For anyone trying to start a business or new project, there’s a juggling act to be had. We need to rearrange our schedules and lives to make sure we can put sufficient energy into this new endeavor. Generally, that means taking away some time or energy from other responsibilities, or, as Emily Bennett of Baby Blastoff! has found, asking for help.
Emily Bennett is the founder of owner of Baby Blastoff!, a children’s clothing line aimed to transcending gender stereotype messages found in most children’s clothing. Her clothing is USA-made, unisex, printed from Emily’s original artwork, and made from high quality fabric. Emily sources all materials from local, reputable businesses, and sustainably manufactures all products in Albuquerque, New Mexico, supporting her community economically. Emily has her masters in education, and prior to starting Baby Blastoff she taught kindergarten, first, and second grade for five years. In this episode, Emily and I talk about the challenges of being a solopreneur, how to create a schedule that allows you to nurture your business and your family or personal life, and why it is so important to encourage gender equality at a young age.
What You’ll Discover in This Episode:
- What Emily does to maintain motivation as a solopreneur
- How Emily is able to create a schedule that allows her to fill her roles both in her family and in her business
- How you can use your creative skills to sell your product, business, or self
More About Emily
Emily began her business around the time that her son was born. In looking for clothing for him, she was shocked to see that so many of the clothing items available had phrases that blatantly perpetuated gender stereotypes, such as ““lock up your daughters,” or “tough guy.” “I can’t believe the messages we put on babies without thinking very much about how that impacts their lives and how others treat them.” Emily knew that other parents shared her dissatisfaction, so she decided to make clothing of her own.
Baby Blastoff! began in 2014, and seeks to create baby’s clothing with gender neutral or stereotype destroying messages. All of the clothing is meant for both boys and girls, though she hopes that she is able to encourage people to reexamine the words they use when speaking to any child. For her son and other boys, she “wants boys to have the message that they can be gentle. that’s part of being a boy too.” Emily explains, “we would all benefit from a world that was more equal.”
Emily’s business began at the same time that she began motherhood, and she quickly found that there simply wasn’t enough time in the day to take care of everything she needed to. She felt herself growing frustrated and resentful, and finally decided there needed to be a change. She and her family worked out a new schedule so that she could dedicate more time to her business. Right away, “that feeling of resentment melted away” and Emily was able to “get what I needed and take care of myself.”
For anyone hoping to start out on a business project on their own, Emily recommends that each day you ask yourself, “what can I do to feel productive today?” and be sure to ask for what you need both from your support system, and from yourself.
Check Out the Links Mentioned in This Episode!
When we have a good idea, we often want to stick to the exact plan in our minds. We worry that if we give authority to other people, the project will fail because they don’t have the same passions and visions that we do. However, if our idea is meant to serve other people, it is absolutely essential that we include those affected in the planning process. According to Getrude Matshe If we stick entirely to our own plans and disregard the input of those that we serve, the project is bound to fail.
Getrude Matshe is an inspirational speaker who is currently spearheading women’s economic forum in NM and involved globally. Getrude is passionate about helping people achieve their full potential and find their individual life purpose. This makes her an energetic, inspirational and enlightening speaker. Getrude has written several books and is now a book writing coach. She is currently living in New Mexico, Lecturing part time at UNM while researching and writing her first screen play and is an Independent Film maker.
What You’ll Discover in This Episode!
- How you can determine which people to have at your side when you’re in the idea-developing part of creating a plan or project
- How relinquishing full control over your ideas may actually lead to their success
- How you can recover when your ideas are rejected by others
- Why it is important to have flexibility and ‘lead from behind’ to get greater results
More About Gertrude
Something Getrude has learned over years of creating innovative, unique projects is is that you must be selective in who you share your dreams with. She compares a budding idea to a fetus; “if you’re pregnant, you nurture that baby, make sure nothing happens to it.” She explains that an idea can be destroyed by someone who is unable to see your vision, so it is in your best interest to share only with those who you know will be supportive and can understand the way your mind and actions work. “The minute someone says ‘that’s impossible,’” she explains, “I know I shouldn’t go further with that person- they don’t see it and they don’t get it.” This is a great insight to recognize, because it helps to iterate that it is not your idea that is weak, it is simply a failure of two minds to see the same vision.
While Getrude is particular about who she shares her ideas with in the beginning stages, once the ball is rolling she knows through experience that she must be willing to turn the project over to those it impacts most. “I’ve learned to manage from behind,” she says, explaining, “I’ve always found the more you can give people responsibility, the more you can empower them.” In this way, the individuals she gives responsibility to step up to fulfill the needs of the project and become inspired by both their own empowerment and the success of the work. This also helps to put Getrude and the people that she works with on the same plane. Instead of her coming in and forcing her ideas on others, everyone has equal input. This method has worked again and again, she explains, and she is “always pleasantly surprised by what the women come up with themselves.”
Check Out the Links Mentioned in This Episode