Today’s post in the 12 Steps to Blogging Success series in an interview with Danielle Smith and Aliza Sherman, authors of Mom Incorporated: A Guide to Baby and Business. In this interview we’ll explore ways to excel, and pitfalls to avoid, when it comes to developing that business mindset.
1. What is one way you see mothers excelling when they set their mind to running a new business?
There is something about being a mom: we just figure it out. We don’t always know the ‘right’ answers, but we have a level of perseverance that pushes us through the toughest of circumstances. Learning to juggle a new business while giving your family the love and attention they need? It IS tough and it does require determination and focus. But somehow, we manage.
We view our budding business as a new addition to our family, and we nurture it as such. We recognize it will require late nights, it will cost us sleep, we will alternately love it to death and want to throw our hands in the air, certain we are doing everything all wrong. But as we do with our small people, we keep going. We don’t give up. We may switch tactics and then try again, always striving to do our best.
2. Once someone decides to build a business, what steps do you encourage them to take?
The beautiful thing about this decision is that you have options. You might want to start a business that allows you to have a certain lifestyle or one that generates serious income. You might want a business that will grow into something ‘big’ or could be looking to ‘go big’ right out of the gate. In Mom, Incorporated, we detail each of these types of businesses because we believe that deciding what type of business you want to build will dictate your next steps.
We’re also big on planning and outline how to put your ideas for your business down on paper and create a business plan. What else do you need? Do you need to hire help or carve out some space in your home to work? We provide information on how to do this.
We also suggest that you have a long conversation with your spouse or significant other about your plans. Not only will it help you to map out a clear picture of where you are going and what you need, but it will allow your partner to better understand how to support your plans.
3. I love how Mom, Inc discusses several business models and types but I’ve found that many principles of good business are relevant to all businesses. What is one of the big mistakes women make in business?
Many women find it challenging to ask for the help they need, both in their home and in their actual business. On the home front, it can be hard to ask for help, and yet it is often this work – childcare, cooking, and cleaning – that can keep us from accomplishing the work we need to do for our business. On the business side, we often feel as though we are supposed to be a master-of- all-things and that only we can do things “just right.”
But the reality is, we should rely on professionals to tackle specialty tasks: web design, accounting, editing – and even turn to someone to assist us with the “busy work” so we can focus on the parts of the business that makes us money.
4. What was the biggest change you went through in your own mindset while you were building your OWN businesses?
Danielle: How much time do you have? 🙂 I think, for me… the biggest challenge has been acknowledging the evolution. I have needed to embrace the fact that my business is evolving…. and initially I was surrounded by people who refused to take me or my ‘business’ seriously. And that makes it difficult to take yourself seriously. But I made a conscious choice. If I want this to be ‘real’, I must treat it as such. I need to create my own destiny. No one is going to do it for me.
Aliza: I think delegating has been my greatest challenge and biggest mindset change. It took a really long time to learn how to let go, assign tasks, and be okay with the process and the outcome. I’ve learned that there are people out there who specialize and excel at certain things – like booking travel or researching things on the Internet or data entry – things that aren’t the best use of my time. If I assign the right tasks to the right people, the result is I can focus on the big creative work and the revenue generating work. This is a lesson we teach in our book, and one that I continue to learn and refine over time. I still catch myself trying to “do it all” sometimes, but I catch myself and then hand off the task and feel a sense of relief.
Win Your Own Copy of Mom, Incorporated
Mandatory Entry – Leave a comment with one aspect of your business that presents the biggest challenge for you, and one step you’ve taken recently to address that challenge!
Winner will be drawn January 30th, 11:59pm CST. US residents 18 and over only, void where prohibited by law.