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Ep. 22: What’s a Momager? with Melanie Thomas-Cook

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Qualities you need to run a successful business: patience, being able to think on your feet, a love of learning, a degree in multitasking, lots of coffee, a strong work ethic, trusting your gut, compassion, and the ability to deal with multiple personalities. 

Qualities needed to be a parent: see the list above. 

It isn’t easy wearing one of those hats, let alone both. In honor of World Entrepreneurs’ Day, we gathered advice from new and veteran moms and business owners about how to navigate both worlds, while fulfilling your dreams and helping kids achieve theirs.

My guest host is Julianne Tettamanti, co-owner of Gemelli Gelato and mom to 1-year-old Mateo. Today’s guest is Melanie Thomas-Cook, who is a mom of three, Momager Boss Boutique owner, and manages the Momager Blog. Her goal is to help moms manage motherhood creatively. 

A Few of Our Favorite Resources for Momagers:

  • Canva: Make beautiful graphics, posters, cards, and more in minutes!
  • Tailwind: The easiest way to grow your business on Pinterest & Instagram.
  • Google Drive: Easily organize, store, and share your business and personal files across multiple devices.
  • Flywheel: Fast web-hosting with amazing customer support.
  • Pepperlane Community Facebook Group: Pepperlane’s mission is to build an economy that’s more supportive to mothers. 
  • BlogHer Creators Facebook Group: A community forum and private network, maintained and moderated by BlogHer, for women content creators and entrepreneurs to connect, discuss, and share.
  • Momager: As a creative mompreneur, Melanie knows the challenges we experience on the day-to-day. Find inspiration, activities, articles, and more for everyone in your household on her fantastic blog.
  • Skillshare: Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people.

It Takes a Village:

We don’t always have all of the answers, that’s why we need to help each other out. We asked our favorite momagers about the advice they’d offer to parents looking to start their own business.

Erica Desper of Confident Parenting:

My advice would be to establish boundaries from the start. Meaning, if working from home, have a designated space for work and scheduled times to work. Without those in place, you will be “at work” all the time which can quickly lead to guilt and burnout. 

Jillian Rios of Trust Your Gut:

  1. Be clear about why you’re starting your business. Coming back to this reason on bad days will help you keep pushing forward.
  2. Schedule time every day to work on your business. Even if you can only spare 15 or 30 minutes, a little progress each day adds up to big results.
  3. Pay attention to what drains you and gives you energy along the way. Adjust accordingly.

Stephanie Davie of Pretty Pitty Design:

  • I think the key to getting my side project off the ground was having the support from the people around me. Also, making sure to do my research on what my customer base would be.
  • I had set goals on what I would be doing – starting small and then worked for higher goals as I grew.The advice I would have for parents with an idea would be to set small goals as you hit those keep pushing forward. Know that you can do things for yourself and to make you happy.

Susan Sluk of eat. drink. Om YOGA CAFE:

  • I think it’s tough for a single mom to start a business. I started my business when I was married. I think having a partner who is financially stable is the biggest helping factor if you are starting out. Your partner will need to be supportive of the time and energy that you will be putting into your business. That support helps you give to your work and family. With my divorce, it became very difficult, especially when you try not to take out loans or lines of credit.
  • Everyday is hard but if it’s your passion you find a way. You may work more than one job to help your business survive. You need that village when you are stretched thin and solo. Obligations to your children and family, that balance is a constant in your day. So to be able to have the balance you’re talking about, it is a tremendous help having a partner or family, that can be the extra hands and the back up finances when all your plates are spinning.

Kim Wolff of Optimal Massage:

  1. Make/have a plan but don’t be afraid to deviate from that plan; sometimes life throws you curveballs (I’m looking at you, Covid!) and flexibility will save you a lot of frustration.
  2. Delegate as much and as often as possible. 
  3. It truly does take a village, so make sure you have support (a business mentor, a reliable babysitter and/or family member you can call, and friends you can lean on). Owning a business is like parenthood. It becomes a child you grow and nurture and there is no manual!
  4. Make sure to take time for self care! There will always be something to do (that to do list never goes away!) but prioritizing self care makes sure you have the energy.

Nicole McNelis Counseling

Here are some of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a small business owner, parent, and mental health therapist.

  • You get to define what success means to you and there are a million ways to be successful- you have to find what works and what works for you and your family. 
  • For example, if you want to work part-time and focus your marketing efforts in the online space – you can do that! You get to decide! 
  • I also think that finding your “village” can be so encouraging and uplifting when embarking on something as big as starting your own business when you’re a parent. Find other like-minded parent & business owners (there are lots of groups online) and make yourself at home!  

Crystal Murphy Music

  1. Make sure your whole family is on board and believes in what you’re doing. 
  2. If you’re not good at planning or scheduling, learn to be good quickly or you’ll be a stress mess.
  3. Talk about your idea to everyone who will listen. 

Learn More About Julianne:

Gemelli Gelato Website | Gemelli Gelato Facebook | Gemelli Gelato Instagram | 12 W Market St, West Chester, PA 19382

We’d Like to Thank Our Show Sponsor:

A Taste of Olive sells high-quality olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and gourmet goods from artisans around the world. 

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