Friday, December 5, 2008
Traci Bisson, The Savvy Businesswoman Behind The Mom Entrepreneur
You just never know who you are going to be lucky enough to meet online. While surfing through the hundreds of reporter queries that I daily field for my clients at Inkandescent Public Relations, I saw a request for stories for a blog called "Lemons to Lemonade" for The Mom Entrepreneur. Its founder, Traci Bisson, posted my response as Feature #8. During the course of our conversation I got to know this Truly Amazing Woman.
Turns out Traci founded The Mom Entrepreneur last April — more as a hobby than a business venture. She's owned her own PR company, Bisson Barcelona, since 2000 when just a few weeks after having her first child Jacob (now 8, pictured above with Traci and her second son Lucas, 3) the company she'd worked for the past five years went out of business. "I tried doing my own thing and failed miserably," she shares. "After another year of working for two different companies I decided to try entrepreneurship again."
Although her husband Raymond is very supportive, Traci admits that raising two sons and growing her company has been challenging. "When you are heading up your own company and taking care of kids, the problems are much different than they are when you are a mom who works for someone else's company."
Traci figured she wasn't alone, and did a little research. "Statistics show there are about 10 million mom entrepreneurs in the U.S.," she says. "My guess is that we all feel the same way: stressed, alone, and looking for others to connect with who are in the same boat." So she started blogging about her thoughts and feelings and birthed The Mom Entrepreneur, an organization dedicated to offering tips, advice, and resources for balancing motherhood and running a company.
Following is some of her useful advice. And for more terrific insights, join her network of Mom Entrepreneurs.
Top 6 Tips for Being a Successful Mom Entrepreneur
1. Remember family comes first. In the saying mom entrepreneur, mom comes first. In order to make sure mom comes first, try not to mix family time and work time. Ensure that time spent with family is quality time. You will attract clients with the same philosophy enabling you to stay focused on the reasons why you became a mom entrepreneur in the first place.
2. Make time for mom. Me-time or mom-time is critical. So many women tell me how difficult it is for them to find quality time for themselves. This is just as important as eating, drinking and sleeping. No excuses – take 15-20 minutes if that is all you have and go for a walk, read, listen to music, exercise, etc.
3. Stay connected. The world is changing so fast and mom entrepreneurs need to stay connected to the pulse of their industry. Get connected through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogs or other social outlets that reach your target market.
4. Get a Blackberry. This tool is truly the best one I have found for allowing mom entrepreneurs to stay connected whenever and wherever. Being a mom means that you cannot always be readily available if clients need you. Without taking time away from your family, a Blackberry allows you to keep in touch as needed.
5. Ask for help. My family is a great support system and everyone lives close. My mom frequently watches the kids as does my brother. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Mom entrepreneurs can do it all just not all at once.
6. Join a Support Group. The Mom Entrepreneur Online, for instance is a network with hundreds of women everyday. We share tips, advice and resources and discuss everything from potty training to how to use Twitter. For more information visit http://tinyurl.com/MomEntSG.