CLEVELAND — As part of our series on moms who left the workforce to start their own businesses, we spoke to five woman, all in different industries but with a lot in common. In addition to multi-tasking and operating their businesses and homes like well-oiled machines, they all say they try to get plenty of sleep. They wouldn’t be able to do what they do otherwise.
In Part 2, we focus on one "momtrepreneur" who just made the leap, as well as a professional who coaches women. She shared what our mom was doing right (and wrong) and what mom-run businesses, like Ayesha Abdullah's, need to succeed.
Abdullah put her life savings into starting the Therapeutic School House in Richmond Heights, a daycare equipped to handle mainstream and special needs children.
"I just knew it was something I wanted to do," Ayesha said. "Even if I failed, at least I tried."
The mother of four who taught in the East Cleveland schools for 17 years went on her own two years ago, and she admits it's been tough.
"There were days that I cried so so so many times," she told us. "I'm not going to lie: There were days we were like, 'Are we going to get kids?'"
A year later, she's near capacity.
But what does it take for a mom to run a business and succeed?
Amy Glazer, a professional who specializes in coaching women leaders looking to change careers, says, "I think you really have to understand why you want to start your own business. Is it because of money? Is it because you want to have some flexibility in your schedule?"
For Ayesha, it was because she couldn't find a school for her own special needs son.
Amy says, next, you need to find a mentor, adding, "You just got to step out a little bit in faith. Are there groups you could be a part of that could really help you get started?"
That's something Ayesha knows she needs to do.
"That has stumbled us maybe in getting the kids," she admitted. "But I'm doing it more now."
But, Amy says, you also need to have realistic expectations.
"It's not going to happen overnight," she said. "I didn't have a website right away, I didn't have business cards. But having a plan before you jump off the diving board is a good thing."
And she recommends that you don't go at it alone.
"You really need cheerleaders in your corner," she told us. "You need people that you know are experts at things you're not."
Finally, Glazer says it's important to know your worth.
"Don't underestimate yourself," she said. "Maybe you've been out of the workforce for a while, but girl, you've got skills! Get out there and use them!"
And that's exactly what Ayesha's done.
"If you have the opportunity to do what you want to do, do it!," she explains "Take that leap, because you don't know if you're going to be granted that next day, that next hour, or anything."
There are an incredible amount of resources for mom's looking to start businesses...everything from help with financing, advice and network opportunities.
Here are some below: