The Future of Doing Business & Raising Babies

I always make a point to say that Doing Business and Raising Babies was NOT started as a way to make a profit. It was created out of my desire to help other mothers like myself in starting and growing their own businesses. It was made to be a community that focuses on education and motivation. That creates a support system of mothers. That cuts through unhelpful information and resources and presents it in a not overwhelming way. I purchased pins and stickers to use as gifts and a way to say thanks to those kind enough to give their time and words in the Mother Run Series. After seeing how much money it took to create this space, I decided to list the products in an Etsy shop as a way to recoup some of the cost of starting this page. I recently had to compile all of my 2017 receipts for tax purposes and saw for the first time the exact amount of personal money I spent since last August in creating this space and making it what I wanted it to be. Between paying for a website and url for a year, logo design, pins and stickers, postage on thank you packages, testing out new logoed products like totes, business cards, etc—I invested almost $1000 into start up costs in 2017. Which is fine because I love it and want to create something that genuinely helps others.

     All that being said, it’s easy to feel like a hypocrite when I state that my main goal is not making a profit and then turn around and post a link to my shop for anyone who may want a pin or copy of the Mother Run business planning guide. Since starting, I’ve now spent around $1200 building this and made around $100 in sold products. 99% of time I give things away for free, because that was the intention all along. I send pins and stickers to all Mother Run participants. I sent out 17 free copies of the Mother Run business planning guide (I was blown away by everyone's interest and kinds words about this by the way!!) when I was looking for feedback. I’ve done a couple giveaways. And I LOVE doing that and will continue to do so. That’s not an issue.

     I recently started watching a free training series by Marie Forleo that is the precursor to her B School opening at the end of February. It has really made me think of where I want to take Doing Business and Raising Babies (also I recommend that you watch the free series, it’s eye opening and amazing). I have big plans for more mother themed products, more business workbooks, business workshops for mom’s wanting to start and grow a business, a larger FB group for sharing and seeking advice, and so much more. While I will continue to give out pin and sticker packs and offer up free copies of guides to those who need it—in order to continue to grow this into what I hope it can be and in order to continue creating things that hopefully really help others, I will also continue to market these products to anyone else who may want them. In an effort to not feel like i’m constantly selling, I created a separate page to market those items outside of Doing Business and Raising Babies.

     I will be taking B School here soon and have high hopes it can help me grow this community and create even more content I wish I had when I got started. No matter what, I don’t want the spirit of this space to change and I hope that my ultimate goal to HELP really comes across despite needing to market a bit. I am just one person, a mom with a one year old and a baby on the way. As much as I would love to invest and invest into this passion project without needing to sell anything, it’s just not realistic or responsible.

     I want to end by thanking everyone for their support thus far and for reading my rambling. If you want some merch but can’t part with money for it—contact me! I’m always taking new interviewees or open to accepting written work you’d like published and am always open to trades. If you need help with starting a business and can’t pay for a workbook, literally all you have to do is message me and let me know and I will send you a pdf version and ask for nothing but you passing on the knowledge to someone else when you’re in a position to do so.

      I hope that nothing I’ve said here will change how you feel about DB&RB and I hope that you are finding helpful information and motivation here and loving this growing community of mothers.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Why don’t we see ourselves as entrepreneurs?

     So often I think there is this huge disconnect with what it means to be an entrepreneur.  When we think of entrepreneurs, we think of people who started a business in their garage with a couple hundred bucks and an idea and now they're millionaires!  Amazing!  When we read business books we see advice that seems to mostly apply to small and large companies, not individuals who have a business.  It’s hard for me to constantly see The Best Business Advice Ever and then I read it and none of it applies to me. 

Working a craft fair with baby in tow! 

Working a craft fair with baby in tow! 

     The reality is that most entrepreneurs are probably not like that and may never be.  I had a hard time taking myself and my business seriously because I knew I would never be that, you don’t make millions being a pet sitter.  If I couldn’t live up to these big entrepreneurial success stories was I really an entrepreneur?  If I wasn’t changing the world with my idea was I really an entrepreneur? 

     I see and share statistics all the time about how women own only around 36% of businesses.  We are making leaps, for sure, but we still don’t come close to the men.  Why is that?  A big part of the reason is that we don’t see ourselves as entrepreneurs.  We see ourselves as someone with a side hustle to help our families.  A mom with a hobby that happens to make a little money.  We see stories of these millionaires who started with nothing and now post perfectly curated and styled photos on social media and we look at our little one person businesses that we can only dedicate 20% of our time to and we think that’s not me.

     Would I love to be one of those people?  Did you hear about her, she started her business with $500 and some cheap business cards and now she has 100 employees and makes millions! Of course, we probably all would love to be that person.  The fact that we aren’t, and may never be, does not change the fact that we are still business owners.  We are still entrepreneurs.  While these stories may be inspiring (I’ve been biz crushing on Sara Blakely recently, so I totally get it), they don’t always give us the actual motivation we need because they aren’t relatable.

     So what really does make an entrepreneur?  If you are your only employee, you’re an entrepreneur.  If you can’t afford a professional website so you use a cheap (or free!) DIY one, you’re an entrepreneur.  If you only make a few hundred or a couple thousands dollars a year, you’re an entrepreneur.  If you only have the time to work an hour or two a week, you’re an entrepreneur.  If you have any kind of service or business, no matter how small, you are an entrepreneur!  A real one!  Trust me!

     You don’t have to have dreams of grandeur, you have to love what you do and believe that you are a real business owner.  Do you think I expect to get rich off of pet sitting?  No way, but I love what I do.  I’m passionate about giving people a safe, affordable option that isn’t sticking their pets in cages all day at a boarders.  I’m passionate about being the best and doing my best.  I may never the be the success story you see in a magazine, but I’m my own success story and you are yours and we are each others.

Baby wearing lets me do my pet sitting appointments with a baby! 

Baby wearing lets me do my pet sitting appointments with a baby! 

     We need to SEE the stories of other female small business owners.  I didn’t start this page to be a business, I started it to be a wonderful community of women who uplift each other and learn from each other.  Who encourage each other and motivate each other.  It’s a space where we can see each others successes and see what we are capable of.  It’s our space, so be there for each other.  If you see a fellow business owner doing great, tell them so!  If you see one of us struggling, be supportive!  If you know of a badass mother runner who deserves to be spotlighted, send her my way so others can be inspired by her.

     While I think it is incredibly important to make female entrepreneurial role models accessible as a whole, my main focus is and always will be mothers.  It’s not enough to see women entrepreneurs in the spotlight, we need to see small business women that we can actually relate to. Women juggling kids and work like we are. Women who share the same struggles as us. Business owners that we see ourselves in. You can’t be what you can’t see.

     If this sentiment resonates with you, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. I hope to explore this topic much more in the future!

 

Yours in business and motherhood,

Brittany