Gwen Montoya is a single parent, a homeschooling mom of two, and a digital marketing consultant. She describes herself as a “giant geek, a marketing nerd, and I have a lifetime obsession with advertising, musicals and old movies!” Gwen says she has always been curious and enjoys understanding why and how things work. “I’m probably dating myself, but the day I discovered I could pull up a website in Scotland while I was in Beaverton was life changing. I love to dive into research and suddenly the whole world had opened up!”
She says she was inspired to start her business because she has witnessed small business owners struggling to understand marketing and the new technology that comes with it. She also knows business owners struggle with the costs associated with marketing. “I’ve seen them struggle and get frustrated to the point of giving up. I’ve seen them be taken advantage of because they didn’t understand what they were paying for (or weren’t paying for). I realized that this marketing thing that is really clear, fun, and neat to me, is not fun for everyone,” she says. Gwen says her clients are often stuck between doing nothing and trying to do it all themselves. “They have a business to run, a family to care for, and they are trying to wrap their head about marketing on top it. If they were bigger, they could hire a firm, but they aren’t there yet. We work together, they get the knowledge and confidence they need to move forward, and they know I’m here if they need help in the future,” she explains.
Gwen tells us she doesn’t have a specific mentor she looks up to, but has always inspired by strong women being bold. “I’m inspired by women like Julia Child who discovered their passions when they were a little older, and by women like Lucille Ball who broke through a lot of ‘firsts’,” she says.
Gwen says her biggest challenge is balancing work and family. She manages it by staying flexible. “I limit my meetings to one per day, and I’m not gone longer than four hours at a time. During my work time, I need to be very focused to get as much done as possible. Beyond that, I’m making it up as I go along, but it works,” she says.
She advises new business owners to ask for help when they need it. “You don’t have to do it all yourself. Ask for help or find an easier way. I don’t necessarily mean hiring someone like me. If you need help with meal prep, buy pre-chopped vegetables. If you need help with the kids, call in relatives or friends for back up. If you need time to yourself to function, don’t be shy about asking for it. We’re really, really not supposed to do all of this by ourselves,” she says. She continues “On the business side of things, look for ways to streamline your marketing tasks. Limit yourself to just two social media platforms and be clever and brilliant on those two before adding more. Don’t be shy about networking and connecting with others. The support you find is invaluable.”
Gwen specializes in working with mom business owners. “I’ve worked with lots of different types of people and I’m not limited geographically so I’ve worked with businesses in different parts of the world. But I especially love working with moms. I love knowing that the work we do together helps them fulfill their goals and be able to spend more time with their families,” she says.
Gwen says she is a very proud mom and is especially proud of creating a career where she can attempt to balance work and homeschooling. “But my biggest accomplishment is anytime I actually take a day off and stick to it. I love my work; it is fun and feels like play. And since much of my work happens on social media, it is easy to check social media on my day off and get sucked into a quick work session since I’m there anyway,” she says.
She says she is excited to be a MOB NW member for the support and connection the MOB provides. “I love knowing the owners of the businesses I support. I also like finding new businesses to support specifically because they are a MOB. Beyond that, I’m thrilled to be on the board of directors. There is nothing else like it in the world! I think a big part of that is Aria’s leadership and vision,” she says.
Gwen shares that the board of directors recently had head shots taken by MOB NW member Traveling Julie Photography. “I’m not sure if boards of directors typically laugh this much, but each of the board members brings something special and unique to the board, and we like working together! Ashley, Brittainie, Eva, and Aria – we’re all working towards the same goal. That is a really special thing,” she says.
She loves working for herself because of the freedom it gives her to be with her kids. “As a single mom who also homeschools, being able to take a beach field trip or a trip to the zoo on a random Tuesday is one of my favorite things about working for myself.” She also has unusual days off. “I really struggled with being available to clients during my weekday volunteer time. I realized it was a better choice to take Mondays and Tuesdays off instead of Saturdays and Sundays. That’s a choice I would not be able to make if I worked for someone else,” she explains.
You can find Gwen online at: