What is your background, and how did you get into finance?
I graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and secured my first career position as a property accountant, working for a firm called Sudler Marling a real estate company.
Were you successful initially, or did you have problems at first? How did you keep motivated and pushing forward?
While in my first position out of college, working hard to climb the corporate ladder, I received two promotions in the first two years going from Property Accountant to Systems Manager to Assistant Controller. At the age of 24, I actually had an office with a view on the 32nd floor of the John Hancock building in Chicago (albeit it was smaller than many walk-in closets). However, after giving birth to my first child and knowing that I wanted a suburban, white picket fence upbringing for her, I left the city and my job behind that same year. As my second child followed a mere 16 months later, and my third less than two years after that, my desire to climb the corporate ladder came in a distant second to my desire to be the best mom I could be.
In 2000, my husband and I separated while my kids were just 10, 9, 7 and 2. Divorced the next year, I became a single mother of 4 kids working full-time. At first, pushing forward simply meant getting through each day, trying to meet the never ending demands of motherhood and working hard to earn my paycheck each day. As time went by, it became easier as the kids became more self-sufficient and I was again able to put more into my job.
Then in 2012, after almost twelve years with my company, and making a six figure income, I knew I needed a change. So I left my guaranteed paycheck and Controller position and opened up my own company, JD Main Ltd, offering QuickBooks Consulting as well as bookkeeping and accounting services remotely to small businesses. As a mom, I want to be able to be there when my kids have kids. I want to be able to visit them, vacation with them and be there to help when help is needed. Being able to work remotely opens the doors up to so many possibilities, especially when parenting adults.
With a lot of hard work you can be both a great mom and a career woman but as life is about choices you need to do what feels right for you. Sometimes I still wonder how my career might have gone if not for having children, however it is only a mere second or two that I ponder this as I would not trade raising my kids for any job in the world.
Do you have any secrets for balancing being a mom with being a great financial professional?
Get a job that allows you flexibility or even the ability to work remotely.
What keeps you going and motivated?
Can you share a little about your family with us?
Currently my children are 24, 23, 21 and 16. At the time of this writing, I sit in Austin where my daughter lives, helping her prepare for her wedding.