Meet the Mompreneur® of the Month March/April 2010:
One son, Caleb, age 1.5
Business Birthdate: September 10, 2004
What inspired my idea: Being able to deliver affordable, sensible marketing solutions to both small and start-up business owners
How I got the business off the ground: Networking, public relations, speaking engagements, getting involved and volunteering on several committees in my community
My first client: AZ Mobile Tire and Carlos O’ Brien’s Mexican Restaurant (a joint package with the same owners for both businesses)
My biggest accomplishment: Getting my new client DrivingMBA in the news on two local TV stations before the ink dried on our contract to work together.
My biggest mistake: Putting too much trust in business owners. I’ve been burned a few times and have had to take clients to small claims court and collections. Lesson learned – definitely get a deposit up front before you deliver any product or service.
Tips for balancing work and family:These are my top five:
1. Get help. Realize you can’t be 100% effective working while watching your children. You need time to focus on the project in front of you whether that is spending time with your children or finishing up a job for a client. You absolutely cannot do it alone. We’re not Wonder Women!
2. Set boundaries. Most of us work from home so it’s important to designate a room as your “office” and treat it like an off-site office. Make sure your family respects that when you are in your office, you’re not available.
3. Have a good group of women to hang out with who are in your same shoes. It’s therapeutic and they know what you’re going through because they’re also experiencing it. Look to them for advice to overcome your business and life obstacles. The Mompreneurs® Live! Local Group I started here has been really valuable. Women are so supportive and smart!
4. An outlet. Sometimes you need time for yourself whether it’s an hour to go for a run, take a yoga class or hit the gym. That hour is so valuable. It allows you to relieve any stress and come back refreshed and ready to start the day…or night…whenever you work.
5. Delegate. If you don’t like accounting, hire a VA or accountant to help you out. Realize what your time is worth and that the time you’re spending doing things you don’t enjoy, can be time you can be spending with your family or growing your business.
Why networking is so valuable:You get to build relationships with others you never would have known had you not attended networking events and these relationships are the key to building a business.
Why I enjoy the life of a mompreneur:I get the best of both worlds – I get to be creative and grow a business that’s mine and no one else’s, and I get to spend time with my son watching him explore and learn new things around him. I also get to do it on my time when others are confined to their desks from 8 to 5. For instance, yesterday I was at the park with Caleb on a picnic and feeding the ducks. Spending time with him is the highlight of my day.
What’s next?I’m creating and hosting the first annual Mompreneur® of the Year event on April 17 at the Hilton Phoenix/East Mesa in Arizona. It’s a contest to celebrate and pay tribute to moms, like me, who juggle family and business. It’s a tough job and any woman that does this day in day out should be recognized and given a pat on the back.
The event is an expo, cocktail reception and award ceremony, as well as a contest for mom entrepreneurs in the Southwest region. The winner will be chosen and announced at the dinner award ceremony.
I also just completed my first book titled When the Universe Throws a Curve Ball – How a mom entrepreneur went from disappointment to living her passion. It’s an autobiography about the lessons I’ve learned both in life and in business and is sprinkled with a lot of inspiration. I will debut the book at the Mompreneur® of the Year event on April 17. The first 100 people to register for the dinner will receive a complimentary, signed copy.