Mom Entrepreneur: Lara Galloway
Business: The Mom Biz Coach
Tell us about The Mom Biz Coach
As a certified life and business coach, I help mompreneurs make more money doing work they love while taking care of prioirity #1: family. I offer one-on-one coaching and coaching groups, and am also host of the Mom Biz Coach Show on BlogTalkRadio. I offer twice-weekly podcasts as well as the popular WoMEN (What Mom Entrepreneurs Need) Teleseminar Series on the Show. In September, listeners can also tune into the Mom Biz Makeover Show I’ll begin podcasting on the Women’s Information Network (www.theWINonline.com). I’m passionate about helping mom entrepreneurs create (or re-create) sustainable businesses that truly satisfy them.
What inspired you to start your business?
Simply put: I needed an outlet for my ambition, creativity, talents, passion and skills outside of motherhood.
I quit my corporate sales job at IBM to stay at home fulltime and raise my children, which I believed was the right thing to do. The corporate lifestyle didn’t mesh with my priorities anymore. And although motherhood was (and is) the hardest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had, there are still parts of me that it doesn’t use up. I started coaching because I needed a way to be the “me” that is “more than a mom,” and in fact, is the “me” I was before I became a mother.
How long have you been in business?
Since 2005, so for four years.
What did you do in your past work life?
I worked at IBM for about 10 years in a variety of roles: sales executive within the e-commerce division; consultant in the Learning Services division; and writer/assistant in the Public Relations division; I also taught Spanish at Georgia State University and at the University of Oregon while pursuing my Masters Degree in Comparative Literature there; and I was a writer and an editor at various newspapers for many years throughout high school, college and grad school. I started babysitting when I was 12, began working in newspapers when I was 15, and was hired by IBM when I was 19, so I have a long and exciting work history that started pretty early :). I was pretty ambitious all my life.
Describe your ideal workday.
Up at about 7am, visit with my hubby as I make the kids and myself breakfast, prep all the lunches for the day, get everyone out the door to school and work by around 9am, then logon to my laptop in my kitchen and connect with my clients, networks, colleagues and catch up with everyone. Start coaching by 10am and finish by 3pm (all via phone, in the comfort of my home, with my office being wherever I choose to be at that moment), completely exhausted but also incredibly satisfied that I’ve spent hours being the best person I can be and supporting my clients to do the same. Pick up the babes from school at 3pm, which is just around the block from our house, listen to their crazy tales of the day as we walk home and have a snack, then play outside, ride bikes, visit a park, have a playdate with some friends before making a yummy, healthy dinner that my kids actually love, exchanging stories of the day with my husband and the kids around the dinner table, then some playtime with the family before the kids go to bed at 8pm, and finally some quiet time with my husband reading, watching a movie or talking. In bed by 11pm.
What have been some of your major successes?
Funny enough, my biggest personal successes are directly related to overcoming the challenges listed above. My major success is making my life work the way I want it to because I’ve learned to define success on my own terms. I’m finally (since having the third child) the mom I always wanted to be, largely due to giving up all the “shoulds” that I had been living by with the first two kids. I’ve been married for 11 years to the man I love, and we continue to work on our marriage and keep it healthy and strong. I have three beautiful, (mostly) kind children who teach me so much and keep me grounded. I’m making a big difference in the lives of others, so I feel like my work is purposeful, and that feels so good! Every time one of my clients breaks out of some crummy pattern or circumstances they’re in, I declare it a success. I have accomplished a lot in my business, but my business is only one part of who I am. My major success is being happy with who I am right now!
What have been some of your major challenges?
I’ve been through many of the same challenges that my clients go through. The biggest were:
– not getting the buy-in from my husband for my business when I started it
– not creating specific boundaries around my time (for business, for family, and for “me time”)
– trying to do everything myself and not asking for (or accepting) help
– not having any experience/knowledge of how to run a businesses
– feeling guilty that I wanted to do something that “took me away from the kids”
– feeling guilty that I wanted a break from motherhood
– not having a clue who my target market was or even why I needed to have a target market
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
Knowing that I am able to make choices about how I want my days to go. When things are really hard, stressful, overwhelming, too much to bear, I try to take a step back and look for the lesson I’m supposed to be learning from all of it. There usually is one–maybe I need to ask for help again, maybe I’m growing and don’t have the right structures to support me, or maybe I’m avoiding something due to a fear or some negative self-talk. If I take time to listen for the lesson, I can usually get that motivation to get back in action. And the bottom line is that I love what I do in my business and in my life. That makes everything a lot easier.
Do you have a motivational quote?
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” That’s by Henry Ford, and it reminds me just how powerful we humans are if we choose carefully what we believe.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Accept that there are rhythms that we follow each day, week, month, season, year, stage of our lives. Sometimes your family will need more of you, and you’ll have to give less of your time to work. Sometimes your family will need you less, and you can give more of yourself to your work. Have a set routine and stick to it, but allow for the changing rhythms so you don’t beat yourself up for not having enough time to do it all.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
Choose to do work that you love.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
One word: TWITTER!!!
What is next for your business?
Expanding the Mom Biz Coach company beyond the amount of time I personally have to coach mom entrepreneurs. I choose to work only part time right now so I can have the time with my family that I want. But the demand for the kind of mentoring and coaching I do is growing beyond my personal office hours. So I’m creating more information products, membership programs and coaching services as well as bringing on a second Mom Biz Coach who can work with the moms who need us. I’ll also be doing more podcasting, more videos and more teleseminars/webinars to reach a larger audience than I can reach one-on-one.
Your two cents sales pitch?
When it’s time for you to grow beyond who you currently are and what you currently know how to do, it’s time to hire a mentor or a coach to help you do that quickly and easily. As the Mom Biz Coach, I totally “get” mompreneurs and know exactly where you get stuck, since I’ve probably been stuck there a few times myself! Don’t keep putting up with a business or a life that drains and overwhelms you. I can help you learn to be successful on your own terms, just as I have!
Are you a bizzie mom entrepreneur? Would you like to be featured and show off your product or service. Fill out our mom entrepreneur questionnaire and email 411 at bizziemommy dot com any images you would like to use in your post. Interviews are posted every Tuesday.