Today, we are interviewing Sarah, blogger behind Mommin’ in the Real World. She works as a professional in physician clinic administration in daytime, while at night Sarah fulfills her life-long dream job of being a writer. Born and raised in rural Kansas, she adores travel and has visited 20 different countries so far. She has always been a creative soul with an overactive imagination, scribbling notes for a story or drawing on scraps of paper. Sarah is a self-described sci-fi and fantasy nerd and fan of all things Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Wonder Woman, and more. Her love of coffee and chocolate is only rivaled by her love of books.
She has worked with various brands like Clever Publishing, Kids Can Press, Paperless Post, Candlewick Press, Tuck, The Recovery Village, Education.com etc
When not writing, painting, or busy with family she can often be found daydreaming of living in southern France in a home near the seashore.
1. Please tell us something about yourself.
My name is Sarah and I am the author behind the blog Mommin’ in the Real World. I am 37 years old and I am married with two kids. By day I work at a hospital in Physician Practice Administration and blog by night.
2. How did you get into entrepreneurship? Please tell us more about your journey as an entrepreneur?
I originally created my blog as a way to express myself creatively while I was on maternity leave with my first child. I have always been a creative person, usually painting, writing, creating collages, making jewelry, or traveling. When I had my daughter I found that I only had short intervals to do anything for myself, so I started to blog. It was something I could easily pick up and put down as I cared for my child.
At first it was more just an online journal or a collection of short essays, but it has changed into a medium where I try to connect with other mothers, share my experiences, and hopefully teach others or at least give them the feeling that they are not alone. I have branched out into doing product reviews and it has been so much fun to receive a product, be able to use it and test it out, and then share my opinions with other moms and parents.
3. Who are your role models?
I’ve always looked first to my mother as a role model; she has always been a hard worker and sacrificed a lot so that my sister and I could have more than what she grew up with.
Astronaut Sally Ride has been a role model of mine since I was a kid. In fact, I have a patch from her mission on the Challenger tacked up in my cubicle. It inspires me each day and reminds me that anything is possible if you aim high enough and work hard enough.
4. Did you read any books that inspired or motivated you in your journey?
I have always been a lover of books, which is one reason I publish book reviews on my blog, but I was inspired to begin this journey by other mom/parenting bloggers and podcasters that I regularly read or listened to. They’ve really showed me that even with a fulltime job and kids one can still build a successful business.
5. Please tell us about your company
Mommin’ in the Real World (http://www.momminintherealworld.com) is about four years old now. I am the sole content creator, web designer, social media content creator, etc. It has been a learning journey and a labor of love. I am extremely proud of what I have been able to create from nothing.
I am currently readying an online shop to accompany my blog, selling t-shirts of my own design. I have had a blast with the whole creative process involved with designing a product and getting them ready to sell. The initial product samples that I have made for myself or given to others have all had great reviews and feedback, so I am excited to open my shop.
6. What’s your most memorable experience as an entrepreneur?
My most memorable experience as an entrepreneur has been connecting with people around the world, like readers e-mailing me to say that they really enjoyed a certain post or that they appreciated me sharing my experiences because it made them feel like they weren’t alone.
Receiving glowing feedback from brands I have worked with has been incredible too.
7. Are you using any online marketing strategies for your company? How are you using different social media channels to market your company?
Online marketing is something I haven’t dove too far into yet. I have done some ads on a very small scale. Otherwise, I have done a lot of cold pitches to brands that I would like to work with, which sometimes garners favorable results but not always. I do share my blog posts on multiple different sites and use social media like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
I try to use SM to connect with other bloggers, brands, PR companies, and ultimately readers.
Twitter has been really great as far as companies contacting me for possible collaborations and my biggest following is on Twitter. I am relatively new to Instagram but my following grows every day. Facebook is one media channel that I really haven’t concentrated on- I haven’t had a lot of engagement there.
8. What’s your greatest fear as an entrepreneur?
Like a lot of entrepreneurs, my greatest fear is that no one will take notice of my business or want my product – or that all the time, sweat, and tears that goes into developing a business and trying to make it successful will be wasted and not amount to anything.
9. Looking back, what’s one thing you wish you understood about entrepreneurship before you ever got started?
I took courses on entrepreneurship when I was younger, so I feel like I had a good knowledge base to start off with, but I wish I had understood just how much time, effort, and money, and rejection it takes to keep going each day and to grow.
10. Would you like to share any success secrets that helped you in your journey?
I don’t know that I have any success secrets, per se, but I think to be successful in any part of life one must be driven, consistent, look at the big picture, and not get disheartened with failure. Use failure to project you forward, don’t let it drag you down.
11. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love being able to have something I created be seen by millions around the world, in so many different countries. It is mind-blowing to think that someone in Finland, South Africa, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, and many other places is reading my words.
12. What keeps you going when things get tough?
There are definitely times when I wonder if all my hard work is really worth it. Sometimes it is easy to take a rejection personal or to get a negative comment from a troll and wonder why I do what I do. Looking at all I have accomplished and all I have in the works, as well as looking at my family and knowing that I strive to use what I do to make their lives better keeps me motivated to keep going and work harder.
13. How can people connect with you?
I would love to hear from anyone! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I can be found on Twitter at @MomminReal and on Instagram at instagram.com/momminintherealworld.