Nicole Feliciano is the founder of the website Momtrends.com, which offers trends and tips for moms who want to live a fashionable life. Her book Mom Boss: Balancing Entrepreneurship, Kids & Success was recently published.
What is a “mom boss”? There are some women who really want to create a brand and do something like I have. If you’re looking to take a skill you’ve already got—say you’re a lawyer or you’re a consultant and you want to start up on your own—my tip would be to start getting some freelance clients before you quit your day job and see what it’s like, see what those hours turn out to be, how much money are you making per hour, could you live off of that salary if you project out what that’s going to look like in six or 12 months. But really focus on, “Where is my income going to come from and how is this going to affect my family life?” It’s a unique proposal when you’re a mom boss because I think a lot of entrepreneurs start and all they need is a great idea and the time and energy to throw into it. When you’re a mom entrepreneur you also have to factor in where your family is going to fit. You can’t work around-the-clock when you’ve got young kids at home.
Why do you think so many women, especially moms, are turning to entrepreneurship? I think it’s the deaf ears of corporations and the lack of flexibility in the workspace. So many of the women I spoke to said they just got so tired of asking for permission or for missing out on the moments of childhood and parenting that they were so invested in. A lot of women invest a lot of time and energy into their careers and then when they finally have kids they want to be super present; they’ve waited so long for this moment to happen and they don’t want to miss their memories. And workplaces have not flexed to accommodate the needs of working mothers. And mom boss life allows you to grow at the pace that you want to grow. When my kids were little, I was just kind of keeping the business small, and then as they’ve gotten older I’ve been able to ramp it up, and I’ve got more bandwidth to take on work projects, [so] I’ve been able to grow it at my pace.
What advice do you have for moms who want to start their own business? I would definitely suggest making a one-year map for yourself. And that’s going to have the profitability. Where is that going to come from? I think a lot of women figure out products that are sellable that people will be attracted to buy but they don’t build in all of the expenses that go into marketing and building this product. So I’d love to see women spend more time and effort or get a coach or do networking where they can find a business partner who can walk them through the actual expenses of a business.
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