We recognize May is a busy month. The school year is rapidly coming to an end. Students are getting pushed from the comfort of their nests into the real word – where a sometimes intimidating workforce awaits. And it’s the month of Mother’s Day – the time of year where we pay homage to all the smart advice and encouragement moms provide us with. Combine all of this together and what do you get? Fodder for a great conversation with Lisa Raper Rowe, entrepreneur, successful business woman and mom.
Lisa is a co-founder of UpSpring Baby, an Austin-based company that prides itself on bringing innovative products for moms and babies into the consumer space. We sat down with Lisa to get her take on business and family, and the delicate balance that succeeding in both realms requires.
KellerINK Team: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. What have your experiences with mentors been to date?
Lisa Rowe: I believe mentors are absolutely imperative when you are looking to succeed in business. It’s invaluable to have people in your life who’ve “been there and done that,” as they can guide you and provide you with advice in a way that others cannot. I’ve had several mentors as my business has evolved and grown. When we were first starting UpSpring Baby, I relied on the advice of Kevin McCade, who was a senior financial executive at Dell. He provided a financial and personal perspective I appreciated.
I was once given a great piece of advice from another mentor who told me while it is good – and necessary – to have a vision of what we wanted the future of the business to look like, it was important to be flexible while staying true to your core values. And we found this advice to be true in our own business when we found it necessary to shift away from some of the earlier products we were focused on. It was an important lesson learned – and one we were better prepared for thanks to a mentor’s advice.
KellerINK Team: Mother’s Day is upon us, and not only are you a business owner, but also a mom. Where do you struggle when it comes to balancing your career with your role as a parent?
Lisa Rowe: It’s hard not to let work take up too much mindshare. I’ve found I need to schedule time away to turn off that part of my brain. One of my mentors suggested actually scheduling one-on-one time with my family. It may sound funny to some that I block time for this – but I find it’s nice to have time that I know I will be purely focused on my family when I am not to be distracted.
KellerINK Team: What does being a “mompreneur” mean to you?
Lisa Rowe: Being a “mompreneur” means that my personal life and my business life overlap, which can be both a good and a bad thing. I’ve been involved in UpSpring Baby since my son was two – in fact, he was part of the inspiration for starting it. He sees how hard his mom works and knows what it means to build a business from scratch. He hears about it at the dinner table every night. But at the same time, my being a “mompreneur” means that my son is learning about a completely different career path he may be able to take one day because of the lessons he’s learning from watching his mom.
KellerINK Team: What’s your drive as a business woman? As a mom? How do these overlap?
Lisa Rowe: I believe drive has to come from within. I’ve always been a hard worker. And as a mom, my drive influences my commitment to ensuring my son has security both now and into the future. It’s important that my legacy for my son is that he understands how to define success. I want him to know that success is an individual accomplishment that needs to come from within in order to be authentic. I want him to understand that if you are diligent and work hard, you can create your own life and destiny. He needs to know this so that he can achieve it himself.
KellerINK Team: As a “mompreneur,” it seems like your personal and professional worlds are always intertwined. So tell us, what’s your favorite part of the day?
Lisa Rowe: I like the late afternoon, early evening best. For me, this is a transitioning time, when I can reflect on what I got done over the course of the day and move into concentrating on the time I will get to spend with my family in the evening.
Lisa is confident that her business acumen and professional decisions will positively influence her son as he makes his own workplace choices down the road. What life lessons do you want your business and career decisions to teach your children? And, what ways are you going to show your appreciation for the women that do and mean so much in our lives this Sunday? #theONEthing