Mom Entrepreneur: Erin Baebler
Business: Magnolia Workshop
Magnolia Workshop helps mothers manage their day-to-day worlds so that they have the time and space to pursue their ambitions and passions outside of motherhood.
I work with some only once as we assess where they are and set up a plan for what they want to do going forward. And, others, I’ve worked with for years as they’ve pursued large goals and wanted frequent support for moving their lives toward all that they want and deserve.
What inspired you to start your business?
My son was hospitalized for 6 weeks as an infant. It was during that time that I was supposed to go back to work. Well, you can’t go back to work when your son is as sick as mine was and since we didn’t know how long it would take for him to recover, I ended up quitting my job.
Once he was home and healthy, I took a look at my life and realized that I didn’t really know who I was. I’d been working full-time for a long time and it was a huge part of my identity. With that gone, I knew I needed to find something else to do part-time. I also knew that I didn’t want other mothers to go through what I was going through. I had hired a coach prior to having my son and it occurred to me that I could help other mothers if I was a coach. So, I went through the training and started a coaching practice.
How long have you been in business?
What did you do in your past work life?
My past life work included several different marketing roles for a financial services company, working as an account manager for an advertising agency on a large cruise line account and working in a combination marketing/human resources position for a tiny start up marketing firm.
Describe your ideal workday.
My ideal workday is productive and full of variety. My favorite days are those that start with a client call or two. My interactions with my clients bring me such energy that I can then dive into the marketing, outreach or miscellaneous housekeeping items I must do to stay in business. Oh, and, I love the days that I allow myself a coffee break to enjoy a latte and read the paper.
What have been some of your major successes?
My major successes have to do with client retention. I have been fortunate to coach some of the same clients for years as they navigate motherhood and entrepreneurship and careers.
I’ve also been so fortunate to be able to marvel in my clients’ successes which are not mine directly but which I have been honored to play a role in.
What have been some of your major challenges?
My major challenges have been about time. I work between 10-15 hours a week and if I have a full roster of clients, that doesn’t leave me much time to plan or do marketing.
I’d say my other major challenge is knowing how best to describe what I do. There are so many life coaches out there and each one has something different to offer. Because there is no one way of conducting business as a coach, I feel like there are misconceptions out there that I have to overcome. And my own coaching can look different from client to client because I respond to the individual person and what she needs.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
Chocolate, exercise and US Weekly. In addition, I’m lucky to have several groups of very supportive women and coaches who I can turn to for encouragement and support. I also have an incredibly supportive husband who believes in me.
Do you have a motivational quote?
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom
– Anais Nin
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
Pick something you are truly passionate about and then be open to the possibilities and how it can evolve to keep up with the world.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
My biggest secret is have a husband who supports what you do. And have clear expectations with him and with your children, if they are old enough, about your work hours. I do best when I am 100% working or 100% with my family. Otherwise, I feel like I’m doing an OK job at both and a great job at neither.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
I use very basic tools: my iPhone, Outlook, SquareSpace to host my site and blog. Keeping things simple has worked well for me.
What is next for your business?
Now that my daughter is 3 and in school more, I am ramping things up. I plan on introducing more products that are easy and affordable for moms. I am also exploring a couple of book ideas that would include chances for moms to contribute their stories. I will be looking at what I can do to help make mom’s lives easier, to help make sure moms have time to do the things they want to do and to share the fact that we are all in this together.
Your two cents sales pitch?
I am an educator, empowering women from the bedroom to the bank. A romance therapist and sensuality consultant, helping you find your inner diva every day.
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