Most moms consider themselves to be entrepreneurs. After all, parenting brings out unbeknownst creativity. How can I get my kids to eat their veggies? How can I stop my toddler from opening the kitchen cabinets? The list goes on ….
But nowadays, moms are taking the entrepreneurial spirit to the next level by successfully launching their own businesses around self-made products. The entrepreneurial bug bit mom-of-two Jennifer Spencer after she created a tether to link her son and his beloved stuffed toy together. (She was tired of picking the darn thing up off the ground.) The mom launched her product worldwide and she hasn’t looked back since.
WHAT SHE DOES
As a working mom of Abigail, 6, and Jake, 4, Spencer split her time three ways: at her 9-to-5 job, at home with her family and tucked in her home office, scheming her entrepreneurial plan. “After awhile, it got to be too much,” she confesses. “I had to give up something so that I could spend more time with the people that were important to me – my family. So I took a huge step and sold my pediatric occupational therapy practice.”
This risk reaped its benefits. Now, the busy mommy spends her days working from home, enjoying one-on-one time with her kids and her parenting-inspired dream. And, when another idea crosses her mind, Spencer says she’s quick to jot it down in her journal – just in case she chooses to expand her company’s product line.
Her biggest struggle? Time. (Entrepreneurial or not – what mom can’t relate?) “It will always be a challenge to fit it all in and balance family and work. I’ve made it a priority of mine to dedicate quality time to my children,” she explains.
Spencer and her hubby also get a little extra time together thanks to her flexible work schedule. Prior to kids, the twosome would skydive or parasail together. They now keep things on the safer side, Spencer quips, adding, “We love to travel. Last year we went to Hawaii together and took surfing lessons. … However, we’re content sitting on the driveway together, watching the kids ride their bikes.”
HOW SHE DOES IT
When she’s not doing business via e-mail and the Internet, Spencer works the phones and presents her product at trade shows across the globe. “So much can be done at home behind a computer, thanks to technology,” she declares. “But that means that I don’t have set working hours. It can mean working very early or very late.”
She easily trades the late hours for quality time with her spontaneous and spunky kids. Spencer says she’s not afraid to get “down and dirty” with the two youngsters. “I’m able to stay in-the-moment with them,” she details.
Hundreds of moms approach Spencer and request tips for launching their own entrepreneurial dreams. “I tell them first and foremost to keep their cards to their chest. Be careful who you share your idea with,” the no-nonsense businesswoman says. “Then, take the next step and go to market with your product or idea. Don’t be afraid – so many moms get stuck here.” Then, she adds, it’s all “downhill” (yet it takes a whole lot of work!).