Tips and Wisdom for Being Successful as a Mompreneur
This is the third post in our three-part series about mission-driven mompreneurs.
I get a lot of questions about my business—how Gimme the Good Stuff got started, why I do what I do, and if I have any tips for other moms (and dads) who are interested in starting their own businesses. So I decided to write about my experiences, and I reached out to two other mission-driven mompreneurs to include their stories and wisdom, too.
- In the first post, I introduced the three of us and our motivations for becoming mompreneurs.
- In last week’s post, we shared about the pros and cons of mompreneur life.
- In this 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
I credit the success of my business in large part to having quality help—and not just from my business partners (my parents!), as well as a meticulous accountant, wonderful freelance writers, a talented illustrator (my brother!), and an ultra-reliable shipping manager for our store, among many others who make my website tick. I also have invested in childcare and housekeeping help, which has freed up my time to focus on the tasks that provide the most value to my readers—namely, producing our Safe Product Guides.
Here are my top tips for being a successful mompreneur:
- Accept that it will never all be done. Running your own business, especially while raising a family, means that you’ll go to bed every night with an unfinished to-do list. The sooner you accept this, the less it will make you crazy and drain your energy.
- I am not a decisive person by nature—I tend to go round and round weighing the pros and cons of all choices. As a business owner, I’ve had to learn to make decisions quickly, and accept the fact that sometimes there won’t be an obvious best choice. Avoiding “analysis paralysis” is crucial if you want growing a successful business when you have limited time.
Katya Johnson, Beautycounter
The keys to Katya’s success have been choosing the right kind of business—one that matches her skills, personality, and interests—and then working really hard to meet her goals. (As I mentioned in previous posts, she’s the main breadwinner for her family, and she’s grown her Beautycounter income to be more than double her old corporate salary.)
Here are Katya’s top tips for being a successful mompreneur:
- Feel like you don’t have the time to start a business? First, find the discipline. Look at your schedule and figure out where you can carve out the time you need. This might mean cutting out TV time and working after your kids are in bed.
- If you don’t already believe in yourself, then get a thick skin now! Don’t take it personally if all your friends aren’t jumping up and down to support you. Stay focused on why you’re doing what you’re doing, whether it’s having a positive impact on the world, bringing in extra income for your family, etc.
Elleni Cavallaro, Olea Blue
Elleni says that the most important thing when taking the mompreneur plunge is to choose something that you’re truly passionate about. Everyone thought she was “crazy” to take on a start-up business. (With three young kids and a consulting business, her plate is already pretty full!) But she was inspired by a really strong drive that helped her start Olea Blue and push through the start-up challenges that have emerged so far. This is what true passion feels like. She can’t imagine doing it without that genuine drive.
Here are Elleni’s top tips for being a successful mompreneur:
- If you have a passion and a skill set and want to do something, then just do it! You should have some kind of a vision and a plan, but you don’t have to have everything figured out before you get started, and you don’t have to do everything perfectly. Start small, and see where it takes you.
- Make a work schedule for yourself and stick to those boundaries as much as possible, or else you will be working all the time, and that’s obviously not sustainable for you or your family.
Do these mompreneur stories ring true for you?
What do you think of our tips and wisdom? Do you have any of your own work-and-family stories to share? Please comment below, and feel free to ask questions as well. One of us will be happy to answer. I’d also like to invite anyone who is interested in learning more about starting your own Beautycounter business to contact Katya; she’s a wealth of information and passion.
Maia, Founder & CEO
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I was curious how you developed your website, something you didn’t (understandably) address in your three-part series. Specifically, I was wondering:
1. assuming you didn’t choose someone who was in your family or circle of friends to build your website, how you began your search for that person/company and, then, what criteria aided your decision to choose that person/company;
2. what you wouldn’t compromise on your website having before “going live” and what you considered adding to your website later;
3. what important information you wished you’d known before your website had “gone live”;
4. how much time you set aside in the first year or two to focus on growing your business overall; and
5. what other resources (e.g., books) you would recommend for other “mom-preneurs” who don’t know where to begin but *are* motivated to get started!
As a would-be “mom-preneur” (love the way that sounds rolling off the tongue, by the way!), I am researching how to begin a business similar to yours but over here on the West coast, and the website development aspect of it overwhelms me more than anything else, given there are so many web-developer-for-hire options on the market and — potential crux — a lot of information I, an absolute novice in all this, do *not* currently know but yet *should* be knowledgable of, so that I can ensure my website is worth visiting and builds my client base from the get-go. Any help you can provide would be most appreciated! And thank you for all that you do, Maia!