Dear Mamas, the Best Time to Start is Now.

By | Little Nugget App, Mompreneurs

Over the last few month’s I’ve had conversations with several amazing mama’s who have great business ideas. They’ve considered starting a business but aren’t sure the time is right. Or they are dabbling with a passion on the side and can’t convince themselves it’s time to take the leap. Their biggest question for me has been this: “When do you know it’s time to turn that idea, that hobby, that passion, into a full-blown investment of your time and savings?” Well, the simple answer: “Yesterday.”  Just do it. Make it happen because you will never know until you give it a go.

Now, I get the answer isn’t always that simple. There is always a risk to starting a business. Every case is different. But here are five reasons I think you should start now:

  1. Technology is your bestie. It’s amazing how much flexibility technology lends to a new business. Like many of you, I’m a busy mom chasing around a toddler. My priority is my daughter and I can’t swing 80-hour work weeks. The majority of my business communications happen online. I have flexibility to do business whenever, and whenever I need to. The internet is a wonderful thing.
  2. You don’t have to risk it all. Worrying about risk is totally understandable. Especially if your household is depending on two paychecks. Start your business on the side. Time will prove if it’s worth taking the leap into full-time.
  3. You are not alone. Women need a community now more than ever. Fortunately the community of mom entrepreneurs is amazingly large and incredibly supportive. Don’t believe me? Head over to HeyMama to see some amazing things moms are doing in the world. It’s truly incredible.
  4. Waiting won’t help. When I said start yesterday, I meant it. Your idea is probably right for right now. If you don’t succeed, that’s okay. I’m sure at that point you’ll already have a handful other ideas lined up!
  5. It will make you happy. Don’t wait until you’ve reached the stage of regret. If you don’t try, you will always question that decision. Building you own business is hard work. But there is so much gratification in building something and seeing it come to life.

In the days leading up to Little Nugget’s launch [SPOILER ALERT!], I’ve done a lot of reflecting on the past nine months of my life. This business has truly grown to become my second baby. The joys Little Nugget has brought to my life have far outweighed the tears. Back in June I was so scared to take that leap. But I’m so happy that I did. Now it’s almost time to share my baby with the world. Get ready mamas, you’re going to love it!

A Sneak Peek of Our New Baby App

By | Little Nugget App | No Comments

Little Nugget, our new baby app, is still cookin’ and coming to an iOS App Store near you, very, very soon. The app will help you capture and curate your baby’s sweet moments and major milestones in a photo. Trust me, the anticipation is killing me just the same. Little Nugget is my second baby and I just can’t wait to share it with all of you!

In the meantime here is a look at my favorite features that you will be able to find within the baby app. Consider this your 8 week ultrasound. It will provide a first glimpse at that teddy bear-shaped nugget in your belly. Over the next few weeks I’ll dive deeper so you can see all the little fingers and toes.

Okay, time to ditch the metaphor and get to the good stuff. Here are my five favorite app features:

Sneak Peek_Little Nugget_Features

  1. Curate Important Moments: If you’re like me, you have thousands of baby photos on your phone. When it comes time to print a baby book, finding the right photo is near impossible. Little Nugget curates those important baby moments, making it super simple to look back on your baby’s first year.by books. Speaking of printing…
  2. Print Baby Books and Photos: The Little Nugget app will have a built-in printing function. That means you don’t even have to leave the app to print your baby pics. You will have the option to print baby books, journals, prints, postcards, and phone cases. Are you drooling yet?
  3. 500+ Adorable Artworks: We’ve been working with the best designers to create adorable, hand drawn artwork to add to your baby’s photos. Whether you want to create a birth announcement, document your baby’s growth in a monthly photo, or mark big milestones, Little Nugget will have 500+ artworks for you to choose from.
  4. Add Personalized Text: With nearly 100 fonts to choose from, Little Nugget allows you to express something unique on your bump or baby photo.
  5. Share with Family and Friends: Little Nugget makes it easy to share your creations. Use the app to privately share your photos with family via email or text. Show them off to your friends with a direct upload to your favorite social network.***Can you keep a secret? There are a couple super neat features that I can’t tell you about just yet. You’ll have to wait until launch to find out.***

Little Nugget is a baby photo app designed by parents for parents. Translation: Every bit of functionality included is something we felt was missing in the great big universe of baby apps. Do you feel something is missing? Existing features don’t make sense? Please add it to the comments below or drop us a line at hello@littlenuggetco.com.

If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up below for early access to the app.

Finding Harmony

By | Little Nugget App, Mompreneurs | No Comments

If there is one thing I have learned since my daughter’s birth it is this: The concept of work-life balance is a myth. Finding and sustaining balance between work and family life is nearly impossible. Don’t agree? Stick with me here.

bal-ance (noun). (1) An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady, (2) a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.

The very definition of balance assumes both work and family life are weighted equally. True happiness is only achieved when both elements have equal distribution. A crazy month with my new business means too many missed bedtime stories. My daughter’s back-to-back colds mean missing work and falling behind. The scales too easily tip out of balance. See ya later happiness.

For the better part of the last year I struggled with finding the right balance between starting Little Nugget and spending time with family. My life felt forced into silos—work is work and life is life— when, in fact, my work-life and my family-life are completely intertwined. I need both to feel fulfilled, but I also struggled to find balance between the two. Balance just wasn’t working for me.

My husband [and unofficial therapist] opened my eyes to the idea of finding harmony. As a consultant who travels 75% of the month, his scale between work and life is perpetually out of balance. Consider the definition of harmony:

har-mo-ny (noun). (1) The quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole. (2) Agreement or concord.

Harmony allows life and work to blend together in a combination unique to an individual. Harmony allows my criteria for fulfillment and happiness to be fluid. The concept forces me to keep focused on what is most important in my life. As a result, it turned around my feeling of contentment.

My definition of harmony is completely different from yours, but here are some strategies that helped me find harmony in my life.

  1. Set your non-negotiables. Take a look at the things that make you the most content. Those are your non-negotiables. Share your non-negotiables with your boss, coworkers, and family. Make a plan to reliably structure them into your life. My non-negotiables are (1) a workout at least twice a week, (2) family snuggle time in the morning, and (3) at least an hour with my daughter one-on-one each day before we begin the dinnertime/bedtime routine. That all requires me to end work a little earlier, so I jump back online after bedtime to wrap up loose ends.
  2. Focus on quality. Quantity of time is important, but what is more important is the quality of that time. Be present. Stop worrying about what you are not doing and live in the present. Your joy and satisfaction will thank you. When at work, I’m 100% focused in that task at hand. When I’m with my husband and daughter, my phone is off and I soak in every little moment and giggle.
  3. Get your family’s support. I’m a firm believer that behind every strong woman is an even stronger support system. Without an incredibly supportive husband and family, I would have never taken the leap to start Little Nugget. They know me best. They are my reality check, my confidence boost, and my biggest cheerleaders.
  4. Lean on your #squad. Get your girlfriends behind you. They are your sanity and best source to refuel. There is nothing better than a good friend with a pizza, bottle of wine, and latest episode of the Bachelor.
  5. Define your harmony. It’s 100% okay if your harmony looks a lot different from someone else’s. In fact, it should. Take a look at your beliefs, values, and what is most important to you in your life. Consciously make changes to structure your life around those things.

Finding work-life harmony hasn’t been easy. I’m a mother, wife, friend and an entrepreneur in search of the harmony across all aspects of my life.  It’s a trial and error process that requires constant adjustments. But so far, the concept is working for me.

 

 

About me: A mom. A wife. An entrepreneur.

By | Little Nugget App, Mompreneurs | No Comments

Where do I begin?

My name is Carrie. I’m a wife, first-time mama, and most recently new mom entrepreneur living in Chicago. In January 2015, my life completely changed with the birth of my first daughter, adorable Miss Leslie. Like many other new mamas, I was excited to start documenting my daughter’s life through photos, starting with the ever-loved monthly milestone photo. Unimpressed with the options available —ahem, onesie stickers and wood blocks— I started looking for a unique way to share Leslie’s monthly development with family and friends. I scoured the app store and the internet and came up with very few options that made it easy for parents to capture and share their baby’s memories and milestones… and so Little Nugget was born!  

Where am I now?

Just nine months after my daughter was born I left my full-time job (gulp) and founded Little Nugget. It was a big [read: crazy] leap. If I am being honest, it is a decision that I question almost every day. It was a decision to leave the certainty of my cushy, secure nine-to-five advertising sales job, from an amazing company, that offered me unmatched benefits and flexibility as a new mom. What was I thinking?!?

Despite the moments of doubt, I don’t regret my decision for a second. It’s a decision that has allowed me to follow my passion. It’s a decision that gives me flexibility to spend more time with my daughter during such a fun stage in her development. Most importantly, it’s a decision that allows me to set an example for my daughter that I never imaged I could. Success or failure, these reasons drive me forward each day and make any lingering shred of doubt worth the worry. 

What to expect from the Little Nugget Blog?

Through this blog I will share my entrepreneurial journey to launch and run the Little Nugget baby photo app. It will be an honest take on my highest highs, my biggest mess-ups, my ride as a woman in tech, and pretty much everything in between. The Little Nugget Blog is not meant to sell you on my business, though in full transparency, it will be the focal point for most of my posts. My hope is that my story will help at least one entrepreneur out there with her/his business. Or at the very least, inspire another mama to take a leap. 

Want to contribute?

I’d LOVE to feature and hear from other #mamaboss’ who have or are starting their own business. Please contact me at hello@littlenuggetco.com if you want to be featured or have a post idea.