As many of you who have followed my work the past year know, among the wild leaps I’ve taken to transform my business, 2017 will be another brand-new type of year as I take on another title, “mom.”
So, I decided it would be a fun and interesting pursuit to learn from other mom bosses on the ins and outs of operating successful businesses while keeping committed to family.
The first such interview features Teri Carden, Founder and Creator of ReviewMyAMS, a review site for associations and non-profits to share end user experiences on their association management software and read reviews from others.
Read on for more wisdom from Teri.
When did you start your company, and were you a parent yet?
I started my company in late 2013. And yes, I became a proud mom to Ethan in 2003 and Sydney made number two in 2005.
Was the decision to start your company based in any part on wanting to be with your family more, especially when they were babies?
Not really. My kids were already in grade school and I actually serve my family better when I’m working. Starting my own business had more to do with my own interests, market needs and our overall family future.
What has owning your own company allowed for you in terms of flexibility in raising your children, or spending more time with them?
Though I didn’t start my own company to have “more quality time” with the kids, going out on my own did allow for more freedom to pick them up from school and attend school activities. Now, we travel a lot with the kids during the summer and on their breaks because I have the flexibility to work from anywhere. It is truly luxury that I don’t think they fully understand.
Do you face any struggles with being a business owner that you believe are different from if you worked in-house?
I miss very little about working in an office. When I need to bounce ideas off of someone, I have a small but smart network of friends and colleagues that have a strong understanding about what I do who can give me solid advice. Paying taxes sucks the worst – someday I’ll have a finance person to handle it all.
How did you handle maternity leave while running your business?
I worked in an office while I was pregnant with both kids. Once I had to go back to work (after six weeks) then the office created “an office” for my kids. It was a good place for me to nurse, them to sleep and to play. Fully equipped with a TV and toys and it was right across the hall so I could keep an eye on them while I worked. A unique situation, but it let the employer keep me on staff and start my family too. I eventually migrated to put them in a mom’s day out program so I could slowly go back to work on my own.
What advice would you give other women looking to start a business and a family?
- Be good to yourself. Don’t take on too much; many of us can be our own worst enemies. When you’re your own boss, you get to choose how much you need to do to make your goals.
- Know your market and know what it needs so that you can quickly be successful.
- The more you can automate, the better.
- As fast as you possibly can, hire another person to help you with administrative tasks; right now I have another mom that helps me 4-6 hours a week for $50 a week. It’s not much money but is a huge help and it allows her to get her kids a little extra like swim lessons, etc. It’s a win-win.