Hannah Woods, owner of Serenity Windows has been a General Contractor since 2013. Hannah started her business in 2008 when she and her husband were both laid off. Both had a background in construction and they realized it was a way they could provide for their growing family.
Their family now consists of four children with ages ranging from toddler to eight years old. In her free time Hannah loves reading, writing, cooking, crafting, and creating.
As a woman in a male dominated industry, Hannah has had many experiences where she was overlooked and underestimated. “As a female in a male dominated industry, I’ve had to earn the same respect men get just for being men. I’ve been constantly questioned on my knowledge and abilities,” she explains.
Those who underestimate her soon learn they are mistaken.
“I am persistent. I’ve always refused to listen to the voices who told me who I was and who I could never be. I have fought for everything I have in my life. I am an overachiever, a perfectionist, terribly hard on myself, and often far too serious. But I am a good person. I am a good friend. I am a good mother. I am a good wife. I am honest, caring, and kind,” she says.
Hannah’s persistence and strong personality come from a rough childhood.
“I wasn't allowed a traditional education. I had to learn on my own. One of my proudest moments was when I got my GED at 17. No one was there rooting for me. No one expected it of me. I did it for myself. That is who I am.”
While she was growing up, most of the people in her life were examples of what not to be.
“I grew up watching those around me struggle day to day. I was told that is how it will always be. That life will always be hard. That I would never be enough, happiness was out of reach, and I didn't deserve to even reach for it. I have spent my life refusing to fall into the victim mentality I was subjected to my entire life. I found my mentors in books; many of them fictional. I decided who I wanted to be and struggled through allowing myself to be that person. I am always striving to do and be better,” she says.
Owning her own business has been empowering. “Being able to do things the way I want. Having that control in my life has been life altering; it has empowered me and stimulated an abundance of personal growth.”
She would advise a new business owner to meditate on what they want long term. “Picture what you want to do, how it makes you feel, and why you want to do it. When you have your "why" you can create your goals. Always strive towards a goal. It will keep you grounded and motivated. Do not be afraid to fail! We all fall down; what matters is how long it takes you to get back up,” she explains.
When things get challenging, Hannah thinks about her children and her goals. Both remind her why she needs to keep pushing through the hard moments.
She says being a part of the MOB has been uplifting. “As a woman in a male dominated industry it can sometimes get overwhelming. It's nice to have a group of women who can relate on different levels and who are so encouraging, thoughtful, and kind,” she says.
A lovely example of that encouragement is the reason Hannah submitted her business for a MOB Spotlight! “Just a quick thank you to Gwen Montoya. I recently joined her marketing group. She (unknowingly) pushed me to open myself up and do this interview. I've never really considered that people might care about who I am and whose business they are supporting,” she explains.
Her favorite MOB Alliance benefit are the MOB meetups because they give her a chance to get out of her comfort zone while she meets new people and learns abou their businesses. “We have some amazing and very unique individuals and I love that ability to connect with so many different people that I may not have crossed paths with under normal circumstances.”
Her ideal referral is anyone looking for new windows or those who need window repairs, and her MOB Alliance discount is 10% off replacing the windows in your home
Connect with Hannah online:
It seems especially fitting to start MOBtober right after MOBs from across the country joined us virtually for MOBCON 2020.
What is MOBtober?
MOBtober is the month we challenge you to discover and support Mom Owned Businesses!
Part of the MOB Nation's mission is elevating and supporting mom-owned businesses. MOBs can be found in every niche and business type - whatever product or service you need, there's a MOB for that!
When you support a mom owned business you are empowering a mom to provide for her family, follow her dream, give back to her community, and to support other Mom Owned Businesses (MOBs) in the same way she was supported.
For example, when you spend $100 with a local business, $68 of that $100 stays in the community in the form of taxes, wages, and making purchases. When you spend $100 with a national store, only $43 stays in the community.
When you purchase from a woman owned business you contribute to having unique businesses and locally made products available in your community.
Small and local businesses support community groups, local sports teams, and charities 250% more than corporations and are more involved in their communities overall.
Check out the MOB Facebook page for daily action steps and chances to learn about mom owned businesses this month!
If you need help finding a mom-owned business to support, check out our directory at www.theresamobforthat.com or download the MOB Nation app.
Here's how you can support small woman owned businesses in October!
Make Your Next Purchase from a Mom Owned Business
When you purchase from a small business an actual person does a happy dance.
Listen to a Podcast Hosted by a Mom
Here's a list to get you started!
Find a MOB podcast you love? Go further by subscribing and leaving a review
Pay Full Price
Be respectful of the time and effort a MOB puts into her business. Don't ask for a discount or a "friends and family" price.
Follow, Share, and Interact with Them on Social Media
There are so many ways to support a small business on social media!
Follow them on Facebook and Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel, sign up for or share their virtual event.
Following and engaging with your favorite mom owned business on social media helps improve their reach and connect them with more of their audience.
Even better, when you share a post from your favorite small business, you introduce them to a new audience (yours!)
Purchase a Book Written by a MOB
There is no shortage of talented moms writing books - purchase a book and leave a review if you love it.
Here's a list of books written by MOBs to get you started.
Even better - send a message to the author directly letting them know you enjoyed it.
Be a Vocal Supporter
Leaving a review is one of the best things you can do for a mom owned business - not only does it make them feel good, it also helps them attract new customers and clients.
Get into the habit of not only buying from a MOB, but also leaving a review!
Order a Meal from a Mom Owned Restaurant
This is the tastiest and easiest ways to support a small business!
Order your next lunch or dinner from a mom owned restaurant.
Even better - order it directly by calling them and pick it up yourself. Fees for meal delivery services like Grub Hub are high for businesses.
Share a MOB's Blog Post
Small business owners write about all kinds of topics.
When you read something by a MOB that you love, share it!
Purchase Your Next Gift from a MOB
Whatever gift or holiday you are shopping for, there's a MOB for that!
Not sure what to buy? Ask the MOB for gift suggestions (after all, she's a pro at at what she sells) or purchase a gift certificate for later use.
Tell a Friend About Your Favorite Mom Owned Business
Don't be shy about shouting out your favorite small businesses! Tell everyone!
Go further and tell lots of people! Shout them out on social media or include them in a list of your favorite mom owned businesses.
Did you snap a food or coffee picture the last time you supported a mom owned restaurant or coffee shop? Share it!
Do you have a necklace you love or earrings you always wear purchased from artist? Share it!
Do you have a "can't live live out" lotion, face cream, or other product made or sold by a MOB? Share it!
Switch Out One Item You Normally Buy from a Big Box Retailer or Grocery Store
You'd be amazed at how many grocery store items can be purchased from a mom!
Try switching out one product every month and after a year, you'll have switched to supporting twelve mom-owned/made products each month!
You'll cut down on trips to the grocery store, too!
Be a Connector
Do you know someone who would love a MOB's product? Tag the friend in a post or send them an email with the link to the product/service.
Tag or share the name of your favorite mom owned business the next time someone is looking for a product or service the MOB sells.
Do you have a collaboration or referral that would be great fit for a MOB? Be a connector!
Hire a MOB the Next Time You Need a Service
Whatever service you're looking for, there's a MOB for that!
Mom business owners are lawyers, CPAs, electricians, plumbers, doctors, nutritionists, stylists, photographers, and so much more.
Use our mom owned business directory (the largest in the United States) to find the service provider you need!
Sign Up for a MOB Email List
A great way to stay connect to your favorite mom owned business is to sign up for the email list. That way you won't miss an update or a chance to support them!
Send Them a Note of Encouragement
Owning a business has highs and lows. It can be challenging and lonely. Let them know you appreciate them with a quick message.
Commit to Supporting Small Businesses All Year
MOBtober only lasts for 31 days, and we hope it inspires you to think more about where you spend your money and the types of businesses you support.
One of the most impressive things about mom business owners is the variety of things they do and how much they manage to get done.
The women podcasters on this list juggle raising a family and owning a business every day. In addition to those huge tasks, these women have also added hosting their own podcasts.
You'll find a variety of topics and industries represented on our podcast round up. Be sure to check them out, subscribe, and leave a review if you become a fan!
The Legal Babe Podcast with Natalie Puglisi
Setting up the legal base for your business doesn't have to be confusing! Join Natalie Puglisi each week as she shares her legal knowledge about all things small business law, trademarks, contracts and content protection. Natalie breaks down legal concepts in a way that easy to understand and implement in your business. So whether you're just starting out or you've been in business for years, this podcast will help you figure out how to legally protect yourself and your business.
Listen to the podcast
Learn more about Natalie
Adventures in Marketing with Gwen Montoya
Are you ready for clear, concise, actionable information that will move you forward in your business without overwhelming you?
The Adventures in Marketing podcast has the resources, information, and inspiration you need to manage your marketing.
A educator at heart, Gwen is a marketing guide with 15 years experience working with hundreds of small business owners to get them unstuck and excited about marketing their business!
Marketing doesn't have to be scary!
Listen to the podcast
Learn more about Gwen
Wanting to Wealthy Podcast with Ashley Hogan
A podcast designed for individuals and families who want more. Ashely's mission is to empower you to take control of your life, money, goals and more.
Listen to the podcast
Learn more about Ashley
Edge One Media with Megan De Salvo
Hosted by Megan and Nicholas De Salvo, the Refreshing Edge Podcast is a deep dive into digital marketing, business leadership, raising a family and how to stay married as business partners.
Listen to the podcast
Learn more about Megan
Dear Creativity, Let's Play with Amy Isaman
Are you ready to reconnect with your creativity? This is the podcast for you if you want to spend time playing with what lights you up and creating but aren’t sure where to start or need support in continuing down the creative path. Everyone is innately creative, and life can be so much more fun and joyful when we heed that call to connect with our creativity and begin creating.
As a creativity coach, writer and quilter, Amy talks about her own creative life and process as well as hosting interviews with guests about all things creativity: the process, blocks and challenges, creative thinking, creativity as play, and sharing your creative gifts with the world.
Listen to the podcast
Learn more about Amy
Twin Talks, Parent Savers, I am the Remnent, Millennial Santa, God of Miracles, Preggie Pals, Newbies, The Boob Group with Sunny Gault
Sunny is the founder of the Independant Podcast Network where she mentors new podcasters as well as producing her own shows for parents and Christians. She is also a professional voice-over artist.
I am the Remnant reveals how God is using Sunny (and others) to directly speak to His people
God of Miracles, is a highly-produced, narrated podcast that shares personal stories of the amazing miracles God is doing every day.
Her parenting podcasts focus on the different journeys parents take as their children grow.
Listen to the podcasts
Learn more about Sunny
September is Read a New Book month which makes this the perfect opportunity to discover a book written by a mom author!
Whether you are looking for adventure, mystery, romance, prompts to connect with your family, or you're looking ways to unlock your creative side - these MOB authors have you covered!
Creativity Unstuck: a Toolbox for Making More Art by Lea K. Tawd
If you're feeling called to be more creative, but having trouble putting that desire into action, this is the book you need!
Creativity Unstuck is a gem of a book. Tawd doesn't accept any excuses as she gently but firmly guides you through ten immediate, actionable steps towards making creativity a habit. You will work through your creative blocks as you learn to make time in your busy schedule, handle inner criticism, use ritual to connect with the Muse every time you need her, and so much more.
Learn more about the author
Buy the book
Naupaka Blooming by J.L. Eck
If you like tropical settings, cultural exploration, a little fantasy mixed in with a little romance and compelling stories linking the past and present, then you’ll love this exotic novel!
In ancient Hawaii, a young princess and a commoner fall in love. Although they are forbidden from each other, the young lovers believe they have the blessings of the gods and work to find a way to be together. But their love ends tragically, setting off the myth of the naupaka flower, a symbol of their love.
Centuries later, Liz gets the opportunity of a lifetime to move to Hawaii and she takes it without a second thought. Hoping for a fresh start, Liz settles in to island life with new friends and new adventures. But when she learns of the naupaka myth she starts to have recurring feelings of Deja vu and vivid dreams of what seems to be a prior life. And after meeting a man she feel intensely drawn to she begins to question everything she knows. Liz can't help but wonder, is she doomed to a similar fate as the ancient lovers she feels so connected to? Or can she break free of the curse she has always felt trapped under and finally find peace?
Learn more about the author
Buy the book
An Overwhelming Gift by Karen Huck
Adopted at birth, Karen Huck spent sixteen years searching for her biological family. This autobiographical book retells her experiences and the journey she took to reconnect.
Learn More About the author
Buy the book
Love More by Shannon Loucks
Love More is packed with over fifty ways to build joy into childhood and create loving family memories. Simple, easy to implement for the any busy family.
Learn more about the author
Buy the book
The Overlander's Daughter and The Tarot Cipher by Amy Isaman
Amy's books are about women on adventures that they may not have chosen, but for some reason chose them. They have a little adventure, mystery, and a touch of romance.
Overlander's Daugther - In 1847, seventeen-year old Sarah wants no part of walking two thousand miles behind a wagon to Oregon, but her father leaves her no choice. When her innocence is taken in one violent moment, her quilt provides her only solace as she flees into the wilderness.
160 years later, twenty-eight-year old Harper unearths Sarah’s quilt which has been passed down to Sarah’s great-granddaughter, Agnes whose last wish is to record the story of her treasured family quilt before her memory fades completely and the two women embark on a journey to share the quilt’s story. Throughout the intertwined narratives, both Sarah and Harper hold tight to the quilt as they find the courage to accept their losses and tell the truth despite the consequences honesty brings. In doing so, they both discover a resilience and inner strength they didn’t know they had.
The Tarot Cipher - When widow Tricia Seaver finds an ancient tarot card hidden at the Inn where she and her daughter are staying, her vacation transforms from a relaxing week touring London into an intriguing treasure hunt for three more priceless tarot cards with the sexy innkeeper.
Amy's latest book, Cold Hard Cache - an adventure mystery, will be available this fall.
Learn more about the author
Buy the books
We're excited to welcome Dr. Zarya Rubin, holistic health coach and CEO of Wild Lilac Wellness, to the MOB blog! Learn more about Dr. Rubin at the end of this blog post.
Well, it looks like masks and social distancing are here to stay with no end in sight.
When this was a two-week affair way back in the beginning, maybe we could get by with pajama parties and Netflix and chill, but sh*t’s been real for a while now and is only going to be more challenging once the weather turns gloomy and rainy – I don’t know about you, but the sunshine is one of the only things keeping me going!
Maybe you’re an essential worker, putting yourself on the front lines so the rest of us can have groceries delivered, or treating our loved ones in the hospital. And for that we are beyond grateful. Or maybe your business has ramped up with folks seeking self-care or online services, or maybe you’re pivoting and accidentally homeschooling and trying not to fight with your significant other between Zoom calls and doing All. The. Things.
Wherever you are in all of this, here are some creative ideas I’ve been using to stay safe, stay (somewhat) sane, and still feel like I’m doing something with my brain. I would love to hear your creative ideas in the comments!
Make Beer Bread
For some unknown reason, this pandemic has brought on a baking frenzy. I’ve seen bags of flour for $85 on Amazon, and yeast is pretty much nowhere to be found (true confession, I just bought a 1lb bag! Apparently it keeps for a year).
But you know what is plentiful? BEER! And you can use that brew to create the easiest, most delicious bread in about an hour. You heard me. That’s
including the baking time. No rises, no proving, no sourdough starter, and no Great British Baking anxiety. This recipe is foolproof. And it can be made with alternate flours, like spelt, but I haven’t attempted it yet with totally GF flour (which can be found without heading to the black market). Tabor Bread in SE Portland also sells their gorgeous flour as well as their divine breads for pickup, but hey, it’s not as much fun for the ‘gram.
Here’s the recipe – I used any old bottle of Modelo Especial and it turned out perfectly!
Start A Meditation Practice
If you’ve been telling yourself “I should meditate” but haven’t gotten around to it, now is the time. Without the shrill daily alarm clock and morning rush to get the kiddo off to school, I’ve been doing daily morning meditation along with my nightly ritual. There are a couple of easy ways to get started with online apps that will guide you through all of the beginner steps.
My favorite is Headspace, which is free right now for healthcare providers, but also has a free section for beginners. Other popular apps are Calm and Insight Timer (which is completely free). The key is really finding a quiet space where you can be uninterrupted (I know, it may sound impossible right now, but maybe lock yourself in the bathroom if you must!) and not judging yourself. Your mind will wander – that doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.
There are also some great specific meditation practices I share with my clients like The Body Scan and The Five Senses Meditation. You may find some amazing results in terms of your overall focus, decreased anxiety levels, and increased calm.
Take An Online Course
What better time to acquire a new skill or some new knowledge? Earlier this spring, I took THE most popular Coursera course – the Yale Science of Well-Being, with Professor Laurie De Santos. It’s free to audit, all online and self-paced, and has been an eye-opening wealth of information as well as
practical tips for increasing happiness. Bonus: bragging rights that you went to Yale!
Another friend has decided to learn Korean. I’m taking an Instagram course to
uplevel my online game, and I also plan to catch up on all of the amazing MOB talks we have at our disposal before hitting MOBCON!
Get An Activity Box For The Kiddos
If you’ve hit a home schooling wall and are looking for some outside assistance, why not try an activity box or kit? Some of our favorites for my curious 6-yr-old explorer are:
- The Kiwi Box, with STEM-focused activities that change every month,
including crafts, experiments and more. Kits are available for ages 0-14+ and
you get 30% off when you sign up for emails. https://www.kiwico.com/
- Highlights magazine has an amazing subscription called Top Secret, for ages
7+ which sends you on a spy mission to a different country every month. Kits
come with an activity book filled with challenging puzzles that get you closer
to solving the crime, along with a fact-based book that holds the answers to
history, geography and cultural questions. So far we’ve done the Egypt set
and are ready to head to Mexico, Australia and China! All from the comfort of
our couch. https://www.highlights.com/store/puzzle-book-clubs/top-
- MOB-owned Little Minds Learning Box by Bry Daley
(https://www.littlemindslearningbox.com/) is an amazing monthly
subscription service geared towards early childhood development though
play based activities. Activities are created to strengthen children's skills in
major areas of child development including: physical motor, social-
emotional, language, and cognitive development. The activities are so
beautifully put together with such care and inspire both instructed and open-
ended creative play!
We just got the Performing Arts themed box and my kiddo has already hosted a movie night and transformed the popcorn into a sensory “calming box” that even got her featured on an episode of Brains On!
Host A Virtual Happy Hour/Coffee Date
In the past few months I have hosted my medical school class reunion, created a weekly happy hour for my best girlfriends from around the world, done co-working online, and caught up with a few old friends I haven’t chatted with in AGES. I also have a “virtual coffee” option on my Calendly to network even during a pandemic!
Even though we may be sick of Zoom, it’s always uplifting to see people other than your cats, share your struggles and wins, and raise a glass to surviving another week of this challenging time.
Oh, I also joined a wine club…Cheers!
Olga Ward, owner of Beaverton Neurofeedback is a first generation immigrant who moved to the US on a student Visa to attend college and improve her English.
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, but she says deep down she always wanted to find a way to be a helper to others on a physical or emotional level.
“ I had entertained the idea of going back to school to re-qualify as a nurse, but something always got in a way. Perhaps it was God's way of saying: ‘This is not your calling’. It wasn't until my husband and I decided to expand our family through adoption, I realized where I could practice my desire to heal,” she explains.
When she and her husband adopted her daughter from the Oregon DHS foster system it opened her eyes to the world of childhood trauma and she recognized a great need to support the foster care community. They also decided to open their home to foster kids in need of a respite stay.
Their daughter joined their family at the age of eight already having suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of her biological family, she also had additional trauma in her first adoptive home which was promised to be her ‘forever’ home.
Olga says, “Raising a child often comes with challenges. Raising a special needs child who has lost trust in adults, takes ‘challenging’ to a whole other level. No amount of praise or comments such as ‘You are such nice people’ or ‘She is a lucky girl’ can make you feel better when you are exhausted and burnt out. In fact, these comments, without actual support, feel like mockery. I tried very hard to maintain our family ‘normalcy’, but the everyday challenges were making it difficult to hold down an inflexible full-time job. Eventually, I put in my notice, and quit my stable job without a plan for replacing the missing income.”
Around this time she also felt so emotionally burnt out that she chose to seek mental health support from a professional counselor. She found being validated by someone who understands the impact of secondary trauma helpful, but her home life was still in crisis on almost a daily basis.
“Our daughter was struggling and so did the rest of our family, including myself! It was my own therapist who introduced me to NeurOptimal neurofeedback. Trauma affects the brain on a physiological level. While talking to a professional can help you feel heard and validated, it will not change your overreacted brain to switch from the Fight/Flight/Freeze response. The fact that there's a professional device that can help retrain the brain be more balanced and better regulate emotions fascinated me. I delved into the research and tested it on myself.
The results were undeniable! Within only 3 neurofeedback sessions I felt more peaceful and patient. I felt happier and more relaxed. I could think more clearly! It was at that moment I knew this was my "healing" calling. I made an investment into the NeurOptimal training and purchased my own equipment. I wanted the same results for others as I had experienced for myself. In April of 2018, I opened my own practice, Beaverton Neurofeedback, and have been passionately serving others in my community.”
Olga says that as a current foster parent to children with trauma, she is required, and enjoys, taking continuing education courses on the subjects of parenting children with trauma and attachment issues. “There are several influential figures who have done the research and wrote books to help others understand how trauma affects the brain and what we can do about it. Dr. Valdeane Brown, the researcher and inventor of NeurOptimal neurofeedback equipment (which is what I use in my practice), Daniel Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, the authors of "The Whole Brain Child", and my current neurofeedback mentor, Catherine Boyer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, are to name a few,” she explains.
Her biggest struggle when she first started her business was feeling isolated.. When she left her full time job, she lost support that comes with having co-workers to share ideas and concerns with. She says finding the MOB Nation community was a huge relief. Not only did she feel supported as a business owner, she also found amazing friends.
Olga says she would advise new business owners to pursue their passion and understand their “why”.
“Doing what makes a difference in the world and what makes you happy and fulfilled is an important motivator, especially when things get tough. Ask yourself ‘What would I love to do even if money was not an issue?,”
She also reminds business owners that they can love what they are doing without giving it away for free, to find a mentor or like-minded person who will encourage and support them when they are stuck, to hire a coach to get clarity, and to get plugged in to a networking community that will be there for them in good days and in bad.
She would tell her younger self to not take things personally if others don't understand what you do or do not want to support you. Do not interpret it as less important or amazing. There will always be those who don't care and those who want to see you succeed!
Olga says her motivation to keep going when things are tough comes from seeing the difference she makes in her clients’ lives and hearing their testimonials.
She loves working for herself because of the flexibility she has. “Working for myself not only provides me with much needed flexibility, but it also allows me to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it. There are weeks when my family obligations require me to work less and there are others when I put in a lot more time and effort than I would have into a 9 to 5 job.”
She says the MOB impact on her business has been huge. “I found a supportive community and so many friends! I've been able to outsource several different services. I personally had difficulties with myself and got many referrals to my own neurofeedback services. We can't be great at everything and it's okay to ask or hire others to help us. We need each other for different stages of our personal and business lives and that's the power of the MOB,” she explains
Olga’s ideal referral are Moms who feel like she once did (burnt out, emotionally drained) and kids with trauma, learning disabilities, sleep issues, or behavior difficulties.
MOB Alliance members receive an enhanced session with energy work for no additional charge!
Connect with Olga and Beaverton Neurofeedback:
We're excited to welcome IFundWomen's Creator & General Manager of IFundWomen of Color, Olivia Owens, to the MOB blog!
Learn more about Olivia at the end of the blog post.
Black Business Month is an important reminder of the opportunity that exists for Black-owned businesses. According to Amex's 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, Black women represent 42% of net new women-owned businesses started in the last year, which is three times their share of the female population (14%).
Yet in the past decade, Black women-led businesses have captured just .0006% of the total venture capital funding pie. The pandemic has only exacerbated the larger funding gap problem, as we saw with the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program, where up to 90% of minority and women business owners were shut out.
If you’re as tired of hearing these devastating stats as I am, let’s talk solutions. The biggest challenge facing black women entrepreneurs is access. Through my work at IFundWomen, the go-to marketplace for women-owned businesses and the people who want to support them, we are addressing this challenge head on by providing the access to the capital, coaching, and connections Black women-owned businesses need to launch and grow successful businesses.
We launched IFundWomen of Color (IFWOC) in partnership with Caress at the New York City Women’s March back in January. Since the announcement, we’ve been hard at work building the IFundWomen of Color community from the ground up, and the response has been incredible. The women in our community are reimagining how we build and use retail spaces, carving out space for Black women in wellness, and tackling food deserts in Brooklyn.
They’re leveraging crowdfunding and grants as alternative funding sources to push their businesses forward. In recent months, we’ve seen uptick in the Black women in our community launching with a sense of urgency because people are now (better late than never) looking to fund them.
One of the hundreds of women you can fund is Karen Wilson, Founder of ChildNEXUS. She is on a mission to decrease the number of undiagnosed learning disorders and mental health issues in children and adolescents through her platform. After getting her MVP up and running and growing her list to more than 900 subscribers, she came to IFundWomen because she needed the funds to scale.
She worked one on one with IFundWomen coaches, created her crowdfunding campaign video with the support of our creative team, and continues to leverage the IFundWomen of Color community as a space for support, collaboration, and validation. Not to mention, the first funder of her crowdfunding campaign was a $2,500 grant from Caress. She’s nearly 50% of the way to her goal and needs your support.
Caress is just one of a roster of amazing partners that have stepped up to support the women of color on our platform. Caress is doing $500K in COVID-19 relief grants for the IFundWomen of Color community.
We recently partnered with The Financial Gym to do $2,000 grants plus financial training for Black-owned businesses. And we will soon be announcing the recipients of our grant program with Visa, who is doing 10, $10,000 grants plus one year of IFundWomen coaching for Black women-owned businesses.
Grants are a no-brainer for both entrepreneurs who need funding and brands who are looking to reach their target audience. As a founder, debt-free capital is the best kind of capital. As a brand, the best way to engage with your potential customer is to show that you’re willing to meet an immediate and dire need they have by putting your money where your mouth is.
The best part is, you don’t have to be a brand to support Black-owned businesses. If you’re an ally looking to redistribute wealth into the black community, head to the Black-Women Owned Businesses page on our platform and fund a business or five.
If you’re Black woman-owned business, apply to IFundWomen of Color to start connecting with the resources and support you need to launch and grow.
Olivia Owens is the Creator & General Manager of IFundWomen of Color, the platform for women of color to raise capital through crowdfunding, grants, coaching, and the connections needed to launch and grow successful businesses.
This funding ecosystem is designed to empower early-stage, women entrepreneurs and bridge the funding gap for women of color.
Jessi Sigander is a mom of two and has been married 18 years. She started the Brain Breakthrough after her daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia. She also founded ACT Parenting Community where parents who are struggling with anxiety, overwhelm, and stress in their families can find support. The goal of the community is to provide Action steps, Connection, and research-based teaching for families,” she says.
“We had tried everything else to help her when we stumbled upon a different type of therapy that made significant changes in her. I knew that I wanted to know more, “ Jessi explains.
Jessi has a PhD in education and has spent the last several years working with victims of trauma. She said it feels like a privilege to be able to show up and help people each day in her work. “It's not at all what I expected I would be doing with my life and now I can't imagine wanting to do anything else.”
Jessi says her mentor has turned into a close friend “She is in the next stage of life ahead of me and her wisdom about family and work and life are so valuable!”
One of her biggest challenges has been working on ways to get a brand new modality into the world. Despite the challenges, she would tell anyone interested in starting a business to do it. “Even if it makes you uncomfortable and nauseous, do it! You will grow so much from the challenge! My other piece of advice would be to find people who have gone before you and learn from them! Have a group of cheerleaders along the way and have a person you can lean on for support on the days when it's hard, because it is going to be hard,” she explains.
When things are tough or challenging, she remembers the life changes her work has given past clients. “When I see them reading and learning and excelling at things for the first time in their lives, I know I have to keep going!”
Her ideal referral is anyone from the ages of 7 to 100 who struggles with anxiety, trauma, concussions, dyslexia or reading issues and is open to attacking the root of the issue in a new way.
Jessi says the MOB has impacted her business through connections and meeting so many amazing women.! “Just knowing I have a community behind me keeps pushing me forward!”
When we asked her what advice she would give to her younger self just starting out, she said “It's ok to be a beginner. I was a successful educator for many years and so when I started my own business I wanted to jump in and be just as successful. I have had to learn to give myself grace as I am just a beginner in the business world and still have a lot to learn. I shouldn't expect that I would know how to do everything perfectly when I am just starting.”
All MOB Alliance members get 10% off Jessi’s services.
Connect with Jessi:
We're excited to welcome Dr. Raquel Muller to the MOB blog as she shares insights about money mindset! Dr. Muller is also a MOBCON speaker. Learn more about her at the end of this blog post.
Have you ever thought: “I just want to make enough money so I never have to worry about it again,” or “I’ll be financially set when I earn X dollars a month/year?”
While the idea of a certain, magical sum making your financial concerns go away is certainly a seductive idea-- and one that I confess holding on to for most of my life-- its fundamental flaw is that it makes your wellbeing, peace of mind, and even your worth, contingent upon an external condition: i.e. how much money is in your bank account.
The flaws in your money mindset
So why is this focus on a certain amount of income a problem? First, when you make your wellbeing in any area of your life contingent upon external factors-- e.g. amount in the bank, where you live, people’s approval, social media likes, etc.-- it means that you are vulnerable to feelings of deprivation, stress, inadequacy, even emptiness, the second that those things are no longer there.
You and I know that we cannot control things outside of ourselves, so why place our wellbeing in the hands of circumstances that we cannot control and which could change at any moment?
Second, making your security, wellbeing, or worth about how much money you have-- or any other external circumstance for that matter-- is part of a lack or scarcity mindset, that is, the belief that there is only so much to go around, and that people, things, circumstances or luck control your abundance.
What this does is that it leads to feeling constantly worried about the possibility of losing those things upon which you’re basing your wellbeing.
Think about this: a person can have billions of dollars put away, but if they are in a lack mindset it won’t matter, because they will always be looking over their shoulder, wondering when they’re going to lose it all. And that anxious, constant looking over your shoulder is the opposite of freedom.
Another problem with making your financial freedom about a certain amount of money is that it puts you in what my mentor, Felicia Searcy, calls “get” energy. You focus on what you want to “get,” e.g. more money, more customers, more followers, etc., rather than showing up in a spirit of service. Anytime we are in “get” energy we make our work and other activities, for the time being, about what we can “get” rather than about what we can offer to better people’s lives. This can lead to a certain vibe of desperation as we operate our businesses.
A Useful Analogy
There is a powerful and useful analogy in relation to this. Using an amount of money to judge your financial security is akin to putting a lit match under a thermometer and expecting it to increase the temperature of the room. Obviously, with a lit match under it, the thermometer will show a higher temperature reading momentarily, but the second the flame is pulled away, the thermometer reading will go back to status quo. Further, the increased temperature reading of the thermometer does not in any way change the temperature of the room!
In other words, you may experience a surge of money or material possessions at a particular point in time, but this does not provide true financial freedom or security in the long run.
How Do You Find True Financial Freedom?
True financial freedom and peace of mind come from cultivating abundance from the inside out. Abundance from the inside out means deepening your relationship with Universal Source, God, Higher Power, or whatever you choose to call this creative force. When you learn to see yourself as the divine being that you are, when you know that the power that created you supplies all your needs, when you know that you are loved and worthy regardless of the circumstances around you, this is when you will get to experience freedom, regardless of how much money is actually in your account.
Also, when you know yourself as an abundant being, you can change “get” energy, knowing that as you serve your community with your talents and gifts, as you do the work that brings you most alive, the money will follow. And you will know that nothing and no one can take away your good.
A Personal Story
Becoming abundant from the inside is not a once-and-done thing, but a process whereby we deepen our relationship with Source. Personally, I have to keep coming back to my inner abundance to override the “get” energy I spoke about. I describe my experience below. Like any other business owner, I have operating expenses in my business. These include my investing in expert coaching to help me grow as a person and as a business woman. While my financial obligations don’t fluctuate much, my revenue does fluctuate from month to month.
In the past, I would worry about not having enough money, and made decisions based on how much was in my accounts. But since I’ve been working on my own money mindset and awareness, I have been practicing letting go of this worry, trusting that I have plenty of money to meet my expenses and obligations, as well as accomplish my goals, and help others.
As a result, I have seen money come to me just at the time when I need it, sometimes even from unexpected sources! What this does is remind me that I am loved and well supplied by the Universe. This helps me to continue offering my coaching services without attaching myself to whether someone says “yes” or “no.”
Most important, I am learning to be grateful for this season in my life and business because it is helping me transform into a stronger, more confident, more remarkable version of the woman I am today.
There is no doubt in my mind that I will generate the money I desire as I continue to grow my business, but even now, I feel incredible peace in knowing that my abundance comes, not from any specific amount of money, not from any person, nor a set of circumstances. I am abundant right now because I am connected to an infinite source that holds nothing back. That is freedom!
It’s Your Turn!
My invitation for you is that you seek to connect more deeply with your Source, so that you, too, will know your own abundance and freedom, more and more each day!
In this spirit, I am pleased to offer an upcoming free masterclass called “Prosperity Mindset Skills for Mompreneurs,” where I will share more in depth about these concepts that have changed my life and which I know can change yours, too!
There has never been a more challenging yet exciting time to be a mother and an entrepreneur. As a psychologist, entrepreneur, wife, and mother of two, Dr. Raquel Muller understands first hand how self-criticism, unrealistic expectations, and insufficient support can cause entrepreneurial moms to experience a disproportionate amount of overwhelm, guilt, and self-doubt, causing them to quit on their dreams and not live their full potential.
As "The Mompreneur Success Specialist," Dr. Raquel helps ambitious mom entrepreneurs develop the mindset, self-awareness, inner strength, confidence, vision, and supportive community that they need to get out of their own way, avoid self-sabotage, and create, not only a successful business, but also a fulfilling, balanced, purposeful and happy life, while also modeling this for their kids!
Connect on Facebook, Instagram, or Dr. Muller's website.
If you’re new to the MOB welcome! We’re glad you’re here. This is an amazing community of mom business owners where the focus is supporting you as a whole person - business owner, mom, and human. Our members are called MOBs. One of the most innovative things about the MOB is the focus on keeping money within the MOB economy. We encourage members to support MOBs first because, as we like to say, “There’s a MOB for That!”
If you’re also new to MOBCON - MOBCON is the only conference designed with mom business owners in mind, and each speaker is selected based on how the knowledge they share can help MOBs (Mom Owned Businesses) grow and thrive in the coming year.
MOBCON 2020 is sponsored by Works Learning and was supposed to be in San Diego, but with COVID's impact, we moved it to the virtual space.
The conference happens September 27th and 28th - two PACKED days we know you won't want to miss.
Get your ticket.
Get Fired up by Powerful Speakers
Main stage speakers will inspire you to live bigger, go further, and embrace who you are and where you want to go.
Dr. Melissa Bird will talk about the Graceful Revolution in business.
Arianna Bradford will share how to show up as yourself, for yourself, without the guilt.
Dr. Deena C. Brown will teach you how to L.E.A.D. (Learn, Experience, Apply, and Develop) by Design.
Learn how to Utilize Social Media
We know social media is a vital connection point for moms. It is even more important for women balancing motherhood and running their own business. And during this time of social distancing? Social media is a lifeline to friends and family as well as a way to stay in front of potential clients and business partners.
Tabitha Frost will show you how to explode your engagement with Pinterest.
Mia Francis-Poulin will show you how to monetize your Facebook group.
Expand Your Reach
We’re living in a COVID-world right now and that means you may be wondering how to continue to grow your business without face-to-face networking and connection.
Tip one - you should regularly be attending MOB meetups to connect with new people face to face (or Zoom to Zoom).
Tip two, don’t miss these breakout sessions!
Whitedove Gannon will show you how to create a standout digital product.
Sunny Gault will tell you the five P’s of Podcasting.
Jen Willson will show you how to magnetize and capture leads online.
Jessica Thiefels will teach you the five ways to get more milage from the content you create.
Bringing your best self to your business
As moms and business owners we often need to untangle who we are, what our brand is, and how to set goals that satisfy the mom side and the business side of our lives.
Business coach Sheila Gray and mindset coach Selena Maestas work together to break down what it means to be the CEO of your business.
Victoria Romney will show you how to use your person brand to stand out.
Courtney Anderson will show you how to use mindmapping to set both personal and business goals.
You don’t often find personal development topics at business conferences and certainly not ones especially designed for moms! We know MOBs are more than their business and need extra support.
Amber Alexander will talk about how stress, trauma, and anxiety change the way your brain and body works.
Tara McCann will show you how to use the power of your menstrual cycle to get more done.
Marcy Sizemore will help you craft a family mission statement.
Leena Lemos and Megan Horowitz will empower you to own your truth.
Plan for Success
Finally, we want MOBs to be successful. We want them to have more than enough income for their needs. We want them to invest in and support other MOBs. We firmly believe we can all rise together.
Crowdfunding, copyrighting, and surviving and thriving during COVID are topics we’ve seen come up over and over again in online discussions.
Oliva Owens from iFundwomen will teach you how to use crowdfunding to launch and grow your brand.
Angie Avard Turner will explain how to legally protect what you create.
Alana Mitchell will show you how to grow now and in a post Coronavirus economy.
Ready to get your ticket to MOBCON 2020 sponsored by Works Learning?