Updated: May 9
Building a business already comes with its challenges. It takes an infinite mindset, in other words, there's no overnight to success and you're in it for the long haul. And those who venture into the game, know that the road is hard. It takes dedication and requires patience. It takes being knocked down and getting back up again. It takes a level of vulnerability to trust and to ask for help. It requires a kind of energy that will test your limits.
For moms who decided to undertake the journey of entrepreneurship and motherhood know, do with this understanding. But sometimes, you don't know how hard it is until you take the first step. There are multiple factors from managing your schedule as a business owner, to your children(s) schedules, while ensuring that you have a sense of routine and normalcy in your life.
Statistics show that one and three small business owners are moms, with most of them starting their businesses at around 40 years old. For moms juggling businesses and their children, sometimes the hardest part of it all is asking for help, while the other tricky part is taking care of yourself. Black Girl Ventures decided to ask a few mompreneurs how they do it all and if they had any advice for future mompreneurs, and this is what they had to say.
How do you do it all?
I am able to do it all because I have tons of help! Just like in my start-up, I can not do it all, and a team, family, and a village is required!
What is your self-care routine?
I get regular (and depending on how many L's, weekly) manicures. It is the two hours I know that the only decision I have to make is between 4 shades of red.
What advice do you have for moms who want to start their businesses but are hesitant because they're unsure about how to balance it all?
I don't believe that there will ever be a "balance" -- so just go for it! It will be gut-wrenchingly hard, but the high moments are higher than you could imagine.
Please check out Kimberly at Gender Reveal Game. Villie creates games to help expecting parents get support from friends and family.
I am a single-mom, naval officer, attorney, and the CEO of Amore Congelato, a company that produces all-natural gelato and sorbet sweetened with dates instead of cane sugar. Our gelato contains ups to 24g of protein, 46% DV of fiber, 30% DV of iron, potassium, and zinc, 60% DV of calcium, and more.
How do you do it all? I drove an aircraft carrier for a living with more than 5000 lives on my hands every day. After doing that, I realized that everything is about perspective and balance. As a mompreneur, I know that no one is going to die as a result of a mistake that I make.
While I try not to make mistakes as a mom and business owner, if I do, I just adjust my course and continue smartly. Constantly having to balance mommyhood, entrepreneurhood, and my military officer career has taught me to prioritize. Every job is equally important, but every activity is not. Some things, like website updates, are better left for 1 am, while other things, like taking my daughter to the park, are better for 3 pm before I go into the store.
What is your self-care routine? Self-care? I try to meditate every morning when I wake up, but usually, I end up falling back to sleep. I use mind relaxation exercises to relax my mind when I'm doing things like driving or showering. I call these mental break times. I try to stop thinking and just relax.
What advice do you have for moms who want to start their businesses but are hesitant because they're unsure about how to balance it all? Being a mom has already taught you everything that you need to know about balance. You already have to make decisions between at least two conflicting schedules, yours and your child's. If you're also working and married and... My point is that you've already learned to balance a hectic schedule, just apply the lessons that you've learned to your new business and take the leap.
Please check out Thereasa at Amore Congelato.
I am the founder of my non-profit, the Canady Foundation for the Arts (CFA), and my production company, Sepia Works. CFA is a STEAM focused non-profit organization that educates, empowers, and implements innovative arts and media programs for the youth of color. Sepia Works is a multi-media production company specializing in culturally creative conscious content. Sepia Works content includes Callaloo Kids (literature, theatre, web-series), Girls! Girls? Girls. (play and film) and The Resort (film), to name a few.
How do you do it all? I don't do it all! I think that is a huge misconception. I think you can have it all, but you can't have it all at the same time. Some days I'm very productive, and other days I barely have time to take a shower. My daughter is only five months, so I'm still learning how to balance time for myself, time for my businesses, and my family and loved ones. As a mompreneur, I have to stay on schedule, be flexible, and ask for help. Many days I have to tell myself and my team, this is not going to get done because I've had no sleep, and I've been breastfeeding all day, so I need to tackle it another day. And everyone is still ok.
What is your self-care routine? My self-care routine varies week to week depending on how busy I get. But it mostly includes daily walks, monthly massages, daily meditations, yoga, swimming, and going to the gym at least three times a week. My boyfriend and I work out, cook, and read regularly together, so that helps keep me in a good space. It also helps to have Grandma babysit twice a week so I can write, read, or even take a nap!
What advice do you have for moms who want to start their businesses but are hesitant because they're unsure about how to balance it all? In the short time, I've been a mom; it has already taught me the importance of sacrifice, time management, building a legacy, and living a purposeful, passionate life. My advice for moms who want to start their businesses is to do it at the pace that makes sense for your life because your children will forever be influenced and inspired to see their moms go after their dreams. As you build your business, be aware of your support system at home and in the office and find ways to help manage both. You will never be able to be everywhere and do everything (as much as moms want to), but you will be happier doing the work you love and so will your kids.
Please check out Marjuan at Marjuan Canady.
I am the founder of H&H the creator of the satin-lined baseball caps with a unique mission to take girls out of their comfort zone through apprenticeship programs by combining social enterprise, innovative headwear that's beautifully crafted. The girls are exposed to personal and professional workshops and matched with mentors.
How do you do it all? Prioritization is key! I'm not a fan of lists, although I need them for almost everything but I keep them incorporated in my days. Entrepreneurship and motherhood are a lot easier when you know what's important and what can wait. Keeping a to-do list and understanding my must-dos has been how I've been capable of being a woman/mom/business owner/employee.
What is your self-care routine? My best self-care days occur when I spontaneously take a day off. I typically enjoy a pamper day or go on a daytime adventure. Self-care really just looks like me doing whatever makes me happy whenever I feel like putting a smile on my own face. I also spend a lot of time with GOD. What advice do you have for moms who want to start their businesses but are hesitant because they're unsure about how to balance it all? Don't look for it to be easy. It won't be Especially not in the beginning. Just understand that it won't be tough forever, and in the long run, it'll be totally worth it. Sometimes it takes more than a few shots to get it right too. It's perfectly fine to start something then have to take a break and regroup. My advice would be to establish an accountability partner or group to help keep you balanced.
Please check out LaPorsche and what the girls are doing at HHHeadwear (H&H).
Dr. Holly Sawyer
Dr. Holly Sawyer, owner of Life First Therapy, a private practice providing psychotherapy to professional women of color by helping them navigate their life and career without using substances to cope during times of anxiety, stress, depression, or microaggressions in the workplace. How do you do it all? One misconception is that it can't be done because you're a mom. Another misconception is that you have to choose between motherhood and being a boss! Nope, you can do both - boss up in your business and be a badass mom. How I do it is creating a system of structure for myself. In addition, I include my children in what I do so they can see they too can be their own boss. What is your self-care routine? I turn off my phone for at least two days and spend time with family and resting, no computer, no social media, no work. During the workweek, I limit myself to complete three big tasks per day, once they are complete, I have time left within my allotted hours of work, then I'll do another task. If not, I shut down and chill for the day. I shut down, and I work when it's time. What advice do you have for moms who want to start their businesses but are hesitant because they're unsure about how to balance it all? Build your supports so you can know who you can count on when you need someone. Some days balance will go out the window, and that's okay. It builds a resiliency in you to show you what you're capable of and how to continue on your path. Being a mom is the best balancing act of them all. If you can raise a child or children, you can for sure raise a business.
Please check out Dr. Sawyer at Life First Therapy.
Tanya T. Morris
Tanya T. Morris, Mom Your Business. We help mompreneurs turn obstacles into opportunities by connecting them to resources that lead to success in business and in life. Our goal is to mentor 1,000 Black & Brown female entrepreneurs and help them start, grow, or scale their business. How do you do it all? When I started Mom Your Business I was working full-time, and it was more to manage, but I was in a work environment that supported entrepreneurship. However, the key then as is the same as it was then prioritizing and team building. Many solopreneurs give the impression of having it all together or doing it all, which just isn't true. Even when it looks like you have it all, something has been left undone or incomplete even when it doesn't look like it. Now that I have started building a team, having an administrator makes a world of difference. You have to prioritize, and I do that by scheduling and projects. What is your self-care routine? I believe two things. Everyone should take a sabbath (a day of rest.), and everyone should have a vacation. My routine is sleep and prayer. My sabbath is Thursday. It doesn't matter when you take it, it's not religious, just schedule a rest day and rest. So a rest day. The other thing I am a big sports fan which is the main thing COVID-19 has taken away that I miss the most. Going to a game, watching a game once or twice a week has been my escape. What advice do you have for moms who want to start their businesses but are hesitant because they're unsure about how to balance it all? Include your family in your business. My sons have always participated in my entrepreneurial endeavors, whether that was doing market research, setting up and breaking down events or transportation. My mom is on our board. When you include your family, you can ensure the balance.
Please check out Tanya at Mom Your Business.
Chantel L. Powell
I am the CEO and Co-owners of Play Pits. Play Pits is a natural deodorant, made by a Mother's love, perfect for the entire family. How do you do it all? I don't. I'm blessed to have a great support system, including a husband, and an assistant. But when I initially started, I attempted to do everything myself; branding, marketing, cooking dinner, homework, etc. It took me time to realize their value and to trust others who may not be as passionate about your vision but may have skills that can free up crucial tasks from off of my plate. The biggest misconception is that you can do it all, flawlessly and effortlessly. It is a daily struggle to balance family and personal care while growing a business, especially if you are a new mompreneur. What is your self-care routine? I cherish my alone time, so any time I can be alone with no work or kids is my self-care LOL. My current self-care routine is a weekly bath with a body scrub, a candle, and a book. What advice do you have for moms who want to start their businesses but are hesitant because they're unsure about how to balance it all? First off, start it! Next, I would say, do not hold yourself to unrealistic expectations. You will drop the ball on something, and it's okay. Be honest with yourself in knowing your capacity. It's a good idea to create structure, schedule your day, and to stick as close to it as much as possible. But even when life happens and you may not be able to stick to your schedule, stay consistent. As long as you are consistent in your business, you will find success!
Please check Chantel at Play Pits.
I am the Owner and Lead Make-Up Artist of Accessmatized Make-Up Artistry. We pride ourselves in providing professional, reliable, and customer center make-up artistry services that meet the needs of our clients' busy schedules while helping to facilitate their ability to be their most confident selves. We are the home of Pretty Mobile Baltimore, DMV's First Mobile Make-Up Studio. In addition, we create, manufacture, and distribute our own line of cosmetics (liquid lipsticks, glosses, lashes, and face powders) under our KiKi Thunda brand, which caters to Dope Women! We are proud to say that we do all of this from our Baltimore based manufacturing studio. How do you do it all? To be honest...I don't do it all, all the time! I realized that one of the misconceptions that I had was that I could give 100% of myself to everything all the time. And that is not true. I realized that it was absolutely ok for me to focus 100% of my attention on the "thing/people" in my life that needed my attention the most at that time.
So sometimes I am giving 100% of myself to my business, and that is ok. Just like, sometimes I am giving 100% of myself to my children and nothing to my business...and that is ok too! In addition, as busy mompreneurs, we have to recognize that we are either going to pay with time or money and be willing to unapologetically make monetary investments in ourselves and our businesses that will make our lives easier and/or free up our time to focus on more important things.
Time is the most valuable commodity, as it is the only thing that we cannot get back. We must remember that CEOs grow businesses they do not run them, and as we push toward CEO status, we also need to push toward growing a team that can run the day to day operations of our businesses. What is your self-care routine? I will be the first to admit that I am BAD at self-care. It is hard to carve out time for myself between running a business, managing a household, and raising three children. But when I do get an opportunity for some me-time, you will find me in the bed with my favorite foods watching comedies (I love to laugh). What advice do you have for moms who want to start their businesses but are hesitant because they're unsure about how to balance it all? START! There is never and will never be a time that you are able to "balance it all"! Life does not work that way. Do the best that you can with what you have at the time. Learn along the way. Make modifications. Bring your family along. And...afford yourself the same grace and mercy that you afford others as they learn and grow to make mistakes and start over again.
Please check out Takia at Accessmatized.
I am the Founder & CEO of Arkatecht, a company that creates web-based professional advancement tools for working parents. We are the creator of Atlast, a platform that matches parents with professional development events, like conferences, workshops, and seminars, and then automates the scheduling of childcare, so parents can more easily attend those critically important events.
How do you do it all? I do it all by prioritizing. Everything can't be done at once, but you can accomplish your goals by figuring out where there are ways you can integrate tasks to make your time and energy go further. Key to doing it all, if not at the same time, is setting up a consistent and sound mental health regimen that will help you navigate the good, the bad, and the ugly so to speak, regardless of whether you're running a business during a pandemic, or not. What is your self-care routine? Without mental health care, mompreneurs, in particular, can struggle immensely. So, for me, my self-care starts with my mental health care. I can pretty much tackle anything that comes my way if I can start my day off with a good meal, some fresh air, and music (for relaxation or to get my hyped). In addition to that, though it can be drama-filled at times, on various threads, I love reading Reddit threads. You can find so much amazing humor and real issues and emotions brought to light. The anonymity people are afforded, let's them bare a lot, and the sharing of issues can be really cathartic. What advice do you have for moms who want to start their businesses but are hesitant because they're unsure about how to balance it all? My main piece of advice is to write down what your aspirations are, what your expectations are, who and what your supports are, and on what timeline you want to accomplish certain goals. By documenting this, you can start the process of actualizing it and holding yourself accountable. The work, when you love it, may not be easy, per se, but it builds resilience in addition to producing something of greatness. To get the work done, you need some sort of plan and awareness of what you can accomplish, how, and when. I think that is the key to achieving your greatest potential, with a business and creating the type of legacy you want.
We hope these words of wisdom give you the peace of mind and encouragement to march forward towards your dreams of combining entrepreneurship and motherhood. If you're already knee-deep in mompreneurship, know that you're not alone and it's okay to pursue your dreams and be a mother. As you can see both have the ability to nourish you and feed you in different ways.
Please check out Yasmine at Atlast Advance.
I am the founder of Lizzmore Womenswear. Lizzmore Womenswear offers moisture wicked treated fabric in the underarm area to help the professional woman stay sweat stain free. The unique fibers make our professional dresses functional so that you stay confident throughout your day. How do you do it all? You do it in stages! It's impossible to do it all and do it all well, so it's best to bite off what you can and do it well. It's imperative to have help, but if that's minimal, focus on what you can do well. What is your self-care routine? My self-care routine includes journaling in the morning and doing my hair when I can. I would say, going to the salon, but since we are social-distancing, I have found myself using YouTube to get tips on how to take care of my natural tresses. What advice do you have for moms who want to start their businesses but are hesitant because they're unsure about how to balance it all? I would suggest just going for it. If you do a little bit every single day, you get so much done! Just don't stop. Set a schedule and stick to it. My baby typically woke up at 7 am, so I got up at 6 am and did as much as I could until she went down for a nap. If you focus on time management, you can see your tasks through.
Please check Erica out at Lizzmore.
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