Five Things I’ve Learned as a “Momprenuer”

Have you ever had a great idea for an invention?  Something that solves a serious problem of fills a need in a big way?

We are all the beneficiaries of the creative ideas of inventors and entrepreneurs. Until I walked that road myself, I had little appreciation for the time, sacrifice, courage, and risk it requires. If you are a “momprenuer” (crazy creative mom turned entrepreneur), it’s a whole other ball of wax!  

I recently saw a picture of a now famous mom posted on Facebook and my mind was flooded with memories of myself trying to balance the most important duties of being a wife and mother with my passion for a business endeavor. Often I could be found changing a diaper or picking up carpool while on a conference call. Or even hiding in my closet during an important phone meeting to avoid the screaming from sibling discord. The worst part was when I thought I had muted the phone, but did NOT!

For a momprenuer, the recurring and age-old question is, “how do I find BALANCE?” I came across a saying that helped me at a crucial time. I found it on a piece of wall art and had to put it up in my house to remind me that balance is not a destination. We have to keep moving forward and do the best we can each day to fulfill our passion for a dream and our innate desire to nurture.

We embarked on an adventure 10 years ago. We wanted to turn a great idea into a product we could market and share with others. It all started with a homemade idea that solved a problem we faced as busy moms. We are always running from one thing to the next and needed a way to have the necessities to solve “life’s little emergencies” readily at hand. Our homemade versions of the Pikle organizers were nothing to write home about…a hot pad with snack baggies sewn inside. So we (and those that mentored us) had to share our vision of what it could become!

One thing that still completely amazes me is the many people we have been blessed to meet at the right time. Talented individuals have been (and continue to be) gracious with their time and resources. Great advice and connections with these talented people have lifted and helped us along the way.

Many people ask us…”how did you do it?” The honest answer is: one day at the time. It’s really like climbing a mountain.  If you look up, you can easily get discouraged, but if you turn around and look down, you will be amazed at how far you have come.

So, as I reflect on our journey, here are five things I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Set deadlines and find someone to hold you accountable… having a tenacious business partner was the best thing for me!
  2. Be ready to put your money where your mouth is. If you really believe in your idea, you may need to invest more than just time!
  3. Don’t take offense to honest feedback. What you think may be a perfect product might need a little tweaking. This is hard when you think your idea is the “bees’ neez” but you need to be ready to receive feedback
  4. Be grateful for your support system and include them in the adventure. Our spouses, kids, and parents have been so supportive.
  5. Don’t give up!!! You are going to have some disasters, but you can work through them with creativity and a positive attitude.

The payback comes when people love your product and use it! I get so excited when I see a stranger in a mall carrying your product or someone calls us the “Pikle ladies.” Mostly, I hope I have taught my kids that you can do anything you put your mind to and that adults have dreams too!

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