When the going gets tough, working moms get going. If you’re feeling saddened or discouraged by the wake of the recent hurricanes, wildfires or earthquakes, just read the Twitter feed of mama mogul Bethenny Frankel. You’ll see a woman on a mission, filling up private jets and cargo ships to get supplies straight into the hands of victims.
As of mid-October, Bethenny’s B Strong organization has raised more than $4 million in in-kind donations for Puerto Rico and she’s now reaching out to companies, celebrities and citizens alike to help pool together more than $50 million in donations.
Bethenny’s a lifelong entrepreneur who was driven to create her own success after a difficult upbringing. You can read more about her journey in A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life.
Fellow “Celebrity Apprentice” alumna Nely Galan has demonstrated the same boundless determination. Building her own fortune as a Cuban immigrant taught her lessons that perfectly capture the spirit of the mompreneur stories that follow:
I’ve added her book, Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way to my reading list, and encourage you to do the same.
From personal struggle to a more flexible business
“I was sitting in ICU with my mother, who I almost lost the night before, and I knew I needed to be available to her when she was well enough to come home,” says Paula, who fits the definition of “Sandwich Generation,” caring for children and aging parents simultaneously.
As a personal concierge by day, Paula came up with the idea to create a service to help save busy professionals time by curating personalized gift boxes for special occasions. She “scratched out a rough business plan, started researching vendors and took the leap” to launch Ceh~Flora Gift Co.
Paula’s typical clients are busy working women, many of whom are moms as well. She’s raising 3- and 5-year-old “little divas” who she hopes to inspire to be “lady bosses of tomorrow.”
“I work while they’re at school. I set an agenda of 3-5 items I need to accomplish,” Paula says. “Whatever doesn’t get done before my oldest gets home moves to the top of the next day’s agenda.”
Gaining perspective and finding your voice
“Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer, it totally pulled the rug out from under our feet,” says Sarah, a “proud mumpreneur of two.”
“It made me realise that life is precious and it goes way too fast. That nothing is more important than spending time with those we love. It taught me to slow down and made me want to help others do the same,” says Sarah.
“I’d finally found the topic for my blog and so A Simple and Contented Life was born.”
For Sarah, it’s the relationships with her husband, parents and siblings that nurture her.
“My husband is my biggest support,” she says. “He works from home too so we share the workload when it comes to housework and school runs etc. As a family we’re very close, our parents and siblings are an amazing support and we all help one another out whenever we can. I have a great network of mum friends too!”
Sarah has a plan in place to build her blog in a way that doesn’t take away from quality family time:
“My youngest is at school, so I usually work between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m,” she says. “I try to get up at 5:30 a.m. to get an hour of writing in each day before everyone else gets up… but I don’t always manage it! I’ll sometimes work in the evening too. I sit on the sofa with my laptop whilst watching box sets on Netflix with my Hubby.”
“Friday nights and weekends are reserved for family time so there’s no working unless absolutely necessary.”
If these mamas can make lemonade out of lemons, so can the rest of us!
This is the latest post in a series on how working moms are building and leading companies.