This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure page here.
As you know, I’ve teamed up with some incredible women all over the internet and globe, so they can share with you what it’s like to be your everyday entrepremomer, a woman who not only takes care of her family, but that runs her business as well. These are REAL women, mothers, and business owners that are figuring it all out as they go, and I hope their stories, tips, and tricks inspire YOU to be the best mompreneur you can be.
Just as a disclaimer, these ladies are sharing their stories and lives as a way to encourage and inspire, so let’s make sure they feel welcome!
Let’s get into my interview with Shanah Bell of Adaptive Nourishment!
Let’s start with the basics. What’s your name, what do you do, how old are you, how many kids do you have, etc?
Hi, Shanah Bell! I’m a Holistic Health Advisor, and I’m 38 yrs old with 5 kids. We are a blended family with 2 from my first marriage and 3 from his first marriage.
How did you get your start as an entrepreneur?
When I went to Grad school to get my Masters of Nutrition degree, I knew that I wanted to work for myself to help heal the world through food, one person at a time. I have never been a great fit in corporations because I am a self-starter and hate the constrictions of corporate life. I work harder on my own than I have ever worked in any corporation, especially when I have a specific goal.
I have found this is because I don’t fit easily into the prescribed roles in corporations and am always looking for ways to expand the position and make it better, to do more. Most corporations don’t like this and prefer for people to fit nicely into their boxes (no judgment) and it is really hard to get a natural entrepreneur to conform to those roles.
What have been the best experiences you’ve had as an entrepreneur?
Changing people’s lives to get them off of their medications and making their overall life better. I have loved helping people see their medical issues from a different perspective and creating a solution for them when they didn’t know it was possible. The flexibility is also one of my favorite parts because I am a very hard worker and can craft my schedule around our kids and their schedules, which has been very helpful both as a single parent and once I became part of a blended family with even more moving parts.
What have been the worst experiences you’ve had as an entrepreneur?
Figuring out the best way to get what I do across to the public (aka marketing). This is not my area of expertise and I was DIY-ing it for the first couple of years, which made finances very tight. A lot of people want what I do for free (that is probably the case in every field) and getting people to understand what I offer and how I help them heal has been difficult for me. I finally hired a marketing expert and that has helped tremendously. The other main issue is that since I am such a hard worker and there are no set hours, I have a hard time turning it off and sometimes have to literally be pulled away from my computer.
Tell us something personal. Something that a boss mom would understand. Something that inspires a mom to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
I was driven to go back to Grad school by my children’s pediatrician. This was due to the fact that once my ex-husband and I got separated, and subsequently divorced, I ended up on Medicaid and Food Stamps because I had virtually no money and my youngest was 2 years old so I had a hard time working since I had the kids all of the time. However, even though I was broke and on Medicaid and Food Stamps, my kids and I didn’t get sick and were the healthiest people that my children’s pediatrician said she had continually seen. She wanted me to go to Grad school so that I could have the educational background to match my life experience so that I could help others learn how to live the way we do and help the population heal because she was really unhappy with the fact that a lot of the people she was seeing were continually ill.
I didn’t know how I was going to do this while having the kids full time and trying to work some to make ends meet also. But, I got in and completed my full Master’s program in 2 years (which the Dean of my department said is NOT done but I told him to watch me!). I worked 9 part-time jobs during school and got up around 3 am to get studying done regularly. Some weeks were harder than others to make this work, but I had a goal and a mission and I knew that it would help my children and their lives as well, so I had to do it. My kids were very proud of me at graduation and told me to go out there and start helping people so that they could be healthy like us. It was hard but totally worth it!
How do you “manage it all” as a mompreneur?
I know a lot of people say this, but I am really a master of multitasking. This is a skill that I have always innately had but honed it once I became a parent and realized that there are ALWAYS multiple balls in the air. I am also naturally a problem solver, so combining the two skills has really made being a “mompreneur” fairly easy for me.
That being said, I regularly have people ask me how I do it all and are convinced that I don’t sleep, which is not true. I suppose running 3 different businesses, 5 kids, a spouse and a house and home projects, as well as trying to travel, might make people think that. But ultimately, it all comes down to balance and organization.
What are some tips that you’d recommend to any mother getting her start in the entrepreneurship world?
Keep at it and have a good marketing plan from the beginning. This is a regret that I have since I didn’t have any money when I started. Most of the time you have to spend money to make money, and I have found this to be true.
Also, most of the time you aren’t really going to make much or anything in the first couple of years, so keep that in mind. I contracted for other clients and companies in the first couple of years (and still have a few contracting gigs that I really like and they won’t let me leave) so that helped with the cash flow while I was trying to build my main business.
What is one thing you would change if you could start your biz over?
I would have found the money to hire a marketer to help me with a marketing plan and the proper marketing right off the bat. I believe that would have helped propel my business faster, along with more networking. The latter has been hard for me because it is difficult to work my schedule around children and calls to be at live networking events.
What are your plans for your biz’s future?
To create more widespread health changes for people dealing with Endocrine Disorders specifically. I have niched down the areas that I focus on so that is a new direction for me and my business and I am really excited about it. I have also just created a monthly membership private FB group so that people in this genre can get more group assistance from me and my hope is that we will create a network of people healing people through food. I have also been starting to get clients in other countries and plan to expand that more so that there is more of a global reach to what I am doing.
On to the fun questions! What’s your favorite color, movie, and ice cream?
My favorite color is green.
My favorite movie is What Dreams May Come
My favorite ice cream is either mint chocolate chip or strawberry (it’s a toss-up!).
Where can we connect with you?
The Entrepremomer’s Takeaways:
- Business mistakes happen, but you can learn from them and still be successful.
- Multitasking works if done correctly!
- You should always be learning something new because there is so much that goes into owning a business!
Thanks so much for sharing your experience and tips for all of us Shanah!
(Want to be featured on The Entrepremomer? Just send me a quick email and let’s chat!)