Mom Entrepreneur: Yvonne Bynoe
Business: Sophisticated Woman and Mama
Tell us about Sophisticated Woman and Mama
I am the creator of the www.SophisticatedWomanandMama.com a blog that focuses on Generation X working mothers. Through my Moms Who Write coaching services I work with women to finally write the books that they have been dreaming about completing. Balancing a job and raising children with writing is challenging. Many mothers feel that they don’t have the time or the emotional support needed to write. Books however shape public opinion and our local and national discussions are richer mothers include their ideas, thoughts and perspectives to the conversation
What inspired you to start your business?
Over the past year, increasingly women who came to me for coaching expressed interest in working with me to complete book projects. Some projects were purely creative pursuits, while others had to do with increasing the woman’s business reputation. Although I never advertised this as a service, I suppose that the women who sought me out felt that since I had completed three book projects and was now working on a fourth—all while having a small child, I could help them. Now I am shifting my coachin business to focus on my two loves: empowering women and writing.
How long have you been in business?
I have been formally in business for approximately two years. I however have more than a decade of experience working with women and women’s groups.
What did you do in your past work life?
In my immediate past life, I was an attorney who co-founded and ran a not-for-profit organization.
Describe your ideal workday.
On an ideal day, I would drop my five year old son off to school, meditate, exercise and then start working. Depending on the day I’d be writing or coaching clients. Unfortunately the exercise usually falls by the wayside.
What have been some of your major successes?
As a coach, I believe that my greatest successes stem for being able to help working mothers to see the possibilities in their life and then assist them in crafting strategies to actually attain those goals. So many of us are bogged down by societal expectations that we don’t take the time to think about what we’d like for ourselves. If I can help a woman to get on track with your book project or tap into a needed answer about her overall life—I’ve had a successful day. As an author, my latest book, Who’s Your Mama? The Unsung Voices of Women and Mothers Foreword by Rebecca Walker has brought me joy. It’s an anthology that brings together a diverse group of women who discuss their perspectives on motherhood and family.
What have been some of your major challenges?
Initially my biggest challenge was to fully appreciate the importance of marketing and promotion. I naively thought that the good work would speak for itself. Not coming from a traditional business background it took me a minute to realize that marketing and promotion are integral to having a successful business and serving women. Ultimately you can’t help people if they don’t even know that you and your services exist.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
I remind myself that my contribution, regardless of how small it might be in the grand scheme of things, is helping women to have more fulfilled lives. These women will then make powerful impacts on their families and on their communities.
Do you have a motivational quote?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world: indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
I don’t believe in balance because there is no way to divide your life: 50% business and 50% family. I believe in defining my priorities for each day, week or month. By constantly doing the things that really matter to me for my family, for my business, and for myself I don’t get overloaded and stressed out.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
Be passionate about what you are doing and surround yourself with smart people
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
I love Facebook and Twitter for connecting with new and interesting people
What is next for your business?
I plan to develop Moms Who Write workshops that will bring aspiring mom writers together to share resources and to create support networks.
Your two cents sales pitch
Are you a mother who wants to write a book? Do you feel that you simply don’t have the time, resources or the discipline to see it through? Moms Who Write is the literary coaching service for you. Yvonne Bynoe works with mom writers one-on-one to define their writing goals, “find” time to write, set weekly or monthly writing deadlines and overcome creative blocks. If your manuscript is complete she’ll help you to get it ready to submit to an agent or publisher.
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