Stephanie Johnson is the Founder and CEO, of Bed Rest Concierge. A business that offers maternity concierge services to expectant mothers who are on doctor-ordered bed rest during pregnancy. Read on to find out how Stephanie's own pregnancy changed the course of her career path.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant and spent 26 weeks on bed rest that I thought of changing my career. My journey and path found me, after my experience, I knew that I had to make a difference in the lives of other women. I launched my company two months after I had my daughter. I was on a mission. Starting my company came at a great time, I was a new mom and I wanted to find a way to stay-at-home with my daughter and have a viable income.
What did you do before launching a maternity concierge business?
In my former life (circa 2010) I was in Corporate Finance. I worked for major companies like Dr. Pepper and American Airlines Center.
How did you fund your business?
I had a very supportive spouse that funded all of my endeavors in the beginning. I also tapped into my savings for marketing and memberships into different Chambers of Commerce. I felt like I was making an investment in myself and in my daughter’s future and for that, I was willing to pay the penalties.
How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent in your home office?
Countless hours are spent in my office. I set up a play area for my 1-year-old daughter and I work around her nap schedule, playtimes, and so on. I get lots of work done after hours. From 9 pm until around 2 am you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and online researching products and companies that would be beneficial to my resting mommies. I’m in my office/sanctuary seven days a week. I truly wouldn’t want it any other way.
How would you rate your success?
I will have my 1-year anniversary on June 9, 2011, and there's more interest and buzz about my business than ever. The fact that people are interested in the effects of bed rest on women is truly the success. Hospitals call me and request information on my services for their patients, I pinch myself every single time that happens. My company is viable and thriving, and to know that it was just an idea that I put into action, I couldn’t ask for more.
What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?
Being confident in my own decisions. There are still many people who truly don’t understand what I do, and I just had to realize it’s not my job to convince them to believe in my business in any way. I have to stay focused on what I know is important – that’s the company and the women we serve.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
Know every aspect of your business. Write all of your own checks, you need to know where every dollar goes. Think of your business as a whole, don’t just focus on today, forecast, think about where you want to be, where you see your brand going. And number one, always go with your gut. I should have started with that one!
How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?
I schedule everything; the only things that are spontaneous are events with my daughter. Scheduling helps me maintain my balance. I use project software and have calendars and alarms going off every minute. I don’t spread myself too thin. I always leave time for me to just sit, sometimes in the morning or late at night; I turn everything off and refresh.
Thanks to Stephanie Johnson for sharing her story!
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