This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BBVA Compass–Working Moms Mean Business for Blog Meets Brand. All opinions are 100% mine.
Are you one of the working moms who dream of leaving your current job to work for yourself? Or maybe you’re a stay at home mom who’s desperate for a creative outlet that will also earn an income. If you’re wondering how to become a mompreneur, I’m glad you’re here because I think these three success stories will inspire you to go for it!
I’ve just spent the last three hours reading an eBook and listening to podcasts on Working Moms Mean Business about working moms, mom guilt and stories about successful mompreneurs. Let me tell you, I am so incredibly inspired.
You see, I’m a mompreneur in the sense that I started this blog in order to share fabulous ways for moms to feel good inside and out. Whether that’s getting inspiration for the haircut of your dreams, finally finding an anti-aging skincare product that works, outfit ideas for every day or advice on starting your own business and building the life of your dreams. Little did I know 6 years ago when I started Mom Fabulous that it would turn into a successful online portal that fully supports my family.
I get asked all the time how I did it and what I’m currently doing to grow it. This is one of my favorite topics to talk about! I am such a firm believer in acting on our ideas as moms because we really are (in my opinion) the best entrepreneurs out there. We know how to solve problems quickly and we know what products help get the job done.
But before we get to my own story, I want to share the story and mompreneur tips of two women I look up to: Nicole Feliciano of Mom Trends & Ayo Ogun-McCants of Soultanicals. They both shared their story with Emma Johnson of WealthySingleMommy.com in this incredibly inspiring podcast titled Mompreneur, and I’d like to share a few tidbits of how they run successful businesses as moms.
Nicole Feliciano of Mom Trends
Her background: Nicole comes from a corporate background where she worked as an executive for the Ralph Lauren brand and now she runs a successful 7 figure digital media company. Mom Trends just hit its 10 year anniversary, which is very exciting! She knows the ups and downs of what it takes to start something from the ground up while balancing life as a mom. She recently wrote and published a book titled Mom Boss, which shares so many useful tips for navigating through the world of being a mompreneur.
What she did to get her business off the ground: Nicole worked while her family slept. In the beginning, she couldn’t afford childcare so she did what she had to do and made it work. It’s important for you to be creative and find ways to squeeze in that work time.
Her top 3 lessons for starting a business:
- Layout your roadmap: figure out how you’re going to live with less in the beginning as the business is in its growth phase. That first year is hard and you usually need to invest everything you make back into the business, so a plan on how that’s going to work and what it’ll look like is crucial.
- Network: Get your ideas out there. Talk to other moms! If you want to launch a product, ask how much they would pay for it, what they like/don’t like about other products that are similar to yours. Meet with other business-minded women and don’t be afraid to ask them who else you should meet with to ask questions.
- Make sure your family is on board: Have open communication with your spouse and kids on what starting this business is going to look like. You may have to cut back on expenses for a while. You may also have to hire a sitter or someone else to pick them up from school. But also let them know how this is going to benefit your family and your why behind it. Most of all, reassure them you are still there for them.
Nicole also shared ways moms who say “but I’m not an entrepreneur!” can get experience and some fantastic advice for moms who are thinking about starting their own business.
Ayo Ogun-McCants of Soultanicals
Her background: Ayo is a mom of 6 (yes, 6!) who had a job in computer systems. She knew in order to thrive as a person, mom, wife – she needed to be in a creative environment. She created the products for her business out of a personal need from the struggle of doing her own daughter’s hair every weekend. It was time-consuming and she knew there had to be a better way.
What she did to get her business off the ground: I love Ayo’s story! In order to get the business education she needed, a bookstore became a weekly trip for her and her children. They made a day out of it and she read everything she could get her hands on about business, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
She first reached out to family and friends for feedback on her product. Fast forward to 2017 and her products are in stores such as Target and Bed Bath and Beyond.
Her tips for moms who have a product idea:
- Look around for any support you have and lean on them; whether that’s family, friends or fellow mompreneurs.
- Get plugged in online with one of the many resources for moms in business.
- Have the faith and belief in yourself to take the leap!
Ayo also shares some lessons she learned about taking care of herself and how important it is; plus how they carve out family time. She also homeschools her 6 kids and their products are still made in house!
Like I said, both of these women are such an inspiration and I gained some incredible insights from their interview on the podcast. There are several more podcasts I can’t wait to listen to like the impact working moms have on their kids and the childcare challenge many women in business face.
My personal story is a winding path, full of uphill battles and always questioning myself. You see, I don’t have a college background. I went another route and lived in Europe while teaching English to little kids. I then got married and had children very young and didn’t realize I wanted/needed to work until they were both preschool age.
My husband was in the military, which meant we moved – a lot. I quickly realized the best way to a) meet people b) earn my own income and c) have my own creative outlet was direct sales. And let me tell you, I tried them all! From scrapbooking supplies and kitchen gadgets to skincare and more skincare; I did a little bit of everything. While it was fun and I learned a lot through those experiences, I knew direct sales wasn’t my answer to financial freedom and doing something I loved.
My Own Business
So I started my own business.
Tapping into my passion of organizing, I launched a professional organizing business and quickly found myself neck-deep in people’s homes, helping them sort through their clutter and develop a plan for a home they loved. In an effort to market my business more and get my name out there, someone suggested I start a blog.
A what?! I didn’t even know what a blog was, but I did my research and was eventually hired on by an online company to share my organizing genius (ha!) through weekly blog posts. And that’s when I was bitten by the blog bug. While I can’t say ‘and I never looked back’, I can say how grateful I am to be where I’m at today.
How I balance work-life, mom-life and mom guilt
I’m one of those moms who had zero extra money for childcare. So I worked when my kids slept, whether that was nap time or after they went to bed at night. Things got easier when they were in school and that’s when my business started to grow. I was grateful that I had built a foundation to work with while they were younger, so I could hit the ground running when I had more time.
We hear a lot about mom guilt from working moms. We’re always struggling with the thoughts of not spending enough time with them or not being available physically and emotionally 100% of the time. I’ve actually put my career on hold and stopped working to be more available to them. But what I found out along the way is if I’m going to be the mom they need and the person I dream of being, I need to work.
After I fully accepted life as a working mom, my business was able to grow into what it is today – a business that allowed my husband to quit his job and a business that is allowing us to pursue our dreams of traveling.
Our year of travel
Beginning June 25th, we’ll be setting out on a year of traveling through the U.S. and Canada! We’ve been talking about this for two years and finally decided to go for it. We bought a travel trailer and can’t wait to get this adventure started.
(Side note: my 19-year-old daughter isn’t in this picture because she’s currently in college pursuing her dreams of becoming a book editor in a big city. You know, like Sandra Bullock in The Proposal. 🙂 )
Getting to where I’m at today was not easy. There have been times I’ve been ready to give up. Plus, because I didn’t go to college and don’t have any corporate background to draw from, I am always second guessing myself. I’ve let the negative thoughts that I don’t have what it takes to succeed creep in.
If you can relate, let me tell you right now to STOP and to not let those negative thoughts take over. Let me share what Nicole Feliciano said at the end of her podcast interview:
“You figured out motherhood. You’ve got this business thing down.”
She shared that all moms are startups! No one gave us a roadmap to raise kids, but we figured it out didn’t we? Entrepreneurship is nothing compared to raising little ones. You got this.
For more mompreneur success stories and inspiration for working moms, be sure to download the eBook “Mom Guilt: Why we have it and how to conquer it” and listen to the podcasts from some amazing moms in business on the Working Moms Mean Business page. You’ll find nuggets of research and inspiration. It’s time to conquer mom guilt once and for all.