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Empowerment Through Entrepreneurship: How a Single Mom Turned Burnout into Profit

For Katelynn Blackburn, the path to entrepreneurial success emerged from sheer necessity. As a young single mother regularly working 12-hour nursing shifts, she found herself trapped in a relentless cycle of exhaustion, barely making ends meet while her precious time with her young daughter dwindled.


Yet the burning desire to create a better life ultimately fueled Blackburn’s daring pivot. When an online advertisement for the financial services industry serendipitously landed in her social media feed, she saw a glimmer of possibility amidst her burned-out haze.

With a mix of self-belief and desperation, Blackburn leaped headfirst into entrepreneurship. Little did she know that this bold decision would catalyze the creation of what would eventually become a multi-million dollar business empire: Diligence Agencies.

Blackburn’s against-all-odds journey encapsulates the power of an entrepreneurial mindset to reshape individual trajectories. From becoming an overworked single mom to an elite business leader, her story offers an inspiring vision of how women can embrace their strengths to shatter personal and professional ceilings.

The breaking point

The unrelenting grind of Blackburn’s nursing career gradually whittled away at her sense of hope and purpose. As a single mother, her days were an endless loop of 12-hour hospital shifts, followed by a fleeting few hours with her young daughter before the vicious cycle repeated.

“I was constantly exhausted both physically and emotionally,” Blackburn recounts. “I’d come home from work and barely have enough time to spend a precious few minutes with my little girl before she had to go to bed after being cared for by an expensive babysitter all day.”

The financial strain compounded the emotional toll for Blackburn. Despite her skilled labor, her salary could barely keep up with the mounting costs of childcare, rent, and living expenses as a single parent. A creeping sense of hopelessness set in as she watched her daughter’s precious childhood moments slip away to the unforgiving demands of her job.

“I knew there had to be more to life than living paycheck-to-paycheck and never seeing my child,” Blackburn says, “but I felt trapped — I had no other options.” This desperation ultimately catalyzed her courageous transition onto an entirely new path: entrepreneurship.

Discovering the entrepreneurial path

In the depths of her career burnout, an unlikely opportunity presented itself in the form of a social media advertisement. “It was some marketing for the financial services industry,” Blackburn recalls. “At first, I just scrolled past it like everything else.”

However, something prompted Blackburn to pause and reflect on the possibilities. Perhaps this unorthodox career she knew nothing about could be her family’s gateway to the freedom and flexibility she desperately craved.

“I re-watched the ad and requested more information, just to see what it was all about,” Blackburn says. “When they explained the entrepreneurial business model, I realized this could give me and my daughter the life we deserved.”

Still, the transition was fraught with fear and self-doubt. After years entrenched in the regimented corporate world, Blackburn wondered if she could reshape her mindset to thrive as an entrepreneur.

The risks of leaving her nursing job loomed large. “Stepping into the unknown scared me,” Blackburn admits, “but I also knew I couldn’t keep living the way I had been. My daughter deserved for me to be bold and try something new, no matter how crazy it seemed.”

Overcoming mindset challenges

“I had spent my entire career in that corporate, industrial mindset of just showing up to work,” Blackburn explains. “Becoming an entrepreneur flipped that script entirely.”

Developing the self-discipline, motivation, and resilience necessary to drive her success as an emerging entrepreneur was an immense challenge for Blackburn. Gone were the reassuring boundaries and accountability of a 9-to-5 routine — now, the onus for personal and professional growth rested entirely on her shoulders.

“No one holds you accountable as an entrepreneur except yourself,” Blackburn states. You have to be mentally tough and develop habits to push through adversity and hit your goals each day because no one else will do it for you.”

Blackburn emphasizes that overcoming self-doubt was one of the biggest mental hurdles for her. “As women, we’re often our own worst critics,” she says. “I had to constantly fight the negative voice in my head telling me that I wouldn’t succeed and didn’t deserve success after hitting rock bottom.”

Inspiring other women

Now at the helm of a multi-million dollar agency, Katelynn Blackburn is determined to inspire and empower other women to embrace the entrepreneurial mindset as a vehicle for economic freedom and self-actualization. “As women, we have so many unique strengths that make us formidable entrepreneurs and leaders,” she asserts. “We’re resilient, resourceful, and driven by purpose. In fields like insurance sales that are still male-dominated, those traits give us a distinct edge in connecting with clients.”

Blackburn hopes her story will motivate single mothers, in particular, to shed self-limiting beliefs and boldly pursue entrepreneurship. “I was that burned-out mom working herself to the bone and barely scraping by,” she reflects, “but if I can build a multi-million dollar business from rock bottom as a single parent, any woman can.”

Today, Blackburn’s mission is to shatter stereotypes and glass ceilings and help forge new paths for female leaders across industries. “When women step into their power as entrepreneurs and go all-in on that mindset, we’re unstoppable,” she declares. “I’m living proof that our ambition and tenacity can transform communities, legacies, and lives.”