Q: Company name and website? Mothercraft: Coaching the Modern Mom
Q: We launched in: Feb 2007
Q: What is your business or what do you sell?
I help moms manage their crazy schedules, create unique career choices that work for them, parent purposefully, and live extraordinary lives.
Q: Who or what was the inspiration behind your company?
When I became a mom, I felt like I had a lot of resources to teach me how to be a good parent (ie. Mommy & Me, toddler classes, books, etc.) but no one to help me reconcile all the not-so-pretty emotions I was having trying to process my new life as a stay-at-home mom. Who was I now, without my job? Was I the only one who didn’t love every moment of being a mom? How could I further my own personal development and feed my soul and ambitions without feeling guilty or selfish? I certainly didn’t have any friends who were talking about this! The idea for Mothercraft was born: I wanted to provide a different kind of support system for moms, not centered around parenting, but around a mom’s growth and development as a person.
Q: How did you get started?
Not long after my daughter was born, I read a magazine article about life coaching. I had already been mentoring a few moms I knew on these issues, but didn’t call myself a life coach. When I read that article, I knew that coaching was format I’d been looking for to help me work with moms in the way I had imagined. I became a certified life and career coach through the Life Purpose Institute, and set out to create the Mothercraft system— my own tools and materials to enable moms to bust through their obstacles and excel at managing their lives. Created by a mom, for moms.
Q: How long before your business was profitable, or when is it projected to become profitable? I work from home, and do most of my coaching over the phone, so my overhead is very low. So it was profitable from the time I started!
Q: What significant obstacles (if any) have you faced & how did you overcome them?
So far, my biggest obstacles have been marketing and messaging. I’m constantly refining how to explain what it is that I do, showing them how a coach can impact— and in some cases revolutionize— their lives. Even though all my clients have individual situations and needs, we share so many goals and obstacles, so showing people how I can solve their most common problems, and helping them understand how finding solutions can help them earn more money/get more done/give them more time/create more equanimity… that’s the challenge! I’ve learnt a lot and continue to tweak my messaging.
Regarding marketing, it’s really true what they say: It doesn’t matter if you’re the best at what you do if no one knows about you! It took a while for me to create relationships and systems to help me promote my offerings. I continue to measure different marketing efforts to see what works for my target market. Ultimately, my biggest successes have come from speaking engagements and events where people can see me face to face. In a service-based business like mine, people really respond when they can meet me and interact with me. They feel more comfortable investing in this process if they get a sense that they’ll like working with me first.
Q: Do you ever feel like giving up at times? If so, what keeps you going?
Totally! When things slow down, and I’m not getting the influx of clients that keep me motivated and focused, the negative talk creeps in: “What are you doing? No one wants to pay for this service… you’d better quit!” What keeps me going is the response I get back from my clients after our work together. Just knowing that I can be a resource in what can be such an isolating and confusing time is so rewarding. When I’m working with my clients, I know I’m doing the work I was meant to, and there’s no better feeling!
Q: What qualities (i.e., family support, discipline, time management) do you think are necessary for a women entrepreneur? Yes, yes, and yes! Women entrepreneurs are some of the coolest, smartest people I know, and they have mastered countless skills that men never have to even learn! Support, not just from family, but from teachers, neighbors, workmates… it’s all so important. Our culture has adopted this idea that every woman’s family is “their responsibility”, but we all need to be supporting each other to raise truly great children. Time management is a big one that I’m supporting a lot of clients with and developing products around right now. All the life hacks and productivity skills we had before we became moms are relatively useless, and once we become sleep-deprived, mommy-brain-endowed women we have to relearn how to manage our time. Creating boundaries is a very powerful skill that can be a big guilt-buster women entrepreneurs, especially moms. Focus on the task at hand, wherever you are. Create boundaries around your time so that you can work while at work and be truly present with your family when you’re at home. Even work-at-home moms can accomplish this by creating a schedule and sticking to it.
Q: What is the one thing (book, website, coach, mentor, tool, blog, service, etc) that you value and can say has contributed to your success? The book, “The Growth and Development of Mothers” by Angela Baron McBride was hugely influential and the framework for Mothercraft. I highly recommend it to anyone who struggles with ambivalence or integrating all parts of themselves into our culture’s very narrow definition of “good mother”.
Yoga and breath work have been lifelines for me. I became a certified yoga instructor in 2008, and the tools I learned help me be more aware of my body, trust my intuitions and decisions as a mom, and an entrepreneur. I oxygenate my body, calm my thoughts, and reduce my anxiety level just by breathing intentionally throughout the day.
I love technology and use lots of it to get me through the day. (My iPhone has changed my life and business!) My most critical tool, however, is still my notebooks. The more I can get out of my head and into a list (quickly!) the less anxiety I feel throughout my day. So I have little notebooks planted everywhere— in my purse, in my car, on the kitchen counter. Once every day or so, I go through the notes I’ve made and process them into central lists (I love Gmail tasks or Ta-da List, both free!) that I can reference on my iPhone throughout the day. This way, no matter how much I have going on, I never have “a lot on my mind”. Mastering this skill transformed the way I get things done.
Q: What was the worst advice someone gave you?
Can’t think of any especially bad bits of advice that I’ve received, but I have some advice about advice! Remember that advice comes from outside you, so extract what you need, and disregard what you don’t. Surround yourself with smart people, learn from them, but don’t forget to listen to your gut!
Q: What are your business or personal goals for the next year?
I will be launching year-long support groups, online coaching options, my first ebook and a teleclass. Lots of different ways for moms to work with me, support one another, learn and grow!
Q: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in business or thinking about taking the leap into entrepreneurship? Don’t get overwhelmed. There is so much to learn and know, and it takes time to grasp it all. Honor wherever it is that you are right now, and take small, incremental steps forward. It’s so worth it to jump in, so don’t let your fears stop you!
Q: is there anything else you wish I had asked?
Both motherhood and entrepreneurship are tough jobs, and very isolating. It’s so vital that you have a positive community around you to succeed on both fronts. Surround yourself with like-minded people, who cheer you on and don’t drag you down, people who provide a safe environment in which to test ideas, get feedback and take action. I have experienced the biggest moments of growth in my business and my thinking when I’ve surrounded myself with smart, supportive women. If you don’t have that community, go out and find it… or start your own group! It’s so worth it!
Want to express your opinion?
Leave a reply!
I’m already getting orders from the email with the updated pricing that I just sent to my current st… Read more
Sarah Shaw is like Google, the entire How To section of Barnes and Nobles, Consumer Report and Yoda … Read more
I LOVE working with Sarah! The best business decision I’ve made recently is joining Sarah’s Retail R… Read more
We enrolled in Sarah Shaw’s program because we needed someone to kick us into shape! She did just … Read more
“I am a detailed person and hate when I buy something online and am not satisfied. It’s always hard … Read more
“I came to Sarah with just the seed of an idea, a pile of sketches, and a bundle of nerves. I left w… Read more
“In just one hour on the phone, Sarah gave me clarity in my pricing and bottom line… Our new product… Read more
With Sarah’s help and guidance I was able to get my product into the hands of 5 hot TV set dressers … Read more
“If you have dreamed of hitting it big, and your product has any kind of ‘it’ factor, as Sarah often… Read more
“With just one little tweak of Sarah’s expertise, I amplified the results of this new launch by 60… Read more
24 hours ago
5 days ago
6 days ago