How to Be a Successful Mompreneur in Business

Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Ronda Jackson, @designsby_decor. Ronda Jackson, Founder and Chief Workplace Stylist of Decor Interior Design, Inc., is a true American success story. Born in a west-side Chicago project tenement as one of fifteen children, Ronda has overcome many hurdles. The savvy entrepreneur and single mother of two has successfully grown her small business into a multi-million-dollar firm that has been named within Fortune Magazine’s Top 100. You can learn more at

SmallBizLady: What are some hurdles you’ve faced being a working, single mom?

Ronda Jackson: My biggest hurdle is myself. As mothers we are in a constant giving mode, depleting ourselves day in and day out. I was seeking success at the expense of my health, relationships, and vitality. I have released unrealistic expectations of myself—realizing there is nothing to prove, it’s ok to ask for help, and it’s ok for a dirty dish to stay in the sink overnight.

SmallBizLady: How do you balance work and family life?

Ronda Jackson: Every 24 hours, moms are shifting and rotating priorities. I finally started reverse engineering my day. I reserve an hour a day for me, an hour a day for each of my sons and divide the rest amongst sleep, eat and work.

SmallBizLady: How did running your business change after having kids?

Ronda Jackson: My sons are my why; they are the catalyst of why I do what I do. Décor allows me to be the best mom possible. By taking really good care of both Décor and my boys…I’m living an entrepreneur’s dream.

SmallBizLady: How do you find time for yourself between running a business and raising kids?

Ronda Jackson: At the end of each day, I spend time nourishing and replenishing my mind, body, and spirit. I dedicate time every week to work on myself: reading, learning, growing, creating new experiences to keep my well full.

SmallBizLady: How do you measure success?

Ronda Jackson: I measure success by how many times I get back up, defeat uncertainty, and contend with rejection. I measure success in moments and remind myself that the small wins count too.

SmallBizLady: How important is networking when growing a business?

Ronda Jackson: The most valuable time, for me, is when I share my time and resources with other awesome like-minded people. They say who you spend time with is who you become. I surround myself with individuals who are committed to greatness, leadership and personal responsibility.

SmallBizLady: What are some “best practices” that you’ve learned along the way?

Ronda Jackson: I choose to laugh at myself and at life. Humility is my BFF.

SmallBizLady: Do you feel that having a mentor is necessary when starting a business?

Ronda Jackson: I am life’s apprentice. I study and learn from the people that have already figured out what I want to know. I have received and applied practical, smart, inspiring and empowering wisdom that has saved me years in business and millions in therapy.

SmallBizLady: How do you overcome feelings of working-mom-guilt when you are pulled in so many different directions?

Ronda Jackson: My 7-year-old son told me he needs 11 minutes a day of my time. The boys and I have a daily ritual of discussing the best part and worst part of our day. As long as I’m not on the worst part of their day list, then I’m feeling guilt-free.

SmallBizLady: What is a typical day like as a CEO and mom?

Ronda Jackson: I start my day pretty early. It keeps away the feeling of overwhelm. I try not to wear too many hats at the same time. Once I get the boys to school, my workday starts. My car is my mobile office; most of my day is ran from there.

SmallBizLady: Do you feel that motherhood has made you an even better businesswoman? If so, how?

Ronda Jackson: There are a lot of parallels between motherhood and business. The biggest thing that motherhood has taught me is to seek perspective. When parenting, you get down to your child’s level, create a safe place, and offer sage and appropriate advice. Priceless in the boardroom!!!

SmallBizLady: What advice do you have for moms who are looking to start a business?

Ronda Jackson: Be sure to select a business that compliments your desired lifestyle. Then build your business for the life you want, not for the life you have.

If you enjoyed this interview, please join us live on Twitter every Wednesday from 8-9 pm ET. Just follow the hashtag #Smallbizchat, and don’t forget to follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.

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