Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Annie Warshaw, Co-Founder, and CEO of Mission Propelle, located in Skokie, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Mission Propelle equips companies to retain working parents (focusing on moms) & support their wellbeing. Through their one-of-a-kind approach (coaching + policy review/work culture analysis), Mission Propelle offers objective, compassionate, and progressive solutions to their clients. Their work creates sustainability for parents both within the home and workplace. After working with Mission Propelle, employees feel seen, validated, and invested in by their employers, the perfect recipe for a commitment to the company.
Tell us about yourself
When we entered lockdown in 2020, my business partner Jill and I recognized through personal interactions and countless articles that moms in the workforce needed help, and they needed it immediately. Given our success with our other company, scaling it while taking five maternity leaves with kids in tow, and being award-winning educators and experts in gender studies, we set to work to create content that was reflective of the needs of parents through extensive research process. We were able to create a consulting agency that helps folks wake up each day ready to not just slug through the day but actually find sustainability and joy.
We are motivated to keep going because we are seeing real change in our clients. We are helping women reach for higher positions, create equitable partnerships in their homes, set boundaries at work and home, and get back some of their personal time. It feels awesome to know we are making women's lives a bit easier.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One month after starting Mission Propelle, I became pregnant with my third child. I took a full leave just eight months after starting the company. Despite stepping away (and running for political office + running a pre-school for my kids + teaching for a university + running our second company), we were able to grow our business and obtain stellar clients. The clients we were able to get in those early months have continued to work with us and have helped us connect with other organizations.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
With a new business, the inconsistency in a paycheck can be tough when family planning. We have another company that is a well-oiled machine, and we were able to pay ourselves a consistent salary. Starting again from scratch, you forget that cash flow dictates your personal finances. It takes extra planning and determination to hit our goals, but with strategic thinking, we have been able to meet our needs.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Utilize your network; you know more people than you think you do, and people are willing to help.
- Always have someone to bounce ideas off of and put you in check.
- Don't overcomplicate things; often times the solution is simple and obtainable.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Mission Propelle now works with start-ups to create policy and practice that reflects their values. We are able to help companies think strategically about the role of parents in their organization (especially as they grow) and how to attract top talent.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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