Why This Mom Entrepreneur Is All About Quarterly Planning
The founder of Hustle Like a Mom shares her tips for working moms trying to run a business between drop-off and pick-up.
Pamela Pekerman is the founder of Hustle Like a Mom, a community that focuses on empowering and educating moms to build a successful bridge from mom life to entrepreneur life, through virtual and in-person summits, workshops, group coaching, and social media sharing. It speaks to the between drop-off and pick-up mompreneurs that want to align their personal and professional aspirations. With over 15 years of experience in media, marketing and event production, Pekerman channels her knowledge and cheerleader-like energy into every expansion of Hustle Like a Mom. She sat down with Jessica Abo to share why she is all about quarterly planning, and how this process can help boost your business.
Jessica Abo: Pamela, can you start by telling us a little bit about your career?
Pamela Pekerman: I began my first venture, bagtrends.com, which was an online magazine back in 2005, straight at the gate out of NYU. The online magazine turned into an online shop, and then we also began to do live shopping parties with experiences. That led to media campaigns. Over the course of eight years plus with bagtrends.com, I really got a crash course in business and what it meant to create a living, breathing brand. Two things that became very clear was, one, you have to decode your community and know what they need and anticipate their needs. And the second most important thing was to master your messaging.
As the years went on, I would get requests from young female entrepreneurs, even T.V. anchors that I used to work with, on how they can create a brand, how they can improve a business concept that they have in the works. I love sharing tips. I love being able to share my trials so that somebody else could save time or save money. And most importantly, I love being able to share what I learned about how to effectively plan. So how to look at your week, and most importantly, how to look at your quarters so that you waste less time and edit in order to expand your business, as well as your life.
That's all incredible. What made you want to launch Hustle Like a Mom?
It was frustration that inspired Hustle Like a Mom. By 2015, I had a daughter I gave birth to in 2013, a son I gave birth to in 2014. I had folded bagtrends.com. I was traveling the country and super excited and privileged to work with brands that I absolutely love, like Home Goods, and TJ Maxx, and Vital Proteins. But the trajectory of my career was no longer speaking to my life. And the way I translated this was I realized that the ambition of my 20s was no longer serving me in my 30s, and I was scared. I was scared to be forgotten. Like, what if I step away and some 20-something takes my place, and when I come back, nothing's there for me? I was scared. I was frustrated. And I thought, "I couldn't be the only one."
So, I did what any good journalist does because, at my core, I was always a journalist, writing articles, whether it was for Bag Trends or going on TV. And so, I called up a few girlfriends and I said, "I need to do an interview series because I know I'm not the only one that wants to redefine what it means to be a working mom." I didn't even know then what that meant, but I knew that it vibrated within my soul. So, Hustle Like a Mom originally began as an interview series. First as a Facebook live, then it evolved into a YouTube interview series. I had the amazing privilege to sit down with women like Stacey Igel, who's the founder of Boy Meets Girl, and Latham Thomas, who's the founder of Mama Glow.
What started off with the interviews led to off-camera emails, chats, texts, and I thought, "Okay, I'm onto something." Fast-forward another year or two, and by 2019, I was ready to put back on my hosting hat and event production hat, which I really honed in on during my Bag Trends days. And I hosted my first event for Hustle Like a Mom in Manhattan in early 2019. What I realized, after that event was over, was I love the topic. I love the conversation. I love the community that was being developed. But I realized that the women who were coming, were coming from various pockets of New Jersey, from pockets of Westchester, from pockets of Connecticut. So my girl was no longer in Manhattan.
And so, I had to step back, reassess, decode my community, and realize, not only am I the between drop off and pick up mom from your community, that's what was forming, but I'm now a suburban mom, as I like to say, with an urban mindset. So again, this idea of decoding your community so that you can get clarity is probably one of the best things that I've had as a thread through my business, decoding the community, knowing the messaging, and anticipating needs.
How did COVID play a role in the evolution of your business and how you plan your year?
For the first, I would say, four to five months, really, the only thing I could do was IG lives, which I'd never done before, but I thought, "Okay, I'm going to go and do these things called IG lives. What is that? And have conversations with my community, and really understand where they are so that I can make sure that when I'm ready and when they're ready that I'm creating the events and the content that benefits them." For five months, that's all I did. And when I say all I did, I also homeschooled my kids, obviously, like many of you. That whole experience really solidified what I had been learning over the years as an entrepreneur, which is how do I edit in order to expand? What I've come up with now is instead of doing these massive like five-year trajectories, even one-year plans, I need to edit down and be realistic with, where am I today? What's happening? What can I really accomplish?
I have these strategies that I call these quarterly planning parties, which finally, in 2022, we're going to make them public. I'm going to host Hustle Like a Mom quarterly planning parties. I'm really excited about them because, again, what COVID taught me was if you don't have all the hours in the day, which you don't, how can you be the most impactful with your time? And that just means I need to simplify in order to amplify my business, really focus on what is amplifying my business and where my money moves.
When you don't have all the time in the day and you are forced to be a really, really, really focused editor, you would be surprised how many things you begin sniping out. I'm the ultimate snipper. I love to snip that with my master messaging group coaching when I do it. I love to do it one on one with people. I share them in content and ideas and inspiration on our Instagram account at Hustle Like a Mom. Edit, edit, edit. We need to remove in order to regain control, not only of our businesses but our lives. The whole point of Hustle like a Mom is to align personal and professional aspirations. It's one. You can't just do this and not take care of that. That's the whole point of the community. That's the point of the quarterly planning parties, is we take into account that you have a life outside of your business. Your business is just one part of how you are diversifying your joy.
So, I'm really, really big on editing in order to expand, removing in order to regain control. I am very happy to say that I am living in a life of abundance, of joy, of prosperity in a 20-hour work week, and it's because of being able to edit and focus and then expand my business with the right move, as opposed to doing all the things.
I don't know how you do everything that you do. How do you squeeze it all into a 20-hour work week?
I want to debunk the myth that Hustle Like a Mom means 24/7 hustle. It actually doesn't. It's just a really good name. My secret to the 20-hour work week is, as I mentioned, edit to expand. But in order to edit, here are the three things that you really need to do first. One, you need to decode your community. What does that mean? I replace the word customer or slash user of your services or product with community because it's a mental shift.
When you think about it as a community, you're now thinking of a person, not just a dollar sign. We spend a lot of time making sure that you really understand the 360 lifestyle of the person and the people that you want to attract so that you, again, can anticipate your needs in the same way that I do from my business Hustle Like a Mom, because when you know what they need, you know where they are, you know how to show up, you know how to speak to attract them. And that saves you a lot of time, as well as a lot of money. That's one thing, decoding your community.
Number two, and this is one that always shocks my clients, and I say this in IG lives actually on Hustle Like a Mom all the time is know what you are really selling because you're not really selling a handbag. I'm not really selling coaching programs. I'm not really selling you tickets to a quarterly planning party. What are you really selling? You are selling an emotion. Words evoke emotions, and emotions resonate, and emotions are what trigger sales. So number one, decode your community. Number two, decode what you are really selling.
The third thing is you want to master your messaging. I have a very simple one-page that I call the brand goddess temple. I do this with all of my clients in my group coaching program, as well as one-on-one. We built out this massive business plan on one page. Keep it simple, stupid. Master messaging is super important. The way I get my clients to get to a 20-hour work week that is successful for them is the between drop off and pick up mompreneur lifestyle that they want is they have to master the messaging. They make the brand goddess temple with me. It gives them epic clarity and confidence. And then they know how to edit to expand. Then they know how to best service their community. Then they know how to successfully plan their quarters.
What are some steps that someone can take to effectively plan for their quarterly goals and do what you recommend, which is edit to expand?
Here is how we edit to expand every single quarter. Three things. I ask people to do three things every quarter to just boil it down. One is what is going to be your clear focused money move. Number two, what is going to be something you're going to work on that is going to amplify your brand? Number three, what is something that's going to help you decrease stress?
A money move, pretty simple. What is the one thing, the one action, the one event, the one popup, the one's sales opportunity that you are going to focus on that is going to be your quarterly focused money move? Because if you put all your energy into that thing, it will likely succeed. So that's your or money move. Number two, how are you going to amplify your brand this quarter? So amplifying your brand could not necessarily be a money move. Although, sometimes they do overlap.
I'll give you an example of Hustle Like a Mom. An amplify your brand, this quarter, for us, is we're hosting our free spring summit at the end of March. It is a free event. Why would we do a free event? We love money. Why would we do a free event? Because it's going to help increase our awareness to a wider community. It's going to give me an opportunity to go and do press. So again, that's amplifying the brand, getting more people to know Hustle Like a Mom. It's going to get us email subscribers. Email is liquid gold. If you can't think of anything else for your business, that's going to amplify your brand, think of something someplace, some energy you can put in order to increase your email subscribers because if you don't send out regular emails, if you're not growing a targeted email list, you're leaving money on the table.
So, know your money move; and, amplify your business. The last one is what can you do this quarter that's going to decrease stress in your business? If you woke up April 1st and this thing was taken care of, whatever that thing is, and there was a burden released from you, what would it be? Do that thing. And each of these goals, because there's only three, they should be really needy. What I want you to do after you have each of these three goals is break them down into micro-moves so that you have a certain amount that you're going to do in January, a certain amount you're going to do in February, a certain amount you're going to do in March toward these three things so that when April 1st rolls around or whatever quarter rolls around, you are feeling accomplished. You have edited in order to expand, and you've likely put more money in your pocket and increased your brand awareness than ever before.