So, last weekend was the official Mompreneurs (r) networking event in Chicago. With space limited to 25 attendees I was lucky enough to get the 25th spot.
I must admit, I’m always a little embarrassed to say I’m a ‘mompreneur’. Entrepreneur? Yes. Woman entrepreneur? OK. Mom entrepreneur or mompreneur? Hmmmm…not so much.
But, the truth is, mom entrepreneurs really do face a totally different set of challenges than ‘regular’ business people do. Often mom entrepreneurs are trying to start or grow a business while being home with their kids. This essentially means trying to do all the normal things one does in a business while attempting to remain an active and present parent.
A few weeks ago I was trying to do some brainstorming for an article for my site. I finally couldn’t take it any more – the kitchen (aka my office) was a disaster, so I took a 5 minute break to unload the dishwasher.
As my 18 month old attempted to climb INTO the dishwasher, I put dishes away in the cupboard, making sure to keep one foot in the air attempting to block him from propelling himself into the dishwasher, all the while fully engaged in planning the outline for the article.
You can’t tell me this is a normal brainstorming process for business. This is why I’m happy to have a term like ‘mompreneur’ (r)…it makes me feel less crazy!
So…..back to the conference.
25 of us met in a hotel just outside of Chicago to network, and to talk about the challenges and opportunities of being both a mom and an entrepreneur. The ladies there were SO inspiring.
There was representation across the spectrum of industries – inventors, women in the financial sectors, writers, musicians, retailers, magazine editors. It was inspiring to see these accomplished women, willing to share what they’ve learned with newbies like me (this reminds me of a quote I heard at a local networking event that has stuck with me: “There is a special place in hell reserved for women who don’t help other women”. Not that I’ve honestly ever met another mom entrepreneur who wasn’t willing to help another mom entrepreneur).
I mean, these are ladies who have written books, been on Oprah, have their own TV shows, and have extremely successful products or businesses. And as if that isn’t enough, these women are balancing it all with being a parent.
If you are able to find a local networking group or online mom entrepreneurs group, go do it! (like, now). I’m actually not sure if it’s possible to succeed long term in your own business without one!