This is the second post in our three-part series about mission-driven mompreneurs.
Because I get so many questions about my business—how Gimme the Good Stuff got started and why I do what I do, I decided to spend some time writing about my experiences as a “mompreneur.” And because it would be lame for me to just talk about myself, and because I know some other mission-driven mompreneurs, I decided to interview two of them and write a three-part series about mompreneur life:
- In the first post, I introduced the three of us and our motivations for becoming mompreneurs.
- In this post, we share about the pros and cons of mompreneur life.
- In next week’s post, we’ll sum it all up with some of our hard-earned tips and wisdom for how to be successful mompreneurs.
Maia James, Gimme the Good Stuff
For me, there are two big pros to running Gimme the Good Stuff. The first is flexibility. Because I started this work when my first son was just a newborn, I was able to grow the business to fit with his needs and other aspects of my life. Almost four years later, when my second son was born, I adapted my work commitments again.
Now that they are both older—the oldest is in school full-time, and the youngest is in preschool for mornings only—I’m able to put more and more energy into my (endless!) to-do list.
The other big pro is that, with an internet-based business, the sky is the limit. This is especially true in the age of social media. My income and the scope of my business are limited only by my own time, energy, and motivation. There is also a lot of room for creativity and experimentation. We can try new things, observe the results, and adjust accordingly.
There are drawbacks in my mompreneur life, of course. Because my parenting responsibilities come before my business ones, my productivity goes out the window when there are disruptions at home—hello, flu season! Also, the same factors that make an internet-based business exciting are also challenges. It was super easy for me to start a blog back in 2009. It’s also easy for a million other people to start blogs, so there is a lot of “noise” and potential competition. And, as I mentioned in our first mompreneur post, I put in a ton of time as blogger (as in, years) before I ever figured out how to make any money doing it.
Katya Johnson, Beautycounter
Like me, Katya chose a type of business with a low barrier to entry. Being able to minimize the risks of starting a business was one of the biggest pros for her, because it protected the security of her family.
Katya got started as a Beautycounter consultant with an investment of $700 and continued to work at her regular full-time job for two more years. Another big pro for her is being able to set her own (high!) goals, because she is the main breadwinner for her family. Some Beautycounter consultants make a few hundred dollars a month, and some replace six-figure salaries.
Katya also loves being part of a mission-driven company. Beautycounter is a Certified B Corporation and part of the mission is to advocate for more health-protective laws in the largely unregulated cosmetics industry. As Katya says, the big difference with Beautycounter is the advocacy platform. “It’s more than just selling eye cream,” she says. “It’s about changing laws – similar to Lead in Paint, Women Voting, Smoking on Planes. All of those movements started with an idea for better…this is our movement for better and we are actually making some waves!”
The combination of providing for her family and having a positive social impact is really motivating for Katya. She worked her butt off in her old corporate jobs—and even liked them—but now she’s doing work that she can really pour her heart into. (If you are inspired by Katya’s story and interested in starting your own Beautycounter business, shoot her an email.)
Katya says that the main con of being a Beautycounter consultant is the stigma of direct sales. People assume that Beautycounter is “like Avon or Mary Kay,” and Katya knows that she is often perceived as being “one of those people” trying to push products and sign up a bunch of people to work under her.
But Beautycounter is a modern company with multiple sales channels, including consultants, e-commerce platforms, and strategic partners, like Goop, Serena & Lily, and Target. So Katya has learned to overlook the stigma of direct sales and not worry so much about what other people think—more on that in next week’s post!
Elleni Cavallaro, Olea Blue
With three kids five years old and younger, Elleni says the biggest pro in her mompreneur life is doing work that she can fit into her family’s schedule. Obviously, she has to work really hard to make all of this happen, but so far, the autonomy that comes with being her “own boss” has been worth it.
Elleni also loves that her work with other brands allows her to to use her business and consulting background but on a very part time basis. “Most consulting jobs wouldn’t hire you for part time.” Finally, Elleni loves that Olea Blue is a family business, and she’s fortunate to be able to work closely with her mom (pictured below, with Elleni at an olive oil tasting).
The biggest con related to Elleni’s newest venture, Olea Blue, is that they’re still in the start-up phase. There are many rewards that come with having a new business—Elleni is excited, she has lots of new challenges to keep her engaged, and she gets to enjoy big and little wins every week. Buy because Olea Blue is a mission-based company, profits are first distributed to the farmers and reinvested back into the business to continue to educate consumers on high-phenol olive oil.
The cons that come with Elleni’s business consulting work are different. As a consultant, it’s her job to support her clients. Sometimes, she has to jump in to help resolve a problem or meet a deadline. Being “on call” in this way can conflict with family commitments.
Do these mompreneur stories ring true for you?
Do you identify with any of these pros and cons of mompreneur life? Do you have some of your own work-and-family stories to share? Please comment below and one of us will respond!
Next week, I’ll be back with Katya and Elleni to talk about our tips and wisdom for being successful mompreneurs.