It's All A Learning Experience

If you're anything like me when you make a mistake you're pretty hard on yourself. As I grow in my business I'm learning to embrace my failures, learn from them and move forward.  If I cannot become better from my mistakes then I have not learned anything.  This week blog post is short and sweet I want you to remember this: When you learned to ride a bike, you probably fell a few times BUT you got right back up and kept going until you were able to ride without falling, help from others or training wheels. Well it's the same thing with life and business, when you make a mistake you learn from it!  You don't quit, hide or blame someone else you learn from your mistake(s) and you keep going.  CG

September Feature: Tonya Parker

  • Name: Tonya Parker
  • Name of Company:
  • Years in Business: 1
  • Hashtags you live by: #singlemomchiclife  #truth  #goals

  • WHY: Tell us why you started your business/blog – etc: I started my blog after publishing my book Single Mom Chic about my experiences as a former single mom. I received so much feedback from readers about how they were inspired by the book and I wanted another way to connect with readers on a more personal level.
The Easy Questions:
  • When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? A counselor. I am a school counselor and I love it.
  • What was your first business idea? My daughter and I had an online designer consignment business.
  • What do you wish you knew before starting your business? That it takes time to really build your business and clientele. We had an okay first year but I was very impatient.
  • What did you learn from your worse boss? How not to treat people. I always want anyone who works with or for me to feel valued and feel a connection with what we’re presenting to to the world.
  • What’s your highest level of education? Master's Degree
  • Who inspires you and why? Oprah, Steve Jobs and my daughters. I love Oprah’s story of survival and success and I admire Steve Jobs’ dedication and laser like focus. I admire both of my daughters for their creativity and authenticity. They aren’t afraid to think differently.
  • Top 3 books to read this summer? Here’s to Us, Grit, and The Mindfulness Key
  • What are you currently reading? All 3 listed above.

Let’s Talk About Business:
  • What was your strangest marketing experiment? A giveaway. I didn’t know that people actually make a living entering giveaways. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I thought it was more organic. I was a little disappointed when a man won my first Single Mom Chic giveaway. I was hoping it would go to a single mom.
  • How do you maximize social media? I am a little late to the Instagram party but I am loving it. I am still growing a following but I love connecting with other moms and bloggers. I know there are ways to increase your following but I love that mine has grown organically. I am all about authenticity. I use Facebook a lot as well.
  • What did you learn from your biggest failure? Don’t give up, find another way.
  • How important is it for you to do your best? Very important. I pride myself on always giving my all.
  • How do you feel about failures?  What does it mean to fail? I think that failure is really a route to success. You can’t fail if you don’t try and you can’t succeed without trying which will inevitably lead to some failure.
  • Any money saving tips? Be minimalist but invest in quality. You aren’t really saving money if you are constantly replacing things. Spend more time doing and less time buying. I am working on that second tip myself.
How do you do it?
  • Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere! News, social media, print, friends, coworkers, etc.
  • As a (single mompreneur / mompreneur) how do you balance?  Organization and scheduling. I plan out my days and keep myself on a pretty structured schedule.
  • How is it being a (single mompreneur / mompreneur) running a business, working, or going to school? I was a single mom for 13 years and it was tough to balance it all but I did. I got two kids through school and into college and finished three degrees myself.
  • What advice would you give other (single mompreneurs / mompreneurs)? Build your team. I talk about that in my book Single Mom Chic. I couldn’t have made it through my single mom journey without support from my friends and family. You don’t have to do it alone!
  • With the kids and other things happening in your life, where and when do you find the time to work on your craft/business/ study? I make it a priority and post to social media daily and write blog posts on the weekends. I have a full time job but I used to teach part time at the local community college. When I moved I decided to let that go and make blogging a priority so now I have hung up my professor hat and blogging is my other job.

  • What’s it like dating and being a single mom? I wrote a whole chapter on it in my book. It’s probably one of my favorites. It was definitely interesting and I have 13 years worth of stories. I think it is a little more difficult because you have more to consider. It isn't “is this person good for me” it’s “is this person good for us”.
  • Challenges?   I was definitely less forgiving in what I would accept in a long term mate because I had to make sure my daughters had the best person in their liv
    es too.

  • Sometimes you have to make tough decisions whether it’s personal, family, relationships or business. Do you ever feel misunderstood? Give examples or details. Not really, I am pretty straightforward and very decisive.  I am kind of the go to person when someone else needs to make a tough decision.
  • How important would you say is having a support system?  Who’s a part of your circle? Again, building your team is a chapter in my book. I think it is essential. My parents, my brothers, my best friend and her husband, coworkers and other single mom friends were all a part of my team.
  • Have you ever felt judged being a single mother? How? When? Sure, It is one of the reasons I wrote the book. I wanted to show other single moms that you didn’t have to listen to the naysayers and your children aren't doomed to be statistics.
  • What’s one thing you’d like all of us non single moms to know about single motherhood? Sisterhood is essential. If you have a circle of friends don’t exclude single moms. They have as much to give as anyone else. My relationship with my married best friend was reciprocal. We did a lot of family activities together but I had their daughter over for play-dates and sleepovers as often as they had mine. It was a give and give relationship. Oh, and don’t worry they don’t want your husbands. Single moms want single guys!
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