MMIW does it again! On Saturday Nov. 3rdin the elegant and quaint Mott Haven Bar & Grill the ever so empowering founders of MMIW Veronica and Alyssa, showcased an all inspiring panel of Mompreneurs that lead successful self-made startups! The panelist included Quiana, writer of the Harlem Love Birds blog, Yosely Maldonado founder of Favors & More Event Planning and Design, and Tanya Osborne, market leader of Women Grow. Each a different business in a different industry, however, sharing similar journeys. The ladies shared with the crowd stories of valor, self-belief, of having to thread on uncertain waters, to push through the challenges with creativity and blind faith, and managing to balance it all with their duties of being a mother and provider.
Each of the panelist was able to tell their story on what led them to initiating their start up. Although, each had a different journey, what was clear was that to all they found they wanted to be in control of their life, their income, their time, their reach as a person, and wanted to do something they were passionate about. The motivating factor for these ladies was wanting to have it all, be at home to raise their children, and earn a living doing what they feel passionate about. They knew they had the skills, the intelligence, the strength, and the duty to give more of themselves and make a bigger impact in the world, and so they headed out to do just that!
The panelist attest that to make it work, it takes a lot. It takes good time management, prioritizing of your energy, creativity, blind faith, valor and self-belief, and the backbone to take risks and put yourself out there. At some point the need and desire for more, to do more, and to do for yourself overpowers any fear or timid-ness you may have. In order to make it work as a mom alone, and especially as a mompreneur you have to be ready to do what it takes to make it work. The ladies spoke at length how outsourcing for whatever support you need to make a job or a gig possible is by all means necessary. As moms, there is a lot to balance on an everyday basis from the household with the laundry, the groceries, cooking, cleaning, to the kids, and the school work, extra curricular activities, raising them, to the relationships we have be them romantic, friendships, with our families, colleagues, business connections, etc., in order to make it work a balance in prioritizing is essential. You learn what is important for you to be present in versus what you can outsource and still have a finished product you are happy with. It is important to learn to prioritize where, with whom, and when to place your energy. Friendships, for instance, often result in taking a back burner, some falling to the waistline and dissipating altogether. Nonetheless, the experience is that what becomes irrelevant in your journey to success in the end is as it should be.
To make it work, it takes a lot of pushing, a lot of discipline, and straight up, balls! It takes a tunnel vision mind frame that is ninja blocking all obstacles found along the way. You have to believe in what you are doing and you have to most of all believe in yourself! You have to get creative on how to make your presence be known! How to carve out a space for yourself and say Hey, I’m Lydia, I am here! I am worth it! I can do this, and I can do this better than well!! Quiana, having a marketing and advertising background spoke on the art of selling yourself. To create the tools you need to market yourself and make yourself be noticed. She recommended to develop a press kit that you can use to pitch yourself out to forums that will help elevate your work. She advises to tag the people and businesses that share common themes and interests to make yourself noticed and initiate a connection. A great way to increase exposure and build your following is to partner up with others that are doing similar and complimentary works. It makes it easier to work together in creating platforms that attract more followers and so business. In the end, the goal is to generate income doing something they love that allots them the freedom to make their own schedule so they can be more present in raising their children and maintaining their families.
Getting paid gigs is necessary! Knowing your worth and not being afraid to ask for it, thus, is also necessary. The ladies suggest researching the market prices your business is in and figuring out what your worth is in comparison. Getting creative in the way that you stand out and organically brand yourself is important. Authenticity in your style is the most simple and consistent way to do this. The more natural you are the easier it is to sustain your niche in the market. As Quiana eloquently put it, “there is plenty of room for everyone, even if there are 50 bloggers blogging about fashion as you are it doesn’t matter because they do not have your voice,”. So forge on ladies, and let your voice be heard! Do it your way! If you feel it, believe it, Do it!
Credits & Contacts:
Moms Make It Work
Harlem Love Birds
Favors & More Event Planning and Design
Vendors & Networking Contacts:
Bronx Moms Network