If you haven’t heard about the Motivated Mom, you definitely need to read this. As moms, and perhaps also aspiring or present mompreneurs, it can be challenging to find a way to juggle it all. But to help motivate you LaToyia Dennis founded the Motivated Mom Tour. Here’s what it’s all about including where and when you can join this extraordinary tour.
Please introduce yourself – who is The Motivated Mom?
Hi, this is LaToyia Dennis and I’m the motivated mom. The motivated mom is all about encouraging moms to be great women and extraordinary moms. And by doing that we raise better children.
I founded the Motivated Mom a few years ago, really by accident. I advocate early childhood education through an organization I run called A Chance to Learn. In A Chance to Learn, we offer programs to ensure that children enter kindergarten ready. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, about 87% almost 90% of children in low-income communities, both Hispanic and African-American, enter kindergarten behind. So we host a summer camp every year for 3-5-year-olds specifically. We engage them and teach them phonics, letters, shapes, numbers, colors, science, arts, math, and reading technologies, called “Camp Smart Kid”. We help them develop a love for learning so that they enter kindergarten ready. And it also sets them up for their educational experience.
I later received a couple of calls saying “hey LaToyia, our parents love your tools and they love your camp. But these are the same parents who aren’t engaged in their child’s education. Can you teach a parenting class on parent engagement?” I answered “Sure, sure. I’m not a parenting expert but I’ll come an I’ll talk about the importance of parent engagement as it relates to our education and our children’s education.”
So the Motivated Mom platform was born out of me going in a class full of parents talking about the importance of parent engagement. And at the end of that session, several moms said: “hey, miss LaToyia, it’s hard for me to be engaged in my child’s education because I don’t have this, or I’m not that.” So I left there saying, oh my goodness, it’s one thing to advocate early education, but it’s a whole other thing to motivate these moms to be great women so that they’ll be extraordinary moms, and we raise better kids.
The premise of Motivated Mom is about raising better kids. It’s about ensuring that moms live a life of purpose. We do what we love, whether it’s in corporate America or at-home-moms or mompreneurs. Living a life of purpose and abundance and financially free ensures that we are great women, and automatically an extraordinary mom, therefore raising better kids.
Your site mentions that a conversation between you and your son greatly impacted you, and you made the switch to entrepreneurship. How do you manage entrepreneurship and parenting?
You know I really took a leap of faith in quitting a full-time job to become a mompreneur. And not only to become a mompreneur but launch into an industry where I was unfamiliar. I had never been a blogger and of course, my consulting firm is where I help other non-profits and other people raise money. But I was transitioning from that into being a mom blogger and so helping Chance to understand the challenges associated with entrepreneurship really came out of me experiencing it at the same time. Becuase, while on one end my business was very progressive and growing and it was good. On the other end, this blogger side, I was learning a lot, I was trying to find my way, figuring out who I was, and what does it mean to be a blogger.
So when he was talking to me about “mommy why don’t you go to work anymore?” and I said, “well mommy is an entrepreneur” he wanted to know what that was. So we spent a little time talking about it and he came and said “mommy I want to be an entrepreneur. I even know my businesses and I want to do ‘Chances Camping Club’ where we’re gonna teach boys without dads how to camp. Because if they don’t have a father, who’s gonna take them camping?” And it touched my heart, it changed my life once again. I always have these life-changing moments. But being his mom is a life-changing moment altogether, so it helped me to understand the importance of putting purpose behind entrepreneurs and that there has to be a social good component. Because that’s who I am and that’s what it’s about.
Has there been a follow-up to that conversation? What or how does your son think and feel?
Absolutely. We followed up with Chance and started his business “Chance’s Camping Club” as a legitimate business. We registered the business for him before Christmas. That was his gift, along with his first tent and fire pit that we will be using this fall to launch his first Camping Club experience. So we definitely followed up with that conversation.
You share parenting tips for Type-A moms in your free e-book, what challenges do you think are unique to Type-A moms?
I think for type-A moms, the challenge is always wanting to be in control. Sometimes we’re so in control that we don’t know how to let loose. For me, I think my best experience and challenge from the book, and after writing the book, and even after this journey of being a blogger, is that I had to realize that in my effort to not be my mom, to my son, I was not being his mom. The mom that he needed. I was so focused on not being the mom that I didn’t have, that I forgot to be the mom that he needed. And sometimes with type-A moms, that’s our challenge, getting out of our own way so that we could be our best self.
What advice do you have for other aspiring mompreneurs?
You know, I think if “mompreneurism” is for you, then follow your passion. I really believe passion makes complacency uncomfortable. And when you’re passionate about that which you do, you thrive, and for so long I was caught up in making money. It’s bigger than making money because if you start an entrepreneurship endeavor with only the idea to make money, then you’ll be miserable. But when you combine your passion with that entrepreneurship opportunity, then you can make your passion work towards a profit. And that is my best advice. Please try to align your passion with your entrepreneurship endeavors. Make your passions profitable.
Share how the vision and concept for the Motivated Mom Tour began?
I think I shared a bit of that earlier. It was me having that parenting session. I walked out of that parenting session saying I need to do more than advocating early education. I need to encourage and motivate moms to be great women and extraordinary moms so that we raise better kids. And I’m having a conversation with a friend of mine who happens to be a multicultural brand manager for a fortune 100 company. I had not thought about even pitching her the idea of this Motivated Mom because it didn’t exist. It was just an idea of me saying I’ve got to motivate moms to be great women and extraordinary moms. And that’s exactly what I told her. I told her about my experience. And she said, “I’m going to give you the money to do a tour.” And I was like “oh?! ok?!”
So immediately I got working on this tour, this motivated mom tour. But that’s all I had. All I had was the idea to do the tour. Well, actually I didn’t even have the idea, I just had the money. I just had the money to do the tour and everything else came as a result of it. Like everything else. I really found my purpose in that commitment. Had she not given me that money, I don’t know that I’d be the Motivated Mom today. I was just thinking “how can I motivate these moms to be great women and extraordinary moms?” Never even realizing that that was a brand in and of itself. And so, for that I’m so grateful, I’m so thankful.
Why should moms attend the Motivated Mom Tour?
You know, anytime moms have an opportunity to invest in themselves, they should. We should. The struggles and challenges that come with being a mom are great. Not only do we have to ensure that we’re taking care of ourselves so that we have the capacity to take care of our families. But we worry about our children. We’re concerned about the encounters that they have at school. How they’re being handled by other children. How the impact of someone else’s home and how they’re being raised will translate on the playground.
With all of these things happening around the world, all of the worries that we carry. The responsibility of leading our home as it relates to healthy eating, healthy budgeting, healthy living. That’s our job as moms. We drive those engagements, to the doctor or the dentist or therapist if needed. To the park, to play, to church, to worship. It’s on us.
So when it is that we have an opportunity, to come together, to inspire one another, and to be motivated, educated and celebrated. Becuase that’s what we do with the Motivated Moms Tours. We’re celebrating moms. We’re motivating moms to live their best life. The tour is an opportunity for you to come to be motivated and celebrated. And you should invest in yourself that way.
What do you accredit the success of the tour too?
My sponsors, the partners, the Prudentials, and Coca-Colas, and Hiltons, and BETs and Black Enterprise, and Cantu, and all those folks’ heart and soul. They help me put it on really. Becuase it’s definitely not a money maker. It’s not my bread and butter. And so it’s thanks to my partners that I’m even able to do it. Many of the moms come either at a discount or completely for free. So it’s not an opportunity for me to earn money. It really is an opportunity for me to motivate and celebrate moms. So I contribute the success to my family for giving me the opportunity to go and participate and my partners for investing and lending their brand and likeness to the tour, and to all the people who supported and show up. They make it successful. It’s about them, it’s for them.
Next stop is Newark, NJ October 26 – What can moms expect and look forward to?
Newark is a special one. It really is. It’s the first time that the Motivated Moms brand is collaborating with The BOSS Network‘s “Ladies that Lead Tour”. And so we’re coming together to host a mom boss edition. I’m always talking “mompreneurism” and things like that. But Cameka, with The BOSS Network, focuses on entrepreneurship for women. So together we’re having this mom boss edition at the Prudential Tower. It’s an evening event (typically it’s during the day) from 6 to 9. So while we have heavy hors-d’oeuvres, and cocktails, we’re also gonna have education.
Michele Thornton Ghee is gonna be hosting her stratechic playbook strategies to help women win in life. Cameka Smith is gonna give an award, an influence award, to a mompreneur, and then I’m gonna come up and close it out with the Motivated Mom panel. And we’re gonna have just an amazing panel.
We have Michele Meyer-Shipp, Chief diversity officer at Prudential, Rose Rock, the mom of Chris Rock, Tony Rock, and all her other 16 children. She’s amazing. We have Allen Bell, a new mom-boss, and an attorney out there from Newark, a local girl, love her. Just super excited and talking about her journey of balancing and becoming an attorney with motherhood. And then we have Toya Beasley. I happen to host a segment on Toya Beasley’s “Inspire U” radio show in New York, monthly, and she’s a mom. So amazing, we just talk a lot about our experience. She’s Toya, I’m Toyia, her son is Chance, my son is Chance; so it should be good and we have a great time on her show every month. So it will be a great time in Newark and hopefully, we’ll bring out a great crowd and continue to motivate and celebrate moms.
Doesn’t this sound amazing?! Get your tickets here today!