Sara and her husband started Bend's Woody Tree Service in 2012 when they realized there was a need for qualified, safe arborists with forestry backgrounds and power line certification. She says “We knew we wanted our own business. We had those qualifications. Our parents both owned their own businesses. We decided it was time!”
She says she runs her business like her father ran his - giving the best service to their clients while treating their employees like they are the most important product they have. Sara says she is proud of what they do. “We provide fair, safe, clean and prompt arborist services to a community we live in and care about.”
Since the business is seasonal, the biggest challenge is finding business in the off season. “The first year we didn't work from October to March....yikes! We have continuously had less and less days off in the winter. Thank goodness! Now the only month we would like to see more business is February,” she says.
She tells new business owners to have tenacity. “Don’t give up. Find a way to make it work. Show up every day. Ask a bazillion questions to people who admire in business. DONT GIVE UP!”
Like many businesses, Woody Tree Service gets most of its business from happy customers. “We quit all advertising two years ago, except for social media and Google. We found that our word of mouth advertising was giving us the most business by far! What a compliment of how we run our business!”
Sara says the MOB has enriched her life and her business and she loves the educational benefits. She’s also grateful to the women who created and grew the MOB.
“I was asked to come to MOB by another member, Alison Mata, last fall. It was on a day that was, like always, so slammed. The last thing I wanted to do was go across town and meet new people, I put my game face on and I showed up to life!
I think of how that one choice enriched my life and our business. The education from the speakers alone, was well worth coming. I was renewed with energy from the speakers and armed with some really applicable advice for our business.
The contacts I have made have become a business support staff. We are all walking different business paths, but its like we have a huge company of talents sharing different goals, but helping each other create success in our individual companies! Like employees you don't have to pay! Lastly, I suddenly had a group of ladies that related to my life and business struggles. There was an instant feeling of camaraderie with these wonderful women.”
She would tell her younger self “You will be successful, because you won't give up. So to make life easier, pick something you absolutely love to do! Follow your bliss."
Sara says she loves working for herself because it allows her to create her own schedule and enjoy the things she loves. “I do not have to worry about who will take care of my kids, or when I can go on vacation. If I am sick I don't have to give up vacation days. If there are sports for kids, I can leave and watch them,” she explains.
She offers MOB Alliance members free estimates.
Connect with Sara online:
Jessica George, a Rodan + Field representative and graphic designer, grew up in a small town, but says she’s always been a city-kid at heart. “Small town living was too boring for me. Funny how life changes though. I love going back to visit and really enjoy the slower pace now,” she explains.
She currently lives in Las Vegas with her husband and young son, Mason. Prior to having her son, much of her work was done in the advertising world. She still does some freelance design when she has the time.
After having her son, she realized she was ready for a change.
Jessica says, “The fast-paced advertising world was super fun when I was in my 20s and single, but after moving into my 30s, and getting married, that environment just wasn't doing it for me anymore. After almost 15 years in the industry, and having to think of about a billion different ways to design the same things over and over and over, and telling people that white space IS important, and no the logo does NOT need to be bigger, and all the competition and egos — I was burnt out.”
The final straw was when she learned she was making significantly less than her equal male counterpart. “That was what put me over the edge. I was done, but I had no clue what I wanted to do if I wasn't a graphic designer. I had my son at 35 and while on maternity leave realized that there were so many more important things in life than working so hard to climb this "ladder" to success. I knew I was good at what I did and wondered if I could build a business from home. MY business. No more doing what the boss wanted. I wanted to be in charge and do what I thought was the right thing! I decided I had to figure out how to work from home but still didn't really know what I wanted to do. It was important to me to be present for my husband and son and work around our family's life. It's still chaotic, but I don't feel like I'm missing my own life anymore,” she explains.
While on maternity leave, she decided to start her Rodan + Fields business. “I saw the massive potential for growth. I knew the power behind these doctors having the Proactiv name attached to them. If advertising had taught me anything it was that brand recognition was GOLD. It would allow me to be in charge of myself and I could work my day around my new little family. It just felt right to me.”
Jessica still loves design and enjoys the chance to be creative with her own things, but her Rodan and Fields business gives her the freedom to be with her son and create her own work schedule. “R+F is easy to fit into my toddler mom life and it helped me with my tired-looking mom skin. I'm in the middle of figuring out how to have a graphic design business AND my R+F business together,” she explains.
She says she is inspired by people like Rachel Hollis lately. Mel Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, Ellen, Oprah, and Buddha. “These are people who talk the talk AND walk the walk. People who share love with the world and help people become better versions of themselves,” she says.
Jessica says one of the biggest struggles in her business has been being unsure of the next steps and not being where she feels she should be at this stage of her business.
“I don't have a professional headshot yet. I don't professional copy written. I don't have everything perfectly so, and that's really hard for me. Working as a designer for so many years I feel the need to have everything perfect before it goes to the public...but you know what? I'm a work in progress, and I can't help that I don't know what I don't know. I'm learning.”
She advises new business owners to go for it because no one knows what they are doing at the beginning. “We just have to follow our gut and keep trying until we get where we want to be,” she says. Jessica would also remind them to celebrate the small victories. “Even though I don't feel like I've made much progress, I look back and see just how far I've actually come. Be gentle with yourself. You're doing a good job!”
The best referral for Jessica is someone looking for skincare products that give transformative results or someone looking to make an extra income around their already busy schedule. She says many reps begin using the products and then realize how using the products sells the products because people see the change in your skin and then want to know how you did it.
Jessica says the best part about being a part of the MOB Alliance is the relationships she has made. It's really nice being around like-minded people. We all know the struggles and benefits of being a mom with a business.”
She mentions being listed in the MOB Nation Directory as a favorite benefit. “I appreciate all the publicity the MOB pushes to it,” she explains. Jessica also likes the meetups and the chance to get in front of people as a Spotlight speaker or Presenter. “Meeting new people and building meaningful relationships is seriously my favorite thing to do. I love hearing everyone’s stories and how they came to be where/who they are today.”
Jessica offers MOB Alliance members a reimbursement of their setup fee when they become Preferred Customer. Preferred customers also receive 10% off purchases and free shipping on orders over $80)
Connect with Jessica online at:
Rebecca Flanagan is a Portland business, tax, and estate lawyer. “I am the proud child of two small business owners -- a veterinarian and a log home builder -- and granddaughter, niece, and sister to many other small business owners. It's in my blood that I'm my own boss,” she explains.
She is also a third-generation Washington State University alumnus who continued the family tradition of meeting her future spouse while at college. She and her husband, Andrew, recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary, and have two little boys. As a family they enjoy finding adventure hiking, skiing, camping, biking, and exploring Mount Tabor.
Rebecca describes herself as a self-confident woman that seeks to better her community, and a lawyer who seeks to use her unique background (working poor family as a child to middle-class as an adult) and privilege (white, educated family) to lift-up those around her.
Giving back to her communities is important to Rebecca. She runs a free tax site that prepared taxes for low-income and elderly taxpayers, volunteers with her sorority mentoring college women, coordinates the endowment of two academic scholarships, and serves on local bar association committees
She went to law school with the goal of helping people like her parents - hard-working individuals that are masters of their craft. While at law school she found tax law intriguing. “I learned it can impact every aspect of a small business from entity formation to growth decisions and employee matters to sales and marketing. I also realized that to serve small business owners, I would need to understand estate planning as the family assets can all be held within the business. That's how I came to the beautiful trifecta of my service offering: business, tax, and estate,” she explains.
Her clients range from professional service firms to construction companies, household employers (aka parents that hire a nanny) to educators and artists, individuals to corporations, LLCs, S-Corps, partnerships, and sole proprietors.
Rebecca says she looks to mentors that foster growth in different phases of her life. “My mother, Dr. Maurine Dufault Fritch, is a role model for managing a successful career, motherhood, and running a business. My tax mentor, Valerie Sasaki, literally taught me all I needed to know about state and local tax to thrive at my first legal job -- tax associate at KPMG -- when she was an adjunct professor during my final semester of law school. My leadership mentor is a dear sorority sister, Angela Guillory, past national president of Sigma Kappa Sorority; she challenges me to be a better leader, a stronger leader, a compassionate listener, and a creative problem solver.”
Her biggest business struggle has been managing her own expectations. “I am a perfectionist by nature and strive for flawless execution in all I do, from baking cupcakes for my bon's birthday to drafting a legal document and presenting a workshop on intersectionality to constructing a balloon arch for the Walk to End Alzheimer's. There are instances where 95% isn't good enough (legal analysis for example), but many times it is more than enough (public speaking, sewing projects), and sometimes 80% is plenty (balloon arch).”
She advises new business owners to focus on progress over perfection. “I adopted this mantra in the early days of starting my business, when I felt as though I was ‘drinking from a fire hose.’ Even as the extreme hustle of building the foundation of my business wanes, I still return to this phrase.”
Her ideal referrals are family business owners who are ready to do those tasks that need to be done - transitioning from sole proprietor to a corporation of some sort to limit liability; drafting an estate plan that syncs up with their business succession plan; working through a tangles tax issue be in multiple years of unfiled federal returns or how to apportion income between multiple taxing jurisdictions; setting up a system that ensures all nanny compliance tasks are completed in a timely manner; or even a review of business contracts to ensure enforceability.
Rebecca enjoys being a part of the MOB for the support and energy. “That synergy that comes from having a group of passionate women empowering each other. Even amongst MOBs of the same industry, you see the building up, supporting, cheerleading, sharing best practices, and support. This is rare in the professional world. By lifting each other, we are making a real, tangible difference in bettering our community,” she explains.
Working for herself allows Rebecca the opportunity to help dreams become a reality for other small business owners and build genuine, sustainable relationships. “In serving clients that are also my neighbors, I am relieving them of a stress or burden which in turn allows them time to engage with their family, commit to growing their business, or volunteer in our community. The ripple waves radiate out from the work I do with family owned businesses to impact the broader community. Additionally, I am setting an example for my little ones. My two boys will watch their mother further her career, build a business, serve with integrity, and grow relationships through genuine and authentic communication. As mothers our actions when parenting have a great impact on our children, and our actions when not in the active parenting role (e.g., at work, volunteering, interacting with our adult friends) are also influencing what they learn about the world, how we interact with those around us.”
Rebecca’s exclusive offer to MOB Alliance members is a free 30 minute consult via phone or in person at her office.
Connect with Rebecca:
Kelley is a Portland native who loves sandwiches, ice cream, the Great British Bake Off, and struggling through beginning ballet for adults. She is also mom to two little boys and a writer.
She says she has always been a writer and editor at heart. “I was a freelance writer on and off for years, and a blogger just as blogging has been a thing. But after looking at my skill set and the market, I decided to focus on copywriting for small businesses. Now I get to build other women up, help small business owners thrive, and do what I love at the same time,” she explains.
Her biggest business struggle is a common struggle among MOBs – lack of time. “I'm a writer, and my husband is a musician, so we juggle childcare. Our schedules are different every week. I have to be careful to prioritize and spend my work time wisely,” she says.
She advises new business owners to make the leap, but also ask for help. “You can’t do it all on your own, so allow yourself to offload professional concerns like marketing, design, childcare, house cleaners... whatever you can afford, as well as personal ones. Find a network (like the MOB) to help expand your skills, business, heart, and mind.”
Kelley’s ideal referral is a business owner with a marketing budget who has a website but wants it to be rewritten to attract their ideal client.
Beyond websites, Kelley can help anyone who wants their written communication to be clear, helpful, and inviting.
She says the MOB has impacted her business because of the support she receives. She says “You can be yourself as a mom and business owner, be vulnerable, have questions, and celebrate successes. It's awesome.”
Kelley loves working for herself. “When I was at my last desk job, I would have KILLED to have one Tuesday morning where I could take a walk with my kids in the park or sit in a coffee shop working. I was stuck at a desk for 40 hours a week, answering the same email over and over. Now I get to make my own decisions about how I spend my time, I get to help people, and do what I love to do.”
She has an exclusive offer for MOB Alliance members – a Content Quick Fix for just $79 (usually $125-150).
Connect with Kelly online: