I am often asked in interviews if I have a role model who inspires me as a mompreneur. While there are many women who inspire me, I've never found the one special person who fits the bill--until now. If anyone asks me again, my answer will be Lynda Resnick.
Who is Lynda Resnick? She was a mompreneur long before the term was coined. She is also the entrepreneur behind POM Wonderful, FIJI Water, Teleflora and more. And she's an amazing mom to five kids (now adults). I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Lynda when I was a finalist for her America's Favorite Mom contest. I was immediately inspired by her energy and her obvious commitment to her loving family (most of whom were by her side).
It was an amazing experience, but that was where my relationship with Lynda began and ended. That is, until she sent me a copy of her book, Rubies In The Orchard, as a Mother's Day gift.
Because I'm a busy mom in business, it sat on my nightstand for almost a year. I had too many other business and parenting books to get through. But once I cracked it open, I couldn't put it down. I was so touched by Lynda's story as a mom and so amazed by her impact on some of my favorite brands. I've since reconnected with Lynda, and I share with you now her views on business and motherhood.
Lynda loves the term "mompreneur." She appreciates that "mom" comes before "preneur" and says that wouldn't have happened before. When Lynda started in business, she believed she could have it all. She could have the perfect family and perfect husband, and she could be the perfect wife, socialite and businesswoman. She learned it was impossible to have it all but was driven to be successful. Failure was not an option, as she had a child with special needs at home.
So many mompreneurs struggle with their desire to "have it all." And while Lynda is the first to say that isn't possible, she does have a loving marriage and a great family along with her successful businesses. Her secret?
- Give 100 percent of yourself.
- Don't expect anything from your spouse or your kids.
- Invest in yourself.
- Don't look for an even give and take.
- Be there. Talk it out. Don't go to sleep angry.
Her marriage, family and business were (and still are) her priorities. Something had to give and, most often, that was a social life. For many years, her friendships were on hold because family and business came first.
Lynda eased into the work force because she had two kids at home. By the time she was 23, she had 13 employees working for her, and her pediatrician suggested it might be healthier if she worked out of the house. Lynda has no illusions about balancing work and motherhood. But when you have five kids, she says, they learn to take care of themselves.
As a health-and-fitness enthusiast, I was thrilled to learn that Lynda makes time to take care of herself. She works out every morning and takes a half day on the weekend to curl up with a book, meditate or just truly relax. She says a social life isn't necessary, but recharging yourself is. I have often reminded moms about the airplane rule of putting your oxygen mask on first. Imagine my smile when Lynda gave me the same advice.
Lynda considers this the best time ever to be a mompreneur. Because of the information age, you can launch a great business without ever leaving your home. Lynda feels that motherhood can actually help you as a business owner, especially if you're in marketing. As a mom, you have radar out about everything. You become super-aware as a mom and also as a consumer.
Here is some invaluable advice from Lynda if you are considering launching a business:
- Do your homework. Use a company like Zoomerang, and test your idea with the core consumer.
- Do your research. Use the internet to find out if your business idea already exists. Even if it does, figure out how you can take advantage of a local market or a unique angle.
- Make sure you have the financing behind you to back up your business plan.
- You can learn from mistakes, but if they frighten you too much to try again, don't make them in the first place.
Says Lynda, "When you face life looking for something amazing to happen, it usually does."