Back at the end of May I shared a guest post with this week's Spotlight Mom, Zee Worstell, of AccelerateHER International, with you all. If you missed it, click here to read it now -- http://www.inspiredbysavannah.com/2012/05/guest-post-finding-right-network-of.html. This guest post dealt with creating a network of other like-minded women, in order to help you get your business off the ground. Zee provided some great tips that I know many mom entrepreneurs were able to apply and make their networking links stronger and work more for them. Today, I wanted to share my Spotlight on Mommy interview with Zee Worstell, in hopes it will inspire those on the fence about starting a business, as well as those are in a rut or looking for a breath of fresh air to start the work week.
More about Zee's and her coaching services at AccelerateHER International:
AccelerateHER International, a boutique career coaching organization focused on teaching busy, professional women to suspend the “Good Girl” beliefs learned when they were young and replace them a with an empowering belief system rooted in self confidence. We are dedicated to helping career focused women learn how to stand in their greatness and create success in their career without acting like a man.
During the 15 year she spent as an Executive Recruiter, our founder Zee has witnessed many women sabotage their careers because of what they were taught as young girls. Using observation, personal experience and extensive research, Zee has developed her proven T.H.R.I.V.E. system. This methodology guides motivated women towards the success they desire using strategies that allow them to create prosperity on their own terms. Author of the audio program “Good Girls Finish Last…Confident Women Finish First” Zee Worstell is quickly becoming recognized as an expert in the field of women’s career development.
Please enjoy my interview with Zee, and check out her previous guest post, as well as more about her business AccelerateHER International, from her website.
Name: Zee Worstell
Company Name/Product/Service: AccelerateHER International
Company Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Company Website: www.
Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Twitter Handle: @confidentzee
Age of Company: 3 years
Favorite Inspirational Quote: It is not who you think you are that holds you back it is who you think you are not - Unknown
Favorite Books: For fun: Ladies of Missalongi by Colleen McCullough; For Motivation: The Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Bruchard
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I have been with my husband for 22 years, married for 17 years. We have two daughters that we adore and worked hard to conceive. Our oldest is a 13 year old daughter and our youngest is a 9 year old daughter. We are blessed to have them. I was pregnant 7 times. My hobbies include cooking fun vegan foods, doing home remodeling and decorating, hanging out with my family doing anything we happen to think up for the day.
Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
I started my own business 3 years ago and it originally started as an executive recruiting firm. I had 12 years of prior experience working as a recruiter for someone else. When my youngest daughter went to kindergarten full time, I knew it was time to go back to work but I wasn’t sure what I could do and still be available for my girls when they needed me. After much searching I decided that starting my own business was the best option for me to have an unlimited earning potential and still be able to go have lunch with my girls or go see their school play in the middle of the day.
I started my recruiting business and had great success but I realized two years in that I had another passion that I was being drawn to follow. I am passionate about helping women be successful in their careers not just change careers. My oldest daughter saw a report on the news that said women make less money than men for the same job and she was very disturbed by that fact. I knew about that fact because I have been a victim of it but I had never given any thought to whether or not I could impact it for women who follow me into the workforce including my own daughters. I made the very hard decision to rework my young business into a business that is focused on helping women thrive in their career and start closing the wage gap.
What is a typical work day like?
I get up at 6:30 and I make lunches for my girls and help my older daughter get ready for school. Then I get myself ready and then my younger daughter ready and off to the bus at 8:50. At 9:00 am I am at my desk to start work. I work until noon when I take some time for myself. I either take a walk with a friend or meet someone for lunch. As a Mompreneur it is super important to leave the house and interact with others to prevent going stir crazy and lose your energy to focus on the work.
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?
The biggest struggle for me has been finding a support network of other women who understand the process and time needed to start up a successful business. It is very isolating at times because my friends who don’t work, don’t really understand that I love what I do and that I am not sad that I have to work. There is such a huge divide in the female population about having a career that sometimes I feel very alone. There are of course other issues that go with starting a business, but for me the isolation and lack of a network of peers has been the hardest.
What did you do in your past work life?
I started my career as a teacher and then moved into sales and sales management for the consumer product industry. I worked for Coca-Cola and Tropicana Products. When I had trouble getting pregnant I left the world of sales and all the travel that went along with it and worked for a recruiter who worked in the consumer product industry. I did that until my second daughter was born with some health issues that needed my full time attention. I took a Mommy break for 5 years. During those five years I dabbled in starting my own businesses. I owned a vending route that earned me $20,000 a year working 1 day a week and I made designer handbags and belts that I sold at home shows.
What have been some of your major successes?
I was able to start my recruiting business and year two make multiple 6 figures worth of income.
I have been able to start a career coaching business and I am already seeing how I am impacting women’s careers. I am confident that I will build this business to 6 figures this first full year. I am able to attend every game and play and concert my girls have put on while working full time. I have been able to stay home with my girls when they have been sick and not worry about it.
What have been some of your major challenges?
My major challenge is myself. As women we are conditioned to think we have to do it all and do it all perfectly. I find that sometimes that “good girl” belief gets in my way and I get overwhelmed about how much work it takes to run a perfect house, be the perfect mom and be the super business woman.
The other major challenge for me has been keeping focused. Because I work from home, it is easy to get side tracked by the refrigerator repair man or the laundry that needs to get folded. It take a great deal of dedication to leave those things and not let them derail your progress.
The last challenge is my husband. I love my husband but he is not an entrepreneur and does not understand why anyone would want to put so much work into a promise of reward. He is supportive, but on occasion he is impatient. His desire to see fast results causes me to put unrealistic expectations on myself. We regularly have to have this conversation.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
What keeps me motivated is the picture I have in my mind of what my business will be like in a few years. I have found my message for the world and I would really do this for free but I don’t share that with my husband! I know my message will change lives and I can’t wait to see what that feels like.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
I have decided I am not perfect. I don’t have the cleanest house and I don’t always have to have it all together. By giving myself this permission I am able to stop worrying about what I haven’t done. Some days I give myself permission to do no house work or some days it is do no work work.
What is next for your business?
My business is growing and the next step for me is to start getting my message out to larger audiences. I am working on booking speaking engagements and would like to put on a seminar for women hopefully by the end of the year.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
There are a few things I tell all mompreneuers:
· Set very specific goals about what you want to accomplish.
· Get a support system in place. Either other women or a coach
· Give yourself permission to not be perfect.
If they are on the fence about starting their own business, I would encourage them to be very honest with themselves about their desire to be successful. They need to be willing to sell, market, demand what they are worth and work through the tough days so make sure they are passionate about what they are thinking about doing. If they are not, they will hate this as much as a job. Starting a business should never be a job. It should be a calling that you can’t ignore and want to do every waking minute.