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Mompreneur Stories: Being Your Own Boss

Posted on Sunday, Aug 30th 2009

By Guest Author Erika Valdez

There are over 10 million women-owned businesses in the United States, a large percentage of which are owned by mompreneurs. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, women are establishing their own companies at twice the rate of men. What is the reason for this trend? What about entrepreneurship is so attractive to moms? Is it the excitement of a new life experience? We saw in previous essays that the search for personal fulfillment and the flexibility to play both roles, mom and businesswoman, were major factors in many women’s decisions to become entrepreneurs. Today’s essay explores another prominent theme: being your own boss.

For many of the women I have interviewed, the idea of owning their own business greatly influenced them to venture into entrepreneurship. Making their own decisions, building their own daily schedules and calling the shots are what many of these mompreneurs wanted. Their experiences in corporate America, combined with their sense of determination to own their own companies, are key contributors to these women’s success in creating and seizing business opportunities.

In the words of Lee Wright, founder and owner of Ma Mi Skin Care (a natural skincare company targeted at moms), “I have always loved the idea of owning my own business and never enjoyed working for others.” After having children, Wright was even more attracted by the idea because it would allow her to have her own business and be at home . Wright is in charge of her own schedule and of making key decisions that affect her as entrepreneur and the success of her company.

Of course, being your own boss is not always an easy task. The mompreneurs I interviewed face a number of challenges. Lucy Postins, founder of The Honest Kitchen, told me that the responsibility of running the business is entirely yours: “Others depend on the company’s success for their livelihoods, mortgage or rent payments and so on. Motherhood is literally a never-ending list of things to be done, and running a small business is just the same.”

But being your own boss also has its many advantages. For Julie and Danielle, the founders of Taggies Inc., the lifelong benefits they have gained from the experience have been immeasurable. The education these women receive as entrepreneurs includes lessons on marketing, manufacturing and quality control. According to Julie and Danielle, “Transitioning from our roles as a teacher and mom of three toddlers to that of business owners and partners has been a successful exercise in assertiveness, independence and self-reliance.”

Others view the experience of being the boss as an opportunity to offer a new product or service that is essential to the target market. Linda Holroyd, CEO of FountainBlue, a leadership organization supporting early-stage entrepreneurs, created a company that fosters transformative leadership for those who want to start their own business. From an early age, Holroyd had a different view on how to accomplish tasks—in a manner that was efficient and tailored to the needs of the customer. Being her own boss has allowed Holroyd to have an impact on many individuals and organizations. “The upsides of entrepreneurship include independence, financial returns and endless opportunities for expansion and success,” she says.

We have heard from many women about how they are discovering both the rewards and disadvantages of mompreneurship and everything else this new adventure brings. The advantage of being your own boss has allowed mompreneurs such as those described above to not only make a difference in their lives and those of their families, but also in the lives of their many customers and clients. They run their companies according to their own beliefs, goals and timelines. Ultimately, the effect that being one’s own boss creates in the lives of these women is profound and permanent. For me, it is fascinating and motivating to see so many mompreneurs achieving their goals by running successful companies.

This segment is a part in the series : Mompreneur Stories

. Flexibility
. Personal Fulfillment
. Being Your Own Boss
. Juggling

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the great ideas and sense of accomplishment of all the great women mentioned gives inspiration to get up start fresh and feel appreciated! Thank you for inspiring many moms who are run down and showing that it can be done! WE CAN DO IT!

mariamaria Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 4:03 PM PT

What a great article! As a new mompreneur it’s hard but to know that each day we can start up fresh and feeling appreciated makes the journey even better!

LisaLisa Monday, August 31, 2009 at 7:38 PM PT

I really loved your article. The more I network, the more strong amazing women and moms I meet that have started their own successful business. Giving them the freedom to be both a mom and entrepreneur. The support mompreneurs give each other is amazing.

Becky Ament Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 8:32 PM PT

That’s amazing that women are starting twice as many businesses as men. I strongly believe that corporate America tends to favor men when it comes to upper management positions. Is this fair? Absolutely not…there are plenty of capable women out there that can and will outperform the male business executive. I think this is an old fashioned stereo-type that needs to go away. I also believe that the increase in “independent women” is an indication that the times are changing. Single moms are a great example. Their strength and will power is what drives them be independent. Great article, Valdez!

Stephen Borrego Monday, September 7, 2009 at 5:27 PM PT

I strongly agree with all the mompreneurs in your article, especially with Lee Wright’s motivation on having her own business. I, myself, never enjoyed the idea of working for others which likewise motivated me to start my own business

bethnacar Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 6:10 PM PT

It is fascinating to know and read about so many women turning entrepreneurs and/or mompreneurs per se! I guess it is the frustration of being bogged down by the familial responsibilities, which surfaces almost as a vengeance, and drives women into finding their own financial independence and a more meaningful fullfilment in their lives. Passion and drive usually are a result of some 'frustration'. Among men usually it is the frustration with their job career and among mompreneurs or women-preneurs, it is the frustration with the endless roles and responsibilities which take the forefront.

Mridula Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 2:31 AM PT