Amanda McClellan is Founder of Moms Making It Happen. Formerly, a middle school history teacher, Amanda quickly realized she was passionate about teaching in a much different setting. After being raised in an entrepreneurial household, her own entrepreneurial drive led to her discovery of Internet and social media marketing in 2009.
Since then, Amanda has been a full time entrepreneur, most of the time within the health and wellness industry. However, it was her experiences as a mom from which her business, Moms Making It Happen was born. Having children, brings a completely new dynamic to the idea of running your own successful business from home. Through overcoming the daily challenges and struggles she faced, Amanda seeks to help other entrepreneurial moms do the same.
Moms Making It Happen provides a cutting edge business coaching program for moms with young children. Our goal is to help you create a passion-based business that rocks, have a family life you love, and ultimately live out your dreams. Our program is designed to combine high level business coaching, with a supportive community of other moms who understand what you are going through, with confidence in yourself and your abilities, and finally, charitable giving to create a business with purpose.
When Amanda isn’t working, she can be found snuggling with her daughters, hitting the gym with her hubby, or plotting her next travel adventure.
Where did the idea for Moms Making It Happen come from?
The concept for Moms Making It Happen was born out of overcoming my own daily challenges and struggles that I faced as a mom entrepreneur with 2 children under the age of 3. I saw many other moms whose businesses floundered after either becoming moms for the first time, or stagnated after reaching a certain point because fear and lack of resources and support kept them from dreaming big enough, or scaling their efforts.
What does your typical day look like?
My typical day starts at 6am. I spend some quiet time reviewing my goals, reading or journaling until my youngest wakes up. Then we have a few minutes to snuggle and play before I head to the gym. My husband and I are both home so he prepares their breakfast for them while I’m gone. 3 days a week we have childcare for our girls so I spend a solid day from 9-4 in my office. The other 2 days I carry a lighter schedule that is more conducive to multi-tasking. 4-8pm is filled with playing with my girls, dinner, baths, and bedtime. If I’m working on a big project or running a webinar, you’ll find me in my office again from about 9-11pm as well.
How do you bring ideas to life?
When I get an idea, it’s usually centered around what I can do to better serve mom entrepreneurs, so the first thing I do is research if anyone else is providing a similar service or offering the same information. Based on my findings, I figure out how I can differentiate myself and tailor it more toward my audience. Most importantly, I take action quickly, and work out the kinks later.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Podcasting. I’m very excited to launch the Moms Making It Happen podcast in the next few months. I think it’s a perfect platform for busy moms to get the exact information, inspiration, or entertainment they are looking for without having to put down everything else they are doing.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Productivity strategies are very important as you can imagine for mom entrepreneurs. The role of mom is difficult enough let alone trying to run a business on top of that. Additionally, many of the women I am privileged to work with have businesses that are based out of their homes. So trying to juggle mom and business owner, literally, at the same time is certainly a challenge.
One thing that I do religiously and that I encourage other moms to do, is create a top 5 to-do list for their business activities for the following day, before they go to bed at night. Sometimes I do it as I’m wrapping up my work for the day, other times I do it just before my head hits the pillow. This habit allows me to wake up the next morning, and already know when my feet hit the floor, what I need to be focused on that day to move the needle in my business.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
The summer after I graduated from college, while I was interviewing for teaching positions, I worked at a big name home decor store. I was so incredibly bored organizing and reorganizing retail items from one display shelf to the next. It was like a never ending wheel of setting up and tearing down displays. I found myself being lazy, on the verge of being late for my shifts, eager to get out of there and overall, a less than accurate version of myself. Luckily, I was hired as a teacher and moved on. My big takeaway was that if you see someone as being ‘lazy’, chances are they aren’t lazy, they just aren’t aligned with anything they are passionate about.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
So far, I have no regrets about the way Moms Making It Happen has taken off. A few things that I credit to our successful start is that I hired a business coach right out of the gate, I got busy creating relationships and providing value on free sites like Facebook before our website was even ready, and my business is in perfect alignment with who I am as a person and my true passion which is helping other women entrepreneurs create businesses that rock while having a family life they love.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I have two that I really have to mention. The first is that I learn. I am constantly learning. I’ve read many books on the topics of personal growth, business, and marketing. I’ve watched or listened thousands of hours of trainings and interviews via videos and podcasts, and I always have my eye out for the next great piece of information I want to consume.
Secondly, I workout. I stay as health and fitness conscious as I can and it has really improved my self esteem, my energy levels, and how focused and sharp I can be when I’m working. Not to mention, many of my best ideas come to me while I’m at the gym or out walking or running. The notes section of my Iphone is littered with random ideas that have come to me, and as you can imagine sometimes I have to decode my own messages thanks to the treadmill. Working out keeps me sane.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Hiring a business coach. Having a second set of eyes on your business is huge. And not just from the standpoint of a friend or colleague, but someone who really has a vested interest in your success, and has a better or more developed track record than yourself. Business coaches can help significantly decrease the amount of time you spend knocking your head against the wall trying to figure out how to get results, and instead, give you the exact steps you need to take to get even better results than you had imagined. A good coach is also well connected and helps you build one of your biggest assets, your network.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve been involved in Internet and social media marketing for approximately 5 years now. I had a flourishing personally branded blog, a growing email list, and respectable reputation as an Internet marketer, however I set those on the backburner to pursue a different entrepreneurial endeavour. My only regret is that I didn’t continue to actively grow that personal brand, list, and maintain those relationships within the Internet marketing community. I’m a big fan of creating lifelong assets that no one can take from you, ever. A personal brand, in which you share your valuable expertise with your niche market, and build a loyal following is something that no one can ever take away. This experience is one of my motivators for creating Moms Making It Happen.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would love if it were easier for women entrepreneurs to find like-minded friends. A women’s entrepreneurial girlfriend club or resource center if you will. I know some exist, but their reach doesn’t extend to small cities and rural areas, it only encompasses the major cities. Let’s bridge that gap!
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
People think I’m a very outgoing person but I actually prefer to keep to myself. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m shy, but I have to push myself to be social in large crowds.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I absolutely love Google docs. They are so easy to use. I work primarily off of a chromebook laptop so I live by Google docs. Did you know you can actively collaborate on a document with other people? It even has a chat function. They are just easy to use, easy to save and access from any phone, tablet, or computer.
I also love fiverr.com. It’s all the things someone will do for you for $5. It’s a great resource for the small business owner who maybe doesn’t have a developed business team yet, but they are trying to get used to the idea of outsourcing to scale their business.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I really love Brian Tracy’s book No Excuses! The Power of Self Discipline. I read it when we were in the hospital dealing with my youngest daughter’s genetic breathing syndrome (seems like a funny thing to read I know, but it got my mind off of things). She was a newborn at the time and it was extremely frightening and in so many ways, life changing. This book helped to solidify that I would move forward as a victor, not a victim. Since then I’ve lost 20 pounds and kept it off, continued to charge forward in my business, and my daughter is doing great.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
There are many individuals who have influenced my thinking and helped me get to where I am today, but I have to say my friend and business coach, Nick Unsworth from LifeOnFire.com and also Ali Brown from AliBrown.com have been significant influencers on me. They both have wonderful podcasts that you can tune into. Nick’s is Life On Fire TV and Ali’s is Glambition.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.