Celebrating Mompreneurs: Not A Pinterest Mompreneur
In this month’s blog series, we are celebrating mompreneurs. There was once a time when you wouldn’t dare mention you were a mom because you might not get hired. Or if your work performance was ever in question it could be blamed on being a mom. Moms just couldn’t seem to win or get ahead. Now being a mompreneur has become a bold statement and an ever bolder way of running a successful business!
In this week’s blog, we are featuring AVA COO, Kiri Mohan
Kiri Mohan has been working as an Assistant since she was 15 years old when she landed a part-time summer job. It was the beginning of the end, as Kiri has stayed in the Assistant profession in some form for her entire career. She launched DependableVA LLC while working full-time and was able to quit her office role within one year. Focusing on C-level executives, Kiri has been an Executive Assistant in the corporate world, as well as supporting C-levels in her role as a Virtual Assistant.
Kiri has a 4-year old daughter, who currently goes to preschool a few days a week, but there are still days they enjoy each other’s company at home. Kiri is happy that she was able to create a business that allowed flexibility to spend time with her daughter and watch her grow up.
When did you first hear the term mompreneur? Did you immediately feel as though you were part of a like-minded community?
When I think of the term “mompreneur”, I think of someone who started their business in order to have more freedom in their schedule to spend time with their children.
Funnily, I do not think I’m part of the community because I started my business prior to having my daughter. However, it was very much on my mind. I knew that I could do my corporate role at home and had enough self-motivation to be successful, but remote work was still seen as an alternative to an office job, i.e. NO CHILDREN ALLOWED at home. When I was researching work-from-home Executive Assistant roles, every position said that this was “not an alternative to childcare” and children could not be present. I wanted to have that flexibility where I could have my children at home with me when I got to that point in my life, but also make money. Though it was a few years in the future for me, I got my act together and began my VA business.
I became pregnant a few months after leaving my corporate role, but the term “mompreneur” was still not on my mind. By the time I had my daughter, I was so busy trying to maintain my business with a newborn at home that I didn’t seek out other mompreneurs, though I wish I had!
When was the first time you realized you were an entrepreneur/mompreneur?
I think the first time I realized I was a mompreneur was when I started building my work/business around my child’s schedule. This involved trying to get her on a consistent nap and feeding schedule, being flexible enough to change appointments around her (for throwing the schedule off for no reason, as young children are apt to do!), and taking time off in the middle of the day to do events with her as she got older.
What do you believe is the biggest misconception people have about mompreneurs?
I think the biggest misconception is that people think you cannot run a full-time business and make a good amount of money (whatever that means to you) with children at home. I think sometimes people are still stuck in the mindset that children at home and flexibility means you cannot possibly be as productive or do your job as well as if you were in an office.
We can, and we do, but it’s a different schedule.
I think another big misconception is that mompreneurs are all bloggers featured on Pinterest! That always cracks me up. It’s only one facet of mompreneurs; just like books have many different genres, there are many different mompreneurs.
A mom’s purse (handbag or backpack) is usually a treasure trove of whatever could possibly be needed. What are a few items you always keep stocked in your purse?
Funnily, I have the opposite of a mom purse. I prefer minimalism when I leave the house. I have tissues in my car, but not in my purse (which has caused problems from time-to-time). Our family is on a pretty strict eating schedule, so there are no snacks either. My purse is quite small. The only things I always keep in there religiously are my phone, chapstick, glasses, and some feminine items for that time of month!
When I had the diaper bag, it was a lot more stocked with items, but now that we’ve outgrown that, I’m back to my small purse.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. When did you hire your first virtual assistant?
I went through a lot of trial-and-error with hiring VAs. My first hire was when I was trying to build an agency after my daughter was born in late 2016. After about a year and a half, I realized I didn’t like the agency model and I preferred to be a lot more hands-on with clients. After that, I took a break and then re-hired a VA in early 2019. This was really helpful as she now does backend work for me and I double-check all her work. I hired another VA a few months after that and so far, that has all that’s been needed for me.
What advice would you give to someone who thinks they are not quite ready to hire a VA yet?
I would say to look at your business from all angles. There are different tasks a VA can help with, and maybe you’re not ready for a VA to be working with you all the time, and that’s okay. Perhaps you should start off with project work, and work with different VAs until you find one you like.
My best advice is that if you’re dreading doing something, or a task that used to be easy has now become something you don’t have time for, consider hiring a VA. My big wake up call was when I couldn’t sleep one night and was in tears over all the work I had to do for a specific client (and it was recurring, monthly work) and I realized I had to hire someone to help. Don’t let yourself get to that point!
What’s the one thing that you could never go back to doing after hiring a VA?
I think, for me, my social media. I could do it if I had to, but I much prefer having someone schedule my tweets and IG posts. Social media is something I really don’t like to do and it’s a lot easier when I can tag-team it. Right now, my VA will create the images and I do the copy for my IG account and that’s a lot easier. I’m not a very visual person, so I think that the images were dragging me down and I never wanted to create them. It’s a lot easier now.
What advice do you have for someone who is thinking about becoming a mompreneur? OR, if you could go back and tell yourself one thing when you first started your career, what would it be?
If you want to run a business with a newborn or young child, it’s going to be hard. But remember – when you run your own business, YOU call the shots. So if you need to adjust for your child, it’s really not a big deal. Usually, it’s a bigger deal in your head, than to your client. 🙂
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can connect with Kiri on:
Thank you so much for celebrating mompreneurs with us!
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