“I don’t know how she does it?” It’s a common question, but even more relevant when you ask a savvy entrepreneur that manages to blaze a trail in stiletto’s, tackle motherhood like a pro and stylishly invoke hundreds of thousands of women to march to her uber cool mommy beat.
If by chance you were wondering just ‘how she does it’ – Lyss Stern is content to tell you – over a Starbucks Latte at one of her NYC events where double cappuccinos … and double strollers are welcome.
Stern, the CEO of Divalysscious Moms, a premier events- based social network for mom’s, mom’s to-be and their babies, seeks to bridge the gap between a glam, pre-baby lifestyle and a post-baby life where, well, let’s just say there are more midnight feedings than midnight soirées.
Learn how Lyss Stern built a hip social community to reach city dwelling diva moms, co-authored a book — optioned it for a feature film — all while, mixing up the ingredients of her favorite tips for mom entrepreneurs.
|Lyss Stern, 37
|New York, NY
How I Got Started
DivaLysscious Moms is my passion. In my mind, it was not a leap of faith – I knew it was my calling. My 9-5 life started in the celebrity-driven, glamorous world of personal and event publicity. However, I was ready for a change. I went back to school to get an advanced degree in Early Education, and started teaching.
Fulfilling and secure, teaching is an amazing profession. However, seven years ago, when I had my first son Jackson, I realized that something was missing.
New York is the world’s most exciting city, a playground for everyone – ironically, except for moms. I was stuck outside – with my amazing son strapped into his carriage – as I watched.
My “new-mommy” friends wanted to shop for the hottest clothes, go to the newest movies, discuss events – but we seemed to be relegated to diaper-talk and the merits of one bottle brand over another. Important issues, of course, but not enough.
I needed these moms to feel gorgeous, sexy and confident… even better than they had before having kids. This is why I launched DivaLysscious Moms. My motto: Stilettos, sippy cups, strollers and Starbuck Lattes go hand-in-hand with this uber cool, modern group of women.
For me to be the best mom I can be, I needed to have a career that made me happy. Ultimately, the risk to my family was greater if I was frustrated, than if I took the chance. I had invested heavily in myself (college & two masters degrees) – and had a young son… but education means thinking, trusting my instincts. My husband understood the extra burden this might mean for him, but he also realized it was worth the risk. And it was.
Today Divalysscious Moms is 276,000 women-strong and growing. I am building my business and my brand – all while doing something that is fun, challenging and completely satisfying.
Best Success Story
This is a very hard question to answer. There have been so many wonderful, memorable success stories to date. However, the most recent was finding out that the book that I co-wrote, If You Give a Mom a Martini: 100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself (Random House) has been optioned into a motion feature film.
Biggest Startup Challenge
To date, my biggest business challenge has been people that are close to me, telling me that I could not start my own business. My family and husband felt very strongly that without a business degree I would never be able to be a successful businesswoman.
It was a huge challenge for me because I wanted everyone’s support and encouragement. I overcame this by learning not to listen to the negative “static” and instead, focus on the positive.
I knew I had a business idea that was going to be successful. I was determined to do everything I could to teach myself how to make the business grow. I didn’t learn from a textbook, or a class. However, I believe that teaching myself has been the best lesson. I have learned from my own mistakes and I continue to teach myself each and every day.
#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs
As the owner of Divalysscious Moms, and the mother of two young children, I am frequently asked how I balance motherhood and owning my own business. While every successful mother and business owner has her own recipe with ingredients that work for her as an individual, some tips that I like to give other mothers that are in similar situations are the “Divalysscious Tips” and the ingredients that work for my “Mommy Entrepreneur Recipe.”
Here are five tips on how to be a mommy and an entrepreneur — for owning your own business and being mother of children under the age of ten.
- Your Children Come First. That means that email and phone calls can and will come after the children are happy and settled in. With today’s technology, it seems that everything is urgent; however, your children’s well-being comes first. Most importantly, your children need to feel secure.
- Prioritize. Make sure that your work can be done early in the morning before the children wake up. Yes, that means sometimes waking up at 4:30am to finish work… of course you will need a large cup of coffee!
- Have a routine. Having breakfast with the children and taking my older son to school in the morning are crucial aspects of my daily life. Dinner, bath time, and bedtime are also extremely important for my children and for me. I try my best to put down the blackberry, and eat with the children, bathe them, read to them, and spend quality time with them before bed. After my boys are sleeping, I know that I can go back on the computer to finish up my work.
- Have a “Mommy Time Out”. Moms that run their own businesses also need to take a few minutes out of their busy day for themselves. I have a strong philosophy that if mom isn’t happy then the children won’t be happy, and with running your own business, things can be stressful. Take ten minutes to meditate, get a quick ten minute back massage at the local nail salon, look through a magazine, or even take ten minutes to make a phone call to a friend, completely unrelated to work, just to say hi. This time will rejuvenate you and allow you a much-needed break. Read a passage from my book If You Give A Mom A Martini…100 Ways to Take Ten Blissful Minutes to Yourself.
- Delegate. Always remember that being a mom and a business owner gives you the right to delegate the work, which means surrounding yourself with a great supportive team comprised of positive people who have high energy. Make sure these are people that you can trust, and people that can help you.
My husband is my biggest supporter, at times he has to help with the children because I might need to be at a meeting, have to work late, etc… I know that I can count on my husband and vice versa for him, as he too, has a demanding job. Delegate the errands with your family, caregiver, and do not be afraid to ask for help! It’s always better to ask, then to be completely overwhelmed.
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