I was a part of an online discussion lately about the term MOMpreneur. Someone asked about the word, and the responses were really mixed. Some identified with it, while others called it things like “demeaning” or “sexist.” Others fell somewhere in the middle and didn’t think the term was terrible, but also associated it with business owners who were less serious and less likely to succeed.
What is a MOMpreneur?
Put simply, the definition of a MOMpreneur is a business owner who is also balancing the role of mom.
It’s estimated that there about 10 million MOMpreneurs in the United States– and that number is growing. One of the main reasons is that the internet has made it easier for people to work for themselves, with a flexible schedule, from the comfort of their own home.
By definition, I’m a MOMpreneur. I have two kids, and I started my own business last year. I’d been in the corporate world for 15 years and took a big leap of faith to start my own digital marketing company. On day 1 of my business, I had no clients and no prospects. So, I looked for networking opportunities.
There are many ways to get involved and meet people, but I’ll get right to it. The people and groups that have helped me the most to grow my business have been my MOMpreneur connections.
For me, the term MOMpreneur means I’m a part of a community. There are a variety of online and in-person networking groups that use the term, and the support I’ve received and seen daily is unsurpassed. From legal advice to fellow MOMpreneurs being understanding when you have to reschedule a meeting because of a sick kid – they’ve helped me tremendously.
Identifying as a MOMpeneur has meant finding a group of unbelievably supportive, go-getter entrepreneurs who also get the struggles of balancing a career and kids.
There Wasn’t a Place for Me
Parenting is hard. Whatever your situation. My situation prior to becoming a MOMpreneur was that my husband and I both had jobs where it was difficult to miss a day of work, but kids get sick. We were racing to get to daycare before close each day but often left the office with work left unfinished. I wanted that better job/promotion but wasn’t sure if it was worth the cost to our family.
My work is important to me, and always will be. I love what I do. I wanted a job that was challenging and fulfilling – but I also wanted less stress managing it all, and I wanted more time with my kids.
I was having a hard time finding something that fit my expertise, work ethic, and flexibility I felt I needed to become who I wanted to be.
It’s Not All That Defines Me
I don’t put MOMpreneur on my business card, just like I don’t put 3rd-grade soccer player on there. When I was starting out, I was in a young professional’s group, but it didn’t mean that I was okay being taken less seriously as a professional just because I was “young.” I’ve been in multiple networking groups where women, creatives, software executives, etc. meet to connect because of a shared characteristic or interest – not because it’s the only thing that defines them.
Many feel as though the term is limiting and identify simply as an entrepreneur. But I don’t think you have to be one or the other. I’m a MOMpreneur, entrepreneur, mom, wife, daughter, sister, marketer, blogger, foodie, brewer, etc. Saying that I’m one of these things doesn’t make me “less” of something else.
The term is a positive for me because I’m doing more for myself now than I ever have. I have more free time, more time with my kids, I’m happier with my work, and I’ve matched my corporate salary. As a MOMpreneur, it allows me to set my own path, say no to things I don’t want to do, and I’ve found countless new friends and business associates.
It’s Not Easy
A few things need to be said because entrepreneurship isn’t easy. I work from home, and that alone can be difficult. I’m disciplined, and I like the peace and quiet at home, but it can become lonely. This is the first business I’ve owned, and it’s been a journey, to say the least.
And if you’re imagining my kids quietly playing in the corner while I drink coffee at my laptop each day, that couldn’t be further from the truth. My youngest goes to daycare, and I couldn’t get my work done if she was here all day. If my kids get sick or a project takes longer than I anticipated, I’m working nights after the kids go to bed or on the weekend when my husband can play with them. My business is just me, and it’s my reputation, which I take extremely seriously.
I’ve succeeded because I’ve found people to support me, and I’ve set small, manageable goals. Also, I find that being unique and staying true to yourself is essential.
The Other Side
For the people who have issues with the term, I get it. I really do. I mean, how often do you hear the term DADpreneur? It’s certainly not perfect, or necessarily fair.
Having kids did push me into the entrepreneurial world, and I’m so grateful for it. Maybe that’s why I identify with the term more than others?
What do you think? Do you love it, hate it, or are you somewhere in the middle?