Work-at-home know how from 5 Minutes for Mom

Sit down with Janice and Susan, the twin sisters who run 5minutesformom.com, and it won’t take long for their devotion to efficiency to well up.

They are energetic, they are busy, they are time-strapped, and with four kids and three businesses between the two of them, they get about 5 minutes to themselves everyday.

That’s part of the reason they created 5 Minutes for Mom.

“When I’m online, I personally am so busy that when I’m looking for a product or looking for a site, I want something fast, and I want to get it all in one place, and I want to have an intimate relationship with the store directory that I’m looking at,” Susan said. “That’s what we’ve tried to create.”

Susan and Janice invested endless hours in the beginning scouring the web themselves and building what is probably the most extensive directory ever devoted to mom-owned e-commerce sites, blogs authored by women and mom-run websites.

“We were work at home moms running two e-commerce stores with the help of our mom,” said Janice. “We knew how hard it was to build an online business, and we knew that there are tons of other moms out there trying to make their businesses successful.”

Wanting to showcase other mom-owned businesses was a big motivation for the sisters.

Susan and Janice are quick to admit that while they’re pleased with the success of their online stores and 5 Minutes for Mom, being a working mother is still an incredible challenge – and it makes no difference that they work at home.

Since they had their babies two weeks apart, the sisters decided to share babysitting and work responsibilities. Eventually they hired nannies that could free them up to devote more time to work – from a nearby room.

Running a business… or three… comes from the sisters’ commitment to one another.

“We’re identical twins once, we shared an egg,” said Janice. “We fight – we fight a lot – but we are so committed to each other, as is our mom, there’s nothing that would ever break our loyalty to each other. We have the ultimate commitment.”

Susan and Janice warn that partnering with family has worked for them, but it can be complicated and ruin relationships if you’re not clear about expectations. Some things they considered before partnering were:

  • How committed is this person? Are you equally committed or is one person’s commitment stronger?
  • What is the shared level of trust? Do you feel comfortable sharing concerns, opportunities and disappointments with this person?
  • Do you share financial expectations? Are you both in it to make a lot of money immediately or are you motivated to grow a little at a time? Are you aligned on those expectations?

Susan said she’s seen businesses listed in their directories fall apart over poor partnering.

“Working together is like a marriage, but even harder because there’s all this stuff going into it,” said Janice. “Because Susan and I have such a strong relationship, working together can’t damage it. Nothing can actually end our relationship.”

Building on their strong union, the sisters have been able to extend the joy of working at home to other moms, many of them readers of 5 Minutes for Mom.

“One thing that we’ve loved about creating a business, is that we have now been able to hire other moms, so they have a wonderful experience because they get paid by the hour,” Janice said.

“We were able to hire a virtual assistant who was one of our readers from our site and give her the opportunity to be able to stay home with her baby,” said Susan. “She had a three-month old baby, and now she can work from home.”

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

Mommy Blogger Mania
If you’ve got 5 minutes to see what moms in the blogosphere are up to, start with 5 Minutes for Mom’s blog directory.

Extra Special Needs
Take a look at 5 Minutes for Special Needs to find support, solutions and perspective.

Mom & Pop Shops
If you’re planning to buy something and want to support a work-at-home mom, stop by the mom-owned store directory on 5 Minutes for Mom first. It’s like buying local in these modern times.

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