How do you balance entrepreneurship with motherhood?
Let me be the first to tell you that being a mom and an entrepreneur, especially if you're the CEO, isn't easy. Achieving work-life balance isn't unattainable but it does take time, patience and organization to accomplish. Now that my kids are pre-teens they are more self sufficient and don't require as much hands on care. I also include them in some aspects of my business so that they understand what I'm doing and get an understanding of entrepreneurship. As a scientist, I am very analytical and detail oriented therefore I approach motherhood and entrepreneurship in the same way that I prepare myself for lab experiments. I make checklists to prioritize what needs to be done, and use calendars and a dry erase board to organize meetings, chores and extra curricular activities such as sports, concerts and girl scout meetings so that there's a system in place and to minimize confusion which helps me keep my sanity. Most importantly, I don't let my work consume my life. I handle my business, but I always make time to spend with my children and show up for them when it matters the most so they know that they're important. I also make an effort to spend quality time with each child separately doing something they love, for example mommy-daughter movie night.
What 3 steps helped you to become successful as a Mompreneur?
(1) In addition to being a Mompreneur, I am a Faithpreneur. Yes, running a profitable business is important to me, but I view my work as kingdom business. I was raised in a christian household, so I don't make moves without praying about it first and asking God for guidance. I believe that if God gives me the vision, he'll also provide the provision. At the same, a no for me just means not right now and that God has something even greater in store. It's very easy to get discouraged when you're a Mompreneur. We're often pulled in many directions, and juggle so many things at once that sometimes it seems like no progress is being made, especially if business is slow or we're not receiving the outcomes that we'd hoped for. However, what I have to do is remind myself that while I may be playing checkers, God is a grandmaster playing chess and he's already 10 steps ahead even though I may not be able to see it.
(2) I have a growth mindset, so I believe that learning never stops. I believe in asking questions and seeking wise counsel from people who are at the level I want to be at in my business and those who have surpassed it. They have already navigated through the process and can guide me in the right direction. When it comes to education, I do what I have to do in order to remain knowledgeable, successful, current and profitable. So, if there's a training course that's available, I take it. If there's a webinar, I watch it. If there's a conference, I attend. If there's an offer for mentorship, I accept it. If a template is available, I buy it. Work smarter, not harder and utilize your resources!
(3.) I believe in being in alignment with my assignment. I surround myself with and network with positive people who are also making major power moves and refuse to play small. I'm smart, but I don't have to be the smartest person in the room. I've learned a lot from other people, even in other industries. I believe in quality over quantity, so my circle is small and is one that empowers, uplifts and holds each other accountable. Iron sharpens iron!
Any advice for moms who are considering a pivot into entrepreneurship right now?
Mothers are the epitome of strength and perseverance, so remember that this is your superpower! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. I'm not saying that it will be easy to pivot, but I am saying that you have what it takes to be successful. Start by writing down your vision and making it plain. This process allows you to visually see what it is that you want and enables you to create an action plan to achieve your goals. Secondly, it's important to communicate your goals with your family. This conversation allows them to be a part of the process. It also helps them to understand that pivoting requires change. This change will affect the family's routine, your availability, and more. However, this pivot will also lay the foundation for generational wealth and the legacy that you are trying to leave. Things may not go as planned in the beginning, but eventually most things will become routine and function as a well oiled machine. Last but not least, as I mentioned earlier, don't be afraid or too prideful to ask for help even if you have to pay for it. Why make mistakes that you don't have to make if you have someone with a proven track record willing to guide you?
What is next for you in 2022 and how can readers connect with you online?
For me, 2022 is the year of elevation and upgrades only! I recently launched Fems4STEM Magazine which is the 1st STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) publication to exclusively feature and celebrate black girls and women in the STEM industry. Each themed issue will focus on one area of STEM, to include art which is the "A" in STEAM. The magazine is an extension of my brand, the STEMinist Brand LLC which includes an e-commerce store, non-profit organization for girls called Fems4STEM and will soon include a podcast and more.
I can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Clubhouse, however I am most active on Instagram (IG). My main IG handle is @mrs.aishanicole and all of my other IG handles which include links to their corresponding websites (magazine, non-profit organization and e-commerce store) can be found via that IG profile.