Sure, why not?!
OF COURSE I can start a new business while I’m pregnant with my fourth boy. It couldn’t be that hard to dedicate every waking moment (nauseous or not) to planning how to staff it, develop it, finance it and sustain it. I LOVE the concept. This will be FINE! I can work it out between soccer practice, piano lessons and 2nd grade homework and still find time to take regular showers and wash my hair! I will be fulfilled, reaching my potential as business-owner, wife and mother. I can juggle with my husband’s odd work hours. I was a Military Wife! (flex muscles here).
Ever view the world through the fabric tint of your Super-Woman Cape flapping across your face amid the whirlwind of family life?
I’ve been responsible for much more. I knew I could balance between family and business...AS LONG AS I was smart about lining up support for the days when the “cape” was at the cleaners.
As women, as mothers, as wives, our roles change throughout our lives. Some of us accessorize our career aspirations with diaper bags. We evolve into people who manage business calls while opening car doors with a sleeping toddler on our shoulder, a pan of birthday cupcakes on our hip, and a dog that just ran from the house and jumped into the front seat (Wait...does the baby feel feverish? Oh geeze). We become quite good at multitasking and managing, which also makes us good at business. Even as Super Moms are over-tasked with our family duties, we still feel the need to reach beyond our own four walls. That’s how my latest journey began.
Knowing the intimidating work load involved in starting and running a business, and knowing that there were many other things I DIDN’T know about running a business, I was only certain about ONE thing…... would need help.
I was a mentor, a teacher, a community planner and had the talent to see the world through the eyes of a child. I had a great business opportunity to open a teaching kitchen where kids and families could connect by cooking together. Now, if only I knew what P&L reports were...ha ha!
Without a degree in finance (my Bachelor’s Degree was full on science and education) I would possibly fail at launching what I knew could be a great business for my family AND the families of my community. A network of knowledgeable support with local business owners through the Chamber of Commerce, a professional SCORE small business mentor, and a supportive husband made up the beginnings of my support structure. Connecting with other entrepreneurs with passion and creativity gave me courage to push forward, see things in different ways and focus on the small steps.
Those steps still get intimidating and can shake my nerves, but knowing that so many believe in me and my vision for the future helps me to breathe more easily. My mentors didn’t exactly help me teach my four year old how to ride his bike, but they DID help me plan my business so that I would have the time to teach him myself.
As entrepreneurs, we all have dreams and we all have struggles. The ones who survive and thrive know who and when to ask for help. If I ask nicely, let me borrow their Super Capes on the tough days when mine is at the cleaners.
Sherri Hansen is the Owner and Director of Culinary Kids in Mandeville, LA. Sherri has over 20 years of experience in youth education, program development and nutritional management. Culinary Kids received the 2013 SCORE Award for Outstanding Innovative Small Business.