If you’re a mom and you’re thinking about starting a new business or growing your existing business, you are not alone.
According to the International Finance Corporation, female owned businesses make up 37% of businesses globally. In fact, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, women are more likely to reinvest in their businesses, create more jobs, and be more innovative than men. It’s no wonder that female entrepreneurs are changing entrepreneurship and setting the bar for success even higher.
Fortunately, as more women have become entrepreneurs, there are also more networks, support systems and resources to help them succeed.
One of our favorite resources for female entrepreneurs is Jill Salzman’s The Founding Moms, a community that enables mom entrepreneurs to connect with each other for support and advice. We recently collaborated with Jill on a free eBook to help women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.
Jill is a mom and a serial entrepreneur. We asked Jill to share her insights on how women entrepreneurs can raise a family while building a great business. Here’s what she had to say:
1. What were you doing before you started The Founding Moms?
I was running two unrelated businesses. My first was a music management company that I started in 2005. I sent bands out on tour. And since it was my first business, I should have called it Mistakes, Incorporated. Two years into that, I decided to start selling baby jewelry. By the time I (accidentally) launched The Founding Moms, I was running two unrelated businesses with two small children in one home office.
2. Had you always seen yourself as an entrepreneur?
Absolutely. There was never a time I was not starting a business. In elementary school I co-founded a catering-for-parents company. By the end of high school I was editing, publishing and selling my own fanzine. I also attempted a record label but I sucked at it so it never got off the ground.
3. What inspired you to start The Founding Moms?
My hunger to meet just one other woman who had a business and a baby. I didn’t know any. So I launched a coffee get-together on Meetup.com to meet a couple. That “couple” turned into 10,000+ women 7 years later. It’s amazing how many of us are hungry to connect with one another to build better businesses.
4. What was your biggest challenge with starting The Founding Moms?
Figuring out how to make it a business. I knew these women wanted to get together. I didn’t know how to formalize it in a way where people could have success because of it and I could make money because of it. To be frank, I’m still working on it and figuring it out. Every. Single. Day.
5. What is an average workday like for you? Does it change day to day?
There is no such thing in my universe. It changes hour to hour. Things get moved, kids get sick, and/or opportunities pop up that I want to chase.
6. What do you think made you a successful entrepreneur?
Persistence. The more I persist and ask and go for it, the more success I have. It’s gradual, and it’s 100% true for everyone.
7. What was your biggest challenge being a mom entrepreneur?
My biggest challenge was figuring out how to get work done with the kids in tow. Before the Children (B.C.), I had all the hours in every day to get things done. After they Did arrive (A.D.), scheduling was a nightmare and so, too, was my ability to stay awake.
8. How do you balance work, a family, and yourself? Do you have any tips for other mom entrepreneurs on how to achieve that balance?
I have so many tips! My number one tip is to go and meet other mom entrepreneurs (at a Founding Moms’ Exchange) because hearing from other women about how they are doing it — in person — helps tremendously to instill confidence in the fact that you can do this, and fill your head with great ideas on how to figure out what works for your business and your family.
9. Did you ever experience or have someone ask about “mommy guilt”? How did you deal with it? How do you suggest other women deal with it?
Everyone talks about mommy guilt. In fact, not enough women talk about it. We all have it or have had it at one point. I ended up eradicating it from my life by talking directly to my kids about it. They were 6 months and 2 when I launched The Founding Moms and as my guilt grew, I was too ashamed to talk about it with adults. So I began to introduce what Mama does during the day to my kids. They are now 7 and 9 and have a pretty good understanding of what I do, why I am busy when I am busy, and they help me to put my phone away now which gives them attention and me a work break. It’s fantastic, actually.
10. How do you stay productive and focused while managing many responsibilities?
A little coffee, a short workout, and many breaks throughout the day. It sounds counterintuitive but I’ve learned over time that the less I stress, the more I get done — so bring on the breaks!
11. What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Given?
Best advice ever received: “It takes time.”
Best advice ever given: “It takes time.”
12. Why is it important to have content and resources tailored to mom entrepreneurs?
Mom entrepreneurs understand the crazy that we all go through in raising a family and building a business — at the same time. We are entrepreneurs like the rest of ‘em — but we tend to be raised up by emotionally supporting one another, not assuming that our brains came out with the baby, and knowing that we can handle a lot at once. And I mean a lot.
13. Why did you collaborate with crowdSPRING on an eBook for mom entrepreneurs?
crowdSPRING has a solid understanding of how to build a business, and their unique perspective on how to do it while raising a family is what drew me to working with them on our eBook. They’re the experts at helping folks build brands, and we mom entrepreneurs pay a lot of attention to the brands we build. Our businesses are excellent companions for one another and I think that’s reflected in the companion guide we created together.
14. What do you hope a mom entrepreneur will take away from the book?
Confidence to grow her business the right way — for her. There is no right way. But if we can guide small business owners in the right direction, her business will flourish. And we’ll be thrilled to hear about it!
For more insight into female entrepreneurship, check out the ebook we created alongside Jill titled “What Are You Waiting For? A Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs on Starting, Growing and Managing a Successful Business.”
Image source: The Founding Moms
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