This post first appeared in Entrepreneur.com
Online communities offer everything from tips to mentoring for time-strapped mothers.
Never before have so many moms decided to start their own business. When we learn of a mommy-owned business success, we see the opportunity to "have it all." We realize that we can have a career that is supportive of motherhood if we create it for ourselves.
One of the best things about being a mom is that we feel connected. It's like a club. And being mom entrepreneurs, we not only feel connected but we also want to help each other. Once we find success, we want to share that success with the world. Hence, we've created a whole new set of businesses--from radio shows to blogs and networking groups--that are just for mom entrepreneurs. Here are just a few of those:
Mindee Doney and Julie Pickens are the founders of Boogie Wipes. You just gotta love the name. Boogie Wipes are made of saline, so they dissolve boogies caused by the common cold. The success of the business inspired Mindee and Julie to help other mom entrepreneurs. They started the website thebusinessofbeingamom.com. They share how they use their skills as moms to build their business. The website features a blog, videos and a list of resources. They even share a template for building a business.
After launching her own design business in 2005, Marlynn Schotland sought support both as a new business owner and as a new mom. She participated in several professional organizations and in several moms' groups. But while she enjoyed connecting with individuals in both worlds, she craved a space where she could talk about both worlds at once. Like any other mom business owner, Marlynn's time was stretched to capacity: She needed a single venue where mothers who owned businesses could gather and be themselves, to talk freely and openly about both the challenges of building a business and the challenges of raising a family--in a supportive, collaborative environment.
Marlynn started Portland, Ore.-based The Power MOB (Mom-Owned Businesses) with the mission to help foster a respectful, helpful and supportive environment for women business owners who are also mothers. On this site, you will find monthly meetings, forums, mama mixers and even a radio show.
My friends and colleagues Heather Reider and Mary Goulet startedMomsTown.com. MomsTown.com has been inspiring moms to create the life of their dreams since 2003. Heather and Mary wanted to create a community where a mom could go to get ideas, be inspired and find the motivation to begin creating her dream life. The pair have spent several years hosting an internet radio show dedicated to helping spread the word about creative ways moms can make money and start and build their businesses. They believe that women have an "inherent creative power," which they call your ICP. Their show helps you tap into your ICP to create the life you want. Now, they are releasing a nationwide television show called MomsTown Live.
The Mom Entrepreneur was started by Traci Bisson. Her company offers tips, advice and resources for women struggling to balance being a mother and running a company. Her site offers a blog, an online support group and a mom entrepreneur co-op, which includes bargains on dozens of products and services for moms, dads and kids.
Heather McCarron Allard created The Mogul Mom after having created three successful mommy-owned businesses without any staff, the aid of a nanny or day care and without any mompreneur blogs. She saw a need for The Mogul Mom and filled it. She wanted to provide mom entrepreneurs with quality content. She offers a variety of resources on her blog, along with coaching.
And if you are looking to connect with other moms, check outTwitterMoms, also called the Influential Moms Network. TwitterMoms is a network of highly influential, active and "networked" moms. Nearly 80 percent of its members maintain personal or professional blogs--many with a substantial following. More than 95 percent of members use Twitter to communicate with a range of friends and followers. There are 23,000 moms connecting not just on business but on social media to technology to fashion.
I guess I'm an example of a mompreneur who wants to share tips and challenges through this column on Entrepreneur.com. I have experienced both great success and many challenges since starting my business. I am always eager to share those experiences with other moms in business.
So as you can see, you will not be alone when you decide to embark on your journey as a mom entrepreneur. In fact, you'll be in good company. And once you succeed, you just may join this team in supporting the next generation of mompreneurs!