In Celebration of the Mom Entrepreneur (Part I)
Being a mom is tough work; being an entrepreneur is too. This post is in celebration of those amazing mom entrepreneurs who somehow manage to do both of these difficult jobs and do them very well. Each of these women exemplifies what it takes to thrive in an often tumultuous world where raising kids is done while raising capital and buying groceries at the supermarket happens in between marketing the next super idea she has in store. They make it in a world where showing up at the parent teacher meeting is just as important as showing up at the next board meeting. To a large extent these women have constructed the worlds around them by bringing to fruition those ideas in their minds that just needed to be brought forth. On a busy day you (and perhaps they) may wonder why they ever constructed such worlds. I’ll tell you why: it’s because they are moms and they are entrepreneurs; they needed to answer both of these callings so they created a world where they could.
Rachel Boguski has been involved in many entrepreneurial pursuits; currently she is applying her diverse skill set in the field of social media marketing and brand management, helping female entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses. She has worked for private corporations as well as grass-roots organizations and non-profits, doing everything from publishing a magazine to manufacturing an infant/toddler clothing line to owning a retail store and producing major large-scale events. When asked what advice she would give to mothers considering becoming an entrepreneur Rachel Boguski said “I think the most important thing is to do it, and don’t do it alone. So many people have a great business idea but don’t act on it.” Rachel also included family support as a key component to how she makes it work adding, “What helps is having a partner to rely on, to motivate you and to bounce ideas off of as well as to hold you accountable.” While entrepreneurs sometimes start out as the mavericks and members of the avant-garde, successful ones quickly learn that you can’t do this job alone. You need a support network.
Having a supportive husband and family is also one of Jen Arbo’s key ingredients for success. Jen wears two hats on that smart noggin of hers, one is as the Operations Manager for the Royal City Farmers Market the other is as a partner at Hyack Interactive, a boutique marketing firm which offers writing services as well as social media strategy and management. Hyack Interactive was recently named as The Best Home Based Business in the Royal City by the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce. Doing both of these jobs has not stopped Jen from being a fulltime stay at home mom; in fact doing these jobs is what has allowed her to be at home with her son.
Many mothers are in awe of how quickly their children grow, Jen has been in awe of how quickly Hyack Interactive has grown too. Managing the demands of rapid growth could not be done without a supportive network in place. The importance of having someone to help share the workload, fill in the gaps or simply be there at a moment of crisis cannot be over stated. Not everyone finds this support network automatically in their lives. While some people might be born into a family where they can tap into an existing network which offers an endless stream of loving, capable support, not everyone is. Jen agreed that for mom entrepreneurs who do not have this support automatically, it can still be built through good old fashioned networking. One of the tips she suggests is to “find other people like you.” This seems like great advice and a good place to start for those who need a little support establishing their network. If you are a mom and / or an entrepreneur who doesn’t feel she currently has that network in place, stay tuned to The Lunch Kit News for future articles on how to build up a supportive network.
It takes time and patience to build up a strong network. Jen Arbo says understanding the importance of being patient is one of the biggest lessons she has learned from being an entrepreneur; things do happen; projects do come together; businesses do flourish, just not always according to our schedules. Scheduling is another issue that would-be mom entrepreneurs need to manage well. What Jen describes as “work creep” can happen often. Other jobs may allow you to punch a clock and step away from responsibilities, but the mom entrepreneur doesn’t have that luxury. Jen advises women to occasionally “put away the mobile devices” which most businesses and moms now depend on so heavily. Rachel Boguski agrees and considers learning to establish healthy boundaries as one of the crucial lesson she has learned from being an entrepreneur. Rachel said, “I think that the most valuable thing I’ve learned over the past few years as an entrepreneur is knowing when to unplug. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s important for you and for your family. Not only can it be extremely refreshing, but it reminds your family that they always come first.” Mobile devices can trap or free people; it all depends on how you choose to employ them. Maybe taking your child to the Royal City Farmers Market, without your cell phone would be a good first step in occasionally “unplugging”!
Being a mom entrepreneur allows these women to teach their children about how to develop their talents, and establish priorities in their lives. Rachel said, “I am so fortunate to be able to pursue my passion as well as stay home with my children. I don’t miss major milestones and “firsts” but I also don’t feel like I am sacrificing myself.” When asked what she hopes her 3½ year old son will take away from being raised by a mom entrepreneur Jen Arbo said she hopes as an adult he remembers that he was surrounded by parents who love him and that she is helping him learn that goals are worth pursuing and that dreams are worth having. Sometimes our dreams don’t turn out exactly as we thought they might; sometimes things are a little less glitzy but sometimes they might even turn out just a little bit better than we had imagined. The important thing is to follow the dream and recognize those moments when you are alive in it!
For parents wanting to build a supportive network for their children to help ensure their dreams are realized too, remember to check out the amazing tutors available to help you at Laetare Consulting. Please take a moment to share this link with other mom entrepreneurs you know and stay tuned for the second part of this article.