Mom Entrepreneur: Christine Cook
Truebluematch.com is a friendship matching website for parents. It matches moms with moms and dads with other dads for friendship, support and fun. After filling out a profile questionnaire members are matched with other parents in their area that share similar interests, parenting styles and personalities. They can begin communicating with their matches through our internal email system and then decide if they would like to meet. The rest would be their friendship history!
What inspired you to start your business?
I really feel that parents need friends to help them navigate, enjoy and survive the crazy road of parenthood. Finding those friends isn’t always easy. I had challenges finding friends in my area after my oldest son was born and often wished there was a matching service for mommies!
I was also inspired by hearing from parents that they experienced challenges as well.
How long have you been in business?
The site was launched in November 2009.
What did you do in your past work life?
I’ve always worked with children and parents, first as a school teacher, then as a parent educator, now as a business owner that serves parents.
Describe your ideal workday.
A great, mind-clearning workout would start the day then…
-a chunk of productive morning time
-a lunch meeting with a potential advertiser
-an afternoon making connections to help spread the word about my site through blogs, interviews (perhaps with Stephanie Elie from Bizzie Mommy), radio, television, etc.
-before the bus comes to bring my boys home a call from Oprah—oh, that’s my DREAM workday, sorry!
What have been some of your major successes?
I’ve had some great local coverage, stories in three papers and a couple of radio show interviews.
What have been some of your major challenges?
Having to learn EVERYTHING. I was a teacher before having my children so I’ve never been a “business woman.” Truly, I have had to learn so much in the past couple of years including, web design, marketing, accounting, how to make Power Points….the list is almost endless. Lucky for me I enjoy learning but sometimes all that I don’t know can be overwhelming. I’ve tried to take it one step at a time and have found great people along the way to help me.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
I have my “Lonely Mom In Des Moines, Iowa” as a motivator. She is the mom I picture in my mind who is feeling really lonely and overwhelmed. Her marriage is suffering and her children are feeling the effects of having a mom who is lonely. She is going to benefit SO much from my website and I have to get the word out to her ASAP!
I try to picture her and all of the other moms and dads who need this service along with their children when I feel like all I need to do is insurmountable. They are counting on me and I won’t let them down.
Do you have a motivational quote?
I’m a bit of a quote collector….
Here’s a couple I have on my bulletin board right now:
Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen, keep in the sunlight.” –Benjamin Franklin
Often I feel like the only think I am an expert on is my idea and I doubt myself that it is enough. This quote keeps me inline:
All you require is You, and your ability to think things into being. Everything that has been invented and created throughout the history of humankind began with one thought. From that one thought a way was made, and it manifested from the invisible into the visible.”
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
You have to feel passionate about what your business is/does. Find a balance of fun and work and surround yourself with smart, creative, positive people.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Wait, there’s secrets?? Please tell me what they are!
I’ve found that booking family time into my calendar (love Outlook!) is important. I don’t just block out that time, I write something we are going to do. For instance, I knew it was going to be just me and my youngest son home one evening. I blocked out the time on my calendar and scheduled to play the new game he recently got. I know if I didn’t write what we might do I would be tempted to sneak in a check on my email or make a quick call. I treated the time the same way I would a business appointment (there 100%) and it felt great.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
I really love Outlook calendar and am finding out more of the great ways to use it everyday. I used to think I didn’t want a calendar telling me what to do but once I really gave it a try I found it helped clear my head of all my To Do’s. It freed up a ton of brain space for me.
The Mom Entrepreneur support group has been a very valuable resource. I recently joined a local business women’s group and attended a great workshop.
What is next for your business?
Adding advertisers on the site.
Continuing to spread the word—got to reach Des Moines!
Your two cents sales pitch?
Friendship is powerful. Studies show the benefits close connections have on us both mentally and physically. Parents of young children are at risk of not having the time or energy to find compatible friends. Additionally, it can be awkward and uncomfortable to make that first connection. truebluematch.com solves that problem for parents by making true blue friendship connections for parents.
Parents, their children and their significant others all benefit from these friendships. Making them has never been easier. Let us help you find your true blue friend today.
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