Blog 4 of Top 25 Mompreneurs - 2012

Bump Club and Beyond

by Lindsay Pinchuk

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What advice would you give a mom who wants to be a mompreneur?

The best mompreneurs are those who can visualize something that doesn’t currently exist in a marketplace, but will make their own lives better. Then turn it into a reality for themselves and others to benefit from. Almost three years ago, I was newly pregnant, and saw a need in Chicago for moms-to-be and moms to connect with one another face to face in a social, educational and fun way. Other than sporadic pre-natal yoga classes, nothing existed to connect us offline and in person. What started with one free event for me to meet other expectant moms on April 3, 2010 (when I was 12 weeks pregnant), has transformed into 12+ events per month (over 300 to date). Bump Club and Beyond has a comprehensive online presence through our blog and social media pages. A year ago, we added Austin to our roster of cities, and will announce a third city this fall that will gain a Bump Club and Beyond community of its own. Thousands of moms and moms-to-be have experienced Bump Club and Beyond for themselves and are now engaging with our brand both online and off, all because we saw a need for what we now offer in Chicago, Austin, and beyond. I encourage all mompreneurs to stay true to themselves and what they are trying to accomplish. It's important to come up with your own ideas to make your business thrive naturally, in a way that is unique and that works for you and your audience. Make a game plan and stay focused; you can never be all things to all people. Surround yourself with honest people who you can trust and who share your vision. Be cautious and protect yourself and your ideas. Find a mentor who you can look to for guidance in the areas where you may not excel. Be a mentor to others in the areas where you thrive. Time is precious, so make a plan and use it wisely. Expect that in order to succeed you may have to put in time during unconventional hours---but that is the beauty of having your own business, you make the rules. Don't compromise your family time or time spent with your kids. Make sure to take time for yourself (it's hard to do, but you have to!) Lastly and most important you must have a passion for what you are doing and make sure you are 200% committed to your business' mission. If you don't believe in it, no one else will. If you are passionate about your business, and try to build the best, most unique product you possibly can, it will show, and you will eventually reap the rewards of your hard work. Remember, your customers/audience always come first. Without people who trust and believe in you, you don't have a business to start with.

What tips do you have for connecting with other mom bloggers?

Connecting with moms who blog can be a great asset personally and professionally. If you have an issue with your child, life, etc., just reading someone's similar experiences can be so comforting and reassuring and can lead to a natural connection and introduction. Professionally, I've been contacted by and met with a variety of mom bloggers who have all types of experience and interests. I'd say if you already have a blog, connecting in person through local or national events is a great way to get your feet wet and meet other like-minded women. If you are thinking about starting a blog, do it and see where it goes. Having a blog is a great outlet not only to connect with other moms, but to have a place to document fun memories of being a mom. As my own daughter approaches her 2nd birthday, I have been reading some old posts and was reminded of the weeks leading up to my labor and delivery. Having this as a reminder and documentation is priceless.

How do you balance being a mom and and an entrepreneur?

Sometimes I think that being a mompreneur and finding balance is harder than if I had stayed in my corporate job. I am the first to admit that it is hard to "turn it off." But the reason I quit my corporate job after a decade in the publishing world was to have a better balance for my family. If you are a mompreneur, this is likely a prime reason you're doing it too. By making this decision, I have been given the flexibility to spend time with my daughter during her prime daytime hours; take her to classes, drop her off and pick her up and school. Most of all, to just be there. While it is often hard to turn it off, when I am with my daughter I am totally present. No electronics, no phone, just me and her. I am fortunate enough to have a very supportive husband, family, and friends who have been there with me every step of the way since launching Bump Club and Beyond. They help me find a balance by allowing me to completely work when I am working, and be a mom when I'm with my daughter. If I am trying to do both at once, I am not giving either 100%, which is not fair to anyone, especially my daughter. Make a plan for your time and do your best to stick to it. At the same time, know that as a mom, things come up that you sometimes can't control. Anything besides your family can always wait.

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