Mompreneur Shira Nelson on the Importance of Not Doing It All
How this mom of two went from burnout to doing only what she does best--which isn't cooking or cleaning.
In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with Shira Nelson, founder of MomBeyondBaby, which helps moms become their best amidst the wild world of motherhood. It was condensed by The Oracles.
Who are you?
Shira Nelson: In almost seven years online, I have inspired and helped thousands of moms become better versions of themselves after having babies through my MomBeyondBaby programs and coaching.
A MomBeyondBaby is the woman who has found herself in motherhood. To some that means becoming their strongest and fittest, while to others, it means building and growing a business. Regardless of the “what,” they all find their purpose and become fulfilled in ways that they didn't even know they needed.
What is one of your proudest moments?
Shira Nelson: My proudest moment was becoming a mom. After spending over a decade with an eating disorder, I was told time and again that I would not be able to have children. I had been obsessed with being skinny. Nothing else mattered — until I wanted to be a mom and perspective hit me.
Having the courage to seek help and recover was incredibly scary. At the time, it felt weak for my Type A personality, but it has given me so much strength. I lean into this strength every day as I strive to show my kids what it’s like to live life to the fullest.
How did your business get started?
Shira Nelson: MomBeyondBaby started when I was pregnant with my first child. Before I was even a mom, I knew that motherhood would be challenging and that I wanted to help other moms find their life after kids. I also knew that I didn't want to go back to work full time after my daughter was born, so I googled how to start a blog and went from there.
I soon realized how right I was about motherhood. While there's no greater joy, it’s a selfless journey. Soon after my daughter was born, I was that mom staring in the mirror, unable to recognize myself. I was supposed to be filled with love and joy — which I was! — but I was also lost, lonely, sad, and confused. No one told me to expect these feelings. I felt shame and guilt because I wanted and needed more than motherhood alone.
With my health and fitness experience, I knew I had something to offer. I had a passion and something to say, but I didn't know how to run a business. I spent countless hours on Google until I finally decided to hire my first business coach. Almost seven years later, I look back on those first months with a smile, because without that struggle, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
What’s your favorite quote?
Shira Nelson: “She believed she could, so she did.” This quote by R.S. Grey hangs on the wall in my office and has been one of my favorites since I was a little girl. I even used to say, “She believed she could, so she did — or she would die trying.”
This quote applies to me every single day and has guided me through my eating disorder, fitness journey, motherhood, and business. I attribute many of my accomplishments to my belief that I can do what seems impossible at the time. If you believe you can, you will.
What was your biggest challenge starting up? How did you overcome it?
Shira Nelson: Figuring out how to prioritize my business while being a great mom at the same time. Trying to learn and build a business while raising kids is not an easy task — and it still seems impossible sometimes.
My breakthrough came when I started treating my business like a business, scheduling time to work, and asking for help. It wasn’t easy for me to swallow my pride and accept that I couldn’t do it all. But once I set aside my ego, I could focus on my biggest priorities: my family, business, and health. Now I pride myself on not doing it all and focusing on what I’m best at (which isn’t cooking or cleaning).
What’s the biggest common leadership mistake?
Shira Nelson: Trying to do it all on your own. I spent years trying to fill every role, which led to burnout and very little growth. For some people, the problem is delegation, but for me, it's a mentality that we need to do it all. We think that we must be exceptional at everything when we really don't. The biggest shift for me was stepping back and moving from business operator to business owner.
How do you hire top talent?
Shira Nelson: It starts with a connection. No matter how talented you are, we also have to connect and become a solid team. My amazing team members are highly skilled, but more importantly, they see my vision and are part of it every day.
How do you prevent burnout?
Shira Nelson: I spent years in a state of burnout, always pushing and hustling. When I realized that I wasn’t spending much quality time with my family because I was always working, it hit me hard. As a mom, that stings.
Now my boundaries are clear. I’m very detailed about my work schedule so I can continue to grow my business without burning out. I plan time off for myself and my family, and we travel frequently. I’m always trying new ideas, implementing new programs, and growing personally and professionally. Now that I work less and carve out time for things that give me life, I’ve grown in ways I never thought possible.
What are three things you would like to be doing in three years?
Shira Nelson: I love thinking about and getting excited for the future. In three years, I will have published my first book and will be speaking at events. I will also continue to grow my coaching, mentoring, and mastermind offering for other mamas who want to build their own businesses. My goal is to reach more women with my story and inspire them to create a version of themselves that they are truly proud of.
What do you want to be known for, or what do you want your legacy to be?
Shira Nelson: Becoming a mom was the best moment of my life, but despite the love and life it brings, motherhood can also make us feel empty and unfulfilled.
I want to inspire other moms around the world to go after what they want in life. I want to be known for igniting a fire within other women to become their best after kids so they can start the business of their dreams, become their strongest and fittest, and find themselves in and outside of the wild, chaotic world of motherhood.