What mom doesn't want to be a millionaire? The good news is that, with a little bit of business savviness, turning a side-job into as seven figure salary is possible. The one thing that all of these millionaire moms have in common is perseverance when the circumstances were less than ideal. They have paved the way for other mothers to adopt their spirit and follow in their footsteps.
All it takes is a good idea, at the right time, with an entrepreneurial spirit to make a hobby into a career. According to The Millionaire Mom, Lenika Scott, there are a few truths to hold on to in order to become a successful career woman after having children:
" Be consistent: Being consistent today will affect future results tomorrow. Be consistent in everything.
Have a strong work ethic: There is no getting around it, being successful takes hard work. Or, as Scott puts it, "Diligence is the key and when this virtue is applied, success is inevitable."
Be humble: "Humility is staying teachable no matter how much you know!" Humility keeps you open to continue learning.
Be resilient: Not everything will always go smoothly, so be willing to learn from mistakes and be able to bounce back.
Be forgiving: In business and life, focus on the positive. Be willing to forgive yourself and others.
Take risks: Don't be afraid to take calculated risks. If they don't turn out well, learn from it. Risks teach perseverance.
Own it: At the end of the day, believe it, execute it, and OWN IT! "
Let's read about 20 moms who made their dreams into a reality!
19 Ida Backlund - Rapunzel Of Sweeden Hair Extensions, $10 Million
Ida Backlund was a stay-at-home mom who started selling hair extensions to her friends. After receiving some positive feedback from her friends, she decided to expand her clientele and look for a way to create a side business, which she later named Rapunzel of Sweden. Eight years later, her side business now has half a million customers in 60 countries and with sales upwards of $12 million.
With her success, Backlund is refusing to settle for her current market.
Her vision over the next few years is to expand into tupés in order to grow her business even further.
Moms who have an idea, whether it is a hook for your keys or hair extensions for your friends, have to potential to reach seven-figure salaries for their side business. All it takes to succeed is stern perseverance and a keen eye for what will sell.
18 Victoria Molyneaux - Want That Trend On Facebook, $9 Million
Victoria Molyneaux, age 28, started selling dresses on Facebook after giving birth to her daughter. Her marketing authenticity stems from acting as her own model, posting selfies in her dresses and networking within social media.
By selling her clothing on Facebook, she reaches moms who don't necessarily have time to bring their fussy toddler on a clothes shopping trip.
Her inspiration, she told MailOnline, was that, "My body changed so much when I was pregnant and after I had my daughter, and I noticed there was a lack of affordable clothing that hid the insecurities that came with being a new mum."
Victoria sure is doing it right! She processes 1,000 invoices a day and Want That Trend had $9 million in revenue in its first year.
17 Janice Bryant Howroyd - Act 1 Personnel Services, $1.1 Billion
Janice Bryant Howroyd founded her temporary employment staffing firm, ACT-1, with a $900 loan from her mother. She started in a small office with only a fax machine and telephone, all while taking care of her young son. Now, 34 years later, ACT-1 is the largest American company of its kind owned by a woman of color with over 70 branches nationwide.
Howroyd is the first African-American woman to own a billion-dollar business. As a mom of two, Howroyd says her family has also taken interest in making sure ACT-1 continues to be a success. Her son Brett is president of AppleOne, and her daughter Kay is in charge of the company's online branding, according to CNBC. Way to turn working for the family into working for a billion-dollar business!
16 Victoria Knight-McDowell - Airborne, $100 Million
Victoria Knight-McDowell was a second grade teacher who was tired of getting sick from her constant contact with her students. So – viola! – she invented the Airborne supplements. After testing it herself, she thought other teachers would benefit from her herbal remedy and she started running the Airborne business on the side.
Eventually, Knight-McDowell quit her teaching job to run Airborne full-time and to care for her newborn son.
She says that, "as a working mom, very little about the business world could faze me, because it was less important than any family dramas." By 2004, Airborne was on the shelves of major retailers across America. She sold the company to a private equity firm, but not before annual sales climbed to $100 million!
15 Cathy Hughes - Radio One, $460 Million
Cathy Hughes was a teenage mother turned a media power player. She started out her career as a divorced, single mom who would spend her nights at the office with her son. Through true grit, she built her empire as the founder of Radio One. Her company includes 53 radio stations in the U.S., BET network, and TVOne cable network.
As her company grew, Hughes included her son Alfred Liggins in its development. She says that working together was, "quite challenging at first. All family businesses are challenging because it’s like, 'hey, this is the kid who used to need the key to the front door. Suppose he loses the key to the office?' But he and I have done it for a long period now, so the kinks have pretty much been worked out."
Recently, Hughes and her son were named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and Hughes was acknowledged as the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded corporation.
14 Alicia Shaffer - Three Bird Nest On Etsy, $1 Million
Alicia Shaffer makes $80,000 a month selling hand-made headbands, scarves, and jewelry on Etsy. She started her business by hand-crafting headbands and selling them to make a few extra dollars for dance lessons and soccer team fees for her children.
During her first week, her Etsy business sold about three items.
Three weeks later, business started to pick up and Shaffer received 90 orders in one day. She named her business Three Bird Nest, inspired by her children, and she now employs a team of 15 moms who knit her creations. With her success, Shaffer's husband was able to retire early as a fire chief and she collects a yearly salary equal to that of an orthopedic surgeon.
13 Sandy Stein - Finders Key Purse, $25 Million
Every mom loses her keys; it's in the unwritten "mom code of daily life." Sandy Stein spent over 30 years working as a flight attendant, and she became a millionaire after her nifty little invention allowed her to attach her keys to her purse so they didn't disappear into her bag.
Finders Key Purse is now worth 25 million dollars and she quit her job as a flight attendant in order to work on her business full time.Talk about a salary upgrade! Stein was just a regular mom who wanted to make something useful for her day-to-day life. Now, she is racking in the millions!
12 Sheri Schmelzer - Crocs Jibbitz, $300 Million
Sheri Schmelzer used her children as inspiration when she proved that you don’t always have to create something totally new in order to achieve financial success. Schmelzer modified the popular Croc shoe so that every young child (and adult) had an opportunity to bling it out!
By filling in the Croc shoe holes with little pinned accessories, Schmelzer launch a multi-million dollar business.
As a mom, Schmelzer saw something her kids were already using and found a way to customize it to her kids' personalities. Her story goes to show that any mom with a knack for seeing possibilities in everyday objects has the potential to become a millionaire.
11 JK Rowling - Harry Potter Series, $650 Million
Most people know Harry Potter's story, but do you know author JK Rowling's story? Rowling scribbled her idea for the smash-hit escapist books on a napkin she found on a delayed train from Manchester to London. What's incredible is that she typed the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, in Edinburgh cafés while accompanied by baby daughter Jessica.
As a mom who has tried to write with a toddler in tow, I can imagine just how much of a challenge it was for Rowling to write and mother her daughter at the same time. Way to go, Rowling, for not just managing this difficult task, but also becoming a millionaire in the process!
10 Lenika Scott - The Millionaire Mom Branding, $2 Million
Lenika Scott, mother of six, was a stay-at-home-mom who knew she needed to contribute to her home's finances. She began online success coaching and began marketing herself as "The Millionaire Mom."
Through her connections and relationships with other moms, she launched her own personal brand and an internet show which features mom entrepreneurs from around the world.
Scott says that her success coaching "is important because it allows me to empower and show other moms that living their dreams are possible through real stories and take-away strategies that apply to life and business." Today, Lenika is CEO of Scott Marketing Group LLC as well as an entrepreneur, an author and speaker, a life coach, minister, and mentor. This mother of six has quite the busy life!
9 Jen Smith - Stock Market Player, $1 Million
Known as “The Millionaire Mommy Next Door," Jen Smith began dabbling in half a dozen small online businesses while she worked from home in her pajamas. When she wasn't working on turning a profit with her multiple small businesses, Smith was researching the stock market. With her profits, Smith began investing in the stock market and making her money work for her.
Smith went from earning minimum wage as a graveyard shift donut and coffee waitress to financial freedom as a self-made millionaire by age 40. Learning how to invest her profits wisely turned this mom from a waitress to a pajama-wearing, online-business savvy millionaire. She recently published a book called The Millionaire Mommy Next Door to help other moms replicate her success.
8 Julie Aigner-Clark - Baby Einstein Videos, $12 Million
Julie Aigner-Clark was a stay-at-home mom who was having difficulty finding educational videos and materials which would expose her baby to music and the arts. Aigner-Clark decided to take it upon herself to make a video in her basement and marketed it as the first segment within the Baby Einstein series.
Eventually, Baby Einstein and all of its products were bought by Disney.
Before the acquisition, Baby Einstein produced $12 million dollars in revenue since Aigner-Clark filmed that first basement video.
Aigner-Clark's dream of creating educational materials for infants has influenced numerous childhood development shows while turning a profit for herself in the process. A big thank you from all the mothers out there who appreciate Aigner-Clark's perspective on early childhood education!
7 Marcy McKenna - Style & Go Kit, $1 Million
Marcy McKenna is a mom of three who off-handedly asked her seven-year-old son to make something to organize all of her haircare products in the bathroom. Without hesitation, her son picked up his legos and built the first prototype of the Style & Go kit.
McKenna calls his invention only one step in a legacy of "the invention family business." Her grandfather, a soldier in WWII, had over 100 patents to his name, so fostering her children's creative spirit is a parental philosophy of McKenna's. "A problem gets me excited," she says. "It means there’s a solution. Where there’s a solution, there‘s an invention, and where there's an invention, there's a product."
McKenna was incredibly excited when she won the Homemade Millionaire invention competition with her son's design. Together, they went on to turn the Style & Go kit into a million dollar business.
6 Joy Mangano - Miracle Mop, $10 Million
Joy Mangano was a single mom who was struggling to support her family and stumbled upon an ingenious idea during a cleaning session. She was growing frustrated with how dirty and wet her hands were getting from wringing out the mop she was using, so she began designing what would become known as the Miracle Mop.
With only $250, she got a prototype made and began selling her product.
Mangano has created multiple inventions and new products to solve simple needs, but she is most well-known for her Miracle Mop. In one year, this nifty cleaning tool is responsible for about $10 million in sales on average!
5 Julie Deane - Cambridge Satchel Company, $21 Million
Julie Deane's daughter was being bullied, so Deane swore she would figure out a way to get her daughter into a private school. With the steep tuition bill of $31,000, Deane decided to invest any money she could spare into a business idea. As a born-and-bred British woman, she found inspiration in her homeland: "I am outraged, properly outraged, because the satchel is the most British bag you can ever imagine. Everybody had a satchel at school, but nobody was making them. Nobody was making satchels in Britain," she says.
So Deane decided she would be the one to start making quality satchels. This business decision resulted in a net worth of $21 million dollars and more than enough money to send her daughter to the private school of her choice.
4 Danisha Hoston - Real Estate Tycoon, $2 Million
Hoston was a struggling single-mom on welfare when she built her own million-dollar real estate business. At a difficult time in her life, when the father of her child passed away of cancer ten weeks after their daughter's birth, she could easily have given up hope of achieving success.
Instead, she turned her difficult circumstances into an opportunity where she could utilize her gift for marketing.
Today, Hoston says that the most important role in her life is being a mom to her daughter, and building a loving home for her new blended family with her new husband, former NFL tight end, George Wrighster and her stepchildren.
3 Debra Cohen - Home Remedies Referral Network, $4 Million
Debra Cohen gave up her high-powered career to stay home with her daughter after she was born. As luck would have it, not only was Cohen able to watch her daughter grow up, but she also used her home as an inspiration for her million-dollar business venture.
Staying home with her daughter after traveling the world meant that Cohen didn't know many people in her town. One day, when a squirrel got stuck in her attic, she felt a keen discomfort with the parade of painters, construction workers, and other contractors coming in and out of her house to take care of the damages. This discomfort inspired her to start a company where people could refer services based on the trustworthiness and competence of the company. In no time, Cohen was making millions of dollars with her new online referral business, Home Remedies Referral Network.
2 Stephanie Myer - Twilight, $125 Million
Stephenie Meyer describes herself as a stay-at-home mom to her three boys. As a mother, she spent her days daydreaming about a vampire romance story and managed to turn her musings into a novel even while taking care of her children. Twilight, a story where a human girl falls in love with a vampire. was an epic hit for publishers and Hollywood alike as it quickly turned into a multi-million dollar idea.
As soon as Meyer sent her first book to her publishers, they recognized its potential to become a cult classic.
Almost immediately, she signed a $750,000 three-book deal based on her vampire love story. Even after her fame, Meyer still refers to herself as a stay-at-home mom, first and foremost.
1 Debbi Fields - Mrs. Field's Baked Goods, $450 Million
Mrs. Fields is a household name when it comes to baked goods. When Debbi Fields, a stay-at-home mom, wanted to make her cookie recipe into a business, she received practically no support from her family. In her own words, "My family thought I was crazy. They told me I didn’t have any money, education, or experience, but hearing them made me only more determined."
She started asking for loans and, finally, she managed to get one from the bank with 21% interest. Overjoyed, she used the loan to build her baking empire that has an annual revenue of $450 million. This mom who had a desire to share her chocolate-chip cookies with the world became a millionaire several times over.
References: Black Business | Daily Mail| CNBC | Kiplinger | Media Bistro | Fastcodesign | The Telegraph | Millionaire Mom | Daily Mail | CNBC | The Muse | Home Referral Network | Medium | Forbes | Business News Daily | Business Insider | Millionaire Mommy Next Door