Motherhood is an extraordinary journey filled with joys, challenges, and countless lessons, all set on one goal to be the best you can be. From managing the daily hustle of a household to nurturing children, moms everywhere have seen the hard work it takes to provide for their families. These skills can be used in all walks of life, but increasingly are proven as essential when pursuing entrepreneurship.
As a first-time momtreprenuer, I have worked to master the art of balancing family life while also forging my path as a successful entrepreneur. My journey intro entrepreneurship first began in 2019. After over 20 years in the banking industry, I found myself burnt out and missing the flexibility of being both career focused and family centered. When exploring my options to make a switch, I stumbled upon the Streamline Brands portfolio, leading me down the entrepreneurial path that has made me the award winning momtreprenuer I am is today as the proud owner of a local SafeSplash + SwimLabs.
Key to my ongoing success has been my original mission to instill an important lesson for all aspiring women entrepreneurs, “go after what you want, work hard, and put your all into anything and everything you hope to achieve in life.”
After years in business, I hope to share tips for other moms considering the freedom and opportunity that exists by pursuing entrepreneurship.
Build a support system
Starting a business can be challenging, but it’s even more so if you’re doing it alone. I found that surrounding yourself with a network of supportive individuals who can offer advice, guidance, and emotional support greatly increased my ability to juggle both motherhood and launching a business. I also found that groups or organizations specifically for entrepreneurial mothers, provided a unique perspective and understanding of your situation.
A part of building my support system was creating a culture of community among my team that is rooted in family values. By doing so, my team operates with empathy and understanding of our different goals and dynamics, leading to more effective communication and a more collaborative environment. I was able to lean on my teammates when my path wasn’t clear and gain outside perspectives that helped guide my decisions.
With my team being my greatest asset, and my support system, investing in them to maximize their full potential has been essential. By doing so, I’ve created an environment that is purpose-driven where my team cares about the children and the lifesaving impact they’re making.
Be mentality tough
Many look over the fact that starting a business will be mentally draining. As I began my venture, I saw the toll it was taking on myself mentally, seeing it carry over through all aspects of my life I knew I needed a change. Instead of giving up, I reframed my mindset and kept focus on my end goal.
In reframing my mindset, I found myself tackling situations with a clearer frame of mind than ever before. Through that, I also learned that asking for help is essential to running a business, and you must not be afraid to reach out to those around you. Juggling family life and your own business can be challenging, and by adopting the philosophy that it is okay to ask for help whether it’s from a mentor, friend, or family member, I was able to grow personally and as a business owner.
Just as any venture, there will be times where you may not know where to turn, asking for help in those situations doesn’t make you weak or incapable; it shows that you’re willing to learn and grow.
Innovation is one of the core values of entrepreneurship. Whether you are joining a franchise network or introducing a new product or service to your community on your own, it’s important to continuously learn and adapt to changes in the market.
I find that staying up to date on industry trends, attending workshops, reading books and articles, and seeking out professional development opportunities sets your business ahead. Staying ahead of curve and is essential to making informed decisions for your business that will benefit you in the long term.
Be intentional with your time
One of the core values I live by is being intentional with my time. As a mother and an entrepreneur, your time is valuable. Many take the leap into entrepreneurship for the flexibility of creating a healthy work-life-balance; don’t compromise on those original pillars, make a schedule and stick to it.
Setting clear boundaries between your work time and family time is encouraged, and leaves time for you to recharge and reset for the next day. I found that delegating tasks and responsibilities to others, when possible, helps balance your workload and provides new opportunities and experiences to your staff.
I find balance through simplicity, take the time to simplify your work day and focus on the individual task at hand
Multi-tasking is a double-edged sword, taking the time to slow your day down will not only save you a headache, but create a more mindful and meaningful work day.
Stay true to yourself
Don’t lose sight of your personal values and goals throughout the process. I found that staying true to who I am and what I believe in was one of the biggest contributors to my success.
Entrepreneurship is not always easy; you will encounter many hurdles on your way to building your brand. Do not focus on what others are doing, but rather are you doing the best you can and are you happy with the results?
When I was beginning my search for an entrepreneurial opportunity, I found the Streamline Brands portfolio. An opportunity to open a swim school aligned with my core values as a mom and as a community member. Find something that speaks to you and your passions – this will make the ‘work’ feel less like ‘work’ and more like a purpose-driven opportunity.
Being a mom means you are adaptive, creative, and a problem solver – be confident in your ability to launch your dream business, seek out franchise opportunities with a proven business model, lean on your unique skill set to guide you toward success, and build a legacy your children will be proud of.
Leila O’Brien is the owner of SafeSplash + SwimLabs in the Fort Mill, South Carolina and Greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. As a mother of two lovely daughters, she sought out a career shift – after spending 20-plus years in banking – that would allow her more flexibility to spend time with her family. This ultimately led her to the Streamline Brands portfolio and the opening of her swim school in 2019. Since then, Leila’s success has known no bounds, with her being named the 2022 Franchisee of Year across the brand and a 2023 Franchise Rock Star by Franchise Business Review. If you are interested in the Streamline Brands portfolio of franchise opportunities, please visit www.streamlinebrands.com.
Photo Copyright Madison Lane Photography