Monday, May 4, 2009
note: Marketplace Mavens is a regular column highlighting the spectacular talent of female entrepreneurs. Whether they are hobbyists, full-powered business owners, or somewhere in between, these ladies are sure to inspire you to venture into the marketplace yourself!
I don’t believe for a minute that entrepreneurs are born and not made. Just because you don’t grow up with a lemonade stand in your front yard doesn’t mean that you can’t grow into the spirit of creating and selling later in life.
Born with It!
But I have to say that in the case of this Marketplace Maven, some people really are just born with it. Because for as long as I’ve known Rebecca, she has always had an enterprise, whether it was managing rental property, cleaning houses, or selling Avon. Her latest business--repairing automotive interiors--is so successful that she now has a contracted employee working for her.
Of course, one of the most impressive things about Rebecca’s entrepreneurialism is that she is a single mom, and has used her knack for running her own business to help her stay home with her three kids. And yes--juggling work with science projects and diaper changes is a challenge, but she feels fortunate to be able to spend so much time with her family.
Here are some highlights from our conversation about the entrepreneur-at-home lifestyle:
* Rebecca reminded me that being an entrepreneur sometimes requires courage. Her current business places her in the rather gruff automotive industry where thick skin is an occupational necessity. She confesses that she was initially intimidated to approach dealer's with bids, but she didn't let her discomfort stop her from doing it anyway. Clearly her courage has since paid off!
* Never forget that money management matters. Rebecca shared with me how important she feels it is for women to be active managers of their personal and/or business finances. She had to “learn the books” for her current business, which she admits can be a headache, but she cringes at the alternative of being ignorant. Good financial habits, regardless of a woman’s circumstances, are as important as good health and wellness.
* Rebecca’s life is a testament to how important the support of family is when you are raising kids and running a business. Her sisters and close friends make a tight community where help is freely given and received.
* Like former Maven, Lori, Rebecca reminds me that it is possible to be a single mom and stay home with your kids. In fact, the desire to be home with children is a driving force behind many home-based businesses. Rebecca would probably be an entrepreneur with or without her kids (like I said--she was born with a talent for it), but her kids make her that much more determined to succeed.
As with every maven interview I've conducted, I drove home from my meeting with Rebecca inspired by the strength of her character. Her talent, coupled with courage and a mother's conviction, makes her a role model. Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing your story!
Previous Marketplace Mavens:
Lori from Premier Designs
Laura from Uproar
Hannah from Red Tandem Studio