Jill Salzman is The Momtrepreneur Maven. From her position as CFO (Chief Five-Year Old) at her first lemonade stand, Jill has come a long way. In high school, Jill created a music fanzine culling advertisers and distributing it throughout her hometown, just so she could land on the guest lists to her favorite concerts.
A graduate of Brown University and law school after that, she started Paperwork Media LLC, a music media firm. She went on to co-create The Bumble Brand, LLC, which currently sells Bumble Bells, audible ankle wear for the newest of human beings. Media response has been fantastic, sales are strong, and yes, her daughter still wears them.
Upon starting The Momtrepreneur Maven, the response from moms continues to be as overwhelming as ever. Jill consults with momtrepreneurs and speaks to corporations, universities and other organizations about social media and why everyone should be paying more attention to their mothers. She’s also in the planning stages of a first-of-its-kind national conference to bring momtrepreneurs together in one place, once a year. Jill Salzman was recently profiled in A Cup of Cappucino for The Entrepreneur’s Spirit Volume II, now available at Amazon.com.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently coordinating a
first-of-its-kind national two-day conference for momtrepreneurs that will
be held in Chicago next year.
The Momtrepreneur Exchange is a two-day national conference for mom business owners to exchange, connect and learn from one another. Incredible women from all over the country will be able to swap start-up stories, interact with brand marketers and social media experts, get sneak peeks of new products on the market, meet angel investors, and exchange contacts through the ever-growing network of mom-owned businesses.
3 Trends that excite you?
The first and most obvious trend that excites me is the attention being paid by companies large and small to momtrepreneurs, and working women in general. Finally, the perception of women’s purchasing power is transitioning from the lady who lunches to the working woman. And that is being realized not only in real numbers but in the social networking habits of these women which is loud and clear on Facebook, Twitter and other, similar sites.
The current trend we’re seeing in books like “The 4 Hour Workweek” and ”Rework” that frown upon the 80-hour work weeks very much excites me. It’s good to know that people are starting to publicly recognize that as much can get accomplished in a 20-hour workweek as it can in an 80-hour workweek, and that the latter is actually mind-numbing and not very effective. It recognizes that people work differently from one another, at different paces and at different times, and the trend will hopefully grow in such a way that a lot of the country can relax a little–and still get the same amount of work done.
And finally, the third trend I love is the growing awareness of Seth Godin and gurus of his like.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I don’t wait. I dive right in. Even if it’s a vague thought or a whim, I don’t waste time mapping or planning or thinking it out. Why? It’s so easy to get near-instantaneous reactions from people that the feedback helps me develop the idea (or chuck it if it’s a bad one). I’ve pitched service-oriented ideas on Twitter. I’ve put a product on the market to customers. I organize and grow ideas by working on them–even if it’s not as formally organized as some would like it. Three companies later, I can describe each one in retrospect as having had a very organized path to its success. But I would be lying.
What is one mistake that you’ve made that our readers can learn from?
The one mistake I wish I could stop making that I repeat over and over again. I constantly make the mistake of listening to others about how much I should be working versus spending time with my kids. Everyone has an opinion. Even I have several opinions. And it’s everywhere–in books, on TV, at neighborhood birthday parties and on the web. When I ignore it all and go about my day working here, taking care of the kids there, everyone is fine. It’s when I let the guilt rule my entire 24 hours that I am not very productive. I hope I can stop making that mistake at some point, or that it will magically disappear.
What is one idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Host an event. But don’t just pick a time, place, and theme. Coordinate with local companies–stores, eateries, etc., anyone who could use the exposure. Throw in a local band or two for some live music (musicians need publicity too). Offer free stuff and make it offline so people are face-to-face. Create a reason for everyone to go that would actually entice you to go, too. By combining all of these people and companies, you get the word out faster and better–and recognition in the end for having your lovely little tea party be the best tea party anyone’s ever been to.
Favorite social networking site?
Any site, from a restaurant to a coffee shop to a cafe, where I can meet up with fellow momtrepreneurs — in person.
Next up on the vacation schedule?