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Building a business from the ground up!

Meet Holly! After building a successful small business with her husband and holding the CFO position, she decided to step away to focus on raising their children. However, she knew there was still a need for her to contribute financially. Holly was looking for something that offered flexibility, but also made her excited to jump out of bed every morning.  Read on to learn more about Holly’s journey!

 Can you share a little bit about your personal, career and educational background? 

When I look back over the first half of my life I am amazed by the diversity of personal and work experience that I have been fortunate enough to have. I grew up in Tucson, AZ. and after I graduated from high school, I spent a year as a Rotary Exchange Student in Finland.  This was a phenomenal experience and opened my mind and heart to the joys of travel, along with understanding and connecting with other cultures.  Upon my return, I attended Kenyon College for two years and then embarked on another exchange to Bali, Indonesia. When returned home, I transferred to the University of Arizona where I completed my undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts. 

 After finishing my undergraduate degree, I lucked into a position as a teaching assistant in a preschool classroom at a mental health facility for children. This challenging and rewarding experience led me to my first career as a Special Education teacher.  I completed a Master’s in Special Education and taught for almost 10 years. During the summers I worked at Teton Valley Ranch Camp in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where I met my husband, Terry.

 I loved being a teacher and expected that this would be my career. However, after having our second child, my husband and I realized a teacher’s salary in Arizona didn’t make enough financial sense for me to continue teaching.  I spent the next few years at home raising our two young children and helping my husband grow our small business, DSA Vacations. 

 What was it like growing a small business from the ground up? What were the highs and lows?

After Terry and I got married in 2001, he joined me in Tucson. Terry decided to follow his dream of starting a travel company focused on travel to South Africa, where he is from.  In September of 2001, DSA Vacations was born in the back bedroom of my childhood home.  I was involved in growing our company every step of the way.  Initially, my role was his confidant and emotional supporter. After our second child turned two, I started going to the office to “help,” and ultimately became the CFO.  

When you start your own business, you wear all the hats. Both Terry and I had backgrounds in education, so we were on a steep learning curve.  Every decision seemed enormous and precarious.  Fortunately, we both thrived on the creativity involved in this process. We had to become experts in managing our staff, marketing campaigns, developing relationships with airlines and so much more. Because of our hard work and determination, our company now generates 10 million in sales, has over 15 employees, and has branched out to Asia and the Americas!

As exciting as this time was, there was also a lot of stress. It started to feel like DSA was consuming all our time.  When our 3rd child was born in 2010, I decided to step out of the day-to-day activities and focus on raising our children.

 How did you find Moms Making Six Figures? 

After our youngest started kindergarten, I start to think about going back to work.  Although we had built a very successful business, I still needed to start contributing financially again to our family. I spent almost two years thinking about what I wanted to do next.  I wanted to do something meaningful, flexible and lucrative. Basically, I was looking for my “dream job.” I considered returning to teaching, going back to school, or even starting my own business.  However, each of these did not check all the boxes I was looking for. In January of 2017, my cousin Angie Hancock Gange, got in touch with my brother and he mentioned I was looking for a new career. We got in touch, and almost immediately I knew I had found something special.  I recognized the structure of working with Moms Making Six Figures allowed for major success. Not to mention, an incredible team of very successful woman to help me every step of the way.  With Angie’s help, I launched my business and I have never looked back.

So, what is life currently like these days for you and your family?

It took about a year for me to really accept I had found my “dream job.”  I was able to start my own business without taking out a loan, like I did the first time, and I immediately made a profit.  I still have complete control over my time, which allows me to be a totally hands on mom and to travel whenever we want.  I work with an incredible group of people and I am now building my own team here in Tucson, with their help.  I work to educate about healthy living and environmental issues that are beyond important to me.  With Moms Making Six Figures, I know I can hit my goal to get our family permanently out of debt and pay cash for our children’s college educations.  I feel like I have rediscovered myself.  I am proud of everything I have accomplished and excited about the future.  So, to sum it up, life is great these days. 

 

Family Freedom Goals Productivity

If you want something, go out and get it!

Meet Stella! She came to the U.S. as a child and learned the value of hard work by watching her parents strive to provide her with a great life. Stella lives by the rule “if you want something, go out and get it.” She doesn’t shy away from challenges. After graduating with her Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising and Management, she started a small business. Although she has a loyal clientele, Stella knew an additional income stream would be helpful for her and her son, Jacob. Read on to learn more about Stella’s journey! 

Why did you get started with Moms Making Six Figures? 

I was introduced to Moms Making Six Figures by Dr. Barbara Ryan. I was looking for additional income, as I have been self-employed for the last fifteen years. When I sat down with her, I realized how knowledgeable she was and the opportunity to partner with the company just made sense. The entire Moms team welcomed me with open arms. 

They made me feel and believe that I am able to accomplish all my financial and personal goals with them. The extra salary working with Moms Making Six Figures will generate for us will be amazing. 

 In your opinion, what is the biggest factor in becoming successful with your businesses?

The biggest factor in becoming successful is hard work and dedication.  My parents brought me here from The USSR (Moscow) when I was just 6-years old.  We basically came here with nothing. Watching my parents put in the hard work to achieve and provide for us was really inspirational. They instilled in me that I can accomplish anything if I dedicate myself to it.  

Learning these skills at a young age encouraged me to work hard and push on whenever I need to. I started my company, LuminEssence (Permanent hair removal), with the help of my mother 15 years ago. I was so scared. Being a small business owner was a big investment, especially without really knowing what the outcome would be. Fortunately, my business has been a success. I guess you could have figured that out, since it’s been 15 years. (Haha!) But on a serious note, I really worked at making my business a success. I learned how to communicate with all types of people. I also learned how important follow up and follow through is. These abilities have helped me propel my Moms Making Six Figures business, too!   

 Where do you see your future with Moms Making Six Figures taking you?

Where do I see my future with Moms with Six Figures? Hmmm… I see myself as being a leader!  Or, perhaps a major component in the Moms establishment. Honestly, I don’t know. Here is what I do know:  I started with Moms Making Six Figures in October and it’s been quite a ride! I am always working on my business and right now, I am not looking too far ahead.  I know that I love where I am going and only time will tell where I end up.

Focusing on my long-term goals is definitely on my list, but I have a great team to help me figure that part out. These are the best women I have ever worked with and when people ask me what team I am on, I am so proud to say Moms Making Six Figures!

Goals Productivity Teamwork

Not taking the easy road.

This week, we had the opportunity to interview Heidi Bartolotta, the founder of Moms Making Six Figures. Heidi is a fantastic mentor and friend, but most importantly, she is a wonderful mother to her beautiful daughters! Heidi has been very successful as an entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy road for her. Read on to learn more about her journey!

Why did you start Moms Making Six Figures?

If I’m being honest, my initial motivation was completely selfish; I just wanted to create a corporate level income without the pressure, time commitment and rigid structure of a corporate work environment.  What I found, however, was that my purpose evolved very quickly into a desire to help other women achieve the financial success that I was achieving. I have a deep passion to assist women in figuring out the unique challenges each one of us faces as we strive to create businesses that impact the futures of our respective families in powerful, long-lasting ways.  Every time I see photos of one our “Moms” with her child at a mid-morning school event or early afternoon sporting event, knowing that that photo wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t worked together building her business to “get her home,” I feel an amazing sense of pride and accomplishment!  To help women bridge a financial gap at home or help them be more present in the lives of their loved ones, that is for me, why I continue to push in and enjoy this business.

What was it like to make that leap from corporate life to be an entrepreneur?

It was definitely a struggle at first, and I had doubts as to whether I could really be successful.  Questions like “do I have what it takes,” “can I persevere,” “will people I know think I’m crazy,” “what if I fail;” they all popped into my head on almost a daily basis.  One bad interaction with someone could erase the confidence I had been feeling earlier in the day when several other people had seen the opportunity the way I saw (and still see) it.  Focusing on the positive and pushing out the negative was a skill that took a good bit of time to develop, and it was something that in the beginning had to be a very conscious, intentional, daily practice.  The importance of good time management and organization also increased dramatically in importance.  Just because I could now attend every school or extracurricular activity of my girls didn’t mean I should if I was going to build my business into what I needed it to be.  The difference was that when I worked instead of attending a soccer practice, it was my choice and I did it for the long-term well-being of my family; not because my time belonged to a company.

What are the three most important habits in your life that you can attribute to your success?

In no particular order:

Time management.  This is a discipline that has been critical in building my business.  When I look at it, my calendar “doesn’t lie;” meaning that if I haven’t done the work I know it takes to build my business, it’s right there in black and white (yes, I still like paper, though I’m transitioning to full digital!).  As I mentioned above, we women have so many things in our lives outside of our careers pulling at us from all directions for chunks of our precious time.  Being honest with myself and scheduling my work hours and following through on what I committed to do for my business (sometimes even in the face of missing something I would much rather do or see) is vitally important.  There is just a huge difference between knowing what I need to do and doing what I need to do, and time management is what holds me accountable to myself.

Long-term vision and Grit.  These two are so intertwined with each other that I will talk about them together.  Focusing on my long-term goals has helped me tremendously with regard to not getting knocked off course by short-term setbacks and outright failures.  My success in this business was not a slow, steady climb.  Even when I did everything I was supposed to be doing, following all the training I’d received, putting in the work, developing systems for my team and focusing on the positive, the journey was very akin to a roller-coaster.  In those moments when I would look around and think, “what am I doing wrong, why isn’t this working the way it’s supposed to,” it was my long-term vision that kept me in the game.  The ability to look beyond the obstacle right in front of me and see the financial life I want for me and my family in the distance, reminding myself that this is worth it, has proven invaluable.  And the practical side of the equation; the will to win, to not quit, to not let distractions and short-term desires get in the way of accomplishing my long-term goal, that’s what I mean when I say “grit.”  It’s perseverance, will, “stick-to-it-iveness,” and determination all rolled into one.  Combined with long-term vision, there is very little one can’t accomplish.  Now don’t think I always do what I should and don’t get discouraged from time-to-time, because I absolutely do; but these two traits have helped me consistently stay the course and do what I need to do, which has resulted in a great deal of success.

What has been the greatest reward for you since embarking on this journey?

The financial rewards are great, but they aren’t the greatest.  Building a team of women committed to themselves and each other, helping other women achieve their goals and knowing that the more I do that, the more I help my own business, what a blessing!  Knowing that if I make sure the focus of what I do each day is on helping others is the very thing I need to do to achieve my own success is incredible; no stepping on others to climb some corporate ladder, no glass ceiling, no total sacrifice of all I hold dear to achieve financial success and security.  What a paradigm shift this has been for me, and I am just so grateful that I took that first step to build this business.

 

Dream Big emotional expression Freedom Goals

What about you?

Do you ever find yourself feeling stucK? STUCK in a job you no longer love. STUCK trying to figure out how to pay for the looming College expenses or Holiday expenses that are crashing in on you? Stuck trying to figure out what to do with yourself now that the kids are driving and no longer need you to be their personal UBER driver?

I have found myself in a new season of parenting. I am a mom of two teenage boys, very active in sports, preparing for college. The moms in my life who are in similar stages, or even in the beginning stages of empty nesting, our conversations now are different. We all have some time on our hands that we have not had for the last 16 years or so. This is not to imply that our kids don’t need us, but what they need from us has changed.

How about focusing on you time? Improving ourselves. Achieving our goals. Feeling like we are headed in the right direction. Each is essential to our personal well-being and happiness. The more time we can spend on what’s most fulfilling to you the happier and more at peace you are. Think for a moment, what would bring you the most satisfaction and fulfillment in life? Take some time to dream a little, to look beyond the daily grind at what you’d like to become. It’s not too late to start something new. The problem is it’s natural to have fear of failing at something new! How about daring to see a better version of yourself. But where do you start? It starts with you.

Here are TEN tips to help you on your way…

1. Start each day on a positive note. Wake up each day and find the one thing to give you peace. One thing JUST FOR YOU. Instead of turning on the news where you will be flooded with negative news, read a devotion, go to a positive Facebook group, post some inspirational quotes.

2. Exercise. Even if it’s a brief walk or stretch routine, it is proven when you start your day with exercise you will improve your work performance, your mental focus, and be able to ward off stress. It also sets a pattern of consistency and when you are consistent with anything, success follows.

3.  Good nutrition. It’s that simple. Your body needs good fuel to maintain good positive energy throughout your day.

4.  Manage your stress. Stress exists in many forms. It’s different for everyone, but more often than not it’s usually tied to finances. Take steps to eliminate negative people, bills, thoughts. Get a plan, take baby steps to change the direction you are going in. The Holidays are near, its a great time to find a way to supplement your income.

5. Get Accountable. Write down your goals. Share them with someone.

6. Dream a little, what’s possible? You are Possible if you believe. It starts with you.

7. Make a list of your passions, interests.

8. Schedule a coffee, lunch or wine date with 1 person a week that you have not seen in years.

9. Network. Learn about what others in your same boat are doing.

10. Take action. Reach out to us. Have a conversation. We just may be exactly what you are looking for.

Goals joy Resilience

Help others achieve their goals and you will achieve yours!

Meet Margaret! Talking with her this week reminded us yet again the reasons we love our team and our job. Margaret left her job in the nursing field to pursue a career with Moms Making Six Figures in hopes of finding some time and financial freedom. Not only has she achieved more flexibility in her life, but she also helps other women do the same! Read on to learn more about the unique aspects of her job along with how her positive attitude and mental toughness helps her to succeed!

How would you describe your job?

In my job with Moms Making Six Figures, I listen to people, discover their needs, and find a way to meet those needs. My job is to help people achieve their goals! I mentor, coach and inspire others!

I truly love reconnecting with old friends, while at the same time making new friends! People really energize me; I love being around them, especially when they are positive! Helping others has always been dear to my heart, which I formally did working as a registered nurse for 17 years. Whether it is nursing or Moms Making Six Figures, at the end of day, I look for the satisfaction that I helped change someone’s life.

What is the most unique aspect of your business?

The ability to structure my own hours, work at my own pace and on my own time. I always dreamed of having a job where I did not have to clock in and out, and where I had control of my time. I never thought there was such a job.

In nursing, the 12 hour shifts at the hospital were far from ideal. It took a toll on me working every other weekend without knowing when I would be available to spend time with my friends and family. As my work hours changed monthly, it affected my opportunities to consistently attend and volunteer at my church, which is important to me.

When going into home health I expected to have more control of my time. Sadly, it was even worse because I was called in to work almost every day. Patients asked for me specifically and I felt guilty declining when the agency was in a pinch and needed my help. The guilt was greater when a patient needed care and no nurse was willing to go for the visit. I found myself working almost all hours of the day. When I was not seeing patients, I was doing paperwork. It got so challenging that I started working as late as 3:00am and starting work again at 8:00am. Many health issues resulted from me burning the candle at both ends.

Now that I have the privilege to make my own hours, I can take time off whenever it’s needed and prioritize what is important to me. Recently, my ability to take time off allowed me to take a 3-week vacation to Europe with my husband without any worry or stress!  We travelled to 6 different cities in Europe (Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome and Madrid). A highlight was celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary climbing the Eiffel Tower in Paris!  This was a bucket list item for me!  It had been so many years since I could truly rest on a vacation with absolutely no stress (except for my husband giving me looks when I took too many pictures).  It was amazing!  When I worked as a nurse it was very difficult to take a vacation. Even during the time off, I was unable to relax.

How do you push through those days when working is the last thing on the planet you want to do?

No question that these days happen, just like at any other job or business. On the days I don’t feel like working I remember what this job has done for me, such as resolving long-term medical challenges. I have also reminded myself of all the people I have helped because of my business. On the challenging days, I call those I have assisted to hear their stories of how their lives have been enhanced, whether it be improved health, a safer environment for their family, or a better financial situation! This encourages me and reminds me why I chose this job and inspires me to look for more people to help.

Another way I push through these days is by keeping a consistent routine.  I structure my work schedule every week and plan when I will work and when I take my days off. At other jobs, I certainly went to work regardless of how I felt. During my days as a nurse I went in to work even when I was sick.

At other jobs, people will go to work regardless of how they feel. Typical employees have a boss to answer to and do not want to risk losing their job. Although the uniqueness of my job at Moms Making Six Figures does not have these demanding factors, it is of utmost necessity to stay consistent in our work regardless of our feelings. The good news is there have been significantly fewer days like that with Moms Making Six Figures, compared to my past employment!

Dream Big Goals Productivity

The key to productivity!

This week we caught up with Stacey! She is a busy full-time mom, Occupational Therapist, volunteers and is growing her own business with Moms Making Six Figures. You might be thinking “she must have endless amounts of energy!” Yep, we thought the same thing! However, Stacey has learned the key to productivity comes down to being planned and organized. Read on to learn her best tips!

What has been the hardest part of growing your business? What has been the easiest?

The hardest part of growing my business has been to schedule activity into an already busy life. I work full-time as an Occupational Therapist, my kids have multiple activities they’re involved in, we have a mini-farm, and I volunteer with two organizations. It’s been essential for me to be very organized, and have set goals for the day, week, and month. I’ve also had to really prioritize what is most important. I’m the mom that feels guilty if I’m not at every practice, if dinner is not home-cooked and healthy every night, if the house isn’t clean, etc. I’ve had to let go of a bit of that. The floor may not always be swept, or laundry might not be folded right away, and that’s okay. If I can prep meals for the week, plan for crockpot dinners on crazy nights, etc., it helps. It’s also taken buy-in from my family. I try to have all my overviews and set work time on our home calendar as well as my personal calendar. My husband learned to check the schedule for the week and has been amazing about getting kids to practices when I have an overview or other work scheduled.

The easiest part, surprisingly, has been staying committed! There are many days where I feel like I’m making more of a difference in people’s lives in my business than I do in my day-to-day job. Consistency pays off, and I think those results feed more consistency. The more I put myself out there and meet people, the more I see my work paying off in my life and in other peoples’ lives, the easier it gets to stay committed to my goals and set new and higher goals.

How do you successfully build your network from home? 

One of the main ways I grow my network is to be intentional and aware when I am talking to people. As a mom, an Occupational Therapist and a volunteer, I have so many opportunities to learn about what is going on in people’s lives. I like to listen to people and people will open up if you are genuinely interested in them. There are times when I meet someone and five different ways I can help them jump out at me. Other times, it may be a year or more, or even never, before I contact them from a networking perspective.

Talking with people and helping them is what I do full-time, as an OT and as a mom, but I’m pretty introverted and my tendency has always been to guard my extra time – I’m the one you find with her nose in a book, not the social one. I’ve really tried to be more present, make more eye contact, and talk to people at kids’ activities, in Starbucks, wherever. The more I do this, the easier it gets. People are so interesting – get to know them!

I also try to be aware on social media. People will often let their needs be known – health issues, time crunches, personal stressors – and I try to follow up with a call or personal message. I think you must be sensitive when doing that, though. Sometimes it might be the right time to approach them with how you might be able to help them, but sometimes they just need a friend.

Being a full-time mom while running a business can mean there are distractions at just about every turn. What are your best tips for maximum productivity?

I work full-time in addition to being a full-time mom and growing my business, so there are extra distractions. I heard the saying “time management is about excuse management” on a training a few weeks ago, and it really resonated with me, because that’s how I keep myself on track. Early morning is my “organizing time.” I’m usually up at 5 a.m., and the kids are not supposed to get up until 6. This is my time to have my coffee, finish any patient charting, and review my Moms Making Six Figures goal for the day. I am a big list-maker. I have my contact list, but then I also have daily lists of who I want to contact and who I want to follow up with that day.

 

I live by my Day Runner – I must have my schedule written down in front of me, not just in the calendar in my phone!  I keep my calendar with me and have all the non-negotiable times written down – soccer, 4-H meetings, school events, Boy Scout meetings, etc., so I know exactly what free time I have. I’ve also learned to schedule “my time” in my calendar. If I want some time with one of my horses or time to go on a hike, it goes in the calendar, so that it is just as important as any other activity. I do a lot of driving since I do home health therapy, and I keep my contact list with me to take advantage of any free minute I have. If I have a break between patients, or if I get to school pickup early, I’ll use that time to make calls. I also try to take advantage of my drive time to listen to drop box recordings of team calls or listen to podcast trainings.

It takes organization and planning to run a business and balance everything that moms balance! For anyone struggling with this, my biggest tip is to be aware of where your time goes. Yes, there will be some things that need to be sacrificed in the short-term but having a written calendar and an organized plan for the day, week, and month will help ensure that you are still able to be there for the important things for your family while maximizing the time you have for your business.

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