Who says kids and startups don't mix? For this founder, her family not only inspired the idea behind her startup, but was also instrumental in getting it up and running. By Rehana Shrestha (Founder & CEO, Nurturize)
I bootstrapped and launched Nurturize while being a full-time working mother of two young kids. I have founded and owned other businesses in the past, but I realized that starting a business while taking care of kids would be quite challenging to say the least. However, I am a firm believer that nothing is impossible, and it turns out my family wasn't simply a challenge; it was also instrumental to getting my startup off the ground.
When I started looking for a swimming class for my four-year-old daughter a year ago, I literally spent hours browsing websites, emailing and calling providers. Then in summer, I looked to enroll her in a dance class and ended up not even signing her up simply because I could not find the provider that best fit my schedule and commute. I started my search and called a couple of providers, but it just became too frustrating, so I ended my search.
After that experience, I realized the gap that existed. I started researching further and saw that there is not any centralized platform for classes period: kids, teens and adult classes. That was my “Aha!” moment, so I started building the tool based on the idea. I knew other parents are facing the same challenge, and I wanted to make searching and finding the right class painless. I figured we could spend so much more time with our loved ones if we were spending less time searching on the internet. This could also allow us to have more time to ourselves to nurture our potential and discover new passions. Wouldn’t it be nice to find some ME time after taking care of kids to learn salsa dancing or take a fitness class to feel great? I decided to help other parents find time to make better choices for a happy and healthy life.
My kids may have provided the idea that sparked my business, but I would not have had the guts to do it without my husband. He has supported me in every step. He is also a techie who has been the mastermind in designing and building the platform. I also have supportive family and friends and have benefited from their advice and mentorship. I have learned a lot from my experience, including:
- Do not give up. The thought of starting a business can be daunting. Add to that, kids, work and other responsibilities and you add mounting pressure. However, we have to understand that this is our passion, and it matters, and we will always be able to find better ways to manage things, so never give up on your dream.
- Organize and prioritize. I would not have been able to start a company without effective time management, organization and prioritization. I had to spend time wisely because my time was limited.
- Every day is a day to learn new things. Because I am new to this business, I have set aside time each day for research, expanding my network, and learning how other businesses run. I have also been attending different events to meet and learn from other entrepreneurs.
- Help others. Recalling the pain and trouble I went through searching for classes for my daughter, which need not be repeated by anyone, motivates me to succeed.
Women 2.0 readers: How has your family contributed to your entrepreneurial success?
About the guest blogger: Rehana Shrestha is the Founder and CEO of Nurturize Inc, a VA-based company whose mission is to streamline the class-finding experience so you get into the right class quickly and easily. She started her first business importing and selling handicrafts from her native country, Nepal. She also co-owned a restaurant business for number of years. She holds a MS in Information Systems from Kennesaw State University. Photo credi: thejbird via Flickr.