Diving into entrepreneurship is terrifying. With the inevitable failures and second-guessing and learning as you go, it is quite possibly the most challenging role any woman could ever take on.
It tests all that you’re made of. And exposes all that you’re not. It takes a lot of FAITH.
Just like being a mom does. Especially when you’re the mama to a child with special needs.
A little over a year ago, Kristin Bentley left a position as an executive creative for a startup – that gained such visibility it acquired contracts with Fortune 500 companies such as Hilton and US Foods – having FAITH that launching her own company, Elisely, would open new doors to a career path full of passion and purpose.
Weeks later, the state of Washington was quarantined. And a few months after that, Kristin’s now five-year-old son was diagnosed with moderate ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
She says the diagnosis didn’t come as a surprise. At three years old he could build a vortex out of large cardboard IKEA blocks and explain in broken speech how they form. And categorize a deck of dinosaur cards by the periods they lived in and what they ate. But, he also ate the drywall in his bedroom and would wander from the house if he thought no one was looking.
“The hardest part, as a parent, is accepting that what your child’s future might look like is now a little different than how you’d envisioned,” she says. “Of course, you still want the best for them. But you have to modify what that now means and have FAITH in your ability to embrace it.”
2020 was a year full of pivoting, personal growth and required self-care for all of us. Most of us found ourselves juggling a new balancing act of working from home, overseeing our children’s education as they transitioned to virtual learning, and struggling to maintain our own mental health needs.
For some of us, the last year wasn’t much different than others. The juggling act of working from home and overseeing the education and weekly therapy of a child with special needs often comes with tears of both joy and heartache.
Sometimes, the only thing that gets you through your day is pure FAITH. FAITH in yourself, FAITH in your partner, and FAITH that you are not failing your child.
Today, Elisely Co is a creative agency that assists aspiring authors and a publishing company with a global platform for those looking to launch a magazine or book. Together, they power an online teen community of creative leaders that provides mentorship through the collaborative creation of Teen Creative Magazine, a quarterly digital and print magazine read in over 19 countries that globally raises the voices of GenZ.
“Everyone has a story,” says Kristin. “We all experience hardships. Every single one of us. And when we’re struggling we often isolate ourselves and don’t speak up, because in that moment we feel vulnerable and raw. It takes a lot of courage and FAITH to own our truths, to be authentic with others by sharing our stories. But, when we do... it creates community and strength and healing. You never know who you’ll inspire.”