Mom Entrepreneur: Stephanie Pollock
Business: Inspired Coaching
Inspired Coaching works with savvy, smart mompreneurs to design their most inspired lives. We provide one-on-one coaching, group coaching and many other resources designed to help mompreneurs achieve extraordinary results.
What inspired you to start your business?
A few things.
1. I was in a great, high-profile, high-pay corporate job but I was working 60-80 hours a week, including a lot of evenings and some weekends. I was also about to be married, and a family was not far off – I knew that this job was not sustainable for the family life I wanted to create.
2. Although my job was interesting, and often challenging, I knew it wasn’t my passion. I just couldn’t get excited about it anymore, and I kept daydreaming about all the things I COULD do if I started my own business.
3. I’ve always been a natural leader, and so entrepreneurship just fit my personality well. I am also a big picture thinker with ideas abound, and I needed an outlet for these crazy ideas I was coming up with each day.
4. I wanted to build something that matched my passions, but also was sustainable and workable for my family-to-be. I want to pick my son up from school every day (when he gets to be that age). I want to have the flexibility to stay at home if he’s sick. And most of all, I did not want to have to schlep him on the bus at 7am every morning and pick him up from daycare at 6pm. SO not for me.
5. And finally, I wanted to be happy. I want my son to look to me as someone willing to take risks in order to live their most inspired and authentic life. I want him to be proud of his mamma.
How long have you been in business?
I left my full-time corporate job in May 2008. I started Inspired Consulting, a boutique communications firm, and then started Inspired Coaching just months later.
What did you do in your past work life?
I have a communications background and worked in Public Affairs and Communications for two of the most recognized international non-profit organizations (Red Cross & YMCA). After that, I moved into the corporate sector, working for an international oil & gas company. My role there was in the Public Affairs department doing Community Investment, where I was able to put some of the company’s money toward community programs.
Describe your ideal workday.
Ideal workday is getting up around 6:30am with my son, feeding him and walking him to the dayhome. I grab a Venti Mild Starbucks coffee on the way home, turn on my computer and head straight to Twitter. Chat for a while, get caught up on email, then begin to work.
I’d coach about 3-4 clients during the day, spend time writing blog posts or working on various products, and chat with a few fellow mompreneurs throughout the day (probably via Twitter).
Would wrap up by 3, go pick up my son, head home and make dinner for my hubby and me. Do the evening routine, and then probably hop back on the computer after bedtime to do a bit more work. Maybe a hot bubble bath in there somewhere.
What have been some of your major successes?
I just recently re-launched my coaching business with a new niche focus on mompreneurs. In the two months since doing that, I’ve already received really positive feedback from new clients, and visitors to my site. I have also been on TV and was also featured in a recent feature article in our City’s local paper.
My biggest success to date is that I have made it work. Having a new baby (my first) and a new business has not been easy, but I’m doing it and loving almost every minute of it.
What have been some of your major challenges?
My biggest challenge was that I got pregnant two months after launching my business. It was a bit unexpected (that it happened so fast) and it threw me off my game a bit. For the first few months of business I was fairly sick, and so it was a challenge taking on work when I felt so ill.
Post-baby, my biggest challenge has simply been juggling having a new baby (he’s just 6 months old) and having a new business. Being self-employed, I was not entitled to a maternity leave, so I’ve been back to work since month 2.
Moving forward, my biggest challenge will simply be to stay focused on the projects that will move my business forward the most. I love new ideas, so I can easily get side-tracked when I come up with something new.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
My clients motivate me. Knowing that they are working so hard to build their businesses encourages me when I’m not feeling motivated.
My son motivates me. I want to build this business so my lifestyle can be very flexible. I want to be a very present mom and I know that my old way of working won’t support the vision I have for my family life.
My tribe. I have a great group of people (husband, friends, colleagues, coaches etc.) that remind me why I decided to do this in the first place, the impact I’m having and that I’m already doing well.
Do you have a motivational quote?
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. – Marianne Williamson
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Having set childcare and work hours. I think this is an absolute must for mom entrepreneurs. We have to set those boundaries – for our kids, our husbands/partners, and our clients. Critical!
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
To use their values as the guidepost for decision making. In business it’s easy to get swept up in all the different things we could or should be doing. We see our competitors out there and feel behind, so we try to do it just like them.
To build a truly sustainable and successful business, it has to be a reflection of what is most important to US (not to everyone else). We have to ensure that each decision we make is in the best interest of our business, based on our values, goals and priorities.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
I love www.evernote.com. As someone who loves online research, I love being able to quickly snip a web page’s content and keep it all somewhere to be looked at later.
What is next for your business?
Many things. I’m looking to build up a suite of products by the end of the year. As well, I’ll be launching a tele-class series in January 2010 for mompreneurs, followed by a Telesummit early spring 2010.
Your two cents sales pitch
If you’re ready to create a sustainable and successful business, while keeping your family happy and healthy hire me as your personal Mompreneur Success Coach.
Together, we’ll work to set exciting goals, get the fears and obstacles out of the way, brainstorm all the possibilities, and get the structures in place to ensure you have a solid foundation – both for your business and for the rest of your life. I am committed to helping you achieve extraordinary results!
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