Mom Entrepreneur: Nannette Wiener
Business: Newrobics, Inc.
Newrobics is a company I founded with my partner, Malkie Raskas, that has developed a unique approach to exercise that incorporates both the brain and the body. Our first product, the Carpool Karma audio CD, has mental and physical exercises for moms to do while they are in the car. The brain games help prevent memory loss and Alzheimer’s and the physical exercises help you de-stress and tone key muscle groups.
What inspired you to start your business?
I basically spend my entire life in my car… I was at a point when a relative’s mother was started to experience Alzheimer’s symptoms and I was looking into the benefits of doing brain exercises before you get old, and then Malkie (who is a certified fitness trainer) and I were talking about all the time we spend in the car, and then- the whole idea just clicked: could we develop a brain and body exercise program to help moms make use of that time in an innovative, creative and fun way? So we did.
How long have you been in business?
Since February 2009.
What did you do in your past work life?
My educational background is in psychology and biology but (other than my full-time family chauffeur role) I most recently was in charge of international sales for a family-owned gift basket and household items company.
Describe your ideal workday.
My ideal workday would be to get the kids up and out on time, have a cup of coffee, and get online to check and answer emails and monitor our various business development efforts. (Note you didn’t ask what my TYPICAL workday is like… LOL:) ). Being a momtrepreneur is all about juggling two very full-time responsibilities.
What have been some of your major successes?
At this stage the major success has been successfully developing a product that is both fun and effective.
What have been some of your major challenges?
I think our major challenge has been Carpool Karma’s uniqueness- it doesn’t fit a specific category. Life is easier if you can say you’re selling an “XYZ” and people instantly recognize that kind of product. There are so many great products out there, and the buyer’s attention span is now a few seconds or a 140-character Twitter message. We have to explain what an “in-car brain and body exercise CD” is- it’s the challenge of doing something new and different.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
With a product like Carpool Karma, you know you’re not just in business to make a profit, but you’re also making a difference in people’s lives in your own small way. It was important for us to go into business with something that would help people improve themselves, make the most of their time, and feel great.
Do you have a motivational quote?
“Get your kids in the car and your mind and body into shape!”
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
When I figure it out I will get back to you… 🙂 Fortunately I have a good life partner (husband) and a good business partner (Malkie).
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
Be patient – it’s unlikely that you’ll succeed without hard work but if you put in the effort you’ll get your break.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
I don’t want to sound corny but- my friends. It’s usually a good idea to separate business and friendship, but don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask friends for advice or contacts- they know you the best, and they may know someone or something that can really help your business.
What is next for your business?
We’re developing our next title which will be Carpool Karma for moms and kids.
What is your two cents sales pitch?
If you’re a busy, multitasking mom interested in optimizing your time by improving both your mental and physical fitness, you will love Carpool Karma.
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