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