The words of a 1980 song ‘9 to 5,’ sung by country western singer Dolly Parton, dealing with frustrations of ‘just getting by’ and being ‘just a step on the boss man’s ladder’ is no longer in the mind of today’s educated women. The staff meetings, organizing and prioritizing workflow, overtime hours, constant demands, not feeling appreciated and food shopping, making of the healthy and nutritious dinners, the daily regimen of cleaning, ironing, laundry, budgeting, helping ‘kids’ with homework and school projects, carpooling, and being supportive to the needs of one’s soul mate as per the marital vows — it can cause the ‘best’ loving mom to get spread thinner than the peanut butter she puts to the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for school lunches.
Many young women are now seriously considering a new title for the work resume — Mompreneur!
What Is A Mompreneur?
According to the popular definitions, a Mompreneur is that of a multi-tasking mother who can balance the running of a home-based business as an entrepreneur along with the time-consuming duties of being a mom.
Don’t sweat too much regarding this idea, in truth, working in the home as mom or working in an office environment requires the same effort: meetings, (communicating) organizing and prioritizing workflow, delegating work, working past 5 p.m., and being in tune to the constant demands of others; whether it is from the boss / manager / supervisor in office or from the ‘sweet, melodious voice’ mom brought to life in flesh calling out: MOM!!! Come Quick!! I need you!
Mompreneur Role Models
All businesses have the ‘pioneers’ who paved the way and inspired others to follow. The Mompreneur route is also paved with stories of women who ‘got an idea’ and followed it through to a successful business. Some examples include:
JK Rowling, the pen name for British author Joanne Rowling, now quite famous for the Harry Potter fantasy book series, was a single mom of one daughter from Edinburgh, Scotland struggling to ‘get by’
when she got the idea in mind for Harry Potter while waiting for a train. Writing was something she loved doing since the young age of five or six years of age. While her parents admired her creative spirit they did not think such a line of work would provide much profit in life. She ‘felt it in her heart’ that she wanted to write and she pursued the idea.
- Julie Aiger-Clark was an English teacher who resigned her position in order to become a full-time mom. Seeing a lack of educational materials for very young children, Baby Einsteinwas founded. With the support and encouragement of her husband, Julie spent a year making videos in the basement as she and her husband invested the household’s $15k of savings to produce the first video book Baby Einstein. They sold 100 videos to a retailer who was sold out in two days. When the business grew to $25 million, the couple sold the business to Disney.
- Michele Welsh founded SafetyTat, an idea that blossomed after she took her children to an amusement park and was afraid they would get lost so she wrote her cell number on their arm. That simple idea grew into a business that creates temporary tattoos, stickers and labels of personal information for children.
In the examples cited above is the one central idea of what makes a good Mompreneur: a passion to make it a better world to live in. JK Rowling loved to write but it was her wanting to give her daughter a good life that gave her the persistence to do what she always ‘felt’ she would do. Teaching children was at the heart of Julie-Aiger Clark’s business idea. At the heart of Michele Welsh’s business was the love of a mom for her children and was inspired to turn a simple idea to ensure her children did not get lost into a business to help all children.
In order to ensure passion comes to reality while keeping the family as the all-important priority:
- Set Realistic Goals: An idea is a wonderful start, sometimes referred to as an AHA moment. After the initial AHA there needs to come the writing out of a plan of action. Write down how much time per day or per week you are going to need in the beginning for ‘building it’ ‘writing it’ ‘producing it.’ Be realistic and proceed slowly. A Chinese proverb states: ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ – and the first step is writing out what needs to be done.
- Organizing and Prioritizing: When you have it clear in mind what you need to do each week towards bringing your idea to a reality, post the goal chart in a place you see it every morning just as though you were working in an office. Make what needs doing for the business ‘a part of your working day.’ Organize house chores as MUST be done each day of week just as when you worked in office there were certain things that had to come first, second, third, etc., and make sure the doing for the business is put into each day, even if it is one hour a day. Perhaps one hour in early evening when dad can play with the kids in the yard or take a trip to the park.
- Communication: Communicate with your family, husband and older children, of what you wish to accomplish. Make this a family business. (gear the plan to the level older children can understand) Enlist the special abilities of your husband or perhaps teen children. As goals are reached, take a break and celebrate in some way at the end of each week. Do not neglect ‘the fun’ of living by being ‘all business.’ Enjoy seeing the AHA come together, as a family! This provides a secondary benefit to the kids of seeing the importance of time and a work / fun balance.
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If you’re seriously considering taking your role as a mother and entrepreneur to the next level, there’s no better way than getting started by going to my Work With Sherry page that can be found here: https://www.sherryrust.com/work-with-sherry/
I look forward to hearing from you!