BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. - Lara Galloway has made a career out of helping women succeed at their own businesses.
"I am the mom biz coach," said Galloway.
Galloway, a Bloomfield Hills mother of three, is a certified business and life coach for women who run their own companies. She is also an author, co-writing the book "Moms Mean Business" with another life coach Erin Baebler, who runs Magnolia Workshop.
Both women are balancing their businesses with being mothers. That's why the book is meant to be a "guide to creating a successful company and happy life as a mom entrepreneur."
"When you decide to start a business, I mean as an entrepreneur you're extensively signing up for something that has no path, has no right or wrong, has no direction," Galloway said. "And so you can maybe want to do it, but how do you actually go about doing it, and furthermore, how do you set yourself up for success from the get go."
"Women are starting businesses at the rate twice that of men, we are all failing, a lot of us are, men and women, (because) most businesses don't make it past three years. There is a lot of reasons for that; it's lack of planning, lack of resources, but we also think a lot of it has to do with burnout and just lack of preparing a business that works with the rest of your life."
"Moms Mean Business" was released in October.
Galloway said moms must define success for themselves when they start their own business.
"My kids have been my teachers, my life has been my teacher," she said.
"The stuff that I teach is not rocket science; I think it's common sense and intuitive, but one of the things Erin and I have noticed and we talk about it a lot in the book is that we don't necessarily give ourselves permission to define success a certain way. We get caught up on what that looks like in the media or what maybe we always thought we should do or what our parents suggested or our spouse wants us to do, but if we define success for ourselves then we can actually craft a life that works and feels really fulfilling, and doesn't make us sacrifice everything to make the business successful" said Galloway.
Michelle Bishop is an entrepreneur getting ready to open her second business, Monkey Doodle.
"Monkey Doodle is going to be half gift market, (a) local gift market for kids, and then it is going to be an art studio," Bishop said. "I like thinking that a child will walk in and get inspired when they walk in, come into the store and see all these amazing things that people are making and then they go into the art studio and they're going to create something that they can take home and give as a present or put on their desk or give to Grandma or eventually sell it."
Bishop has read Galloway's book and said working with her has really helped her focus on her project.
"Her book has been fabulous," said Bishop. "I'm halfway through, (and) I'm really trying to diligently do all the exercises in her book. It just makes you stop and think about what's really important."
In the book, readers are asked to take notes, answer questions and make assessments about where they are in their lives, whether they can launch a company or where they should take their business next.
"Yes, you've got to do marketing surveys. Yes you've got to do competitive landscape. Yes you've got to know your industry and write up a fantastic business plan, absolutely," Galloway said. "But before you do that, what we feel makes this book so different, is that we take into perspective who you are, what stage you are in your life? Who are the people in your life that will impact you and that this business will impact? Take all of that into consideration."
Galloway started her career as a business and life coach in 2005 and knows how difficult it can be to blend work life and family life.
"I didn't really know how to do all of that when i started doing it," she said. "I just did it, and it was messy, and I made a lot of mistakes so I feel like I'm teaching the people that I resonate with the most, that my message can really translate the best because I'm a mentor, I've walked a mile in their shoes."
"The book is meant to be like a do-it-yourself coaching book where the coach's voice comes through and asks you, 'OK, why are you doing this? OK, what's your top priority? How is doing all of this going to support your top priority and meet your goals?' And so that's what I do as a coach is I help my clients look at the options they have, because one of the most overwhelming things in running your own company is being the decision maker."
Corie Conroy is interested in interior design, and is thinking about starting a new venture on top of her day job.
"I haven't set up an official business yet," said Conroy. "I'm just sort of building a portfolio at this point."
Moms Mean Business has helped to motivate her.
"It talks about your priorities, it talks about your goals, your ideas, and then you build that into an action plan that gives you balance in your life to balance family and a business. It was wonderful," said Conroy.
Ease Living, an online store that sells luxury home medical equipment, is run by Alison Emerick. She hired Galloway to help her get her business off the ground.
"I knew what to sell and why I wanted to do it, but I didn't know how to organize it and what to do first and how to market it primarily and she really helped me narrow it down," said Emerick.
Tony Patton, owner of My Girly Party in Farmington Hills, said women should definitely consider starting their own business.
"I say definitely do it," said Patton. "I say kind of sit down, brainstorm, figure out what you're good at, figure out what you'll need assistance and help on and get the help you need but definitely don't not do it just out of fear. Just go for it and do it."
Galloway, an author, speaker and coach, said she is grateful that her job allows her to set a good example for her children.
"One of the things that is the most satisfying part of being a mom entrepreneur is modeling for your kids what it can look like to follow your dreams, have a passion and make a living out of it. set boundaries, create your own happiness and be responsible for it, not look to anybody else to give it to you," Galloway said. "My kids are watching me do that, and are really clear that's a gift and that is one of the things I'm proudest of."
For more information about Galloway and her book, click here.
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