You mean single parents can be successful?
Yes you can be a single mom and make millions whilst raising your little ones.
When people hear that I am a single parent its like in their minds you cannot be successful. They have decided that because you’re a single parent, you must be struggling. Whether it be physically, emotionally, spiritually or financially. And off course you must be heavily reliant on already overstretched social systems.
Very rarely do you get positive images of single parents as self-sufficient, successful contributors to society.
I am on a quest to break the stereotype of a single parent and all the negative connotations associated with it. I know raising a child on your own can be difficult but it doesn’t mean that you should be marginalised in society and looked down on.
There are plenty of parents in marriages and they are absolutely miserable and struggling to cope but because they are in a marriage they are deemed to be in a much better place than me.
So what are you saying?
Well enough is enough for me! As of today I am choosing to showcase to the world that you can be a single parent and still have it all. And when I mean all, I mean ALL!
I am convinced there are numerous single parents out there with great experiences who given the opportunity can start and sustain multi million dollar organisations.
There are so many men and women out there who are super successful and happy and still able to look after their own children all by themselves.
They are absolutely killing it in their chosen career and making a whole load of money. They have defied all the negative stereotypes and have become much more successful than their coupled counterparts.
So to start this series of single parent positive bias. I want to showcase 10 single parents who are super successful in their chosen fields. These are just a few of the many single mothers who are entrepreneurs and super successful in the business world.
1) Angela Benton, CEO and Founder of NewMe
Founded in 2011, NewME has accelerated hundreds of entrepreneurs through their online platform, residential “boot-camp” accelerators, and equity portfolio who have gone on to build better businesses and even raise venture capital funding.
To-date NewME has helped minority entrepreneurs raise over $43MM in funding.
She gives this advice: “Being a single mom is NOT a setback. Nestled somewhere in the pages of a storybook is the idea that entrepreneurs “hustle,” “crush it,” “grind” and whatever other word you can come up with to describe working really, really hard on your business 100 percent of the time.
Out here in the real world we know that’s not true.
Don’t get me wrong, entrepreneurship is a ton of work. However don’t let the perception of this lifestyle count you out before you even count yourself in.
Being a single mom comes with a wealth of skills that do well in entrepreneurship like: multitasking, creativity, managing and/or operating on a budget, and problem-solving to say the least. I don’t know about you but I’d put my money on someone with these skills rather than a new college grad.”*
2) Nusha Pelicano, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
A single mother of six, yes six kids! and if that’s not impressive enough, she also runs marathons and English was not her first language. But that didn’t stop her.
And it was on one of her marathons that she came across the idea for her company, a frozen yogurt franchise called Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt.
She opened her first franchise in October 2010 and she now she owns six other locations. I guess six must be her lucky number.
She gives this advice: “Thinking about how I was going to do it all almost stopped me from starting my own company years ago. It seemed unreasonable to think that I’d be able to get everything done that I wanted to get done as an entrepreneur and still be the mother I wanted to be to my three kids.
The truth is you can do it all if you just change what your definition of balance is.
There are times where my business gets more attention than my kids and vice versa. In the end I like to believe that is all balances out. Part of being an entrepreneur is being comfortable with changing direction quickly.
Needless to say as a single mother and entrepreneur you’ll get a ton of use out of that skill! So relax, have faith, and take it one day at a time.”*
3) Lisa Stone, Founder of BlogHer
As a young, divorced and single mom of three children, Lisa Stone founded BlogHer in 2005. It is now one of the world’s leading guides for women who blog and use social media.
Her online platform enables women not only access a multitude of online resources to support them. But also book to attend conferences with some pretty famous and successful women. The list of speakers includes, Serena Williams, Kerry Washington, Gwyneth Paltrow and many many more.
She give this advice: “Ban toxic people from your life. You don’t have enough time already, right single mom or dad? So if you are living or working or worshipping around a toxic person or people who invade your confidence and bring you down, you MUST remove them from your life.”*
4) Karla Campos, Founder of Social Media Sass
Karla is a single mother and a social media and digital marketing strategist who founded Social Media Sass and the Entrepreneur Moms Club with the mission of helping moms through the journey of entrepreneurship.
She also has worked on Florida Social Con, a conference dedicated to bring affordable quality social media training to small business owners.
She gives this advice: “Entrepreneurship, just like motherhood, is not a 9-5 job. Some days I stay up until 3 am working and then have to do a 7 a.m. child drop off at school. Be kind to yourself. Make time for you even if it’s just to breathe and smell the air. Kids are going to make messes, they are going to eat your reports and download viruses to your computer. Your best weapon is a sense of humor. Enjoy your single mom entrepreneur life, wear the title proudly. We are basically super heroes.” *
5) Brook Eddy, founder of Bhakti Chai
A single mother who travelled to India in 2002 to research about a movement based on the principles of Bhakti, or devotion through social action.
While there, she was introduced to Masala Chai that she just fell in love. For years she couldn’t forget about both of these things which led to the now million dollar business, Bhakti Chai.
She gives this advice: “I used to imagine how men had so much more time and ease managing companies. I fell into a mind wrap trap of comparing myself to men who had assistants to deal with the nonstop scheduling, travel, meetings, reports, and presentations – how productive! Or the men with wives to care for children and manage all the shopping/laundry/carpools/cooking/pets/school/homework/sport registrations – how helpful! Or the men with industry connections brimming with money and influence – how lucky!
But this was just my judgment, my assumptions, and my method of feeling sorry for myself by sinking into distraction… We are all pulled in 100 different directions daily – even men with teams, wives, or connections are shackled daily with stress. You could similarly compare yourself to mothers with free time that and are not starting companies or to entrepreneurs without kids or with supportive wealthy husbands – but it’s not going to change the fact that you have to work harder, and smarter, and longer.
The “poor me” mentality only serves procrastination, self-doubt, and a negative thought loop – not our greater purpose or our nobler ability to trust. Furthermore, those added stressors (or ‘influencers’ as I sometimes refer to my ten year old twins) may in fact be the very inspiration for your next product line, marketing initiative, or social media campaign.”*
6) Zhena Muzyka, Founder of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea
As a single mom with $6 to her name, Zhena Muzkya has built a multimillion-dollar fair trade tea company, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea.
Her company started when she needed money for her son’s lifesaving surgery and she couldnt get the minimum amount out of the ATM ($10) because she only has $6 in it.
She is now a social entrepreneur, author, public speaker, publisher of Enliven Books and host of Change Maker CBS radio podcast.
She gives this advice: “Don’t date competitive guys. This may seem like strange advice, but I can’t tell you how many dates I went on as a single mom entrepreneur where the guy subconsciously competed with my business and my child. It usually was date three or four when it would come out, but I was surprised at how many men want you all for themselves.
When dating, look for potential partners who love what you do and show it by changing their schedule to be there for you. When I found my husband, he made every effort to help me with Sage, he’d drive almost two hours to babysit so I could do marketing events, even though he had an executive position of his own. Not all partners will want to play a support role, so find someone who has a deep passion of their own and isn’t afraid to nurture it, they’ll allow you the same.”*
7) Melissa Kieling, CEO of PackIt
Divorced in 2008, Melissa Kieling became a single mother to three children. She was broke and alone but she had an idea for a lunch bag that came from her kids complaining that their blueberries were warm and mushy at school.
So to get started she cut up her shower curtain to use as a liner. Then she pinned the shower curtain to some ice blanked material and ice packs to make her own homemade cooler bag.
Now she is the CEO of an $11 million company
She gives this advice: “Look for inspiration everywhere. Make note of all the things that frustrate you in your daily life, then research creative ways to address those inefficiencies. All it takes is an idea and an Internet connection to create a product that changes the world.
Don’t let inexperience stop you. My business résumé was basically limited to school bake sales. Not knowing which steps to take first nearly paralyzed me with fear. I overcame this by reaching out to other business owners who could connect me to experts in manufacturing, production and sales. Each key person I met shortened my learning curve and gave me confidence. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how other small business owners want to pay it forward and see new upstarts succeed.”*
8) Natalie Angelilo, founder and CEO of and Swink Style Bar
Natalie is the founder of the school fundraising startup, SwopBoard. An online marketplace to buy, sell and give back to local schools.
She is also the co-owner and co-founder of blow dry salon Swink Style Bar. Natalie has over 20 years experiences in building brands and securing venture capital and is a regular advisor for startups and entreprenuers.
She gives this advice: “There is enough guilt to go around for any parent, so I make a conscious effort to let it go and focus on the positives. I may have a hectic schedule, and, as a result, my children are learning how to be independent and self-reliant. They are getting an inside-look at how a startup works, by testing our app and coming into the office, which I know will benefit them in the long-term.”*
9) Sherry Colbourne, Startup Oman
Sherry is a social media strategist based in Canada. She mentors young entrepreneurs and helps them grow their businesses and expand their reach.
Whilst in Oman, she co-founded Startup Oman, which focuses on supporting some of Oman’s bright, upcoming, high-impact entrepreneurs in Oman. It has grown so much that it has now become the hub of Oman’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,
In an interview with Taylor’s entrepreneur.com she shares her story and says:
“Mompreneurs, more than other entrepreneurs, need to be disciplined in their relationship with time,” says Colbourne. “When I was a single mom with a growing business, I would wake up at 5 a.m. so I’d be in the right frame of mind to deal with my then-teenage children. Morning conversation and breakfast provided the energy we needed for the day and a sit-down dinner provided the engagement we needed to stay connected. I found the natural rhythms in my business and used them to schedule appointments and work out. There were no marathon workouts for this girl, but half an hour on a treadmill can go a long way to clearing your head and reclaiming your energy. Find what works for you and make yourself one of your priorities!”
10) Lauren Thom, Founder and CEO of Fleurty Girl
Being a single mother to three children didnt stop Lauren Thom from creating the successful clothing brand Fleurty Girl. A brand inspired by New Orleans.
In 2009, Lauren decided to use a $2,000 tax return to start her dream. And in 2010, when the New Orlearns Saints Football Team Worn the Superbowl, she capitalised on this business opportunity and started creating and selling Saints Inspired T-Shirts. She now has several stores and is super successful.
She gives this advice: “You have to make family a part of your business… I’ve always considered my kids to be my board of directors, whether we’re moving or having them share a bedroom so we can open a store in our house. Make them a part of that journey. And that’s for any mom, not just single moms… Our kids are our reason to seek out a better life.”*
These are just a few of the many strong, successful single mothers out there. They took every opportunity to achieve their dreams and make a name for themselves in the world.
They are just a few examples of the self-made professional women out there who are showcasing to the world that you can be a single parent and still be successful. A true positive bias.
So away from the old negative stereotype so easily associated with single mothers and in with the truth. Just because you became a single parent, doesn’t mean you have to struggle in life. You are more than able to become a success and motivate other parents out there.
Because as my mother always told me;
“You won’t be the first, and you won’t be the last! It’s just how you use your experience to shape your destiny”.
So I leave you with that and hope it encourages you to find your dream and chase after it.