MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.
Welcome to our latest installment of MOMpreneur Monday, highlighting businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow mommas!
Today’s featured Modern Boca MOMpreneur is Daisy Dowling, founder and CEO of Workparent, an executive coaching and training firm that supports working moms and dads and author of the book of the same name.
Editor’s Note: We are excited to feature Daisy Dowling in our MOMpreneur Monday series as she’ll be speaking at the upcoming Festival of the Arts Boca on Sunday, March 3rd (2024). Dowling will join us for a conversation about her book, parenting, and the challenges of balance, meaning, work, and engagement. All children are welcome and you can save 20% on tickets with code: MODBOCAMOM
Tell us a little about your background and why you decided to start your business…
Hi! I’m Daisy Wademan Dowling and I’m the founder and CEO of Workparent, an executive coaching and training firm that supports working moms and dads. I’m also the author of Workparent: The Complete Guide to Succeeding on the Job, Staying True to Yourself, and Raising Happy Kids.
My business started because I saw a need – my own!
Ten years ago, when expecting my first child, I was working as an executive coach inside a big, successful corporation. My job was to help people succeed at work. I loved what I did and I was good at it. But, as I considered my future as a working parent, I felt uneasy – because I had so many questions and few answers. How was I supposed to transition work over during my parental leave? Or, manage full-time work while being an on-the job mom? Or, advocate for promotion even while getting the flexibility I needed? Remember now: I was a career expert, and I’d even published a book about leadership, but I had NO clue how to balance career and caregiving.
Because I couldn’t find any answers – there just wasn’t that one go-to book, website, or advisor – I started asking questions.
“Whenever I met a working parent, I asked the same things: what works for you? What do you wish you had known? What hacks get you through the day? And as I listened to fellow working moms and dads, I realized there’s so much knowledge, experience and wisdom out there we can benefit from – if we share it.”
Flash forward to today: Workparent has offered workshops and coached individual parents at organizations including Pfizer, Disney, Allbirds, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the U.S. Air Force – to name just a few.
What challenges did you face early on?
I can be a bit risk-averse (when you’re a mom, and working hard to support a family, sometimes you need to be!), so I started small.
While I was still working full-time inside the big company, I took all the great advice I was getting from other working parents and began offering working parent coaching services to every colleague I knew was expecting a child. Word spread quickly, and one day, after several months a senior male colleague came into my office, closed the door behind him, and said, “I hear you’re the person to speak with if I want to succeed in this career and be a great parent.”
That was a lightbulb moment for me: I knew there was a huge demand for what I was offering and I knew I could make this a successful business.
A few months later, I went out on my own and Workparent officially launched. Within a year, I could count big organizations like Publicis, Dow Jones, and State Street as clients – and have expanded each year since. The hardest part about getting the business going was “doing it all”.
As an entrepreneur, you’re the one winning clients, but you’re also the one putting together PowerPoints and fixing the printer when it won’t work. Sometimes, that can be overwhelming, but I prefer to think of growing a business as a long-term adventure – you pace yourself, and the journey is worth it.
What is unique about your services and why should our Modern Boca Mom readers become your clients?
There’s so much wonderful parenting advice and support out there and there’s so much great career advice, too. But there’s VERY little advice and service out there for folks who want to be successful at work AND terrific parents, all at the same time. It’s as if we’re supposed to be either/or, or two different people – all career, or only about family. But my approach and service is about treating you as a whole: one person, with two roles – no contradiction, and no apologies.
For most of us, combining career and parenting is the fundamental challenge of our adult lives – but nobody teaches us how to do it! Think back: Did you take a working-parent class in college? Probably not, because that class didn’t, and doesn’t, exist.
Workparent fills in the gap and provides you with everything you need to know and do from the day you find out you’re expecting until the day your child leaves home. That includes how to find care, manage your schedule – and feelings, how to advocate for yourself at work, even how to get dinner on the table and enjoy it with your kids even after a long day on the job. We’re the go-to for people who want to crush it at work and be loving parents.
What exciting things are coming up for Daisy Dowling and your business?
There are so many exciting things ahead! First: tools and support for working-parents groups. So many organizations are forming working-parents networks. Sometimes those groups are very structured and supported by the company itself, and sometimes they’re more grassroots and run by parents determined to find support and solutions for themselves and their colleagues.
We’re developing some great curriculum for those groups, so that whatever their size or budget, they can put Workparent content to use. Imagine you’re a new parent, just back from leave – and every week you can meet up with other working moms and dads inside the organization to talk about tools and solutions that work for you.
Second: international expansion. I’ve been amazed at how much demand we’ve gotten from overseas – Workparent has served moms and dads on five continents!
What do you love about working in and visiting South Florida?
South Florida is a special place for me – it’s where my kids’ dad grew up, and we spent so much family time here when the girls were small. I’m a New York City native, and I love living in the big City, but the winters can be brutal. There’s nothing like stepping off the plane into the warm Florida sunshine, leaving the cold-weather gear behind, and watching my kids enjoy the pool or beach. Heaven!
Don’t forget! Daisy Dowling will be speaking at the upcoming Festival of the Arts Boca on Sunday, March 3rd (2024). Dowling will join us for a conversation about her book, parenting, and the challenges of balance, meaning, work, and engagement. Children are welcome and you can save 20% on tickets with code: MODBOCAMOM
Connect with Daisy Dowling, author of Workparent:
- Main Website: https://workparent.com/
- Instagram: @daisywdowling
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daisy-dowling-5b3368/
- Purchase Workparent (affiliate)