does your day look like? Walk us through your typical day…
I get up around 4:30-5 am and dedicate the first hour of the day to myself. I’ll typically read and journal then do 20 minutes of yoga or take my dog for a quick walk. I spend some one on one time with my middle daughter then I work from 5:30-11 am. I block off an hour to help my oldest with schoolwork. I make lunch then work from 2-5. The evenings are for extra curricular activities, the park, and of course volleyball. After dinner, the kids get ready for bed and I spend some one on one time with my oldest. I do one last sweep of work and review my calendar for the next day. Depending on the day I might read if I feel up to it or just turn on the tv and fall asleep. The weekends are typically all play and no work for the most part.
What is your favorite failure that sets you up for later success?
I applied for a part time job at a photography studio as an assistant right after my ex husband and I separated. I was living with my mom so it was perfect because I only had to go to the studio once a week and the rest of the work was virtual. It was the first time I was turned down for a job and it was devastating in the sense that I couldn’t figure out a better job that would help me get on my feet without having to send my kids to daycare and basically work just to pay for them to be taken care of while I worked. I ended up getting a job that was 100% virtual for a photographer in California. I realized the reason I didn’t get the first job is because something bigger and better was in store for me. I’m still with that photographer almost two years later and the role has expanded beyond part time and has allowed me to grow within the company in much bigger ways.
When you feel unfocused or not motivated what do you do?
After the initial overwhelm and desire to procrastinate, I get out a pen and paper and sit on the floor and make two lists. One of all of the things I have to do in my personal life and the other of all of the things I have to do for work. Sometimes I see it on paper and realize it’s not that bad, it just feels like more than it is because it’s all bouncing around in my head with no structure or organization. Other times I realize it’s as bad as it feels but I can prioritize and knock things out by taking them one item at a time. I’m obsessed with notebooks and journals so I have plenty to pull from and use in times like this.
If you could send a mini message to all people, what would it be?
To make sure you’re content. The better you feel, the better you can show up in all areas of your life and for those you love. Play hard, love harder.
Play hard, love harder.
What advice would you give to someone starting a business journey?
To follow their curiosity, seek to serve, and go for things even if they don’t seem like they qualify because if you’re a good fit, they might make an exception.