As a part of our Women Entrepreneurs series, I got an opportunity to interview Ellen Elizabeth, an infertility warrior and recovery advocate who uses her skills as an author and sober mother of twins to represent women struggling with feelings of shame and inadequacy. These mothers feel powerless to quit drinking or unable to bring a child into the world. Through radical honesty and recovery principles, she coaches moms and their partners in all forms to define who they want to be and transform their demons into dreams.
1. Can you tell us more about your work a little in-depth?
Yes, of course. I am working to inspire women to deal with their feelings of inadequacy and shame. I work with people with addictions and/or infertility. I coach them through their addictions and help them with their sobriety. I am also a resource for women who are dealing with infertility or having a problem conceiving. And I have written a self-help memoir called Split Ends which will bring light to these topics.
I myself have been through these journeys. I’ve had problems with addiction and infertility. So I am taking my experiences and turning them into hope and strength for others.
2. What was your inspiration behind it?
I’ve always loved helping people and once I got sober I realized I could use my sobriety to help others. I feel that my story will either inspire them to get sober or stay sober.
It’s always been my passion to write so I wrote a book and started a blog and a website. I see myself as a crutch, resource, or coach for other people who love inspiring people and helping them through their journeys.
I think with my experience, I have the tools needed to help people.
3. When we start something new, we often have our own expectations of both good and bad. But more often than not, we get to experience things that we never expected. Can you share such unexpected experiences that left you surprised?
So I thought that it would be pretty easy to get a book published, and I found that traditionally it’s a very long process. And it’s very tedious and hard to find a publisher. Although there is an option of self-publishing, I am going to wait to do it if I don’t find a traditional publisher. But going into this I thought that it is going to be a very easy process and had no idea about all of the aspects under consideration.
I also thought that my social media accounts would get the attention on my book faster. But it’s been hard to gain momentum and get followers that are interested in my expertise. It’s something I am working on through my publicity. So I am trying to gain some confidence and help people recognize me as an expert through publicity.
I didn’t expect the process to be so long but it’s been such a great journey. I’ve been learning through it a lot and it’s turned into 7k followers on Instagram and is gaining momentum and people interested in my work.
4. Life is a roller coaster with highs and lows. What keeps you motivated when you hit your lows?
Just the idea that my story inspires people and gives them hope keeps me motivated. I do a lot of addiction and infertility podcasts and I’ve got a good response from the listeners. So I just try to envision the people that I am helping and hopefully saving along the way. I do get down and feel defeated sometimes when I think things are not going well. But I keep my focus on the fact that everything is happening according to its perfect timing, and I need to let go of expectations and be here for the ride. I can’t control how all of it turns out but I can control my actions.
5. What does success mean to you?
For me, success is feeling like making a difference in the world. I love helping others and with each person, I reach an intimate level. I feel that it is a success because my journey has helped them in theirs. And I feel like when I am writing I never know who that will resonate with; I just aspire to help people. I have been able to do all of this work while I have toddler twins. To me, that’s a success because I am doing so many things, and I also have a part-time job at another company.
6. How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
It’s really hard sometimes because I have a lot on my plate. As I said, I have a part-time job and my side gig of writing, publishing, and publicity of my book. I need to take two days just to be with my kids and be present with them. So I do have two days where I am not scheduled to work, and I spend time with them. If I obsess over my work, I get overwhelmed so I need to take two days off.
I also try not to work on weekends, and if I am writing a blog or doing writing for my book I try to do that when kids are asleep so I am not taking time away from them. I try to spend as much time as possible with my kids and husband.