Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a mentor to moms who are running a business that supports their values of faith and family. As president and founder of the International Christian Mompreneur Network, she empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace. Join the International Christian Mompreneur Network for free and receive the Ten Commandments of a Mompreneur toolkit!
What is your favorite moment as a Mom Entrepreneur?
What I love most about being a mom entrepreneur is that I get to make my own choices. I get to choose when and where (and if!) I travel. I get to choose my office hours (and work them around my family priorities). And I get to choose WHO I work with and WHAT work I do each day. I don’t have to ask permission to take off work for something at my child’s school. And I don’t have to put in the hours just to punch a time clock. Who has time for that?
Sometimes I forget that I have choices and I start to see my business look more like a J-O-B than a business. I remember one time when my oldest son was in Kindergarten and his class was planning a Mother’s Day Tea. Of course, since he was my oldest, I didn’t know it was coming and by the time I heard about it, I already had a client meeting on the calendar. So I asked my nanny if she would go in my place. She was like a second mother to my children so it made perfect sense. She agreed and my son seemed OK with it. But as the event grew closer, I was feeling very guilty about the decision. I didn’t want to cancel the client meeting because I was afraid that would be unprofessional and inconvenient (it was actually a committee meeting and I was in charge!). But I couldn’t help feeling like I was making the wrong choice –like I had my priorities all mixed up. I had forgotten that one of the reasons I became a mom entrepreneur was so that I could be there for my kids when it was important. So, I rescheduled the meeting at the last minute, went to the Mother’s Day Tea and never regretted it. In retrospect, 7 years later, I can’t imagine what I was thinking to pass up that milestone of motherhood in the first place! Live and learn.
What is your biggest challenge as a Mom Entrepreneur?
My biggest challenge as a mom entrepreneur is setting boundaries. I’ve gotten better at it over the past few years but it’s something I need to consciously pay attention to. I’ve worked out a system so that I have regular work hours and the kids know they can come in the office for a quick hug but that I am not to be interrupted. That means I have to be disciplined about not answering personal emails or taking personal calls during my work hours either, which is sometimes a challenge. And I absolutely need to be careful not to take work phone calls or hop on the computer during my family time. Sometimes I have to bend the rules, but for the most part it’s working. Trust me – my kids will tell me when I’m not adhering to my end of the bargain!
Your favorite quote?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. - Proverbs 3:5-6
How do you maintain balance in your life?
I discovered a long time ago that if mom isn’t happy, then nobody is happy . What makes me happy is to work out most mornings. When I start my day with a great workout, I am ready to face whatever comes next with grace!