My Entrepreneurial Journey
On Wednesday I taught a course in Williamsburg Brooklyn for Ulta Orthodox Women. It is a business course offered through SUNY but for women only, in a modest and separate environment. My topic is entrepreneurial management.
The challenge is adapting my content to be relevant. These women are not on twitter and facebook. Social media and online marketing don’t mean anything. They also don’t interact in the world in the same way as they are limited in their exposure to media etc. So I had to figure out how to make my session meaningful and relevant.
I discussed how being a mom is the best training ground for being an entrepreneur. Motherhood – no rules, go with punches, make a mistake and start again, belief in yourself and how the best planning can fall apart when your kids get sick. Of course sleep deprivation is common to both.
I also shared my journey. I have always been driven and was a budding entrepreneur since I was 12 and tutoring friends for chocolates. By university I had started a few businesses. My goal was to make it to the front page of Business Week or Fortune. That was my vision of success.
Along the way I became religious and I saw people passionate about changing the world. Now I had a dilemma I want that too. I wanted to change the world and be successful. I shared with the class how I discussed this with my Rabbi and he said “Jodi does the world need another business person or someone who can contribute to the Jewish People?”. That night I thought long and hard about his question and decided it is not either or. I can do both. That decision has defined my path since.
My parents who are not religious have never understood why I devote so many volunteer hours to the Jewish world. Just yesterday my dad was suggesting I give up the Jewish stuff and focus 100 percent of my efforts to make money.
Over the years my definition of success changed. It is no longer about making it to Fortune. Success for me is balance: to be a great mother and wife, active and engaged in my community, successful business person and to know that each night when I get into bed I changed the world in my own way.
Metroimmas, how do you change the world as entrepreneurs and mothers?
Originally published: January 28, 2012