In this very special episode of the BSuite podcast, Anne welcomes her friends, Noelle Grattan and Mariah Morgan, fellow marketing agency owners in the Portsmouth, NH, area. While our trio shares many similar interests, they’re each about a decade apart in age, a factor that gives them unique perspectives on entrepreneurship and life. They discuss how the complexities of parenthood and business ownership shaped them into the individuals they are today and how their personal values have contributed to the mission behind each of their businesses.
Relationship Between Parenting and Business Ownership
Not long after opening the doors to her agency, Stout Heart, Mariah Morgan learned she was pregnant with her first child. Noelle Grattan shares a similar story of founding her company, Five Line Creative, and becoming a mom soon afterwards. Morgan and Grattan jokingly say they’ve “raised” their businesses and children together, all the while seeking that elusive balance between work and home. Anne started Richardson Media Group when her children were in middle school and high school but still relates to the pull between business and personal commitments.
Blending responsibilities has taught them to be more empathetic in both parenting and business. They’ve also discovered the importance of connecting their personal values to their work goals – identifying the kinds of clients and vendors they want to work with and growing their friendships and professional partnerships with like-minded folks.
As Mariah noted, parenting and business are similar in many ways. We need to show leadership to be a good parent and a successful business owner. Guidance, mentorship, providing resources for growth, and caring for the wellbeing of others are the common threads that hold our families and our companies together.
Starting Creative Agencies as Female Entrepreneurs
Within the discussion, the women talk about what led them down the path of entrepreneurship. They discuss experiencing layoffs in earlier jobs, learning from previous work settings, and eventually finding the courage to start and run their small businesses. They also mention the origins of their business names and Anne shares how her young adult kids have become such important sounding boards for her as she navigates today’s changing workplace culture.
Managing Work-Life Balance with a Hybrid Model
Though their children range in age from 2 – 26, each woman can relate to the difficulties of achieving a work-life balance. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated those struggles and revealed a need for in-person connection like never before. All three agencies are run on a hybrid model now, meeting in-office a few days a week and working from home on other days. This hybrid model took some time to adjust to but has worked out well, offering them a chance for deeper focus while at work, and building solid relationships with their respective teams.
Staying True to a Values-Driven Approach in Business
Our three founders prioritize staying true to a values-driven approach to doing business. Whether that means saying no to a project that isn’t the right fit, seeking clients who share a sustainable model, or prioritizing employee-focused benefits, we hear about how important it is to align beliefs and business in order to stay energized and inspired by their work.