Meet one of the talented women from our Mom Panel! Proudly introducing Nina Restieri - President of momAgenda who started the business in 2005. momAgenda creates stylish and functional day planners and other products to help moms get organized.
What inspired you to start your own business?
As a busy, stay-at-home mom of four, I needed help getting organized. Most calendars are designed for one person's schedule, but I needed a calendar that could help me manage 5 people's schedules. I couldn't find a product that was designed for moms that was also chic and stylish, so I created one myself.
What has been the most challenging aspect of running your own company?
The time commitment has been challenging for me to manage. With four children who are my priority, sometimes I don't feel like I have enough time to devote to my business. There have been many moments when I felt like I was trying to juggle too much, and dropping all the balls in the process.
What are your three best tips for juggling the work of being a mom and that of running your business?
1. Prioritize and schedule. Decide what's most important to you first. Then, schedule your time accordingly. This way you control your life, rather than your life controlling you.
2. Have dedicated time for the kids. For me, the time when we are preparing and eating dinner is a time when I don't go on my computer or answer my phone or do anything else. My focus is on the kids.
3. Take care of yourself. If you are mentally and physically healthy, you can be a mom and run your business successfully.
What are your secrets to maintaining sanity in this process?
I exercise a lot because it keeps my head clear, and it's also a time when I get ideas.
I also stay connected to people I love, such as family and friends. When you keep those connections you keep perspective on what really matters in life: love and relationships.
I do little things for myself nearly every day. Whether it's a manicure, or a coffee with a friend, or a visit to my local Sephora, I try to make sure that I inject bits of pleasure here and there.
Most important, I try to stay present to what's happening in the moment, rather than worrying about what's going to happen in the future.
Do you think motherhood has changed your business model in any way?
Motherhood has completely defined my business model. Even though I am in business to make money, my profit margin is less important to me than having a good life with my kids. That may mean paying a freelancer rather than taking on certain tasks myself; it may mean missing a big conference because it's my child's birthday. If that means I make less money, so be it.
How do you define success?
I define success as a state of mind in which I am happy, connected to others, and creating.
What advice would you give to aspiring mompreneurs?
I could fill a book with answers to that one! One really important thing to remember is, identify what you do well or what you really enjoy doing, and if possible, hire people to do everything else. For example, when I realized that the day to day management of this business was overwhelming for me and also not in my particular skill set, I hired a Chief Operating Officer to do that job. It's expensive to hire people but it saves you a lot of frustration and unhappiness in your life.
So honored to work with you Nina! You are an inspiration to so many mompreneurs!!