From Mom to Mompreneur
Can you tell us a little bit about your company?
For single parents, SingleParentPower is the only one-stop-shop for a bilingual, diverse, and inclusive online community for single parents in the greater Washington DC Metro DC area. We are creating a global and multicultural electronic marketplace to support and enable single parents to thrive. Our marketplace application enables single parents to connect with each other and with local businesses that attract single parents. We offer an opportunity to buy and barter affordable childcare products, transportation, as well as financial, nutritional and empowerment offerings.
How did you decide to add the role of entrepreneur to your life?
I decided to add this role in my life since I got inspired by my own experience of being a single mother. This situation helped me to understand the role of leadership through the creation of the social network and marketplace for single parents. It also inspired my current experience through the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School’s MBA program and helped me to develop the vision of a strong sense of empowerment.
I recognized that there are problems that I can solve in the single parent community. As a single parent, I live the experience of single parents. I do not only try to serve them but also I am one of them.
Ultimately, this new role in my life has been an ideal stage in my life to build and apply my leadership, management, and problems solving skills in order to make single parenting easier.
What’s it like being a mom and trying to build a business at the same time?
At the beginning, it was very difficult because I was looking for a balance that never existed but now, I can say that it perfectly fits in every aspect of my life. I understand that maybe you do not have the guideline to be a mom, complete a master’s degree and create a business at the same time. You do not have everything solved in your life. You constantly change agendas, schedules, and plans so that everything works but I never change my vision.
If I want to progress in my career, I have to sacrifice both time and work for example I study at night, while my daughter sleeps. If you were me, you would learn that all the things that you do, are not perfect but you have many tools that could work; and if they do not work, just think and start over.
A day just lasts 24 hours and if you want to spend time playing with your children, going out with friends, meeting with mentors and clients and going to the gym, you may not be able to achieve all these things. So I focus on the important issue. The time management is vital and that is why I have created my own “structure”.
Being a full-time mother and entrepreneur is a great challenge, but it is not impossible. It requires you to have clear priorities, develop a plan and have the discipline and personal commitment to carry it out.
Personally, when I look back, I see a long road of many efforts, sacrifices, crying and even frustrations. However, when I look at the present time, I see that it is worth it; and when I look forward, I have no doubt that every second invested in each task and in each role, will have the expected results for me, my daughter and for our single parent community.
How did you find MET Community?
It was last summer when I met Yanire Brana at an event at Johns Hopkins University, whom I called “an angel person” for women entrepreneurs. Maybe she does not remember that day but I do, I was so happy to listen to her. She spoke in Spanish about her work for women entrepreneurs and MET Community, especially in Colombia, my country. I requested an appointment to present my project and then I joined the MET program.
What made you decide to get a mentor?
I decided to get a mentor since I was totally sure that I could miss out on the opportunity to be in contact with amazing people. MET Community gave me a mentor, who is a very special person, that has helped professionals to be successful by triumphing in their professional career.
Once I decided to build my business, I realized that MET was going to help me to have success in it. It is not usual to find people who offer all their knowledge and experience to people who are just beginning to think of becoming professional in the future like me.
The mentor is very useful in many situations and areas. The simple fact of deciding to be a mentor, says a lot about a person; that is why I decided to have one for my business.
How has having a mentor helped with your business?
The MET mentoring program has not only helped regarding my business but this program has changed my personal life.
I want to share that it is a complete package. I remember when I developed my first event for single parents with MET support and Yanire’s feedback was to work on my self-esteem more and appropriate my role.
As usual, I started looking for books and had the opportunity to talk to one of my friends who is a coach and then I changed some habits in my life in order to rebuild and follow the guidelines of my mentor. Yanire motivated me to grow personally. She guided me, challenged me and empowered me.
If you want an answer about my business, I can say that my business has moved very fast in a very short time. I got new providers for marketing, consulting, IT services, useful tools and tips for my entrepreneurial path.
You recently won a pitch competition hosted by MET Community. What did it feel like to win?
My first answer could be an incredible happiness. All competitions imply certain classification and recognition but now I have a broader conception of them. I feel more committed and disciplined because the people believed in my project. I get more motivation to work harder on my project.
How has your pitch helped with your business growth?
After I won the pitch competition during the celebration of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, I got the opportunity to get in touch with different investors. The competition offered me a chance to have experts and venture capitalists evaluate my project for launching my business and to received advice in a realistic and supportive environment. This pitch helped me to get in negotiation for my seed funding right now.
What advice would you give moms that are hesitant about starting their own business?
I invite you to set and achieve your goals; no matter how modest they are. You should create a picture for yourself of what efforts are needed to achieve optimal results in your life.
As a mom, I always take the time management into account. You should do it too. You should take care of your family, be an entrepreneur, make the most of your time and even try to involve the members of your family. So that they know your whole project and can support you when unexpected situations arise.
Being part of the entrepreneurs’ community and the support networks can be a terrific source of support, encouragement and a wide range of high-quality programs. However, before you commit, make sure that the program is a good fit for your needs.
How do people get in touch with you if they want to be a part of this amazing community that you are building?
People can find SingleParentPower on our social media accounts. We are very active at the moment, sharing information for Latin people and the American community. We are building a portal to share this information from our international roster of expert single parents around the world.