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Mompreneurs: Real Life Wonder Women (part 6)

Monday, August 11, 2008
Guest blogger: Christine Janssen (written with Erin Higgins), denken Research & Consulting - This is part 6 of a 6 part article on "mompreneurs". If you prefer to download this article in its entirety, click here...>

The MomBA

Although there are plenty of mompreneurs who do indeed have business degrees and the necessary management experience to successfully launch a new business, many do not. And the thought of tackling an MBA on top of motherhood and operating a business is not a wise choice. (Meltdown anyone?) Acknowledging this challenging situation, the Small Business Division at Capital One and Victoria Pericon, founder of online resource, have jointly created a list of tips on entrepreneurship to help guide mompreneurs who might not have a business background. To earn what they dubbed a MomBA, they suggest educating yourself in the following five areas: innovation, finance, marketing, the Internet (particularly the Web 2.0), and the art of multi-tasking. Thankfully women are experts at multi-tasking, so that leaves you with only four other principles to master.

Aside from researching a wide variety of financing options and drafting a business plan, one of the underlying themes of the MomBA is doing your homework. Do the necessary research to properly position yourself for success. For example, they suggested doing research to understand a) your competitors, b) the power of social networking, c) how to efficiently and effectively promote your product/service, and d) whether or not that idea of yours has legs to stand upon.

Future Outlook

Even though being a mompreneur is challenging on so many levels, more and more women are joining the ranks. So is it true? Can women have it all? When posed with this very question, every participant in our study responded with a resounding YES! But there are caveats. Christine Lavin of Fit2BMom commented that “having it all doesn’t necessarily mean having it all at the same time.” Admittedly, balance, sacrifice, and flexibility are all things that enable mompreneurs to have it all in the larger scheme of things. Another mompreneur, Dena Smith-Givens of Primal Parenting Magazine ( brought up a good point in that “having it all” likely means different things to different people. So ask yourself what it is you want out of your life. What does “having it all” mean to you? Whatever it is, realize that – with a little planning and support – you can simultaneously be a fabulous wife, mother, business owner, and friend.

There is a definite parallel between launching a business and raising children. They both need to be created and regularly nurtured. They both must take baby steps before they can run. Leverage your strengths as a woman, be it great organizational skills or relentless passion and enthusiasm. Be patient with yourself and those around you. Don’t lose site of who you are and what you want from your life. Boldly tell the universe what you have to offer. Spend less time worrying about all the things you have yet to do, and congratulate yourself for all that you are and all that you have accomplished already.

Yes, you can have it all.

Christine Janssen is the Founder and President of denken Research & Consulting, a boutique consulting firm in New York, NY that provides end-to-end market research and writing services to small businesses, including start-ups. She is also a Doctoral Candidate at New York University, where she is completing her dissertation on women entrepreneurs.