Five Guidelines for Productive and Happy Work-at-Home-Moms

By Allison Rice

More and more studies are emerging regarding the best way to incentivize employees to make them more productive and happy. From rewards and recognition programs to bonuses and perks involving both time and money, the simple truth is that the more motivated we are, the harder we work.

And who exemplifies self-motivation and hard work better than female entrepreneurs and professionals who are also work-at-home mothers? Whether you are blessed with a career that allows flexibility to work from home or are just starting your own business, there are certain principles to observe if you want to conquer the dual arenas of “work life” and “home life.” Here are five fundamental doctrines of the most productive and happy professional moms who work from home. Continue reading

Tips from One “Mom with a Biz” to Another

Rebecca Batisto is the founder of Abask Marketing, a full-service marketing agency specializing in everything from social networking and website production to public relations and everything in between. She created the business from home while working a full-time job but as her “side” business grew she was able to leave that job to focus on running her own business full-time. And, just two weeks later she found out she was pregnant! She is now the proud mom to two children under three and is successfully running her business out of her home office in sunny South Florida. 

She knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur and a mother but becoming both at the same time was more of a challenge than she had anticipated. Rebecca shares some of the lessons she learned through this experience and offers some guidance to help you along your journey.  Continue reading

She’s Mom, Incorporated: Sonal Gerten, Tumblewalla

Minneapolis mom, Sonal Gerten, founded Tumblewalla, an Indian-inspired line of brightly colored organic cotton play wear for babies and toddlers, which she runs out of her home while caring for her now three-year-old son. Serious about play, she also created the Tumble & Tickle Movement, a philanthropical arm of the company that donates 5% from every item purchased to global nonprofit partners that make play happen for children around the world. 

MomIncorporated: What inspired you to start Tumblewalla?
Sonal: When I was pregnant with my son, I, like most moms, wanted to find distinctive, colorful and cozy clothes for my baby but everything for boys was in brown and blacks or had skulls and cross-bones on it – not what I was looking for!

At the time, I was intrigued by this nugget of a business idea but it didn’t feel right in my gut yet.  It wasn’t until after I gave birth when I found it incredibly difficult to just enjoy the moment, laugh and be playful with my son, that I realized I could stand for something bigger than just the clothes – I wanted to help families be more in the moment and celebrate the whimsy and joys of being a child. This led to the beginnings of Tumblewalla and our Tumble and Tickle Movement.   I strongly believe every child has a RIGHT to play and enjoy their childhood no matter where they live or their economic situation and this belief is the vision that fuels my work each day.

Continue reading

Becoming an Unintentional Work-At-Home Mom

By Kathy Zucker

Kathy Zucker

Over the past six years, I have been a managing partner in three companies. In the past year, I have written two business plans and raised a million dollars in investor capital commitments. In the past 16 months, I established a beverage company’s online and social media presence, redesigning the look and wording of all its marketing materials. The result of those efforts? The company has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon.com, shot to No. 1 in nationwide sales in the Amazon grocery section, and is now being sold at the Ritz Carlton, at the hotel’s request. And I accomplished all this while working from home.

When I launched my marketing consulting business six years ago, I never expected any of this to happen. But the biggest surprise of all? The fact that I am home at all. I never, in a million years, intended to stay home when I became a parent. I thought I would be your typical Manhattan marketing director, taking 12 weeks of maternity leave before putting my child into day care or hiring a nanny.

Life has a way of moving in unexpected directions. I found parenting to be much harder and more gut-wrenching than I ever expected. You don’t truly know what sleep deprivation is like until you have parented a newborn; it’s like walking around drunk all the time. And I found that I couldn’t stand being away from my daughter. Watching her little face pull away from me in a car window is one of my most emotionally searing memories of early motherhood. Also, my husband’s career started ramping up; I had been the primary breadwinner until then, but I agreed to scale back so he could go for the big time. Two parents working 60-hour weeks — we would never see our kid.

Struggling to balance parenting with your career?

It is surprisingly easy to start working for yourself. The most basic level of being in business is a sole proprietorship. You come up with a business name, register it with the state you live in, and get a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). It can all be done online; it should take about an hour to establish your business. And the cost? Under $100.

Why do you need an EIN as a sole proprietor? Privacy is huge; do you want to give your Social Security number to every client? Having an EIN also enables you to partner with other people; I often put together marketing plans that involve multiple vendors (interns, a web developer, etc.) At the end of the year, I issue them 1099s since they are independent contractors; no tax liability for me.

Having an EIN makes you look legitimate. Many clients request my EIN before they will do business with me. It doesn’t change my income tax filing status; I file one set of personal returns and all my business activity goes on schedule C.

Useful links:

Kathy Zucker, serial entrepreneur and mother of two toddlers, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. See what Kathy is up to at her blog and on Twitter.

 This article originally appeared on Metromoms.net on Jan. 9, 2012.