[caption id="attachment_4594" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Erica Diamond, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Women on the Fence"][/caption]
So it’s 2011. Maybe your kids are all in school now, and maybe you’ve decided that this is the year you’re going to get creative – in every sense of the word. Maybe you’ve decided that you’re going to get off the fence and contribute to society. That you’re going to contribute to your household income. That you’re going to leave your high stress job in search of flexibility and balance. Maybe you need to work for financial reasons, maybe you don’t. But one thing is for certain… Mompreneurship is big business.
What is a mompreneur you may ask?
“A mompreneur is a newly coined term for women who establish businesses at home while also acting as the full time parent of their children. The mompreneur movement is one steadily growing in the US as mothers try to find ways to make money, express their creativity or business acumen, and also to parent their children. (Wisegeek.com)”
Sounds like the best of both worlds, right?
And there are so many different business ideas: selling jewelry or kids clothes, designing websites, freelance writing, event planning, consulting, becoming a travel agent, a real estate agent, sell a product online, starting a blog… the possibilities are endless.
But I truly believe that every woman should have something to call her own. Something separate from her spouse and kids. I don’t care if you are Donald Trump’s wife… most women need an identity beyond the nuclear family. Now I would like to say, most, not all. And I would also like to add, this can be discovering a hobby like painting or dancing, and diving into that passion. Many women are currently living in domesticated bliss, and that is enough for them. I think that’s wonderful. If mommyhood is enough, it’s enough, and you can stop reading.
But if it’s not enough, here’s why you may consider doing something on your own.
If you’ve been following my blog, or if you’ve even been with me since the beginning, you’ve witnessed the natural evolution. It went from hobby, a simple creative outlet for me, to a real business. My blog has brought me a book deal, a weekly radio gig, speaking engagements, advertisers, consulting, and much more. And I run this mini empire right from my home. I bring my kids to school. I pick them up. I take them to hockey. I cook dinner for my family. I help them with their homework. I don’t miss a beat. But I’m an entrepreneurial mom — a mompreneur.
And given a mommy’s incredible multitasking ability — we can cook dinner, change a diaper and answer a phone call pretty much simultaneously…. why would we not be successful entrepreneurs? And as I already stated, we are big business. There are 10.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States generating $2.5 trillion in annual revenue, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research. In fact, women are starting businesses at almost twice the rate of men.
So the goal today (because there’s always a goal, and it’s always to get you off the fence in a different area of your life), is to open your mind up to new possibilities.
If you’re ready to change your life, to learn, to grow, to contribute, to get creative, to feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment, to make money, to meet incredible people, to go incredible places, then listen up! 2011 may be your year where you'll become the next successful mompreneur.
Some tips to help get you started
- The first step is to decide the brilliant idea! It could be making your passion your paycheck – like in the classic example of Martha Stewart. Or it could be taking an innate talent you have, and making a business out of that. Maybe you’ve had a previous job that you excelled at and enjoyed, and you’d like to venture out and try that on your own. Either way, you must be passionate about it, and should see yourself doing it for many years to come. I still wake up every morning excited about what I’m doing and where I can take Women On The Fence next. Don’t roll your eyes… I love working! So, I’ve definitely unlocked my passion. If you haven’t yet unlocked your passion, you can check out this blog.
- Come up with a catchy name, a unique angle to why you’ll be doing business differently than all others, and hit the web for market research. Don’t be afraid to check out competitors’ websites and even walk into their businesses and see what they’re doing, what you like, and what you don’t. It’s always eye opening to see what other people are doing in your field. But I will conclude by adding: be a leader, not a follower.
- Join networking groups: This is key to both learning more about your industry, meeting potential mentors, and future potential clients and suppliers. If you hate networking breakfasts and lunches, get over it! You can’t grow a business by being a hermit. Remember ladies… IRL – IN REAL LIFE!
- Create your business plan: It should outline your business idea, start-up costs, how much you expect to make and by when, sales strategies, marketing strategies, financial strategies etc… Don’t be scared! And never forget as I say in my book, 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before… Starting Their Own Business, never forget to put you into your business plan. All your strengths should be in there. You are the driving force behind the idea. Banks don’t invest in companies: they invest in the people creating and driving the companies, so make sure all your best attributes are in that business plan. Don’t hold back.
- Then, once you have your business permit, business name, business number, financing in order, employees if you so need, call everyone you know! This is not a joke. You should start a running list of everyone you know who could potentially use your product or services. They are great to practice your pitch on, and it’s an easier sell while getting yourself started. Start with who you know. It will spider out from there.
Obviously becoming a mompreneur involves many facets and complexities. But these are a few steps to get you moving in the right direction. Now is the time to make the commitment. To get off the fence. To become a savvy mompreneur!
I will also conclude by saying, as with anything in life, no perfection exists. I’ll reserve the drawbacks of mompreneurship for another post. But I promise you, the pros far outweigh the cons, so for today, I would like you to consider this as a very viable option.
Here are some websites as great resources if you are thinking of becoming a mompreneur:
- The Mom Entrepreneur
- Mompreneurs Online
- Women Business Owners Cafe
- The Work At Home Woman
- Entrepreneurial Moms
- The Center for Women’s Business Research
- The National Association of Women Business Owners
What are you waiting for? This is your year to rediscover yourself, and all your talents. You never know just how capable you may be until you risk and try something.
I wish you the greatest success in your pursuit.
Until next time,
Erica is a Jill of all trades. She's a blogger, entrepreneur, author, speaker, radio correspondent, wife and not to mention, the mother of 2 young boys. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Women on the Fence, a website for "women who are on the fence… In Life. In Business. In Love. In anything. Period."
This post by guest blogger Erica Diamond appears in our series of tools for WAHMs and mompreneurs.
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