Today we welcome our first guest to our Q&A – WTF series with our own witty, energetic and always empowering emcee Jill Salzman!
Let’s first start with the name of your business startup: The Founding Moms
And can you give us a little blurb about the biz: “The Founding Moms is a collective of offline meetups and online resources for mom entrepreneurs around the globe.”
Okay, now without further adieu, on to our Q&A:
1. Hi Jill! We know that startups are launched based on solving a problem, what was your WTF moment and or problem?
When I was running two small businesses — a music management company and a baby jewelry business — and I got pregnant with baby #2, I freaked out. I had no idea how I was going to run 2 businesses with 2 babies in 1 home office all at the same time. Apparently the way I freak out is to reach out. So I launched a new meetup on Meetup.com and asked any women with businesses and babies to join me and tell me how they were doing it. My desire to solve the problem of “WTF HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS?” was, and still is, solved by fellow mom entrepreneurs. We’ve grown from our first meetup of 20 members to 8,000+ in 45+ cities in 10 countries. So much for thinking I was the only one with this problem…
2. Can you share a few of the rough – or what are sometimes called “throw-up” moments (by fellow startups) with our readers to help them understand the rawness of the process.
I’m not sure I’d call them “throw up” or even “rough” moments. The challenges presented in running any business are what keep us, or at least me, thriving. I love them. There are days I wake up and fear that since folks have not paid their bills how will I pay mine? Or if a developer is taking three times as long to create magic for your website and everything in your business depends on your website, how much will the biz suffer? The worst I’ve had it — the worst I’ll always have it — is cash flow and making sure there is enough sales and/or marketing action that it keeps us alive and thriving. Those hiccups happen frequently and it wouldn’t be a small business without them!
3. We’d love it of you could share what drives you, along with your passion to stay the course?
What drives me? No idea. What helps me to focus and stay the course? The members of my organization. The women who need the same help that I do in building their businesses. If we grow together, share resources, give each other advice, and support one another, we have more success individually and collectively.
4. If you could give our up-and-upcoming women WTFer’s some advice about tech/ entrepreneurship, what is one thing you would share with them?
Pay attention to what everyone else is doing, but only enough that it inspires you. It’s easy to watch other entrepreneurs having success (or seemingly having success) and talk yourself right out of doing what you want to do for a living. Don’t! Dive in and try out what your gut tells you to try. Your gut knows better than you do.
5. Do you have a favorite quote?
I do. It’s by the great sage and leader of our sneaker, Nike. “Just do it” is the epitome of what every entrepreneur lives each and every day.
Thanks again Jill, for your time and for sharing your story. We can’t wait to see you on stage at our next #wtf event!
For those that want to reach out to Jill/The Founding Moms, you can find her at 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212, Chicago, IL 60622 or at www.FoundingMoms.com
The Q&A Team at WTF.