By Michele Crocitto, Marketing Coordinator at PipelineDeals
With Mother’s Day on Sunday, we're honoring women entrepreneurs that we admire who split their time between growing their business and being a mother. We asked each Mompreneur about their challenges and learned their tips for success. Today's post features the Founder of StoryForce PR Heidi Happonen.
Can you provide a brief bio of the business you started?
StoryForce is a new kind of integrated communications and public relations firm, working with seasoned professionals from diverse creative backgrounds and disciplines to help businesses define and share their story. Because if you aren’t telling your story, someone else is.
What inspired you to start a business?
I am excited about all the changes taking place in the communications industry and wanted to be a part of shaping its future with my own vision. After nearly 20 years working for others, I realized the only way for me to realize that vision was on my own terms.
Who has been your biggest inspiration that has gotten you to where you are?
I have been lucky to have had a lot of great mentors along the way and people who have been willing to take a chance on me. There is no single person who has been my inspiration, rather I have been inspired by the spirit of those who look for opportunities to help others in business and are willing to take some risk investing in others even though they might not gain anything from it personally.
What are some major challenges you face as a mother, and a woman entrepreneur?
When my husband started his own business, no one assumed it was to spend more time with the kids. I’m still amazed at how many people assume the reason I wanted to start my own business was to “work less.” We still have a lot of work to do to shift some of those misperceptions and assumptions.
Share your tricks of the trade – what business apps, or products help you run your business and life more efficiently?
I love anything that helps me save time, helps me stay organized, and makes it easy for me to do the parts of my business that I don’t love. PipelineDeals is a great example of a technology that helps me do all of those things. I’m also still a big fan of the white board.
Looking back to when you were just getting started, Is there anything you would have done differently?
I’m only six months in so I'm still just getting started. I probably should have set up my QuickBooks sooner, though.
What is one piece of advice you have for mothers wanting to start their own businesses?
My advice to mothers wanting to start their own business is to help each other. Your best allies and support system can be other Moms who who have had to make the hard choice between going to their kids piano recital and a meeting with a potential client. Moms are the ones who feel guilty for not volunteering in the classroom (by the way, when did that start...I don’t remember moms ever volunteering in the classroom when I was a kid). Find another Mompreneur and make a point of finding time together to share business advice. Other Mompreneurs are also usually the best source for time-saving tips.
Are you a Momprenuer or do you know a Momprenuer you admire? Recognize them in the comment section below. We would love the opportunity to feature them. Happy Mother’s day to all Mothers, and check back tomorrow for our next Momprenuer interview!