Often times the best way to start your own business is by addressing a need. Learn how this Mom stumbled upon her new business idea when looking for ways to balance work and family.
I am the President and owner of The Cumberland Companies LLC. I was a commercial real estate broker specializing in income producing properties eligible for rehabilitation tax-credits. I continued in the real estate business until it became unfeasible with an infant and toddler at home. I have two sons, Gus and Charlie. Charlie is afflicted with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a neuromuscular disease characterized by degeneration of motor neurons, resulting in progressive muscular atrophy (wasting away) and weakness.
I spent some time thinking about what I could do that I would enjoy and that could become a worthwhile business enterprise. I had the idea for Tidy Tots since my 17 year old was potty training. I had researched this idea and other related ones over the years. Given that I have such a strong entrepreneurial bias, I didn’t consider working for someone else.
Balance Work and Family
I try to focus on work while they are at school and while they are doing their homework. When they are working, I am working and I try to leave the homemaking tasks to the time they are home but distracted. Given that they are both in high school, they don’t need me the same way they used to need me. They want me around but not too around. Our son with special needs requires time, however, much of this is in the morning and at bedtime. Even though I work at home and have always been one to “get dressed” for the day. I think it is important to “get ready” for the day no matter what I am doing. It is a matter of personal pride even if I am home.
I have found many people really want to help and are willing to offer their advice. There are a lot of “would be” entrepreneurs out there that admire the risk we are taking and are more than willing to help with advice and direction. As an entrepreneur and someone who believes in myself, I wanted to succeed or fail based upon my own efforts not the whim of a corporate entity.
The volume of new products targeting parents each year is significant, to say the least, but a product that solves a problem or meets a need is always welcome. That is exactly what Tidy Tots disposable potty chair liners do, they solve the problem of cleaning out the potty. The idea came after not only my own experience, but after hearing my friends discuss the less than pleasant details of clean-up during the ever famous potty training stage. I was committed to starting my venture but I felt I needed to put my entrepreneurial bias aside.
How have you been inspired to create your own business when having to balance work and family?