Collaboration, not competition – that’s how I feel every time I talk to Lara, the MomBizCoach. She provides valuable insights to working moms, and has been a friend of Startup Princess from the very beginning. It’s been a pleasure for us to cross paths again in the last few months and I’m excited to roll out a fabulous tele-seminar with her later this month. Stay tuned! – Michelle
Education: Masters in Comparative Literature
Professional Background: Almost 10 years at IBM doing PR and communications, then e-business sales; taught Spanish during my grad school days; started out working at various newspapers
What you wanted to be when you grew up: a teacher
What you are: a life coach/business coach
Brief Summary of your Start Up: I built the Mom Biz Coach brand to mentor and support mom business owners who want and need a fulfilling business of their own to have a successful life. Although I am a professionally certified Life Coach, most of my teaching comes directly from my experience of trying to run a business while running a family (not easy!). I offer private coaching, a group coaching program called the Mom Biz Academy, and weekend business intensive getaways called the Mom Biz Retreat. And since I run my whole business online, I offer a lot of training to women’s organizations on using Social Media to build your business.
Where you are located: Michigan
What inspired you? Starting my business was a result of experiencing Post Partum Depression when I had my second child. It took me a while, but I finally realized that in order to be happy, I needed to do purposeful work outside of being a mom.
How long have you been in business? Since 2005, so seven years
How did you fund it? Luckily, starting my services business required very little money up front. I used our family savings for my Coaching Training program and for the basic things like business registration, setting up a bank account, logo design and website setup, etc. I did most of the work myself. As I made money, I invested it back into the business to upgrade what I had by hiring professionals to do some of the work I was trying to do.
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? No Fairy Godmother, but I have several coaches and mentors.
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? Savor the Success and #MomBizMondays (I’m co-founder).
Current Business Challenge? Creating additional offerings that round out the product funnel for Mom Biz Retreat.
What are you doing about it? Surveying my audience about what they want, collaborating with my business partner and co-founder, and possibly hiring a business coach to guide me.
Favorite motivational quote: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford
How do you balance family and business? Now that’s the $1M question, isn’t it? And probably also the cornerstone of all the coaching I do in my business . I set strong boundaries around my work time and my family time. I work when my children are at school. I get off the computer and don’t take work calls after they get home. Once every few months, I get away from my family and business and spend a weekend with a few fellow mompreneurs working hard on my business plans, marketing strategy, pitches, product funnel, etc. Extreme focus for a weekend on the work that makes my business successful allows me to maintain an easy-going weekly routine the rest of the time. I serve a home-cooked dinner at 6:30 just about every night, which keeps my family connected and healthy.
Favorite book? The Help
What do you do to relax? Snuggling on the couch or reading with the kids, taking long walks by myself, camping and hiking with my family, drinking wine with some close girlfriends
What do you want to change most about your world? Nothing. I’m grateful for my life just the way it is.
What are you most proud of? My babies.
What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses? If your dreams and goals are important enough for you to commit to them, then get some support. There is so much more to starting a business than selling your stuff and getting paid for it.
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)? My iPhone and all its apps! I run my whole business on that tiny little computer, and it gives me the flexibility I need to handle my life, household and business needs wherever I am (even deep in the woods of the Red River Gorge on a camping trip ).
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use? I’m not exactly the tiara-type, but I suppose I’d choose something my kids pick up on one of our hikes. They’re always collecting cool stones and rocks that have interesting designs and textures. I prefer things that are interesting and unique and have a story to them rather than the finer things in life.