Mama, Build Your Empire
[MBYE 27] Sarah Allison on Surprise Opportunities, Advocating for Family Needs, and Being a Mother of Marketing

[MBYE 27] Sarah Allison on Surprise Opportunities, Advocating for Family Needs, and Being a Mother of Marketing

May 23, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Sarah Allison is the founder and CEO of Mother of Marketing. She’s been in marketing for more than eight years and transformed her digital side hustle into a full-time work-from-home job just three years ago. She started out making a measly $32,000 a year at a marketing agency as successfully tripled her income when she left her job in 2015 to start her own business.

Mother of Marketing is all about helping young business owners and entrepreneurs navigate life, marketing, and how to build a business they love. When Sarah first started her business, she had no idea what she was doing except when it came to how to market brands and bloggers. She had to navigate business ownership on her own and find a way to break the freelancer wheel along the way. Sarah wants you to know you are not alone in your journey, and together we can help make your world a better place.

Sarah’s journey with business and parenting began at about the same time when she found out she was pregnant with her son while in art school. She quickly switched her major to marketing, another passion of hers, in order to be more financially independent in a career. When she found herself divorced, living with family, and barely making ends meet, she decided something had to change. Sarah got a job at a marketing agency where she learned a lot and was very successful, but her boss had ridiculous demands on a single mother to travel for work. She quickly built up a clientele on the side and quit her 9-5 (with gusto!).

She dove into freelancing working something close to eighty hours a week, overwhelmed with work and her inability to connect to her son. As Sarah was certain that he needed developmental support on some level, the evaluations concluded that her son had a severe speech delay, and months later came the official autism diagnosis. She quickly dove into action mode in securing services and support for her son and even took some time off of her master's program to get it all done. Nothing about parenting a kid with special needs is easy or inexpensive, but Sarah is thankful for her support network and a job that allows her the flexibility to meet her son’s needs in whatever form they come. As the Mother of Marketing (a brand inspired by her love of Game of Thrones), she teaches businesses how to host a conversation on social media and offer tons of value and resources to their audience. She has a handful of courses available to help you develop your own marketing strategy on social media.  

In this episode, we cover:

  • How Sarah’s business and journey with autism began at the same time.
  • How she learned to stand up for the needs of her son in the face of an unsupportive employer.
  • How Sarah empowers business owners to create a marketing strategy simply inspired by having a meaningful conversation on social media.

"2018 was rough. I was literally living paycheck to paycheck because I would rather do that and be there for my son in every aspect that he needed instead of grinding with these people who didn’t care that my son needed me." 

Where To Connect with Sarah Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.

Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.

[MBYE 26] Maria Davis-Pierre on Raising Black Kids with Autism, Acquiring a Diagnosis, and Using a Self-Care Journal

[MBYE 26] Maria Davis-Pierre on Raising Black Kids with Autism, Acquiring a Diagnosis, and Using a Self-Care Journal

May 16, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Maria Davis-Pierre is the founder of Autism in Black Inc. She is a therapist, coach, speaker, author, and advocate. After going through the process of getting her daughter diagnosed at 18 months, Maria changed her specialty and began working heavily in the Autism community. In January of 2018, Maria launched her 2nd private practice Autism in Black Inc., which aims to provide support to black parents who have a child on the spectrum, through educational and advocacy services. Autism in Black Inc. is dedicated to bringing awareness and acceptance to Autism Spectrum Disorder and reducing the stigma associated with ASD in the black community.

Maria is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in the state of Florida. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors of Science in Sociology and went on to obtain a Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.

Maria’s passion is being an autism advocate with her mission being to bring awareness to the impact culture can have regarding an ASD diagnosis. You can go to www.autisminblack.org to subscribe to the monthly newsletter and check out all the other great resources on the site.

In this episode, Maria shares how her journey with autism began early when her daughter Malia was born premature and it was obvious to her by six months that Malia had sensory-related challenges. As a therapist herself, she knew the power of early intervention and pursued the support of several specialists and neurologists who refused to offer a diagnosis until she reached the age of three. Maria fought for this diagnosis by showing up in the office day after day until the doctor understood how serious she was, and surrendered. As she began to receive more in-home services, Maria became more glaringly aware of how culturally insensitive most providers are, which prompted her to start advocating for black parents of kids with autism. She knows how to thoughtfully address the fears and priorities of these parents because she is one. Maria encourages parents to stay present in their challenges by doing regular daily self-care that includes a personal check-in, prayer, meditation, exercise, and being committed to little things like eating a hot meal. She has also developed a self-care affirmation journal which can help you lay the foundation for daily self-care, complete prompts, routines, infographics, and calming coloring pages.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Maria’s challenging journey to obtain an autism diagnosis for her daughter before the age of 1.
  • How providers often fail to take culture into consideration as they offer services.
  • Some practical tools you can use to make mama self-care a daily practice.

“I know often times as mothers-especially as black mothers we don’t like to ask for help because we feel that if we ask for help, then we’re not strong. The strength is in asking for help, knowing when you need help, knowing that you have a support circle that you can depend on.”

Where To Connect with Maria Online:

www.autisminblack.org,

www.autisminblack.org/selfcarebook

www.autisminblack.org/iepreviewbf

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.

[MBYE 25] Faith Clarke on Raising Kids with Autism, Entrepreneurship, and Radical Self-Care

[MBYE 25] Faith Clarke on Raising Kids with Autism, Entrepreneurship, and Radical Self-Care

May 16, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Faith is a coach, consultant, author, academic nerd, design thinker and her newest venture is midwifery. She helps passionate entrepreneurs with special needs kids birth businesses they love, that fit and finance their busy lives.

“Parenting Like a Ninja”, an autism mom’s guide to professional productivity is an Amazon bestseller and reflects her own journey with the crazy chaos of special needs parenting, and the need to harness energy and be productive. She believes entrepreneurship is a perfect, mental and psychological health choice for many special needs parents, and offers the opportunity to do business differently while creating more of what our communities need. She’s excited about the growing Autastic Biz Tribe: business owners who are disrupting the status quo of ‘business as usual’, integrating business and life in alignment with the needs and rhythm of our family.

Faith is a mom of three kids, of which her oldest, Jayden who is autistic. On this episode, she talks all about the joys and challenges of raising young kids before the developmental delays in Jayden was all that evident. Early on in Jayden’s life, she felt a sense of calling to be an answer to other family’s desire for strategic and holistic support. As she developed the curriculum for Jayden’s homeschool experience, she realized how qualified she was to help other families train their homeschool teachers to build rapport and make sensory connections with the student before trying to deliver any content. Faith also shares how building her own business allowed her to stop trying to “fix” the autism. Her business instead offered a sense of fulfillment and an ability to accept Jayden, regardless of his progress or regressions. As selfish as it sounds, she encourages moms to pursue radical self-care because the very best gift a mom can offer her kiddos is a happy and healed mama. In her new book, “Parenting Like a Ninja”, she documents how she went from a fragmented to a healed mama and now has the capacity to strategically direct her energy, rather than let it escape without her consent.

In this episode, we cover:

  • What life looked like raising 3 tiny kiddos, one with an autism diagnosis in the early years as well as how things shifted for their family later.
  • How Faith used her strengths and experience to equip families with an informed method of delivering homeschool curriculum to autistic students.
  • How practicing radical self-care empowers you to consistently give your kids the best version of yourself.

“The solution for me in terms of being able to care for myself is part of the solution for him. I need to model this radical self-care for my son so that he can see that he can do for himself to help himself heal."

Where To Connect with Faith Online:

  • faith@melodyofautism.com

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.


[MBYE 24] Genia Stephen on Agency, Having Vision for Our Children, and the Good Things In Life

[MBYE 24] Genia Stephen on Agency, Having Vision for Our Children, and the Good Things In Life

March 21, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Genia started young with amazing mentors and a strong mother with a vision. Now, she’s a mother to two sons, a midwife to many, and an activist with a mission to band together with families to joyfully pursue the good things in life. Genia’s a registered midwife, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care (student), Speaker, Presenter, Podcast host, and founder of Good Things in Life which offers resources, courses and networking opportunities for a community of parents with a shared vision of the good things in life for their children with disabilities.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • Genia’s introduction into special needs advocacy + social role valorization
  • Setting expectations and raising the bar for our differently-abled children
  • Creating a vision for ourselves and our children, and redefining what’s possible
  • Starting her organization to reach families of children with disabilities
  • Dealing with grief and moving past the sadness to learn to embrace the good things in life

 

When asked for one piece of advice they’d give moms going through the grieving process of a new diagnosis, Genia says:

 

“Everything wonderful in life happens on the other side of that cry. So you’ve got to get past the grief. Cause there are great, wonderful things on the other side of grief. Everything great is on the other side of special, so it’s worth it to go there.”

Where To Connect with Genia Stephen Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.
[MBYE 23] Nick and Darlene Abrams on Launching a Business While in the PICU, Showing Up, and Leaning Into Gratitude

[MBYE 23] Nick and Darlene Abrams on Launching a Business While in the PICU, Showing Up, and Leaning Into Gratitude

March 14, 2019

The Abrams are a family of 3:  Nick, Dar, and Owen (who is the main CEO of StomaStoma). Owen was born at 24 weeks and spent 5 months in the NICU before coming home for the first time. He was only home a short 2 weeks before going back to the hospital.

 

He then spent the next 784 days in the PICU.

 

He received a gtube and trach to help get him home, and Owen is still gtube fed, and vent and trach dependent. StomaStoma was birthed in his hospital room during that long stay.

 

Nick, Dar, and the StomaStoma team want to bring awareness and education about trach and gtube life, but in an encouraging and lighthearted way. The shirts that come from StomaStoma are just that, some encouraging and some cheeky, all with the hopes to open conversations to share about this abnormal life we hope can be viewed as normal one day.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How Nick and Dar got the idea for StomaStoma in their son’s hospital room
  • What they did to validate their business idea for such a niche topic
  • How they manage and maintain the business through the tough times that come along with raising a medically fragile child
  • Finding gratitude in the darkest times and choosing to seek grace

 

When asked for one piece of advice they’d give a special needs moms who are going through a tough medical situation with their children or who are looking to start a business, Dar says:

 

“Be real with yourself. If you’re having a hard day, let yourself have a hard day. And find your support. When we spent that long stint in the hospital, it was really intense. And there were times when we didn’t know if he’d make it. But one of the biggest things that’s helped us get through has been our community, our support.”

Where To Connect with StomaStoma and The Abrams Family Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.
[MBYE 22] Alice Vo Edwards on ADHD, 504 Plans, and Building Social Capital

[MBYE 22] Alice Vo Edwards on ADHD, 504 Plans, and Building Social Capital

February 15, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Alice Vo Edwards is a consultant with roles at multiple companies including Alerive, MassInflux, and BattleBuddy, where she specializes in utilizing her technology and applied psychological science expertise to support systems for improving health and wellbeing outcomes.

 

She is also an advocate for improving mental health support systems and founder of ADHDKid.net. She volunteers as the outreach coordinator for the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention, and advocates for women in scientific careers working internationally in her role as At-Large Delegate for Graduate Women in Science. She is also completing a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Walden University with an emphasis on research and evaluation related to workplace wellbeing.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How Alice started her advocacy journey when her daughter was diagnosed with ADHD
  • How she went on a quest to build a better 504 process for her daughter and others like her
  • Her mission to help other parents of kids with ADHD through the ADHD Kid Diary and ADHDKid.net

 

Where To Connect with Alice Online:

  • www.ADHDKid.net

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.

 

[MBYE 21] Abbi Perets on Maternal Mental Health, Raising a Child With a Dual Diagnosis, and Finding Herself After Trauma

[MBYE 21] Abbi Perets on Maternal Mental Health, Raising a Child With a Dual Diagnosis, and Finding Herself After Trauma

February 4, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Abbi Perets wants moms to know they don’t have to choose between kids and career. She’s the coach and mentor moms turn to when they want to break into freelance writing and earn great money from home, on their own terms.

Abbi combines nearly 20 years of experience freelancing for some of the world’s biggest companies with firsthand knowledge of having five kids of her own — including one with special needs. She understands the unique challenges moms face every day and has created programs specifically tailored to meet those challenges and empower moms all over the world to have it all.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How Abbi started a successful freelance business working for some of the largest companies in the world
  • Shutting her business down overnight when her son received a leukemia diagnosis
  • How starting Successful Freelance Moms saved her from her depression
  • How she helps other moms who are looking for the financial and emotional freedom that freelancing provides

 

This message from Abbi summarizes the wisdom she’s gained from the various challenges she’s faced over the last few years. She writes, “I decided a long time ago that my mental health matters more to me than making other people feel comfortable, so I'm pretty good at saying, "I'm not sure what you think is helpful about that comment," or "I'm asking for your support right now, and your criticism isn't supportive." So When you go through trauma, you will then have to deal with PTSD. And ignoring it will NOT make it go away. At some point, you have to make a choice: You can DEAL with what you went through and address it and get help, whatever that means for you (medication, therapy, etc) and take active steps towards rebuilding your life, OR you can pretend to be okay and continue NOT being okay and stay unhappy. Asking for help is the bravest thing you can do. It DOES take courage, and it is SO IMPORTANT.

Where To Connect with Abbi Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.
[MBYE 20] Meg Brunson on Finding Your Inner Advocate, Raising Kidpreneurs, and Leaving Facebook to Start Her Own Digital Agency

[MBYE 20] Meg Brunson on Finding Your Inner Advocate, Raising Kidpreneurs, and Leaving Facebook to Start Her Own Digital Agency

January 29, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Meg Brunson has been marketing to moms for nearly a decade. After leaving her corporate job at Facebook in 2017 to be a more present mom to her 4 daughters, she founded EIEIO Marketing; a digital marketing agency focused on Facebook Marketing for family-first businesses. Through highly targeted, results-driven, Facebook Ads she's delivered results for her clients that include: doubling their lead volume, generating 62% more sales than the in-house team, attaining a 16x return on ad spend, and reducing the cost per lead by 99%! She also hosts the FamilyPreneur podcast, an interview-style show that explores the “balance” of family & entrepreneurship with a focus on raising kidpreneurs.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • Meg’s journey from social work to the Facebook offices
  • Transitioning out of her position in the Ads Department at Facebook into full-time entrepreneurship
  • Starting a platform for her family of FamilyPreneurs (and starting her podcast by the same name)
  • Learning how to become the parent advocate her children need

 

When asked what’s the one thing she wants special needs moms who are going in business to know, she says: “Know that it’s okay to ask for help. People who are in the position of service coordinator, therapist … they want to help. So take advantage of the resources out there. There’s no shame in asking for help -- and the same goes for business.”

Where To Connect with Meg Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.

Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.

[MBYE 19] Jessica Mandujano on Starting (or Stopping) a Business, Scaling Horizontally, and Telling Your Story

[MBYE 19] Jessica Mandujano on Starting (or Stopping) a Business, Scaling Horizontally, and Telling Your Story

January 14, 2019

 

MEET THE GUEST:

Jessica Mandujano is mama to two wonderful kiddos -- one of which has global developmental delays and is non-verbal. Her days are filled with chasing a toddler, driving to developmental Pre-K, therapy sessions, and she also runs her own marketing business. She loves advocating for her son, cheering him on and sharing his story to promote inclusion + kindness for all differently-abled kiddos.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • Starting a business while pregnant and going through the process of transitioning it into something different after a rocky delivery and NICU stay
  • Growing horizontally when most business coaches encourage you to grow vertically
  • Providing more services to existing clients and nurturing those relationships to generate more income
  • Work-life harmony vs work-life balance -- what juggling it all really looks like for a special needs mamapreneur

 

Talking about transitioning her business to a new structure when she became a new mom, Jessica says, “Just because I have these goals for my business and I’m now a special needs mom, doesn’t mean I need to get rid of them completely. I need to change them a little bit, and maybe it’s gonna take me a little longer to get there, but I’m not in the business for the short-term, I’m in it for the long-haul.”

Where To Connect with Jessica Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.

Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.

[MBYE 18] Susie Liberatore on Designing Your Day, New Autism Diagnoses, and Building Your Support Team

[MBYE 18] Susie Liberatore on Designing Your Day, New Autism Diagnoses, and Building Your Support Team

January 7, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Susie Liberatore is the owner at Visions2images Creative Services. She helps established businesses grow their brand awareness by using digital marketing and professional branding techniques. With over nine years of experience, she brings businesses visions to life, while watching their return on investment increase.

Her fields of design expertise are branding development, social media marketing, and all things related to print!  She is the face and voice of Visions2images. Susie is an entrepreneur, she has several businesses and wears many hats for all of them. She has been able to help businesses thrive and grow with her help. Let her help you get your vision on track!

Our mission: Visions2images LLC is a creative service agency, providing the vision that your brand deserves. We believe in being professional and helping your business goals on all platforms. We work with small business that are established businesses and need that extra boost in their business.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • Going from agency life, to corporate, to full-time entrepreneur -- and receiving an Autism diagnosis for her child in the meantime
  • Balancing and designing a business between therapy and client meetings
  • How she built a support team, instituted office hours for her clients, and uses productivity tools like Trello to organize and run her business while her son naps or goes to ABA therapy
  • Organizing her week to successfully deliver on client expectations and also market her own business.

To those wanting to start a new business while raising a kid with special needs, Susie says, “Start small and don’t be afraid to fail. Be flexible … simplify.”

Where To Connect with Susie Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.